alphabetical author index

People vs. Mona, The

"A diverting musical confection by Jim Wann and Patricia Miller. Mr. Wann was the main composer of Pump Boys and Dinettes, a theatrical phenomenon that won the hearts of audiences around the world. [Mona] captures the same spirit of good-natured down-home fun. There is something for everybody!"

The New York Times

  • Full Length Musical
  • Comedy
  • 120 minutes

  • Time Period: Present Day, Contemporary, New Millennium/21st Century
  • Target Audience: Adult, Pre-Teen (Age 11 - 13), Teen (Age 14 - 18), Appropriate for all audiences, Senior
  • Set Requirements: Unit Set/Multiple Settings, Bare Stage/Simple Set
  • Cautions: Mild Adult Themes, No Special Cautions
  • Orchestra Size: Medium

  • Performance Group:
  • Large Stage, Dinner Theatre, Community Theatre, High School/Secondary, Professional Theatre, Outdoor, Shoestring Budget, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups, College Theatre / Student, Senior Theatre
The People vs. Mona is a love story, murder mystery, courtroom shenanigans, fate-of-a-small-town-hanging-on-the-verdict musical.For professional companies: seven actor/singers play all the roles in a multicultural cast, accompanied by three onstage musicians. For high schools, colleges, and community theatre: the cast may be expanded by having one actor in each witness role, and a chorus of townspeople in the larger numbers.The music combines folk, blues, gospel, jazz, rock, musical comedy, school anthem, marching band and bossa nova with a theatrical sensibility.

Mona Mae Katt, a third-generation Latina-American, owns the Frog Pad, the long-time musical heart of Tippo, GA, a town in need of a plan to revive itself. She is accused of killing C.C. Katt, recording studio operator and her husband of ten hours, by hitting him over the head with her Stratocaster guitar. She is defended by Jim Summerford, a Southern gentleman who’s never won a case against prosecutor and Mayoral candidate Mavis Frye—his fiancé. As Jim tries to prove Mona’s innocence, he becomes attracted to her, and Mavis ups the stakes: she wants to convict Mona, marry Jim, take office, tear down the Frog Pad, and put up a Casino—bringing in bucks, but taking away Tippo’s artistic and social traditions in the process. And if Mona is found guilty, the odds are Mavis will get her way.

Several of the actors play multiple roles in a parade of witnesses on the way to a sequence of surprise endings. MONA manages to combine a love triangle, courtroom drama, and character-driven comedy in an original book musical, with a light-hearted message about the importance of cultural heritage in America’s towns. Keep the Frog Pad alive!

More artwork images for The People Vs. Mona are available for groups licensed for this show! Email for more information.


"Plenty of laughs! The jaunty score has a strong country feel but also displays plenty of musical variety. Consistently inventive!"

The New York Post

"Delivers a HOOTIN' good time! Book and score are all of a piece. Cheerfully endearing!"


"A three-piece onstage band keeps the trial scenes thumping, and each member of the spunky ensemble (some in multiple roles) gets a moment in the Southern sun."

The New Yorker

"Infectious tunes! (And compared to Pump Boys) a different, fuller meal, served with just as much down-home sweetness and extra helpings of story line."


"A terrific new musical! Guilty of conspiracy to divert you, pre-meditated cleverness, attempted kidnapping of your funny bone, and first degree talent. A fair, considered verdict of "Damn! I wanna see this!"


"Feels destined for a long life around the USA. Completely appropriate for every age group!"

"This off-Broadway property has potential legs! A bouncy country and western musical with blues and show tunes thrown in. Tasty gumbo!"

Time Out NY

"Fresh, funny, unpretentious musical theatre."

Hollywood Reporter

Premiere Production:

The People Vs. Mona was presented by the Pasadena Playhouse (Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director) in a world premiere production, March 12, 2000. The book co-author was Ernest Chambers and the director was Paul Lazarus.

Several small-cast professional productions, and large-scale university and amateur productions followed, culminating in MONA's New York limited run off-Broadway, presented by GROUND UP Productions, July 14-August 4, 2007. Kate Middleton was the Artistic Director and Director.

  • Casting: 3M, 4F, 3M or F
  • Casting Attributes: Reduced casting (Doubling Possible), Local Celebrity Cameo, Ensemble cast, Minority casting, Flexible casting, Room for Extras, Parts for Senior Actors, Cross gender casting, Expandable casting, Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle), Drag performance, Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle), Color blind casting
  • Casting Notes:

    For professional companies: seven actor/singers play all the roles in a multicultural cast, accompanied by three onstage musicians who also play small roles. For high schools, colleges, and community theatre: the CAST MAY BE EXPANDED by having one actor in each witness role, and a chorus of townspeople in the larger numbers.

  • Chorus Size: Small

JIM SUMMRFORD - Defense Attorney; narrator; easygoing Southern gentleman.
RAMONA MARIA 'MONA MAE' KATT - Defendant; third-generation American Latina; Frog Pad Owner; Down-to-earth; naturally sexy; passionate and idealistic.
MAVIS FRYE - Prosecutor; ambitioius; upscale; chic; inspired by Ayn Rand.
JUDGE ELLA JORDAN - Smart; no-nonsense.
BAILIFF - Regular guy/gal.
COURT RECORDER - Regular guy/gal.
CLERK - Regular guy/gal.
TISH THOMAS - Journalist; Tippo's culture maven.
GORDON BELL - Traffic Officer; sensitive cop.
DR. THEODORE BLOODWEATHER - Coroner; Serious Professional.
KATT'S KITTENS - Backup Singers.
EUPLE R. PUGH - Elderly attorney; local hero.
'BLIND WILLY' CARTER - Street Singer; street-smart.
RAFSANJANI PATEL - Motel Proprietor; New Southerner; assimilated and proud.
REVEREND ROSETTA PURIFY - Dynamic; sincere; a true believer.