One man’s epic journey to overcome the forces of evil in the name of good.

Music & Lyrics by SCOTT WILKINSON
Book by ERIC C. WEBB


MAY 19, 2019
First United Methodist Church of Birmingham
1589 W. Maple Road, Birmingham
7:00 PM from Broadway
TALLY SESSIONS as Bonhoeffer

This concert is presented in cooperation with the First United Methodist Church of Birmingham Concert Series, LIVE AT FIRST!  There will be a Free Will Offering at the Concert which will help defray a portion of the expenses and support the mission work of the church.



"Ophthalmologist creates heroic musical with Broadway ambitions"

Scott Wilkinson’s twin passions for medicine and music have produced successful careers as an ophthalmologist and a singer/songwriter. These days, the Birmingham resident is applying his gifts to writing the music and lyrics for “Bonhoeffer the Musical.”

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The true story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German Lutheran minister and theologian who refused to remain silent against the atrocities of Hitler and the Nazi party.

Haunted by the loss of his brother in World War I and horrified by the growing influence of the Nazi Party over the Church, Dietrich Bonhoeffer preaches his own unique brand of spiritual pacifism as a leader of the Confessing Church, where he meets and befriends his kindred spirit, Eberhard Bethge. Bonhoeffer’s work against the Nazi regime has him labeled an Enemy of the State, however, and when he is forcibly conscripted into Hitler’s Army, he is forced to flee to America. While there, Bonhoeffer realizes that he has a duty to fight for good in his own country, returning and joining the underground Resistance. His work as a spy and aiding Jews out of the country takes a dark turn when he realizes that the underground has begun plotting the assassination of Hitler, a move that puts Bonhoeffer at odds with his own pacifism as well as with Bethge. Ultimately, Bonhoeffer chooses to walk his own path, finding grace in resistance and defying evil to his dying breath.

about the authors

Scott Wilkinson (music & lyrics)

Scott Wilkinson is an experienced singer and songwriter. He was educated in both science and music and received his Bachelor’s Degree from Albion College. He also has a Masters in Songwriting from The Berklee College of Music in Boston. He has spent much of his songwriting career as a performer, recording seven CDs and performing throughout the Midwest. He also attended medical school and is a practicing physician and surgeon.

"The Bonhoeffer project has been a wonderful journey for me. Several years ago, I was somewhat restless artistically. To me this is a sign that something needs to change and you need to elevate your game. So I decided to go back to school to become a better composer, songwriter and lyricist. When I was attending classes at the Berklee College of Music, one of my professors pulled me aside and said that I should write musical theater. I had never considered such a thing. At the time, my wife, Jill, was reading an epic biography on the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and she was taken in by the dramatic nature of the story. So I read the biography and wrote one song, more or less to ‘get it out of my system.’ With the help of Dale Grisa, who recorded and produced this song, and Corey Roberts, who sang it beautifully, we were all convinced it was a project worth pursuing. Several more songs were written and on a lark I entered Broadway producer Ken Davenport’s competition for up and coming Broadway composers. Much to my surprise I was selected for showcasing some of this work at his theater in New York City. Since that time, Ken has taken me under his wing to help me develop not only this show, but also my skills as a composer-lyricist. It has been a period of enormous growth for me and I will be forever grateful to Ken for his time and energy invested in me.

I am also very grateful to Richard Lewis for all of his work on this project. He has logged an inordinate number of hours researching, translating and bringing together many sources to tell the story of Bonhoeffer. His commitment to his writing in the wee hours of the morning has always been an inspiration to me.

Lastly, I am grateful for the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. We live in perplexing and cynical times. To maintain our perspective and sanity we must find heroes that transcend the confines of different historical times, cultures, socioeconomic strata and political labels. Bonhoeffer jumps out of every box. He cannot be neatly pigeonholed as a liberal or a conservative; a spy or a traitor; a pastor or a rebel. However, there is no dispute about the enormous intellect and human character he courageously demonstrated in both his writings and actions while living in and through one of the darkest chapters of human history. His seventeen volumes of writings are a treasure trove of timeless, original theological ideas, philosophical thought and human wisdom. The most profound personal benefit I have experienced with this project is that I feel as if I have spent many hours with him through his writings, others’ writings about him and his story. One cannot spend that kind of time with Dietrich Bonhoeffer and not be significantly changed for the good.”

ERIC C. WEBB (book)

is the Director of Creative Development for Davenport Theatrical Enterprises and Artistic Director for March Forth Productions as well as a writer and freelance dramaturg. Writing projects in development include the anti-bullying musical #JustBeYou (commissioned by Random Farms Kids Theater, composed by Stephanie Bianchi), Breakup - The Musical (an irreverent new musical, also with Stephanie Bianchi), Thompson/Gifford (a Gothic chamber musical). Previous writing credits include A White Man's Guide to Rikers Island, Krampusnacht (segments commissioned by March Forth Productions), Tania (commissioned by White Rabbit Productions, published by Indie Theater Now), “Orion” (short film, produced by Second Star NYC), The Angels of Mons (March Forth Productions/Horsetrade at Theater Under St. Marks), Ubu - a twisted puppet show co-adapted from Jarry's Ubu Roi, Playwriting is Easy and Strange Currencies.

the music

Be The One

Our story opens with young Dietrich Bonhoeffer trying to comfort his twin sister, Sabine, in her fear of the dark. We are then introduced to adult Bonhoeffer teaching his students on the topic of overcoming the darkness, but with a much more profound meaning. Adult Sabine  offers encouragement to her brother. At the end, we are left with the adults in the  living room and the children upstairs singing together, "Be the one that's lighting the way."

Twisted Road

“There is meaning in every journey that is unknown to the traveler… We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God.”
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

See The World

“I'm still discovering, right up to this moment, that it is only by living completely in this world that one learns to have faith. I mean living unreservedly in life's duties, problems, successes and failures, experiences and perplexities. In so doing, we throw ourselves completely into the arms of God, taking seriously, not our own sufferings, but those of God in the world. That, I think, is faith.”
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer


“Absolute seriousness is never without a dash of humor.”
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

climb that mountain

"The 'black Christ' is preached with captivating passion and vividness. Anyone who has heard and understood the Negro spirituals knows about [this] strange mixture of reserved melancholy and eruptive joy."
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

all-out war

“There can be no more wars of faith. The only way to overcome our enemy is by loving him.”
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer


“We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice; we are to drive a spoke into the wheel itself.”
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Against The Odds

“Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.”
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

the last straw

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

A Different Kind of War

“We are not to simply bandage the wounds of victims beneath the wheels of injustice; we are to break the wheel itself.”
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer


“This is the end. For me the beginning of life.”
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer


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