Mauricio Costa, a software engineer and music composer living in Atlanta, is creating a musical comedy out of the Silicon Valley Bank collapse, called “The Valley.”
Perhaps the wounds are still fresh, but Costa told TechCrunch while reading articles about the bank’s demise and trying to understand what was going on, “I could see the entire hero’s journey and the hero’s lifecycle on this story, so I thought maybe there’s something here and maybe we can tell the story in a way that nobody has ever seen before.”
Tapping into well-known playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda as his inspiration, Costa is giving “The Valley” a gospel and hip-hop feel and described the story as where venture capitalists play the role of “preachers,” startups play the role of “naïve church-goers,” and the Valley Bank CEO “Greg” (obviously a take on former Silicon Valley Bank CEO Greg Becker) has a big role.
The musical is still in its infancy with the first draft taking Costa about four months to complete. He has written six songs so far, with titles including “The Valley is Great,” “Blessing in Disguise” and “We are Gonna Die.” It begins with the “startup” character singing about how great “the valley is,” with lyrics like “the valley is great,” and lift up “Greg” and the bank as “We praise thee o Greg in all its awe and grace.”
Other than reading news articles, Costa said he hasn’t yet approached the parties involved — VCs, startups or the bank itself, but does plan to try to get his draft in front of Beck and some venture capitalists. He did work with some friends in the fintech industry who helped with fact-checking.
“I don’t know if Greg or VCs will find it comedic or if they will find it insulting, but it was never my intention to if they find it insulting,” Costa said.
To give the musical’s story a more personal touch, he took to Twitter, saying “a lot of very reputable people came to me on the SVB situation, and you can see that in the lyrics.”
“I cite some of the tweets verbatim, sharing some of their opinions,” Costa added. “For example, I include lyrics from one person’s tweet who is sarcastically saying ‘thank you’ to all the venture capitalists for destroying or collapsing a very trustworthy and reliable bank.”
Though Costa mentions a “hero’s journey” in all of this, he said that really isn’t a central hero, and that the audience will leave the musical with differing opinions on who is “evil” and who is the “hero.”
Meanwhile, he is currently looking to collaborate with some professional musicians to work on the stage adaptation part. Costa is also talking with potential theaters, including at his alma mater at University of Central Florida.
“It’s my first time writing for gospel and hip-hop, but I love it,” Costa said. “It’s beautiful. I think it has the potential to attract other people who are interested to know about this story.”
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