MainStreet Award

Directors' Choice Award Winner

| script | breakdown | synopsis |

Impossible But True

(loosely adapted from Washington Irving’s “Rip Van Winkle,” written to be performed in a tavern.)

Music, Lyrics and Book by Dan Furman
(additional lyrics by Mary-Liz McNamara*)


Selections from the score may be heard by visting this page.


Download or open The Full Script in Adobe Reader.


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"Impossible But True" is a show about how a small town in the Catskill Mountains in New York lives through the American Revolution. It is loosely based on Washington Irving's "Rip Van Winkle." But this is a story about people coming together and discovering all they can achieve--and seeing that sometimes what is possible--or impossible--depends upon us. Multi-ethnic casting is highly encouraged.

Yes, the show is based on the story of Rip Van Winkle--but it's not quite the Rip Van Winkle story that you may be used to. Our acting troupe welcomes the audience into the bar where you're seeing the show. The character of Nicolaus Vedder is in charge. He's introducing the characters and thinks the show is going to start with a song from Rip. But we discover that Rip's wife, Rebecca, has rewritten the script. She's given herself the opening song, which she proceeds to sing. In fact, she also leads the final song of the whole show--so if you like, you could look at this as the story of Rip Van Winkle--as told by Rebecca, his wife.

In this version of Irving's story, Rip leaves his town a year before the American revolution begins and returns 20 years later--14 years after the revolution has been won. Rip listens to the town proudly recount their participation in the struggle. And where was Rip for those 20 years? Did he meet the ghost of Henry Hudson? Was he taken up by a shipload of gnomes into the sky? Or could it have PTSD--"battle fatigue" or "shell-shock," as it used to be called?

After 20 years have passed, will Rip be able to rejoin the town--and his family--which have moved so far into the future while he was gone? This is a tale for all ages, and it fills the tavern with love, laughter, tragedy and hope.


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