Academic member Sheridan College has been doing their part to contribute to the new musical theatre landscape through the Canadian Music Theatre Project. Macleans reports on the CMTP process, interviewing composers, including Festival Alumnus Brian Hill (Fest ’07, The Story of My Life), to highlight how Sheridan is uniquely positioned to help writers develop new shows:
Canadian writer Brian Hill (Broadway’s The Story of My Life), who has workshopped two musicals at Sheridan, says the developmental community is “buzzing” about the CMTP. “Michael Rubinoff has created something rare and wonderful,” he notes.
Influenced by programs like Northwestern University’s American Music Theatre Project [also a NAMT member], the CMTP selects new musicals for a five-week workshop process, culminating in a staged reading and a demo record of the songs (an essential tool in selling a show to producers). The cast is chosen from fourth-year music theatre students, but the directors and musical directors are paid professionals. The first show Hill did there with his composer-lyricist partner, Neil Bartram, The Theory of Relativity, had its first London production last year, and the CMTP’s first show, Come From Away, is making the rounds of U.S. repertory houses.