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Interview with Ryan Raftery

Ryan Raftery. Photos by Skollar PR.

Ryan Raftery is a multi-talented creative, best known for the celebrity bio-musicals he writes and stars in. I was lucky to chat with Ryan about his creative process, his shows and his future endeavors

How do you pick the songs to use in your parodies?

There really is no rhyme or reason to it. When I’m writing sometimes I will hear a song or someone will play me a song and it will work for the story. I don’t really go searching for it, they just kind of present themselves to me. Or I will go, there are too many uptempo songs, I need a ballad. So then, sometimes, I’ll go searching but a lot of the time it, you know, the universe presents it to me. As cheesy as that sounds, it’s true.

What made you decide to tell these stories in a solo format?

Two out of the seven shows I have done are solo shows. The reason for that is sometimes I do a show with a big cast and then, I realize how annoying actors are. Then, I say to my director “The next show, it's just going to be me”. And I can say that because I am one. With shows with a big cast all the scheduling and dealing with egos and personalities it can be a lot. Solo shows are a beast in and of themselves but also you're a gladiator, it’s you against the audience. And there is something very exciting about that.

Is drag something you have done before?

Well, I always stagger the genders of the people that I play, so it’s always man, woman, man woman. I don’t know if I’ll continue to honor that, but that’s what I’ve been doing. I don’t really think of it as drag. I mean it is, technically, but I think that I’m just playing people, sometimes they happen to be women.

Are there any other celebrities you have your eye on to cover?

I announced my next show is going to be about the Jon Benet Ramsey murder. And I am going to be playing everybody in the story. It’s the first time I have ever really done a show about an event, versus a person, so I am very excited about that. Right now, it’s a solo show but that may change. It will likely go up at Joe’s Pub in New York but then I am hoping it will tour.

Be sure to be on the look out for Ryan’s next show to see his rendition of the Jon Benet Ramsey case.

“Mother of the Year: The Kris Jenner Musical”

Stageplay & parody lyrics written and performed by Ryan Raftery

Story by Ryan Raftery & Ryan Raftery

Directed by Jay Turton

Musical Direction by Brandon James Gwinn

February 27 - March 14, 2024

Joe's Pub (The Public Theater- 425 Lafayette Street- NYC)


Carmen! is a trans-multimedia artist specializing in playwriting, acting and crochet. Originally from Jacksonville Beach, Florida, they are currently based in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, returning to their Atlantic Oceanic roots. Their play Taking the Plunge has been performed at the Tank and the Chain off-Broadway and in the 2023 Fresh Fruit Festival slated this June. Carmen has also worked in front-of-house and technical positions for prominent theater organizations including New Dramatists, Portland Playhouse, Emursive and Future Proof. Carmen’s mission is to use play to create meaningful representation by and for underrepresented communities. For more information on Carmen! Follow them on socials @carmenacetosociety or check out


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