Gone to Texas



A musical about the life and character of William Sydney Porter, world-famous as the short story writer O. Henry. Celebrated for his surprise endings, Porter is adamant about keeping his own life story hidden from public view, even if it means throwing away a chance for happiness.




1 - Here in the Schoolroom
Porter receives a letter from a childhood sweetheart, Sara Coleman, inquiring if “O. Henry” is in fact the Will Porter she knew when they were growing up in Greensboro, North Carolina. He replies yes, and they begin a correspondence, including an exchange of photographs. They reminisce about their childhood in Greensboro, starting with Porter’s Aunt Lina, who was also the schoolmarm. Characters: Aunt Lina, Porter, Pharmacist, Customers
2 - I Think I Want You
In the meantime, Porter tries to avoid the editors, social lions, and loose women who surround him in New York Characters : Editor, Porter, Social Lion, Streetwalker

3 - The First Man Who Asked Me
Sara arrives in New York, and clearly she and Porter have fallen in love through their letters. But when she asks about his life since he left Greensboro, Porter refuses to tell her. He proposes marriage, but on the condition that she not ask about his life during the past few decades. Sara considers this. Characters : Sara
4 - Not So Bad After All
Porter, reluctantly and gradually, decides to tell Sara his story. In Austin, Texas, he recalls how he met his first wife Athol Estes at a fancy-dress ball. He was nervous and she was shy, but she put him at ease.
Characters: Athol
5 - Humor Magazine
Porter, who supports his wife and child on his meager income as a bank teller, has gained a reputation in Austin for telling jokes and drawing funny pictures. One of his acquaintances, Daniels, thinks he can put such talents to profitable use.
Characters: Daniels, Porter
6 - A StoryConvicted of embezzlement, Porter serves time in the Ohio Penitentiary, where he begins to write and sell stories as O. Henry.
Characters: Porter

7 - InnocentPorter, a model prisoner, is granted special privileges. On occasion he is able to host a private dinner for himself and a couple of fellow convicts.
Characters : Robber, Forger, Porter,
PORTER: James Brennan
SARA, ATHOL: Niffer Clarke
Joy Hermalyn
Tom Alan Robbins
Sylvia d’Avanzo, Suzy Perelman: violin
Lynne Cohen: oboe, English horn
Jonathan Levine: clarinet, bass clarinet
Shelagh Abate: horn
Milton Granger: piano

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