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NaNoWriMo: The Musical

Promotional image
Directed by Kelsey Goldberg
Produced by Manda Whitney
Errol Elumir
Starring Luke LaRocque
Blythe Haynes
Manda Whitney
Errol Elumir
Music by Errol Elumir
Deborah Linden
Editing by Errol Elumir
Running time 69 minutes
Country Canada
Language English


NaNoMusical is the common name for "NaNoWriMo: The Musical"

NaNoWriMo: The Musical is a 2012 musical web series in six episodes, produced exclusively for Internet distribution. Filmed and set in Toronto, the show tells the story of Dale, (played by Luke LaRocque), a veteran Wrimo; Val, the region's ML; Jill (Blythe Haynes), a NaNo newbie; and Rick (Errol Elumir), a spaz and Dale's friend.

The series was written by writer/musician Errol Elumir and Manda Whitney (Writer/Actor) who form a group called weTangent. It was directed by Kelsey Goldberg. In the spirit of NaNoWriMo, the whole musical was created in about 3 months. It was written in August of 2012, filmed in September, and then edited in October (and November because of technical difficulties) on no budget.

It was created in 2012 by the production company "we Tangent" and consists of 6 episodes:


NaNoWriMo: The Musical consists of six episodes of approximately 10 minutes each. They were first released online in November 2012 as individual episodes, with a week interval between each release.

Episode 1 - "Should I Stay or Should I Wrimo"

It's November first, and Dale, the "King of NaNo," seems oddly reluctant to attend the NaNoWriMo Kick-Off Party. Nevertheless, he does make an appearance, and we also meet highly stressed Municipal Liaison Val, eager newbie writer Jill, and Dale's enthusiastic friend Rick (November 1st). Despite copious amounts of dancing and NaNo goodness, Dale slips away to the park, where he informs Rick that he intends to spend the first night of NaNo "crashing." Rick is understandably horrified, but his efforts to cheer Dale up (Writing Spirit) fail miserably until the pair run into Jill: Val's friend and a first time Wrimo. From their conversation, it's clear that Jill's excitement at meeting Dale is based on more than writerly admiration...

Episode 2 - "Everything I Write, I Write It For You"

Still in the park, Dale seems troubled, and apathetic about writing. After Rick leaves, he contemplates the pressure he feels to succeed (Pressure). Nearby, Jill strums her ukelele and improvises songs about the things she sees, including a possible pirate and an ornithologist-in-training. She encourages Dale to join in, and after some hesitation, he does (Lovely Day). Afterwards, amid much blushing and nervous giggling, they agree to meet later for a writing session.

Episode 3 - "Dangerous Literacy"

Val is the Municipal Liason, or ML. Val is also very stressed, to Jill's chagrin. After a conversation wherein the meaning of a "Word War" is discovered (Word War), Jill goes to delete one of her sentences...until Val forcibly stops her, explaining that during NaNo, "You can't hit backspace." (Cannot Edit) With that particular lesson firmly impressed upon Jill, Val then vents her frustration over Rick's constant texting while she tries to write.

We then cut to the guys - Dale's progress remains slow, and Rick teases him about liking the "loopy girl," deeming it even stranger than the time Dale dated Val. Although both Val and Rick warn their respective friends about dating during NaNo(Don't Date During NaNo), Dale and Jill leave for their writing session as planned.

Episode 4 - "Pride and Page Count"

Jill and Dale are finally writing together, mostly uninterrupted (Word War). Meanwhile, Rick barges in on Val, who is still trying very hard to write her novel. Rick muses on whether or not Jill and Dale have yet "embraced in feral wanton passion of chocolate and slime," while Val claims not to care. Back at Dale's, Jill shares her work-in-progress. Both quickly realize that they are good writing partners...and possibly more (Where Were You).

Episode 5 - "Any Draft Will Do"

Jill brings Dale along to Val's apartment. Though clearly displeased, Val settles in to write. Any hope of adding to her word count vanishes when Rick rushes in with the news that Neil Gaiman has tweeted him (Neil Gaiman Tweeted Me). Dale then states that he will not be attending the Halfway Party. After arguing with Jill (while Val desperately begs for quiet) (Argument Song), he snaps. Revealing that he has not written anything, and calling NaNo a "stupid hobby," he tells Jill that her writing doesn't matter either, as no one will read or care about it. Hurt, Jill storms out.

Episode 6 - "Last Night of the Words"

While Jill cries and Dale mopes, Val ambushes Rick and unleashes her anger and jealousy. Somewhat calmer after a milkshake, Val then instructs Dale to apologize, and begrudgingly approves his relationship with Jill. Meanwhile, Jill forlornly plucks her ukelele. Rick talks to her, and tells her that Dale doesn't usually write with other people: a fact which goes some way towards making Jill feel better. She visits Dale, and he apologizes. After they've reconciled, Jill reveals that she has put both their names on "her" novel, as they essentially co-wrote it. Dale thanks her, but explains that it is necessary for him to fail NaNo this year: this is how he can rediscover the joy of writing for writing's sake, and find the freedom in failing.

Naturally, the month concludes with a party (November 1st Reprise)...and they all live happily ever after. The End.


The musical contains 10 songs, including credits and reprises. They were written by Debs & Errol

Musical numbers

Episode 1
  • "November 1st" – Dale, Val, Jill, and Rick
  • "Writing Spirit" – Rick
Episode 2
  • "Pressure" - Dale
  • "Lovely Day" – Jill and Dale
Episode 3
  • "Word War" - Word War Chorus
  • "Cannot Edit" - Val
  • "Don't Date During Nano" - Val, Rick, Dale, and Jill
Episode 4
  • "Word War" - Word War Chorus
  • "Where Were You" - Luke and Jill
Episode 5
  • "Neil Gaiman Tweeted Me" - Rick
  • "Argument Song" - Jill, Dale, Rick and Val
Episode 6
  • "November 1st Reprise" - Dale, Val, Jill and Rick

Cast & Crew

  • Luke LaRocque as Dale: A veteran of NaNoWriMo. Dale is having troubles with getting into the spirit of NaNoWriMo, and is hiding this from his friends.
  • Manda Whitney as Val: The Municipal Liaison. Val has been the ML of the region for the last four years and all she wants to do is write, but never has the time to because of stress over being an ML.
  • Blythe Haynes as Jill: Dale's Love Interest. Jill is new to NaNoWriMo and has a huge crush on Dale. She is plays improv ukulele, is a bit quirky and quite geeky, and flirts with Dale any chance she can.
  • Errol Elumir as Rick: Dale's spazzy friend. Rick likes the funs. He never writes during NaNoWriMo but he does draw webcomics about their escapades during Nanowrimo. He has more energy than either Dale or Val can handle.

Production Crew

  • Kelsey Goldberg: Director
  • Whitney MacNeil: Assistant Director
  • Barbara-Audrey Bergeron: Camera Op
  • Dan Charrington: Camera Op

Word War Chorus

  • Deborah Linden
  • Ren Zacchigna
  • Lyf Stolte
  • Kelson Rumak


Several friends of the cast and Wrimos themselves have cameo roles in the series.

  • Caitlin Ashberry
  • Carolyn Brown
  • Debbie Ridpath-Ohi - DebbieOhi.com
  • Ekko Elumir
  • Jen Wynne
  • K.T. (Katie) Bryski - KTBryski.com
  • Keren Elumir
  • Shannon Blake
  • Zoe Elumir

Special Thanks


Errol Elumir and Manda Whitney funded the project themselves (at just over $200).

Recording locations

NaNoMusical was recorded at a number of Toronto area locations:

  • Songs were recorded in Errol's house.
  • The Park used throughout the series is Oriole Park near Davisville station in Toronto.
  • Val's apartment is Manda's Apartment.
  • Dale's house is Errol's House.
  • The restaurant used was Caplanksy's Delicatessen.
  • The opening and closing numbers were recorded at Theatre Elusive, 1070 dovercourt.

External links