GAYLA MORGAN, Composer/Lyricist, Co-Director, & Music Director, lived, acted, sang, and played in KW for 6 wonderful years before relocating with her Yorkiepoo Kaya to the Jersey Shore in 2021. She is thrilled to be bringing this 10th anniversary production to the stage through Seaglass Theatrical, which she owns, and through which she also produced her Off Broadway musical A Dog Story, written with the late Eric Weinberger. She is grateful to so many: to the KW Fringe for commissioning this show in 2013, to her co-writer Monnie for our always-fabulous collaboration, to Linda for giving her a roof, to Lauren for her amazing insight & talent, and to the crew and this cast of fantastic actors, for bringing another secession to life on stage and in song!  

TREY FORSYTH (2020), Actor (Skeeter Dryer & others), is originally from Wilmington NC. He moved to KeyWest 14 years ago and has been acting, dancing, and singing up and down Duval St. ever since. He is glad to be back for his fourth show with Gayla Morgan (Oil City Symphony, A Dog Story, Conch Republic — The Musical). 
Long Live the Conch Republic.

WAYNE LaRUE SMITH (2020), Actor (Ed Swift & others),  was passionate about theater in the 1970s, but he left it all behind to become a trial lawyer. He has performed in courtrooms small and large throughout his career. His long-awaited return to the stage occurred earlier this year with El Isleño, and he is delighted to tread the boards again in Conch Republic—The Musical. 

Book by Monnie O. King

Music & Lyrics by Gayla D. Morgan

LAUREN THOMPSON, Co-Director & Choreographer, was born & raised in KW and began her theater career in this incredible arts community. She found her way back to the stage in 2017 and has been seen on stage at the Waterfront, Fringe, & Red Barn. Her next directing project will be ​The Last Five Years​ for the Fringe. She has choreographed for the KW Burlesque and KWHS Drama, and has given back to the children of KW in Camp Bravo during the summers.

EVAN DONOVAN, Lights Operator. Born and raised in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, Evan’s mother introduced him to the theater early in life. As a toddler he liked to accompany her to the NPR affiliate studios where she produced a children’s show called “KidsWord” and later to all the plays she directed at the local high school. Recently, relocating from Boston to Key West, Evan has worked with the Fringe Theater on one production and is excited to be helping out with Conch Republic (thanks Gayla)! He hopes to continue on in KW as a theater techie.

TONY KONRATH (2013–2015), Actor (The Governor, David Horan, & others), has been seen on every stage in KW, and has appeared as the snarky judge for multiple past years of the Waterfront AquaIdol contest. He originated the roles of The Governor & David Horan and is glad to be bringing them back to the public this year.

DON BEARDEN (2016), Actor (Steve & others), a long-ago graduate of the Professional Actors' Training Program (Univ. of Wash./Seattle), is so excited to return to Conch Republic — the Musical and KW. He has appeared in many shows in KW, working with the Fringe, Red Barn, the Studios, Theatre XP, and Waterfront — favorite shows include The Gin Game1776, and The Pickpocket's Daughter. Don's original musical, It's About Time, had its premiere at KW Theatre, produced by the Fringe. Don recently moved to Ft. Lauderdale; he has appeared there in La Cage Aux Folles (Delray Beach Playhouse) and Over the River and Through the Woods (West Boca Theatre); his next role will be in Second Chances (Empire Stage). Thank you Gayla & Seaglass Theatrical for this terrific opportunity.

MICHAEL AAGLAN (2013), Actor (Dennis Wardlow), trained at The American Musical & Dramatic Academy in NYC, and has appeared regionally in ​Carousel, The Secret Garden, Sylvia, and The Importance of Being Ernest. Locally, Michael created the role of Dennis Wardlow in Conch Republic — The Musical  for KW Fringe, and has also appeared with KW Summer Stage (Talk Radio, Burn This, The Seafarer), KW Theater (Silence!: The Silence of the Lambs Musical), and Waterfront (The Best Man, Home Exchange, Reefer Madness, Other Desert Cities, Clue). He can be seen regularly serving up cocktails and sass at RICK’S KEY WEST.

ARAMIS IKATU, Lighting Design.

BILLY CARTLEDGE (2013–2015, 2018), Actor (Bubba &  others), is a 27-yr resident of Key West whose first appearance on stage was when he took on the role of Bubba in the premiere of CRTM, as a result of giving Gayla Morgan a ride home, when she persuaded him to audition...something he had never remotely considered doing before! You may have also occasionally seen him at Bobby's Monkey Bar as Diana Ross. Billy has been married to his husband Jim for 36 years and they are doting doggy dads to 3 dachshunds, Lola, Mac, and Angus.

Past Projects

In honor of the show's 10th anniversary, the 2023 production featured ONLY actors who were cast in previous productions (years noted below) 


The 2023 production was lovingly dedicated to the memory of Kyle Caskey, who originated the role of "Steve."

MONNIE O. KING, Bookwriter, is also an actor, as well as one of the founders of the Fringe Theater Key West, where she was the Producing Artistic Director for 7 years. Her other plays, including Mother’s Gift, The Apple Falls, The Getaway, and Weathering the Storm have won awards and been produced in So. Florida and Key West. A member of British Equity, she was awarded an MA Classical Acting from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, and has appeared on stage in London, Florida, and Lake Chapala, Mexico. A 25-yr resident of KW, she and actor/director husband Peter moved to Lake Chapala 5 years ago, where they regularly act and direct at the Lakeside Little Theater, the oldest English-speaking theater in Mexico.

Conch Republic - The Musical is the fictionalized story of real events in Key West, Florida, during 1982, based on research by Monnie King and her interviews with many who lived in Key West at that time, including Dennis Wardlow, who was mayor of Key West in 1982; Virginia Panico, who was president of the Key West Hotel & Motel Association in 1982; Ed Swift, who was president of the Key West Chamber of Commerce in 1982; and David Paul Horan, Esq., the Key West attorney who won a case in the U.S. Supreme Court granting ownership of found treasure to Key West’s Mel Fisher.

Seaglass Theatrical

CAMILLE TOLER (2016), Actor (Maria & others), moved to Key West in 77. She remembers the secession. It was a magical time. She sang in many KW venues thru the years and performed in musical theater at TWFAC, The Red Barn, Waterfront, and TKWT. She has 2 musically accomplished children, Erika Monet & Chris Toler, whom she performs with when they're in town. Her day job is being a Realtor. She loves meeting people from all over the World who want to make this little island home.

ANNIE MINERS (2013–2015), Actor (Virginia Panico & others), is back in KW to reprise the role she originated at Kelly's upstairs in 2013! She lived on her boat Dreamboat Annie at the historic seaport for 8 yrs while acting, directing, & stage managing for the Waterfront, Fringe, & Red Barn. For her final role in KW, she played Golda Meir in the one-woman show Golda’s Balcony, after which she returned to her home state of MN, where she’s following her other passion: advocacy for animals big & small. She volunteers with Safe Hands Animal Rescue & Spring Farm Animal Sanctuary, and is Mom to 5 furbabies...Josephine, Miss Lily, Tino, Franklin Delano Dog, and Ginger Louise! From the oceans to the Great Lakes...Dreams do come true.

OUR VENUE was generously donated by Denis Hyland & Wayne LaRue Smith

OUR LOGO was created and generously donated by JT Thompson/Design Group Key West

OUR REHEARSAL SPACE was generously donated by Key West Moose Lodge #1760

OUR CARICATURE was created by the brilliant Jack McDonald

CONCH REPUBLIC – THE MUSICAL! was commissioned in 2012 by Fringe Theater Key West.

It premiered in April 2013 at Kelly's Upstairs in Key West, FL.

For more information about the show and its past productions,


Logo by JT Thompson/Design Group Key West  

Art by Jack McDonald