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CMTP Festival of New Musicals

Sheridan's Canadian Music Theatre Project launches four new musicals

Oct 10, 2017
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Sheridan's Canadian Music Theatre Project (CMTP), under the leadership of Michael Rubinoff, Associate Dean of Visual and Performing Arts and CMTP Producer, is an international centre of excellence for the development of new musicals in Canada. Since its inception in 2011, 19 shows have been incubated and continue at various stages of development with four having professional premieres (Come From Away, The Theory of Relativity, Prom Queen and Marathon of Hope) and one opening on Broadway and receiving a Tony Award-nomination for Best Musical in 2017 (Come From Away).

The CMTP Festival of New Musicals provides audiences with the chance to be among the first to see new projects in development. Sheridan’s Bachelor of Music Theatre Performance Class of 2018 has been workshopping four new musicals this semester, under the guidance of leading theatre practitioners.

Forty-five minute, staged readings of the following four musicals will be presented with each creative team introducing their projects:


Music & English Lyrics: Neil Bartram
English Book & Director: Brian Hill
Mandarin Book & Lyrics: Nick Rongjun Yu
Music Director: Lily Ling
Co-developed by the CMTP in partnership with the Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre.

Little known in his native Canada, Norman Bethune became a god-like icon in Maoist China. This is just one of the many dichotomies that made up this complicated man. This new musical looks at an extraordinary life from two wildly opposing points of view.


Book, Music & Lyrics: Murray Foster
Music & Lyrics: Mike Ford
Director: Steven Gallagher
Music Director: Mark Camilleri
Creative Consultant & Co-Producer: Bob Hallett

Dusty is a Toronto kid who loves the music of the 1960’s British Invasion – so much so that he models himself and his band, The Cocksure Lads, after it. But this passion puts him on a collision course with the modern world, and tests his ideas of love, loyalty, and authenticity.


Co-Creator (Book, Music & Lyrics): Matt Murray
Co-Creator (Book, Music & Lyrics): Johnny Reid
Director: Mary Francis Moore
Music Director: Bob Foster

Set in postwar Lanarkshire, Scotland and based on a true story, MY BONNIE LASS! chronicles the life of Maggie, a working class mother of three. When tragedy strikes and Maggie’s world is turned upside down, she must rely on her strength, her sense of humour, and above all, her loyal group of friends to pull her through. With music by acclaimed recording artist Johnny Reid, this is a love letter to his Grandmother and all the women of her generation. It is a celebration of the human spirit, the power of a mother’s love, and the way these women always made the most out of life even when they seemed to have nothing.


Book: Cathy Elliott
Music & Lyrics: Leslie Arden
Director: Dennis Garnhum
Music Director: Jason Jestadt
In partnership with the Grand Theatre, London, Ontario

STARLIGHT TOURS is based on factual events reported in Saskatchewan in the early 2000s that trace back as far as the 1970s. A series of inquiries and media investigations would reveal a practice by Saskatoon police of picking up First Nations people, driving them outside the city limits, and abandoning them in the dead of winter at the side of the road. After three Indigenous men are found frozen on the prairie, the question would arise as to whether or not their deaths were a result of this practice, which has become known as “starlight tours”. This musical mystery explores a clash of cultures while celebrating the strength and resilience of two young women, one Cree, one white, who are able to find hope and a way forward.


October 13 at 7:00 pm
October 14 at 4:00 pm (one hour break for dinner at 6:00 pm)
October 15 at 1:00 pm


Sheridan College, Macdonald Heaslip Hall
1430 Trafalgar Road, Oakville, ON, L6H 2L1


Pictured top: A Canadian Music Theatre Project (CMTP) workshop in progress with Sheridan Bachelor of Music Theatre Performance students.

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