On March 1st, Liza got the all too familiar call that another brother had died by suicide. Of her four brothers, three of them have taken their lives; joined in death by their mother and stepmother, who both passed away of differing cancers 15 years apart. Seemingly compelled by something greater than herself, Liza could no longer keep silent about her intimate experiences with death, grief, trauma, and mental health. Within months, a series of events, people, and opportunities serendipitously unfolded resulting in a one woman mental health musical comedy. What began as a small whisper of a desire to share her family’s story and possibly impact the taboo nature with which suicide and emotional well-being are currently regarded in society, quickly snowballed into a much bigger conversation about happiness, spirituality, and one’s ability to withstand the uncontrollable and unfair, but inherent, challenges of life.
Supernova is both a fanciful and autobiographical tale, expressed through Liza playing multiple characters, various genres of musical numbers (including but not limited to country, pop, R & B, and funk), multimedia, dance choreography, and humor that perfectly juxtaposes the seriousness of the poignant thematic elements. The show’s heroine shares the same name as the actress who plays her. However, in this dimension Liza belongs to a family of superheroes tasked with the very large feat of saving the world. Unlike the rest of the members of her family, at the top of the show, Liza is the only member who doesn’t have any superpowers yet. She’s merely equipped with a positive attitude and an uncanny ability to find joy in even the smallest things and darkest moments. With no cure or anecdote in sight, the family’s mission is to discover the causes of an “emotional pandemic” sweeping the globe that results in people losing the will to live and “self-destructing”. The family’s adventure of saving the world is intrinsically linked with Liza’s personal journey of self-acceptance and becoming who she truly is.
This show is a gift to all who experience it. It’s guaranteed to leave people feeling empowered, hopeful, and just plain good. Not only will audiences depart with a catchy song or two stuck in their heads, but a deeper appreciation of what it means to be alive. Liza is thankful to bring levity to a delicate topic and be part of the new direction and transformation mental health is taking in society. Her intention is to offer a story of love and hope; that being one’s authentic self is a superpower enabling you to thrive no matter what life throws at you. It also shows how doing what you love is a way out of the darkness. Everyone is the hero in their own story. And with every story comes trials, tribulations, and a villain keeping us from what we want. Real life is much less black and white than a traditional superhero tale. There is light and dark in all things. By emphasizing the importance of perspective and acceptance through the lens of music and comedy, audiences can’t help but be transformed as our protagonist is, as she learns how to see the light in all things and make peace with who and where she is.
Notable contributors to the development of this show include solo theatre performer and teacher, Jessica Lynn Johnson (Soaring Solo LLC), musician, producer, author and Tedx speaker, Drew Lawrence, and vital comedic punch ups by renowned female comic Lisa Sundstedt. Liza would also like to attribute the divine guidance of her angels and loved ones who’ve passed on but always remained by her side; mothers Donna Dealey and Liz Beck-Thomason, and brothers, Patrick, Christian, and Kenneth Thomason. Her father (musician and doctor) Ray Thomason for showing her the true definition of confidence, believing in oneself and having blind faith.