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First Drafts: Audio Podcast

A Theatre Sheridan and The Musical Stage Company co-production

Launching mid-March, First Drafts will be available wherever you listen to podcasts.

“First Drafts is a series of musicals that reimagine, reconstitute, and reanimate the Western “musical theatre canon” in a way that acknowledges the truth of where we are now and where we hope to go. First Drafts is grounded in an urgency to make space for stories that must be told now and must continue to be prioritized in our art form.”

– Jordan Laffrenier

Sheridan’s new works development program, First Drafts, is a platform that champions writers creating original musicals that break away from the Western canon of Musical Theatre. Each installment of the initiative supports three teams of writer/composers to generate 30 minutes of a new musical to be developed with and performed by Sheridan’s fourth year students. This writing development program perfectly encapsulates Sheridan’s dual interest in training exceptional musical theatre performers, and using our resources to create an engine for producing a more diverse canon of work, one that speaks to the issues we’re facing presently, and represents the stories of the next generation.

This year we’re thrilled to be partnering with The Musical Stage Company, who are devoted to the expansion of new musical works, in order to strengthen our connection to what feels relevant in mainstream musical theatre, engage our students and invited artists in dialogue about how to expand their practice, and generate further connections for our writers and graduating performers with a company that represents a cornerstone of progress in the development of new Canadian musical theatre.

*All of the First Drafts pieces have been dramaturged by Kevin Wong, Ray Hogg and Jordan Laffrenier and copyist work has been done by Adam Sakiyama.

  • Writer: Aaron Jan & Alaska B.
    Director: Jay Northcott
    Associate Director: Jordan Laffrenier
    Music Director: Robert Steven Wilkinson
    Copyist: Adam Sakiyama
    Dramaturg: Kevin Wong
    Sound Design: Kaitlyn MacKinnon
    Producer, Musical Stage Co.: Ray Hogg
    Stage Manager: Kat Chin*

    After 57 days in stasis, Aubry and 10 of Brooklyn's finest cops must return to her dead boyfriend’s spore-infested apartment to destroy the multitude of plant-monsters he created. Tiny Tenement of Terrors is an unholy fusion of gory ’80s sci-fi and 1960s camp, all done through the wonder of radio.

    “I'm excited to continue my collaborations with Alaska, but more importantly to collaborate with the students to make something really epic, really ridiculous and really fun. Any chance to be able to create and develop something new in the room is always a real treat.” – Aaron Jan

    *The participation of these Artists are arranged by permission of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association under the provisions of the Dance-Opera-Theatre Policy.

  • Writer: Kodie Rollan
    Writer: Jennifer Villaverde
    Writer: Maria Aragon
    Director: Ann Hodges*
    Music Director: Stephan Ermel
    Copyist: Adam Sakiyama
    Dramaturg: Kevin Wong
    Sound Designer: Kaitlyn MacKinnon
    Producer, Musical Stage Co.: Ray Hogg

    When a tropical storm descends on the island of Kapalaran, our “nearlyweds” are forced to move the beach wedding of their dreams indoors. This not-so-simple relocation immediately becomes the least of their problems. In the midst of a hurricane of drama and homicidal coconuts, our couple must let go of their best laid wedding plans and trust that their love will find a way through the storm.

    “After almost two years of living a confined life because of all things COVID, all we want to do is create pieces that bring us joy. First Drafts has given us the opportunity to collaborate on an incredibly fun musical and we couldn’t be happier!” – Destination Wedding Team

    *The participation of these Artists are arranged by permission of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association under the provisions of the Dance-Opera-Theatre Policy.

  • Composer: Chris Tsujiuchi
    Writer: Meghan Swaby
    Director: Julie Tomaino*
    Music Director: Alexa Belgrave
    Copyist: Adam Sakiyama
    Dramaturg: Kevin Wong
    Sound Designer: Kaitlyn MacKinnon
    Producer, Musical Stage Co.: Ray Hogg

    Welcome to 110 Parkdale Ave, the last subsidized low rise building in the neighbourhood. It's special, but you can’t tell that from the outside. The building is far from perfect, but for the tenants who occupy its cracked walls and uneven floors, it’s home. When the tenants are faced with an eviction notice, they (reluctantly) step out of their bubbles to band together as a community in order to save their homes.

    “I jumped at the opportunity to be part of First Drafts because I wanted to inject more joy in my creative process. The collaborative nature of this work is something I know will strengthen my creative process but more importantly, work alongside some incredible musicians that remind me of the magic in musicals.” – Meghan Swaby

    “Connecting with the students at Sheridan is the thing that excited me most. It's always amazing coming to Sheridan and meeting all these amazing people who are going to shape the future of the industry.” – Chris Tsujiuchi

    *The participation of these Artists are arranged by permission of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association under the provisions of the Dance-Opera-Theatre Policy.

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