My True Love: Interview with Composer and Director Ben Boecker

Meagan J. Meehan
4 min readApr 17, 2024

“My True Love: A Perfect Musical Fairytale” is a new theatrical work by composer and lyricist Ben Boecker that follows the adventures of Cedarella, a witch who is pining for her Perfect Prince. Although she searches Magicland for him, she realizes that she might need to rid herself of fairytale stereotypes in order to find real love that is honest, true, and empowering. The comedic show features a fast-paced pop-rock selection of tunes.

Ben Boecker is a NYC-based composer-lyricist and teaching artist. He recently discussed this piece and more via an exclusive interview.

Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you get interested in theater and what led you to musical work, per se?

Ben Boecker (BB): When I was a kid, my grandparents would host an Annual Family Lip Sync party. We would practice for months, planning our costumes and choreo, and then meet up one day, perform our Lip Syncs for each other, and film it all to send to our cousins in California. I loved these parties, and the way they brought our family together. I think that’s when I realized the power of theater to build community. After that, I was hooked!

MM: How did you come up with the idea for “My True Love”?

BB: I’ve been developing this show for 13 years, and the central idea has changed a lot! So I’ll give you the quick version: “My True Love” started as pure comedy — an opportunity to send up the physical obsessions we share when seeking romance — but as I grew up, so did the show, and it evolved into theater for social change, with a central theme of the power of consent as a window to love.

MM: How did you decide to make the main character a witch?

BB: I started writing “My True Love” in 2011 as my college honors thesis. I knew I wanted to write a fairytale, and Wicked was hot at the time. Thus the show started out as my response. In fact, it was originally titled, “The Good Witch.” It’s grown into so much more since then, but the witchiness has stayed!

MM: Growing up, what were your favorite fairy tales?

BB: Aladdin. Number one. The male protagonist sold me, ironically. Hercules was a close second. I liked that Aladdin was kind of scrawny, like me. And the super flamboyant grand vizier didn’t hurt either!

MM: What stereotypes about love did you decide to address in this piece and why?

BB: The biggest fairytale stereotype we are breaking is the idea of the ‘damsel in distress’. This trope makes Princesses inactive in their stories. In “My True Love” we put consent front and center, and the female character is always in control of her choices along the way. We also have some delightfully queer characters and moments, plus frogs who don’t turn into princes when you kiss them, and an enchanted old lady with a very heavy Long Island accent!

MM: How did you find the theater to present this piece?

The theater owner, Michael, approached me at Writers’ Bloc, a group for developing songwriters in NYC, and he and his partner Brenda asked me to submit. I fell in love with the Players’ Theatre when I visited and submitted my show to their self-producing residency. Six months later, we pinned down the dates and signed a contract. It was scary and exciting, and now, one year later, it’s almost time to open!

MM: What is your favorite part of the play and why?

BB: The end. It took me the longest to get right. I think it’s beautiful and surprising and funny and moving all at the same time. I just love it, and it’s taken me 13 years to be able to say that!

MM: What memorable feedback have you gotten about this show?

BB: The kid who looked at me after our world premiere at Usdan Arts Camp in 2022 and said “This is the best show ever!!! Are you on Spotify?!”

MM: How do you hope your career continues to evolve from here?

BB: Oh, I would love to get the rights to a movie and adapt it into a Broadway Musical. Ideally it would be a piece that revolves around theater for social change and will allow me to continue my mission to create music that changes the world. Mostly, as I enter my mid-30s, I’m interested in finding ways for my art to be self-sustaining, so I can focus on the important things in my life, like my health, my community, and my vocation.

MM: What are your ultimate goals for the future and is there anything else that you would like to mention?

BB: I want to keep making good art, with people I love and care about. Building community through art is the main reason I do art at all. Through community, we can work together to build a better world, and through art, we can empower people to speak up and have their voices heard in that world. When I look back on my life, I hope to be able to say I made a difference, in a positive way, on the people I came in contact with, and that I did my gifts proud.

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MY TRUE LOVE runs May 3 — June 2 at The Players Theatre (15 MacDougal
Street, New York NY 10012). Tickets and more information visit

To learn more about Ben, visit his official website:



Meagan J. Meehan

Meagan J. Meehan is a published author of novels, short stories, and poems. She is also a produced playwright and an award-winning modern artist.