Musical Theatre

The Homework Machine

An Interactive Musical Adventure
Book and Lyrics by Mark Cabaniss
Music by Keith Herrmann

hw machine body

Based on the best-selling Simon & Schuster book “The Homework Machine” by Dan Gutman

“Rollicking and well-paced” – The Boston Globe

“Charming, fast, and funny!” – On Boston Stages

Meet “The D Squad”, a foursome of fifth graders at the Grand Canyon School made up of a geek, a class clown, a teacher’s pet, and a slacker. They are bound together by one very big secret: the homework machine. Because the machine, code-named “Belch”, is doing their homework for them, they start spending a lot of time together, attracting a lot of attention. And attention is exactly what you don’t want when you are keeping a secret. Before long, things start to get out of control, and Belch becomes much more powerful than they ever imagined. Now the kids are in a race against their own creation, and the loser could end up in jail…or worse!

Co-written with Broadway composer Keith Herrmann (Romance/Romance), The Homework Machine received a sold-out world premiere production run at the Boston Children’s Theatre. Watch this website for future production details.


(3 females; 3 males with some doubling)

  • Police Chief Rebecca Fish/Miss Rasmussen (Stern Police Chief/Teacher)
  • Brenton (Nerdy, genius, considerate)
  • Judy (Bright, conscientious, pleasant)
  • Sam (Jock, bullyish, some redeeming qualities)
  • Kelsey (Class clown, slacker, free spirit)
  • Ronnie/Sam’s Dad (Whistleblower/Patriot)


  • What is cool? What is not? What makes someone or something “cool”?
  • Celebrating differences among people and not pre-judging.
  • There are consequences to taking a shortcut instead of doing it the right way…of making the wrong choice.
  • Bullying