May 22 - 26, 2024

Berkeley Theatre (26 Berkeley Street, Toronto, ON)
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CANADIAN FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS

The Musical Stage Company is thrilled to be partnering with Canadian Stage to bring the Canadian Festival of New Musicals and The Festival of New Theatre to Toronto audiences this spring. For seven weeks, both companies will come together to transform the Berkeley Theatre into a vibrant hub of creativity, proudly showcasing 10 brand new works in development by Canadian artists.

ABOUT THE MUSICAL STAGE COMPANY’S CANADIAN FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS

New Voices. New Stories. New Musicals.

Join us for a celebration of creativity, innovation, and collaboration as we give audiences a glimpse of three of the Musical Stage Company’s musicals in development.

Featuring excerpts from IN REAL LIFEAFTER THE RAIN, and COWBOY TEMPEST CABARET, the Canadian Festival of New Musicals is an electrifying showcase that will give audiences a first look and listen at the new stories being created from some of our country’s most promising lyricist, composers, and writers. The festival will also provide opportunities for music theatre creators to meet new collaborators, learn more from experts in the field, and engage in the conversation around the development of new musical theatre in Canada.

Be a part of the future of Canadian musical theatre and see why it’s better with music.

ABOUT CANADIAN STAGE’S FESTIVAL OF NEW THEATRE

This year, artists from across Canada will present new work that celebrates who we are and how we tell stories. These artists are connected by their passion for storytelling and a desire to push beyond the boundaries of the medium. 

The Festival of New Theatre serves as the cornerstone of Canadian Stage’s mission to develop new work and to contribute to the unique cultural landscape of Toronto. The Festival of New Theatre is a mix of presentations, premieres, workshops and talkbacks featuring work by charles smith with Wind and the Leaves CollectiveDiana Lopez SotoNatasha MumbaSusanna FournierNicole Brooks and Erin Shields. 

Presented by The Musical Stage Company in association with Canadian Stage.

Sponsors

Sustaining Creative Support
Sustaining Creative Support
Anne-Marie Canning
New Works Development Sponsor
Canadian Festival of New Musicals Leading Light
Andrew Gillespie
Additional Development Support
Lucy White
Cowboy Tempest Cabaret Access Supporter
National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s Impact & Exploration Fund
IN REAL LIFE is Commissioned by The Musical Stage Company and Co-Developed by The Musical Stage Company and fu-GEN Theatre Company
AFTER THE RAIN is Co-Commissioned and Co-Developed by The Musical Stage Company and Tarragon Theatre.

IN REAL LIFE, AFTER THE RAIN, and COWBOY TEMPEST CABARET are commissioned with funding from the Aubrey & Marla Dan Fund for New Musicals.
AFTER THE RAIN was originally developed with support from Tarragon Theatre, later co-commissioned by Tarragon Theatre and The Musical Stage Company with additional funding from the Bulmash-Siegel Foundation and the Aubrey & Marla Dan Fund for New Musicals.
IN REAL LIFE was originally developed at the Canadian Music Theatre Project at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, Canada, Michael Rubinoff, Producing Artistic Director.

Credits

The Canadian Festival of New Musicals is presented by Musical Stage Company in association with Canadian Stage.

IN REAL LIFE

Book & Lyrics by
Nick Green

Music & Lyrics by
Kevin Wong

Directed by
Ann Hodges

AFTER THE RAIN

Book by
Rose Napoli

Music & Lyrics by
Suzy Wilde

Directed by
Marie Farsi

COWBOY TEMPEST CABARET

Book & Lyrics by
Niall McNeil

Book by
Lucy McNulty

Book & Music by
Anton Lipovetsky

Directed by
Ali Joy Richardson

Venue

Frequently Asked Questions

Show Calendar

THE NOTEWORTHY NEW MUSICALS CONFERENCE

Wednesday May 22, 2:30PM

Back by popular demand, The Musical Stage Company is pleased to present its second Noteworthy New Musicals Conference. This one-day musical theatre creation event is dedicated to the development and education of composers, lyricists, playwrights, and new musical enthusiasts in Toronto.

The Noteworthy New Musicals Conference provides music theatre creators the opportunity to test drive creative relationships by sharing work with like-minded peers, learn more from experts in the field, and engage in the conversation around the development of new musical theatre in Canada.

Details on speakers and events to be released in the coming weeks!

20TH ANNIVERSARY BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION

Wednesday May 22, 8PM

1300 musical performances. 60 new Canadian musical theatre works developed. 2,000 artists engaged.

From The Musical Stage Company’s inaugural production of Tick, Tick…BOOM! in 2005 to their 2023 co-production of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, The Musical Stage Company has been one of the leading institutions at the forefront of the Canadian musical theatre movement and none of it would have been possible without this extraordinary community.

Join us on May 22 for our keynote panel, musical theatre karaoke, and help us blow out our birthday candles as we celebrate 20 transformative years of making it better with music.

Tickets are free, but there is limited capacity for this event – register today! 

IN REAL LIFE

Performances: Friday May 24, 8PM; Saturday May 25, 8PM; Sunday May 26, 2PM

In Real Life is currently a musical in development and this showcase performance will give audiences an exclusive sneak peek at excerpts from the show. Some light production elements and staging will be included in the performance. 

Commissioned by The Musical Stage Company and Co-Developed by The Musical Stage Company and fu-GEN Theatre Company
Book & Lyrics by Nick Green
Music & Lyrics by Kevin Wong

Set in a dystopian future, technological prodigy Max is an ideal student with a bright future, until, with a single swipe, he sets out on a journey to forbidden corners of the Internet, underground societies, and forgotten parts of himself. A story filled with twists and turns, In Real Life examines the complexities of power, technology, and freedom in the digital era.

AFTER THE RAIN

Performances: Thursday May 23, 8PM; Saturday May 25, 3:30PM

After the Rain is part of a Double Bill presentation and will featured a staged reading of excerpts from After the Rain & Cowboy Tempest Cabaret. Both shows are currently in development and this showcase will not contain any production elements or staging.

Co-Commissioned and Co-Developed by The Musical Stage Company and Tarragon Theatre
Book by Rose Napoli
Music & Lyrics by Suzy Wilde

Suzie Evans Stone is a struggling composer who sings backup in her parent’s band but pays her bills by secretly teaching piano lessons. Her life takes an unforeseen turn when she accepts a new terminally ill adult student only interested in mastering Erik Satie’s “Gymnopedie No.1”. After the Rain is a transcendent theatrical experience, based on a true story, that unflinchingly embraces life’s complexities and healing power of music.

 

COWBOY TEMPEST CABARET

Performances: Thursday May 23, 8PM; Saturday May 25, 3:30PM

Cowboy Tempest Cabaret is part of a Double Bill presentation and will featured a staged reading of excerpts from After the Rain & Cowboy Tempest Cabaret. Both shows are currently in development and this showcase will not contain any production elements or staging.

Commissioned and Developed by The Musical Stage Company
Book by Niall McNeilLucy McNulty & Anton Lipovetsky,
Music by Anton Lipovetsky
Lyrics by Niall McNeil

Guns and magic. Love and hurt. When gunslinger Prospero conjures a storm in the desert, he begins a chain of events that forces every cowboy and spirit into a fight for freedom. Created by an artist with Down Syndrome and his longtime collaborators, Cowboy Tempest Cabaret is a totally lawless adaptation of Shakespeare’s Tempest musicalized in the styles of rock, folk and country & western music.