May 22 - 26, 2024

Berkeley Theatre (26 Berkeley Street, Toronto, ON)
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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 lyricists, composers, and writers. The festival will also include the second iteration of the NOTEWORTHY NEW MUSICALS CONFERENCE which will 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.

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


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.


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


Book & Lyrics by
Nick Green

Music & Lyrics by
Kevin Wong

Music Director, Piano-Conductor
Chris Barillaro

Ann Hodges

Janie Pinard

Jonathan Corkal-Astorga

Stage Manager
Hannah MacMillan

Apprentice Stage Manager
Kate Chubbs

Keys II
Jonathan Corkal-Astorga

Peter Colantonio

Costumes provided by
Alex Amini

RBC Apprentice Director
Bryn Kennedy

Apprentice Director
Liam Eric Dawson

Alicia Ault, Janelle Cooper, Colleen Furlan, Hailey Gillis, Matthew Joseph, William Lincoln, Jacob MacInnis, and Daniel Williston


Book by
Rose Napoli

Music & Lyrics by
Suzy Wilde

Music Director, Piano-Conductor
Ben Kunder

Marie Farsi

Stage Manager
Koh Lauren Quan

Apprentice Stage Manager
Ciaran Brenneman

Jamie Drake

RBC Apprentice Director
Bryn Kennedy

Eva Foote, Raquel Duffy, Brendan Wall, and Shaemus Swets


Book & Lyrics by
Niall McNeil

Book by
Lucy McNulty

Book & Music by
Anton Lipovetsky

Music Director, Piano-Conductor
Chris Tsujiuchi

Ali Joy Richardson

Stage Manager
Koh Lauren Quan

Apprentice Stage Manager
Ciaran Brenneman

Process Dramaturg
Debbie Patterson

Jamie Drake

RBC Apprentice Director
Bryn Kennedy

Production Support Worker
Luciano DeCicco

Brandon Antonio, Raquel Duffy, Eva Foote, Dylan Harman, Yousef Kadoura, Elm Reyes, Shaemus Swets, and Brendan Wall


Frequently Asked Questions

Show Calendar


Wednesday May 22, 2:30PM

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


The Noteworthy New Musicals Conference aims to provide an opportunity for music theatre creators to meet new collaborators, test drive creative relationships, share 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. 

The Noteworthy New Musicals Conference will kick off with a Keynote Conversation: So you wrote a musical – now what? with musical theatre creatives Mary Francis Moore, Michael Rubinoff and Amiel Gladstone with the panel moderated by Kevin Wong. After a brief networking coffee break, select participants will have the opportunity to apply their learning and to pitch their new musicals to the panel with PITCHFEST!

Pitch slots are limited so please fill out this form to be considered.

Our panelists and registrants will be invited to give rich and immediate feedback to those who wish to receive it. Rounding out the conference is a final networking opportunity – mix, mingle, and meet your newest creative partner! The participants will have the opportunity to introduce themselves to new collaborators, and explore creative potential together by engaging in our “Let’s Get Closer” Networking and Curated Conversations Session.   

Registration fee $30.00
The registration fee includes full day access to the Noteworthy Conference and light snacks. Additional beverages can be purchased from Canadian Stage.

Click here to register for your spot at the Noteworthy Conference.



Headshot image of Mary Francis Moore. She is in a green velvet shirt, and has dark auburn hair.Mary Francis Moore

Mary Francis Moore is an award-winning actor, director, playwright and Artistic Director of Theatre Aquarius. Recognized for championing new works Mary Francis has dramaturged and directed numerous plays that have toured across Canada, the United States and the U.K. She has played in a key role in the development of new musicals at The Charlottetown Festival, Sheridan College’s CMTP, Musical Stage Company and Theatre Aquarius where she has directed the World Premieres of the musicals MAGGIE and Beautiful Scars. Along with Lily Ling, Sean Mayes and Michael Rubinoff she serves on the Advisory Committee of The National Centre for New Musicals at Theatre Aquarius. Upcoming: The American premiere of MAGGIE at the Goodspeed Opera House.

Headshot image of Michael Rubinoff. Michael is wearing black framed glasses, a black suit jacket, and a blue patterned collared shirt.Michael Rubinoff

Michael Rubinoff is a Toronto based Olivier Award winning and Tony nominated producer who conceived the longest running Canadian musical in Broadway history, Come From Away. In 2019 he was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross by the Governor General of Canada for his role in creating the show. In 2011 he established the Canadian Music Theatre Project, an international incubator for the development of new musicals, where over a decade he produced and developed the first workshops of Come From Away and 28 other musicals. Upcoming: The Last Timbit at the Elgin Theatre, the second summer season of an all new production of Come From Away in Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador and the American premiere of Johnny Reid and Matt Murray’s new musical MAGGIE at Goodspeed Musicals. A proud graduate of Western Law.

Headshot image of Amiel Gladstone. Amiel is standing in front of greenery, wearing a floral collared shirt under a blue suit jacket. Amiel Gladstone 

Amiel Gladstone is a playwright and director, who has worked in many theatres across Canada, both too big and too small. He has a passion for new works, and has created and collaborated on new plays, musicals, and operas. With Musical Stage: do you want what i have got? a craigslist cantata at Factory, which toured to NAC, Alberta Theatre Projects and the Citadel; and Onegin, started at Berkeley St with Canadian Stage and went on to NAC. Since April 2023 he is the Director of Theatre Arts at Banff Centre.

Headshot image of Michael Fling. Michael is wearing glasses and a black sweater.Michael Fling

Michael Fling is a freelance director and the Artistic Associate at Goodspeed Musicals. As Director: THE GREAT EMU WAR, SHAKIN’ THE BLUES AWAY (Goodspeed); SHREK THE MUSICAL & MARY POPPINS (Craft Productions of Oklahoma); WEST SIDE STORY (Abilene Opera); MY FAIR LADY, LEGALLY BLONDE, SPRING AWAKENING, & ASSASSINS (Hartt); HONK! (Webster). As Associate: GYPSY, OKLAHOMA!, INTO THE WOODS, HOLIDAY INN, HELLO, DOLLY!, SEUSSICAL, & BILLY ELLIOT (Muny); RAGS & THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE (Goodspeed); FOLLIES (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis). Michael is also the host of the podcast KNOW THE SHOW and a proud graduate of the Directing program at Webster Conservatory.

Headshot image of Kevin Wong. Kevin is wearing an orange v-neck shirt under a black suit jacket.Kevin Wong – Moderator

Kevin Wong is a composer-lyricist, singer/musician, and dramaturg. His musicals include: Recurring John: A Song Cycle; STAR!(ving): A Collection of Songs; Polly Peel (with Julie Tepperman); Out of Stock; Drama 101 (with Steven Gallagher); In Real Life (with Nick Green); Believers (with Ali Joy Richardson) and Soft Magical Tofu Boys. Kevin streams online concerts weekly on the streaming service Twitch ( He is a member of the vocal group Asian Riffing Trio (with Chris Tsujiuchi and Colin Asuncion), is currently part-time faculty at Sheridan College, and is a two-time winner of the Playwrights Guild of Canada’s Tom Hendry Award for Best New Musical. As of 2023, he is the Creative Lead on the Musical Stage Company’s UnCovered concert series. Most recently, he can be heard on the live album, UnCovered: The Music of ABBA (with The Musical Stage Company), and his own albums Small Ways to Move and Covers (available on streaming services everywhere).


Wednesday, May 22, 2024
2:00 – 6:30 PM

Canadian Stage Berkeley Street Theatre
 26 Berkeley St, Toronto, ON M5A 2W3

2:00 – 2:30 PM Venue Opens – networking & snacks
2:30 – 3:45 PM Keynote conversation with Mary Francis Moore, Michael Rubinoff, Amiel Gladstone moderated by Kevin Wong 
3:45-4:00 PM Networking & snacks
4:00 – 5:15 PM PITCHFEST! with Mary Francis Moore, Michael Rubinoff, Amiel Gladstone. 
5:15 – 5:30 PM Networking and snacks
5:30 – 6:25 PM Let’s Get Closer!” – Networking Speed Dating and Curated Conversations 
6:25 – 6:30 PM Closing Remarks


If participants of the Noteworthy New Musicals conference have a piece that you would like to pitch, share, and receive feedback on during the PITCHFEST! section of the conference, you must submit your request in advance using this form. Confirmation of your participation in PITCHFEST! will be sent by Wednesday May 15, 2024.

A few notes about PITCHFEST!:

  • Your piece does not need to be fully developed, or presentation ready. 
  • Your pitch should include what the project is about, what you need developmentally/creatively, where it is in it’s development, why this should be a musical, and any existing developmental partners. 
  • Your pitch could include the sharing of book, lyrics or music.
  • The piece or excerpt you will be sharing must be no longer than 8 minutes long
  • If sharing music, please be prepared to sing the music yourself. Please notify your music needs (options are indicated on the form). If you have a scene that requires more than one person, and will need a scene partner to read alongside you, please indicate that on the form linked above.
  • Please bring any instruments or tracks, or printed scenes or material, you may need for your slot.
  • Please indicate what you are currently investigating or hoping to receive from the sharing of this particular piece of work.



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 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! 


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. 

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.

Running time: 90 minutes, no intermission


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. 

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

Her parents are famous. Her boyfriend is stupid. And Suzie is a mess.

When she accepts a mature piano student obsessed with mastering only one song, Erik Satie’s “Gymnopedie No. 1”, struggling songwriter Suzie’s life takes an unforeseen turn. Full of family turmoil, life’s complexities, and centered around a devastating discovery, AFTER THE RAIN is a musical based on a true story about the healing power of music.

Double Bill running time: 2 hours, including at 15 minute intermission


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. 

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.

Double Bill running time: 2 hours, including at 15 minute intermission