Fictional character. Real music. Vital causes.
“Dayna Clay” is a 27-year-old rock star, battling depression, suicidal thoughts, and post-traumatic stress in the wake of an abusive childhood. She’s the heroine of Paul McComas’ acclaimed 2002 novel, Unplugged. Although Dayna is a fictional character, her story addresses issues that are all too real.
The Dayna Clay Project brings Unplugged to life on stage in an original alt-rock musical. Featuring songs by Maya Kuper and Paul McComas, UNPLUGGED: A Survivor’s Story in Scenes & Songs chronicles Dayna’s bumpy journey out of depression, through the South Dakota Badlands, and into self-discovery, healing, full embrace of her bisexuality, and love.
“Critic’s Choice in Theatre/Performance…The piece uses original rock music and monologues to trace the recovery of suicidal bisexual rock chick Dayna Clay, who abandons her career midgig and takes a trip to the Badlands, where she reconnects with her love for music and life…The earnest, principled UNPLUGGED bridges the gap between stripped-down rock music and theatrical storytelling.” – Kerry Reid, Chicago Reader
The musical version of UNPLUGGED sketches the protagonist’s inner and outer journey. A survivor of rape and other abuse, Dayna channels her roiling trauma into anthems for her young fans while careening toward self-destruction. The UNPLUGGED performance begins on a cynical note with “Fireproof Storage,” whose lyric laughs at the walls we shelter behind…The songs and the story they convey have universal resonance and a message of social justice.” – David Luhrssen, Milwaukee Shepherd Express