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Creativity, talent unite these brothers for BW launch of new musical

The creative talent of Gideon '25 and Hank '26 Temple will be showcased in the premiere of "Star Machine," a musical comedy about an aspiring singer who lands on an American Idol-like TV show.

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(l-r) Gideon and Hank at a promo shot in Pittsburgh

The April 25-26 staged concert is a musical extravaganza 18 months in the making. Featuring 30 BW Conservatory student-artists, the event promises to be an exciting opportunity for the talented brothers from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. But it is not the first professional venture for the energetic duo whose relationship spans best friends, musical collaborators and indie band performers.

"We couldn't be more excited about our project with students and faculty across the BW Conservatory of Performing Arts," said Gideon, who aspires to be a music theater director. "The end production will be a staged concert format of 'Star Machine' in its entirety, with a full band. We'll be creating a live-shot video during that performance that will be included in a package that we will share with theater producers and also with film producers for adaptation."

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(l-r) Gideon, John, Hollee and Hank Temple

Hank noted that "Star Machine" captures the emotional, never-ending roller coaster that is life in the entertainment industry. "It is inspired, in part, by the experience of our parents, who are authors and screenwriters who have been working to get their art on screen for more than a decade."

"Some projects have taken off, while others have lingered in development for years," he said. "They actually coined one of the show's key messages: greenlight yourself! It means you don't need to wait for someone else's backing or approval to create art. And that's what we've done with the show here at BW. We decided to do it, and we made it happen."

"Gideon has music directed 'Star Machine' from the start, and I have served as director for multiple workshops," remarked Hank, who is pursuing music composition. "The opportunity to workshop our musical at BW with an in-house production company of Conservatory students and supportive faculty has been a dream come true. Our hope is that the spring staged concert will be just the start for the show."

All in the family fame

According to the "Star Machine" website, the project is a family collaboration that includes the two brothers and their parents, John and Hollee Temple. Gideon and Hank wrote the music and lyrics, and all four family members contributed to the storyline.

Seasoned professionals in the entertainment industry, the parents are represented by The Gotham Group. John is an author of four nonfiction books, journalist, screenwriting professor and a staff writer on "Waco: The Aftermath" (Showtime). His professional credits include the Washington Post, Daily Beast, HuffPo and major national news outlets. Hollee is a producer, lawyer, nonfiction author and Broadway enthusiast who made her professional debut alongside Billy Porter in a 1991 production of "Dreamgirls."

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Temple Brothers and Jack Lutz '25 perform at The Winchester Music Tavern in Lakewood, Ohio.

"While we have assisted our parents with various projects in the past, this is our first musical as a family writing team and our first project as equal collaborators," said Gideon. "We want to be involved in the entertainment industry as creators, composers and directors, for both film and stage."

The brothers have an impressive record of success. Their first musical comedy, "You're the Worst," debuted at Pittsburgh Musical Theater in 2021. They also have placed in multiple Pittsburgh "48-Hour Film Projects," where they also received kudos for Best Original Song. Their shorts have screened at festivals in Pittsburgh and Cleveland. In addition, they are indie musicians. Their debut EP, "Kinda Sorta," is available on Apple Music and Spotify.

Looking to BW to hone their skills

"BW is the perfect playground for our artistic goals — as a writing team and brothers. We have received an enthusiastic response to our work by everyone involved. Dean Susan Van Vorst has been a cheerleader and helped us secure a spot performing on April 12 as part of the Bach Festival," emphasized Gideon.

"Professors Clint Needham and Rob Kovacs have worked with us on revising our music and orchestrations, song by song. Voice faculty members Joanne Uniatowski, Marc Weagraff, and Sandy Simon have sat in on rehearsals and offered feedback. And for the past two years, Vicky Bussert has taken us to the NAMT music theater festival in New York City, where we hope our own shows will be featured in the future. We couldn't have gotten this far without the support of so many BW friends and teachers," believes Gideon. 

Photos courtesy of the Temple Brothers

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