- 1. Moving, occuring, or performed in a backward direction.

- 2. Tending toward or resulting in a worse of previous state.

- 3. Affecting memories of a period prior to brain trauma.

A precarious grocery store customer, a 1st grade teacher, and a stranger in the park. After an accident, Z awakens in their own mind attached to a rope leading nowhere. An Echo appears and navigates Z’s journey through the things that make up Z’s brainspace. Memories, experience, knowledge, and ideas: all of which are being quickly erased by Amnesia. Faces both recognized and unfamiliar take on roles of the most important people that have passed through Z’s life, revisiting foundational moments with significant figures as well as passing moments with strangers that never left. In their brain space, Z questions the foundations of their queer identity and other existential dilemmas they are haunted by. As their memories become less defined, edges blur to a point that Z can no longer tell what is fact and what is damaged memory. Even with the help of Echo, Z can no longer remember what it is they had to forget, but their question never fades. When you can’t remember what broccoli is, will it still be your favorite vegetable?



Sav Souza (book & lyrics) and Sarah Flaim (music) met in their time as Musical Theatre Majors at the University of the Arts. While living together their junior year, Sarah and Sav began their collaboration on their roof one summer day over a bottle of wine. A few hours later, they had an empty bottle, terrible sunburns, and the first song of Retrograde. 

 SARah Flaim




The American Theatre Wing features a song from Retrograde, sung by composer, Sarah Flaim in their online docu-series, "Working in the Theatre: Under Construction - Polyphone", about The University of the Arts' annual new musical festival The Polyphone Festival.