Sheridan College announced today the establishment of the Canadian Music Theatre Project ("CMTP"). The CMTP is Canada's first incubator for the development of new Musical Theatre Works by Canadian and international composers, lyricists and book-writers. "Establishing a permanent headquarters for the development of new musicals is a culturally significant event in Canada. Sheridan is Canada's largest arts school and this ground-breaking initiative continues its proactive role as the country's centre for creative innovation," said Michael Rubinoff, Associate Dean of Performing Arts at Sheridan and Toronto theatre producer.
The CMTP will facilitate development through the participation of the graduating students of Sheridan's celebrated Music Theatre Performance Program, faculty and guest artists. Emphasis will be placed on providing authors with a meaningful developmental creative experience. "With this year's launch of our Baccalaureate Degree in Music Theatre Performance, the only degree of its kind in Canada, the Canadian Music Theatre Project will enrich our students' learning environment by providing them with the opportunity to create roles never performed before. Embedding the CMTP in our revised curriculum will ensure a future legacy of new works," explained Music Theatre Performance Program Coordinator, Greg Peterson.
The first two works to be developed by the CMTP are COME FROM AWAY, by David Hein and Irene Sankoff (My Mother's Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding, 2010 New York Music Theatre Festival "Outstanding New Musical" and "Excellence in Writing" awards) and CENTRAL PARK TANGO, by Robert Gontier and Nicky Phillips (Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project, In Flanders Fields)
COME FROM AWAY tells the true story of a remote Canadian community in the days following September 11, 2001. When the US airspace was closed, 38 planes from around the world were ordered to land in Gander, Newfoundland, nearly doubling the population in an instant. While the world witnessed the worst acts of humankind, the stranded passengers had their faith in humanity restored by the selfless people who comforted those who had come from away.
CENTRAL PARK TANGO is based on the popular true story of Roy and Silo, two male penguins from the Central Park Zoo, who become mates and raise a baby penguin named Tango.
Theatre Sheridan will present public readings of the works in Toronto and at Sheridan College's Oakville Campus, April 12 to 21, 2012. Performance details, creative teams and casting will be announced in the New Year.
Long recognized for excellence in music theatre performance, Sheridan College serves over 17,000 full-time students at campuses in the Greater Toronto Area, including Brampton, Mississauga and Oakville. Sheridan offers an innovative learning environment celebrated for academic excellence, applied research and creativity. Notable alumni of the Music Theatre Performance Program include Michael Therriault, Tina Madigan, Chilina Kennedy, Sarah Cornell, Brittany Allen and Aaron Walpole.
Sheridan College is a member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre.