'The play's the thing Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the King.' Hamlet (II, ii, 633) As the technical director of a small college theater, I am continually in awe of a great playwright's ability to unearth the multitude of emotions, within an audience, merely through the use of words and characters. As a songwriter, my attempt with Stage Rites, is to translate some personal observations encountered in the theater, both on and off stage, into lyrical and musical images that the listener can apply to their own realities. Stage Rites is a compilation of six tunes that, either directly or indirectly, address the effects of stagelife, "theater people", and dramatic plot. Although three songs were directly inspired by specific stage productions ("Are No More," "Brick's House," and "River City Memories"), they are meant to speak of the human conditions implanted in the script, as opposed to, their literal interpretations. The remainder of the numbers, albeit more subtlety, examine situations and consequences of this life of "make believe." My hope is that you will enjoy listening to it as much as I have enjoyed living it. From the wings, Tim Spoehr.