525,600 Minutes with Stephanie Graham
Since #KevinTheIntern got promoted to Associate Artistic Director earlier this summer, I have had the great honour of becoming Intern Artistic Director or #StephanieTheIntern at The Musical Stage Company for 2017-2018. Here’s a list of some of my favourite Musical Stage Company interactions thus far.
1. Make Me A Song
On my first day, I attended a meeting with Artistic Director, Mitchell Marcus and Associate Artistic Director, Kevin Wong at the Regent Park School of Music to have a post-mortem on their inaugural Make Me A Song program. This is an incredible initiative that pairs musical theatre composers and lyricists with the choirs at the Regent Park School of Music. Through a creative collaboration process with the students, the writers create songs for the choirs based on the students’ ideas to be performed later in the year. Like most of you, I was not aware of this program and was so thrilled to hear that they will be rolling it out again in 2017-18. I cannot wait to hear the outcome in the spring.
Besides attending weekly staff meetings (which are always so collaborative) and board meetings (which are also so collaborative), I was able to sit on the panel for the auditions for the children of FUN HOME and for the Syd and Shirley Banks Prize. I also attended the pitches for The Aubrey & Marla Dan Fund For New Musicals. It is truly overwhelming how much talent we have in Toronto and in Canada.
3. The 1st Insider Event
Another highlight this fall was our first Insider Event at the Jazz Bistro, celebrating the work of Britta Johnson. As a donor, this is a engaging evening to attend and learn more about the company and the artists that are featured in the season.
4. The Staff
After the dress rehearsal of each Musical Stage Company show, the staff goes out to share thoughts and ideas. The mainstage programming, education and outreach initiatives keeps our small staff of eight (including me) very busy so it was nice to be together outside of the office.
5. Life After
Once LIFE AFTER opened, I assisted in coordinating the volunteers at Canadian Stage and hosting some of the pre-show chats. What a great way to connect with our audience. If you have never attended a pre-show chat, I highly recommend them. You get background into the history of the piece as well as some context for the show that you have purchased a ticket for.
And then there was UNCOVERED at the stunning Koerner Hall! Incredible Canadian artists interpreting songs in a new and inspired way. The condensed three-night event is a brilliant way to connect with our audience and supporters once per year….and all the staff is there! Come and say hi. We would love to meet you all.
Even though I have worked with The Musical Stage Company as a director/choreographer for One Song Glory and as the choreographer of The Wild Party and Grey Gardens, this experience has opened my eyes to the excellent leadership that Mitchell Marcus provides both artistically and administratively. His knowledge in both these areas make him an exceptional arts leader in Canada.
As I come up to the end of the first half of my internship, I realize how very proud I am to be associated with the company and in awe of the work they do all in addition to their mainstage programming. I am truly looking forward to the next half!
Thank you so much to Mitchell Marcus, all the staff at The Musical Stage Company, Theatre Ontario and the Ontario Arts Council. This experience has been both eye-opening and has satisfied my thirst for more knowledge in the area of arts leadership.
The services of Stephanie Graham as Intern Artistic Director were made possible through Theatre Ontario’s Professional Theatre Training Program, funded by the Ontario Arts Council.