Miranda Slingluff has been involved in the performing arts for over a decade and is thrilled to present her first original musical. Miranda has participated in several theatrical productions including Chicago (Velma Kelly), Mamma Mia! (Donna Sheridan), and The Addams Family (Morticia Addams). As a senior at Algonquin, Miranda is the co-leader of both Algoncapella and Ladies First, along with a member of Needs Improv-ment. Miranda will be attending The Boston Conservatory in the Fall to receive a BFA in Musical Theatre, and hopes to continue writing and directing throughout her career. She would like to thank her family, friends, and the entire Paralleled team for believing in this project.
I started writing Paralleled about two months into my sophomore year. By that point, I was just starting to figure out the world, and I was finding fascinating things every day. The beautiful thing about growing up is that with each answer you get ten million more questions, and I was just curious to see if I could answer them all. It wasn't even a matter of writing a musical. I just kept asking, "what makes people the way they are?"
The show really started to come together in September 2020. I had songs written, but they didn't have any context. I had these beautiful melodies and these cool ideas, but I couldn't find a way to bring them together. But the character of Alice was always at the center; I always wanted her to be at the forefront. I wanted someone confident and bold and smart, in a complicated way.
And then, it hit me: what if it was all a façade? What if it was all fake, and Alice was crumbling before our eyes? What if we could see it happen?
The idea of seeing two sides of someone—literally—was so simple that it pissed me off that I had never thought of it before.
I don't necessarily know if this show is anything extraordinary. But I think the people make it that way. I have had the honor of working with some of the most talented and capable and passionate and brilliant people I have ever known, and I've gotten to make something with them.
The thing about Paralleled is that everybody will be able to see themselves within the story we've created. Maybe that's what writing a musical is. You take music and acting and art and dance and poetry and you put it all together into this two-hour experience and you just hope that people feel something.
Paralleled tells the story of a lot of people, all of whom are just trying their best: waking up in the morning and having anxiety about walking out the door; being at the top of their game, and yet only being able to think about the fall; of taking one moment to enjoy the fact that you are alive and here. And then when you let yourself do that, that could be the exact moment that life has to remind you it's there. Feeling alone, even when you're with people. And then when you feel most alone, being brought back by the people you need most.
Paralleled is a cautionary tale against being too passive. It isn't about anger, or passion; it's about apathy. Letting life pass you by, accepting that you don't have the power to change things—that's probably the worst mindset a person can have.
Especially as life is beginning to return to normal, I hope that people look at each other. I mean really look at each other. Decide what's important to you, individually. Don't let your life wait. Everyone has the power to seize control of their own lives, to live for their own moments. The life around you is whatever you decide it can be.
I can't put together the words to describe the gratitude I feel at being able to tell this story, or my thanks to the people who chose to believe in something at a time when it was hard to trust that we would have anything to look forward to.
Thank you for being interested in the show. Thanks for coming along for the ride.
I can't wait to put something out there. I can't wait to tell a story that's worth telling.
Here's to us.