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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 gazebo-dancing messenger boy become a member of the Nazi Youth movement during one fateful summer?  Was he the villain or just a disinformed teenager? And exactly how is his name spelled? "Rolf(e)" tells the hilarious back-story of an unheralded and misunderstood hero who would do anything for love and the resistance. 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 will be presented on Saturday, May 21, 2022 at the Iowa State Historical Building's auditorium, 600 E. Locust Street in Des Moines.  Two performances will be presented - 2:00pm and 7:00pm CDT.  The event is free and open to the public; however, advance reservations are required.  This reading is made possible in part by a grant from The Iowa Arts Council. 

There are two ways to view the performance:

  • Attend In Person: free and open to the public, but reservations are strongly recommended as seating is limited. Reserve your tickets to attend in person by clicking HERE

  • Stream Online: we hope to have it available for live-streaming on May 21 and accessible online thereafter. Free and open to anyone, but pre-registration is required.  To register to receive a livestream link, click HERE.

The reading will be 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



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

 To view the program, click HERE (available day of show).


Upcoming Productions

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

Previous Productions

This musical is currently in development.

Press & Reviews

This musical is currently in development.


2021 - Iowa Arts Council major grant

Photo & Video Gallery

This musical is currently in development.