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About the Show

"Rolf(e) - The Musical" - Book, Music & Lyrics by Robert John Ford


You know him from "The Sound Of Music," but how did a dancing messenger boy become a member of the Nazi Youth movement during one fateful summer?  Was he the villain or just a naïve, hormonal teenager?  And exactly how do you spell his name?  "Rolf(e)" tells the hilarious back-story of an unheralded and misunderstood hero-wannabe who would do anything for love and the resistance, while also examining more serious and timely themes such as gender/sexual identity, the rise of fascism, and the challenge of discerning what is actually true in an era of disinformation.


Combining music in the style of Rodgers & Hammerstein, the teen angst of “Spring Awakening,” the laughs of “The Book of Mormon,” and the bawdiness of “Cabaret,” “Rolf(e)” is a musical for the entire family... assuming the kids in the family have already figured out how to bypass any parental controls on their TVs and devices.

To inquire about production rights, send an email to

The First Public Staged Reading! - May 21, 2022

A staged reading was presented on Saturday, May 21, 2022 at the Iowa State Historical Building's auditorium in Des Moines.  Two performances were presented - 2:00pm and 7:00pm CDT.  The event was free and open to the public,  This reading was made possible in part by a grant from The Iowa Arts Council. 

The reading was directed and performed by an amazing cast of Iowa-based theatre artists:



Director - Robert John Ford

Asst. Director & Choreographer - Megan Helmers

Music Director - Brenton Brown

Orchestrator - Lucas Tahiruzzaman Syed



Rolf(e) - Will Donaghy

Diesel - Taylor Millar

Hans - Blake Clyde

Brother Karl, Ensemble - Brenton Brown

Brother Wilhelm. Ensemble - Brad Church

Msgr. Staciatori, Herr Zelner, Ensemble - Craig Petersen

Herr Schultz, Ensemble - Greg Millar

Captain, Ensemble - Jonathan deLima

Woman, GOTHYM, Ensemble - Ann Kramer

Villager 1, Sr. Vivian, GOTHYM, Ensemble - Heidi Mason

Villager 2, Choir, GOTHYM, Ensemble - David A. Robinson

Josef, GOTHYM, Ensemble - Maggie Schmitt

Raimund, GOTHYM, Ensemble - Drew Hayes Peterson

Leiman, GOTHYM, Ensemble - Ryan Henzi

Baroness, GOTHYM, Ensemble - Jackie Schmillen

GOTHYM, Ensemble - Payton Boesch

Stage Directions - Joe Smith



Josh Jepson, Korey Williams, Joe Smith, Josh Whitver, Emma Milford, Charlie Flippen, Sarah Flippen, Julie Halligan Brown, Sheila Pflanz, Tom Pflanz.

Upcoming Productions

April 2023 - New York, NY - Workshop Production

Previous Productions

May 21, 2022 - RJFCreative, Des Moines, IA (2 performances) - Staged Reading

Press & Reviews

This musical is currently in development.


2021 - Iowa Arts Council major grant

Photo & Video Gallery

This musical is currently in development.