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Bekah Brunstetter talks about her Tony nomination for ‘The Notebook’ on Broadway

Screenwriter Bekah Brunstetter chatted about her 2024 Tony nomination for “The Notebook” on Broadway.

Bekah Brunstetter
Bekah Brunstetter. Photo Credit: Heather Gershonowitz.
Bekah Brunstetter. Photo Credit: Heather Gershonowitz.

Screenwriter Bekah Brunstetter chatted about her 2024 Tony nomination for “The Notebook” on Broadway.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” A woman that embodies this quote is Bekah Brunstetter.

“The Notebook” musical is directed by Michael Greif and Schele Williams, and it features music and lyrics by Ingrid Michaelson, a book by Bekah Brunstetter, and choreography by Katie Spelman.

A 2024 Tony nominee for ‘Best Book of a Musical’

Brunstetter has been nominated for “Best Book of a Musical” for “The Notebook.” On earning this Tony nomination, she said, “It is so thrilling, and the truth of the matter is that it is also just bittersweet because I am nominated without Ingrid Michaelson and it is really hard to feel separated from her at this stage.”

“I am still completely proud of the work, and myself. I am just really honored to be nominated, and to carrying this honor for everyone… for Ingrid, the whole show, and for all of us,” she said.

“I am truly so proud of ‘The Notebook.’ If I don’t make anything better for the rest of my life, I would still feel fulfilled,” she said with a sweet proud.

Brunstetter is also proud of Dorian Harewood and Maryann Plunkett for earning nominations for their work in the “Leading Actor in a Musical” and “Leading Actress in a Musical” categories respectively.

Maryann Plunkett and Dorian Harewood in 'The Notebook' on Broadway
Maryann Plunkett and Dorian Harewood in ‘The Notebook’ on Broadway. Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes.

Lessons learned from her journey on ‘The Notebook’

On the lessons learned from being a part of this musical, she reflected, “I think it reminded me of the importance of family. We slightly shifted the focus in the story from the younger characters to the older characters, and we are all lucky if we still have our grandparents around and if we still have our parents around.”

“Honestly, working with Ingrid on ‘The Notebook,’ and working with these older characters has made me appreciate that mine are still around,” she said.

“It taught me to stay in touch with them, talking to them and hearing their stories. That has been a big thing that has refocused in my life, for sure,” she added.

The digital age

On being a screenwriter in the digital age, Brunstetter said, “I love looking at ‘The Notebook’ Instagram account. Every night that we have a show, people go in and they post what they think about the show, and then, ‘The Notebook’ Instagram re-shares it.”

“Every night, I am looking at its Instagram page, and I am just loving and hearing what people think about it, and that really is so gratifying,” she said.

“I love feeling in touch with our audiences in that way. It is really nice to feel connected with them so immediately. It is really cool,” she added.

Advice for young and aspiring screenwriters

For young and aspiring screenwriters, she said, “Writing can be so competitive. It is so hard to not comapre yourself to other writers, especially when you are starting out.”

“You really have to put the blinders on and pretend like you are the only writer in the world and surround yourself with people who love your writing so that you can feel really confident and supported, and so that you can write from that place, as opposed to writing from a place of insecurity,” she elaborated.

Brunstetter on her writing process

When asked if she writes with the end in mind, she responded, “I usually do. Obviously, we did with ‘The Notebook.’ We knew how it was going to end; we had all the material.”

“Typically, I tend to build my ideas for all of my projects backwards,” she revealed. “I know what I want to leave the audience with, and then, I just go back from there.”

Stage of her life

On the title of the current chapter of her life, she said with a sweet laugh, “It Me vs. Working Mom Guilt.” “Also, a year of baked goods,” she admitted. “That’s the subtitle. I am constantly baking cookies for my kid’s teachers.”

Favorite mottos to live by

On her favorite mottos to live by, she shared, “Even when things get overwhelming, I try and be present and I try to be grateful. I have two little kids right now, and nothing will make you more present and grateful than two little kids who need you. It’s a lot of focusing my energy on what is in front of me.”

“As I’ve gotten older, it is about lowering your expectations for yourself and for your projects,” she acknowledged.

“It’s about taking things day by day so that you are not constantly feeling like you are not doing enough, which is a classic ‘working mom’ feeling. I am always trying to combat that,” she added.

Superpower of choice

If she were to have any superpower, she said, “I want to be able to be in two places at once.” “Just come casual quantum physics would be great,” she admitted.

Success

On her definition of the word success, she said, “Telling stories that I want to put into the world that make people feel heard and seen.”

Closing thoughts on ‘The Notebook’ musical

For viewers and fans, she concluded, “I hope this show inspires people to go home and call their family members that are still around… and talk to them, tell them that they love them, and see what they are up to.”

For more information on “The Notebook” on Broadway, check out its official homepage.

Read More: ‘The Notebook‘ review

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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