Weird! The Musical

Weird! The Musical – A New Original Anti-Bullying Musical About Never Letting Anyone Take Away Your Polka Dots.

Luisa changes everything about herself – including her colorful polka dot boots – to avoid being called weird. Will this work? What else could she possibly do?

Sam picks on kids at school sometimes, but she’s not really being mean…or is she? Caring people want to help Sam change. Will she let them?

When Jayla witnesses her friend being bullied, she is too scared to stand up for her. Then, someone dares her to take part in the bullying. Will she find the courage to do what’s right?

Weird! The Musical, based on the books in The Weird! Series by Erin Frankel and Paula Heaphy, is an energetic family musical about anti-bullying with a powerful message. One story of bullying told from three different female character’s perspectives…one who is being bullied, a bystander, and the one using bullying behavior. Families and kids will enjoy seeing the pages of the books come to life on stage with Luisa, Sam, Jayla and their friends learning where their power comes from and how to use it.

Audiences will love Weird! The Musical, with soaring music and anti-bullying scenes that will speak to issues students face every day.


Cast Recording

Weird! The Musical (Original Studio Cast Recording)

Weird! The Musical (Original Studio Cast Recording)

Now available for download

The Studio Cast Recording features Natalie Weiss (Wicked, Les Misérables), three-time Grammy nominated Jody McBrayer from the group Avalon & Josh Batstone from Season 8 of The Voice. Download includes all tracks from the new original musical including Morning  Routine, Enough Is Enough & Know Yourself! Be Yourself! sung by this incredibly talented cast.

Available to purchase on iTunesAmazon Music & Google Music


Shawn Forster

Shawn Forster

Book, Music & Lyrics

Shawn Forster has a diversified career in directing, choreographing and performing in musical theatre. As a solo artist and group member, Shawn has released a few albums of original music. He has been teaching musical theatre and social skills to students for over 20 years. Weird! is a passion project for Shawn because it is a combination of all his loves…singing, acting, dancing, and teaching kindness!

Shawn has been nominated for numerous Syracuse Area Live Theatre (SALT) Awards honoring him as a performer, director and writer. He took home an award for Best Director and also a few wins for Best Musical.

Shawn is currently the Artistic Director of Peaceful Schools Productions, the artistic division of Peaceful Schools, which launched in 2013. Through Peaceful Schools Productions he directed and performed in the first touring production of Have You Filled A Bucket Today? The Play for six years. He is also co-creator and original cast member of Rise Up!, a touring character education talk show for kids, and Weird! The Musical, which was nominated for 5 SALT Awards in the Regional Theater Category including Best Musical, Best Ensemble, Best Supporting Actress, Best Music Direction and Shawn received a nom for Best Director. Shawn has enjoyed every step of this journey creating Weird! alongside his favorite team and can’t wait to see what’s coming next.

Dani Ryan

Dani Ryan

Book, Music & Lyrics

A leading member of the Peaceful Schools team since 2001, Dani’s unique background experiences in performance education and theatre arts have helped shape the Peaceful Schools multi-sensory approach to engaging students as active participants in their social-emotional development.

A 1998 graduate of the Communications and Theatre departments of SUNY Oswego, Dani had her sights set on a career in Musical Theatre performance. Following graduation, she began work as a children’s theatre educator. Instructing children from ages 4-18 had an immense impact on her career goals and she began to develop an interest in the idea of working with children to improve social skills and build social competence. The idea of having a positive impact on youth development became a strong personal passion and Dani began to pursue opportunities to combine her talents with her passion for education. Peaceful Schools provided Dani the outlet she was looking for to develop and deliver social emotional programming for youth.

A 2-time Syracuse Area Live Theatre Award winner for Best Actress in a Musical, Dani has performed locally and regionally in dozens of productions and continues to perform through her work with Peaceful Schools Productions. Being on the writing team for Weird! gave her a chance to work on her passions and with her best friends. What could be better?

Dave Reckess

Dave Reckess

Book & Lyrics

Dave’s life as a teacher began with his first job as a tennis instructor at age 16.  In the years since, Dave has taught ecology to young children, led high school students on outdoor adventures, facilitated cooperation and dialogue among teens from global regions of conflict, and built caring classroom environments as an elementary school teacher.  While the settings have changed, Dave’s commitment to providing kids with authentic, challenging, and enriching learning opportunities has remained constant. 

Dave came to Peaceful Schools with a Master of Science in Teaching degree from the State University of New York at Cortland, and currently holds a New York State Teacher Certification, Grades 1-6. As a senior member of the Peaceful Schools Executive Team, Dave’s expertise focuses on social-emotional curriculum and Professional Development, Restorative Practices in schools, and implementation of the Community Schools model.   

 Dave’s acting debut came with Peaceful Schools Productions’ first official tour of Have You Filled A Bucket Today? The Play. Dave is thrilled to be a co-creator of Weird! The Musical 

Lura Lunkenheimer

Lura Lunkenheimer


Lura is the President and CEO of Peaceful Schools, an educational consulting company serving New York State for over 20 year. With an Education Doctorate in Executive Leadership her studies have focused on school leadership development, management of school culture and climate, development of tiered supports focused on student social emotional development and structures to support teachers forming secure base relationships with students. Lura earned her Masters’ Degree in Counseling & Psychological Services, specializing in School Psychology, and her combined experiences uniquely qualify her to support the development and maintenance of pro-active and response systems of support for student in a k-12 setting. As an educator and staff development trainer she has expertise in youth development, social emotional learning, conflict resolution, restorative practices, multi-tiered systems of support including response to intervention and positive behavioral interventions and supports. Under her guidance Peaceful Schools has delivered a variety of education initiatives including initiatives related to school improvement, school climate design, school violence prevention education, after school and expanded learning time programs and development and management to build capacity in support of the community school model.

In addition to her work with Peaceful Schools, Lura has been involved with numerous organizations to benefit the safety and well-being of children, including work as a volunteer for The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, as a committee chair for the Central New York Ride for Missing Children, as a founding member of the Central New York Out of School Time Network, and as a regional representative for New York State Network for Youth Success.



Book & Lyrics by

Music by

Original Production Produced by

Based on Free Spirit Publishing’s The Weird Series by Erin Frankel and Illustrated by Paula Heaphy
Commissioned & produced by Peaceful Schools Productions, artistic division of Peaceful Schools.

Official Show Links