Sam’s Son (Fall 2017)

Photo by Matthew Abeler. From the 2017 production. Photo by Matthew Abeler. From the 2017 production. Photo by Matthew Abeler....

A new Prohibition-era Americana musical loosely inspired by the biblical story of Samson.


Gifted with unnatural strength, Sam Jr. wants to accomplish great things, but his reverend father seeks to shelter him from the wide world.  When a Prohibition agent comes digging for secrets in the town of Goode, Sam and his father get caught up in a tangled mission of truth, where lies get revealed at great cost.

Book and lyrics by Jeremiah Gamble

Music by Vanessa and Jeremiah Gamble

Musical arrangements by Michael Pearce Donley


• Directed by Sean Byrd

• Music Direction and Arrangements by Michael Pearce Donley

• Stage Managed by Jay Carlson

• Scenic Design by Katie Phillips

• Lighting by Courtney Schmitz

• Costumes by Nadine Grant-Daley

• Properties by Nate Farley

• Choreography by Betsy Mills

• Publicity by Joy Donley

• Technical Director Trevor Muller-Hegel


The 2017 World Premier Featured: Bonni Allen, Trevor Bunce, Pete Colburn, Jeremiah Gamble, Vanessa Gamble, Gail Ottmar, Riley Parham, Kayla Peters and Seth Tychon. Along with musicians Michael Pearce Donley on piano, Chris Erickson on upright bass/guitar/banjo, and Brian Lenz on guitar/banjo/mandolin.

A big Sam’s Son THANK YOU!

…To our 23 artists, 50 volunteers, 1,259 audience members, 2 local businesses, and to all you donors and supporters who believe in our work! You made this tremendously successful 2017 world premiere production possible and we are profoundly and deeply grateful. We love making new stories from scratch and we couldn’t have made this brand new thing without you. Thank you. A million times, thank you.



“Sam’s Son is an exciting new original musical with much care and thought put into every aspect… I was truly impressed with this cast, fully immersed in the storytelling… I’m quite enamored of the score… I’m still humming the songs… A three-piece band… combine with the gorgeous voices of the cast for a fantastic sound… a highly entertaining evening.” -Cherry and Spoon

(Read the full review)


“Sam’s Son has just about everything you could ask for.  Catchy musical numbers, great cast with killer voices, complex but fast moving and easy to follow story, inventive staging… if you’re looking for a solid piece of new musical theater, Sam’s Son is definitely your ticket.” -Matthew Everett

(Read the full review)


“You need to see Sam’s Son at Art House North. This musical was written by the incredibly talented local art-makers Jeremiah and Vanessa Gamble. Sam’s Son is an-all inclusive sensory experience–The set using every square inch of the [former] church. I laughed… cried…It was incredible.” -Family Fun Twin Cities


Audience Reviews:


“Theater at its best.”

“Great ‘little theatre’ group with very big ideas!!!”

“One of the best theatre productions I’ve ever seen!”

“… in all honesty one of the most well-crafted pieces of art I’ve seen in a while.”

“There are times when artists do their craft so well that it’s absolutely transcendent!”

“Absolutely brilliant!”

“Truly exceptional show. We were just blown away.” 

A bit of history:

Writing for Sam’s Son began fall of 2016. The first batch of songs were  workshopped with Nautilus Music Theater’s Rough Cuts Series, March 2017. A second batch of songs was workshopped with Nautilus Music Theater’s Rough Cuts Series, May 2017. The show premiered at Art House North, in Saint Paul, MN, October 2017.


From writer, Jeremiah Gamble:

“I’ve always been intrigued by the biblical story of Samson. And while this musical is not that story specifically, it is inspired by themes in the original story– purity, hypocrisy, tragedy, judgement, liberation. I saw that that the Prohibition era echoed some of those same themes and also has striking parallels with our country today– The deep polarization of our nation and how our moralizing and finger pointing can become a facade to hide our hypocrisy. The main theme of the show is truth: What is it? What do we do with it? And what happens when we tell it? I can’t think of a more timely topic to be exploring.”

Questions about the production, upcoming performances, or interested in getting the rights to produce the show? Email us at