Canadian Music Theatre Project Launches Four New Musicals
Sheridan College’s Canadian Music Theatre Project (CMTP) has enjoyed tremendous success, launching new musicals that are being produced and further developed by leading theatres around the world. The CMTP immersive musical Brantwood won Toronto’s 2015 Dora Mavor Moore Audience Choice Award for Outstanding Production of 2015. This follows the international success of David Hein and Irene Sankoff’s Come From Away (La Jolla Playhouse, Seattle Repertory Theatre) and Neil Bartram and Brian Hill’s The Theory of Relativity (Goodspeed Opera House, London's Drayton Arms Theatre). "Sheridan is not only graduating some of the best musical theatre talent on the stage, such as Chilina Kennedy and Scott J. Campbell, current stars of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical on Broadway, Sheridan is now making a contribution to the canon of musical theatre," said CMTP producer and Sheridan associate dean Michael Rubinoff. On December 3, as part of Theatre Sheridan's 15/16 season, the CMTP will present the first production of Michael Kooman and Chris Dimond's new musical The Enlightenment of Percival von Schmootz, developed as part of the CMTP last year.
On September 8 members of the Bachelor of Music Theatre Performance Class of 2016 will begin a five week workshop of four new musicals: Senza Luce by Drama Desk Award nominees Neil Bartram and Brian Hill, Atlantis by Australian Helpmann Award nominee Matthew Lee Robinson, 33 1/3 by Dora Award winners Paul Sportelli and Jay Turvey and Leading Lady by Dora Award winner John Wimbs and Anthony Bastianon. Forty-five minute readings of each musical will be presented during the second annual Canadian Music Theatre Project Festival, October 8 to 10, on the main stage at Sheridan College's Trafalgar Campus in Oakville, Ontario.
Music and Lyrics by Neil Bartram
Book by Brian Hill
This musical fable tells the story of Senza Luce, a village deep in the mountains of Northern Italy. Hidden from the outside world and shadowed over by the towering peaks of the Italian Alps, the villagers of Senza Luce have lived in perpetual darkness for centuries, never knowing sunlight. When one forward-thinking youth devises a brilliant way to bring light to their darkened lives, the village and its citizens are thrown into turmoil.
Book Music and Lyrics by Matthew Lee Robinson
Atlantis charts the seven days leading up to the destruction of the ancient mythological kingdom. As the heir apparent, Theo, prepares for his ascension to the nation’s governing body, the island’s first ever visitor, Maia, leads the citizens of Atlantis to question their most deeply held beliefs. Following a series of alarming ecological events, Theo takes it upon himself to prove Maia’s innocence, uncover the true meaning behind the island’s ancient mythology and save his people from imminent extinction.
Book, Music and Lyrics by Jay Turvey and Paul Sportelli
33 1/3 is about lying on your bedroom floor in 1974 and listening to records. It’s about the LP as salvation. Jules, a closeted gay teenager and his best friend Jill escape the doldrums of high school in a small-town by listening to the music of Joni Mitchell and her contemporaries. Francis, a rebellious gay man enters their lives, his David Bowie albums tucked under his arm and everything changes. Jules’ father grapples with the coming-out of his son and Jill turns her attention to Victor, a delinquent drummer from a broken home, whom she is tutoring. After a violent New Year’s Eve, Jules makes a decision that changes all their lives. Everything changes, revolves, and evolves at the speed of dreams: 33 1/3.
Music by Anthony Bastianon
Book and Lyrics by John Wimbs
Leading Lady is set against the backdrop of the legend of the accidental making of The Black Crook in 1866 at Niblo’s Garden, the Radio City Music Hall of its time. A French ballet company, stranded in New York with nowhere to perform following a fire at the Academy of Music, joins forces with a failing production of a Faustian melodrama to create an extravagant, long-running musical spectacle that introduced the modern notion of the way audiences think of “Broadway” today. The story is centred on the rebirth of Sallie St. Clair, a once popular actress who transcends her own personal interests to stop the shutdown of a dysfunctional production by inspiring collaboration and innovation, delivering a history-making event. It is a story of transformation and survival, and the privilege of a life in the theatre.
Sheridan College and the Canadian Music Theatre Project
Under the leadership of producer and associate dean Michael Rubinoff, The Canadian Music Theatre Project (“CMTP”) at Sheridan College was launched in 2011. The CMTP is Canada’s first incubator for the development of new musical theatre works by Canadian and international composers, lyricists and book-writers and serves to create a permanent headquarters for the development of new musicals. As Canada’s largest art school, Sheridan made it a priority to create an environment that fosters creativity to help generate new work. The CMTP facilitates development through the participation of the graduating students of Sheridan’s celebrated Music Theatre Performance Program, and guest artists. Emphasis is placed on providing authors with a meaningful developmental and creative experience.
Sheridan’s Music Theatre Performance Program has a forty-three year history and is Canada’s leading program of its kind. Recently, the program transitioned from a three-year diploma to a four year Bachelor of Music Theatre Performance degree, the only degree in music theatre performance in Canada. Students receive theoretical and practical training in three core disciplines of acting, singing (musical theatre and commercial repertoire) and dance (tap, jazz, ballet). Alumni work on stages across Canada and around the world including in local productions of mega musicals, U.S. national tours, at the Stratford and Shaw Festivals and on Broadway and in the West End.
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