Your Own Thing

Full-Length Musical, Comedy  /  2w, 5m

Hal Hester, Danny Apolinar

By Hal Hester and Danny Apolinar / Book by Donald Driver / Music and Lyrics by Hal Hester and Danny Apolinar / Originally produced in New York by Zev Bufman and Dorothy Love

This groovy rock musical, loosely based on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, is set in the late 1960s in the land of Illyria (which looks very much
like New York City). It's a tale of separated twins, mistaken
identities, love triangles and “doing your own thing.”

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    2w, 5m
  • Duration
    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Adaptations (Shakespeare), Period, Romantic Comedy
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Appropriate for all audiences
  • WINNER! 1968 Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Musical
    WINNER! 1968 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Production
    WINNER!1968 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Playwright (Donald Driver)
    WINNER! 1968 Theatre World Award (Russ Thacker)
Your Own Thing


Your Own Thing is a rock musical loosely based on William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Set in the late 1960s in the land of Illyria (which looks very much like New York City), it is a tale of separated twins, mistaken identities, love triangles and “doing your own thing.”
Your Own Thing opened off-Broadway at the Orpheum Theatre on January 13, 1968 and played for 933 performances. The original cast included Leland Palmer, Marcia Rodd, Marian Mercer, Rusty (Russ) Thacker, Tom Ligon, John Kuhner, Michael Valenti, Igors Gavin, Imogene Bliss and Danny Apolinar.
In the late 1960s, in the land of Illyria, which looks very much like New York City, a raging storm wrecks the ship on which a rock duet is traveling. They are "identical" twenty-year-old twins, Viola and Sebastian. Even in this life-threatening situation, they are bickering as usual ("No One's Perfect, Dear"). In the confusion of the ship sinking, the twins are parted. Viola lands in Illyria where, being told Sebastian drowned, she expresses her loneliness in the strange city ("The Flowers"). A mysterious stranger gives her a business card with a job offer. The all-male rock quartet "The Apocalypse" is short one member, since Disease was drafted to fight in Vietnam. Famine, War and Death all hate the idea of being forced into such a role ("I'm Not Afraid"/"I'm Me"). Disguised as a guy named Charlie, Viola auditions to become The Apocalypse’s fourth member, singing"Somethin's Happenin' (Baby! Baby!)." She is successful and joins the group, thanks to winning over their 30-year-old manager, Orson.

Meanwhile, recovering in hospital from his shipwreck ordeal, Sebastian grieves his sister death in the shipwreck ("Come Away, Death"). Realizing he’ll have to move forward on his own, he goes in search of a job and a mysterious stranger gives him a business card with a job offer. He meets up with Orson, who mistakes Sebastian for his twin, Viola/Charlie and confirms his appointment as the new member of The Apocalypse. Sebastian is too thrilled at getting a job to worry about his new manager getting his name wrong ("I'm On My Way To the Top").

Orson is in love with Olivia, the 30-year-old owner of the nightclub where The Apocalypse is the star act. She doesn’t want to see him so he asks "Charlie" to deliver a love letter to Olivia. Viola realizes that she also is falling in love with Orson ("She Never Told Her Love"). Inspired by her own situation, Viola advises Orson on how he should win Olivia ("Be Gentle"). Unfortunately, Olivia falls for Orson’s messenger(s), not realizing the second “Charlie,” who likes her, isn’t the first, who didn't.

While the mixed-up couples continue their ever-changing yet confusing relationships, The Apocalypse rehearses its newest member ("The Apocalypse Fugue"), Viola’s confusion continues ("What Do I Know") and friendships grow ("The Now Generation"). As the confusion builds, the younger Sebastian acknowledges his growing love for the more mature Olivia ("The Middle Years"). Separately, Olivia also realizes that she is falling in love with the younger messenger ("The Middle Years" Reprise). Meanwhile, Orson realizes that he has identified unexplainable feelings for "Charlie" ("Young and In Love"). The confusion builds ("Hunca Munca") resulting in an argument between Sebastian and Olivia, which they eventually settle ("Don't Leave Me"). Finally, the mix-ups are resolved. The twins are reunited. Viola gets Orson and Sebastian gets Olivia ("Your Own Thing").

(2 female; 5 male)

Olivia - Owner of a discotheque
Viola - Twin sister of Sebastian

Orson - Manager of the Apocalypse
Sebastian - Twin brother of Viola

The Apocalypse, a rock group:

  • Danny
  • John
  • Michael


Ship’s Purser
Stage Manager

  • Time Period 1960s
  • Setting Illyria, which looks a lot like New York City. 1967.
  • Features Period Costumes
  • Duration 120 minutes (2 hours)


Music Samples

1. Overture – Orchestra
2. Shipwreck – Orchestra
3. “No One’s Perfect, Dear” – Viola & Sebastian
4. Underscore – Guitar Solo
5. “The Flowers” – Viola
6. Reprise: Flower Song – Orchestra
7. Punctuation – Orchestra
7a. “Corelli Fugue” – The Apocalypse
7b. Exit Ditty #1 – The Apocalypse
8. “I’m Me” – Apocalypse
9. Second Reprise: Flower Song – Orchestra
10. “Baby, Baby” – Viola & The Apocalypse
10a. Exit Ditty #2 – The Apocalypse
11. Underscoring – Orchestra
12. “Way To The Top” – Sebastian
13. “Come Away Death” – Sebastian
13a. Underscoring – Orchestra
14. “Way To The Top” – Sebastian
15. Clowns – Orchestra
16. “Well, Let It Be” – Olivia
16a. Tag: Well, Let It Be – Orchestra
17. Viola Letter Crossover – Orchestra
18. “She Never Told Her Love” – Viola
19. “Be Gentle” – Viola & Orson
20. “What Do I Know” – Viola & The Apocalypse
20a. Reprise: “Baby, Baby” – Sebastian & The Apocalypse
21. “The Now Generation” – Sebastian & The Apocalypse
22. Reprise: Now Generation – Orchestra
23. Underscore – Guitar Solo
24. “Middle Years” – Sebastian
25. Tag: Middle Years – Orchestra
26. Incidental: Middle Years – Orchestra
27. Reprise: “Middle Years” – Olivia
28. Underscore – Orchestra
29. “Young and In Love” – Viola & Orson
30. “Hunca Munca” – Full Company
31. “Don’t Leave Me” – Olivia & Sebastian
32. Reprise: “Don’t Leave Me” – Orson
33. Reprise: “I’m Me” – Viola
34. Finale Ultimo: “Your Own Thing” – The Apocalypse
Curtain Call & Exit Music – Orchestra

Full Orchestration

Reed I: Flute, Clarinet, Alto Sax
Reed II: Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone

Trumpet I & II (Optional, both double Flugelhorn)
Trombone I
Trombone II (Bass Trombone or Tenor with Bass Attachment)

Bass Drum
Snare Drum
Tom Toms
Wood Block
Cymbals: Hi-Hat, 2 Suspended, Ride

Electric Guitar
Electric Bass (Fender Bass)

Electric Organ (Organ-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material)

  • Musical Style Pop/Rock
  • Dance Requirements Easy
  • Vocal DemandsModerate
  • Orchestra Size Small/Combo
  • Chorus Size No Chorus

Licensing & Materials

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Music Rentals

Concord offers a full suite of resources to help you put on the show of a lifetime!
10 Libretto-Vocal Book
1 Piano-Conductor
1 Reed 1
1 Reed 2
2 Trumpet 1&2
1 Trombone 1
1 Trombone 2
1 Percussion
1 Electric Guitar
1 Electric Bass
10 Libretto-Vocal Book
1 Piano-Conductor


Take a look below at how you can enhance your show!



Hal Hester

Danny Apolinar

DANNY APOLINAR was a composer, singer and pianist, first performing at the Duplex in Greenwich Village in 1960 and later -- alone or with the Danny Apolinar Trio -- in cabarets and piano bars in Las Vegas, Miami, Chicago, New Orleans, San Juan, P.R., and St. Tropez, France. A ...

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