The Story


Belladonna: The Musical  is an original, innovative piece with an all-female cast that tells the true story of Giulia Tofana, an infamous peddler of an undetectable poison to abused wives in order to kill their husbands in 17th-century Italy. It explores the complex relationships between Giulia, her stepdaughter, and her late mother as they all participate in the clandestine poisoning business. Other characters, such as a newly proposed client and a discerning socialite, contribute to the narrative, delving into themes of domestic violence, female empowerment, secrecy, and the consequences of one’s actions. As the story unfolds, it highlights the moral dilemmas faced by the characters and raises questions about the ethics of using poison as a means of escaping abuse.

The show is approximately one hour and 45 minutes, including an intermission. The original music is contemporary and spans genres while staying cohesive. You can listen to a musical medley below, sung by multi-talented members of our writing team, Savannah Pedersen and Di’ana Rodriguez.

Where it all began…

The musical’s book was adapted from a TV series pilot written by Di’ana Rodriguez and Angel Partie in 2022 that was a Second Rounder in the 2022 Austin Film Festival Drama Pilot competition, took second place in the Spring 2023 Scriptapalooza TV Screenplay competition, is ranked in the top 8% of screenplays on Coverfly, and is represented by a Hollywood literary manager. For more information about the Belladonna pilot, please contact us.

Why an all-female cast?

It’s a little bit of a roundabout story. Di’ana Rodriguez and Angel Partie were approached by MAC Boys Entertainment (MBE) to write a short stageplay for a Women’s History Month live theater production planned for March 2023 where a series of shorts would all feature the same all-female cast. They decided to base their play on their TV series pilot Belladonna, focusing on the relationships between all of the female characters. When the production fell through, MBE was still interested in putting on Belladonna but as a full-length play or possibly a musical. Di’ana and Angel decided to keep the all-female cast, allowing them the opportunity to further explore the intricacies between the women in an innovative way that definitely passes the Bechdel Test. When they were introduced to writer and composer Savannah Pedersen through MBE, Belladonna: The Musical began to become a reality and would premiere in March 2024 at Orlando Family Stage to celebrate Women’s History Month.