College Students Invited to Join Virtual Choir for New Bartram and Hill Musical, 6/24-26

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College Students Invited to Join Virtual Choir for New Bartram and Hill Musical, 6/24-26

Music theatre practitioners from around the world will gather at Sheridan College June 24-26, 2014 for Song, Stage and Screen IX an international conference of papers, talks and practical demonstrations designed to bring together leaders to discuss music theatre. To celebrate the conference theme, "The Art of Collaboration in Musical Theatre", The Theory of Relativity by Drama Desk Award nominated writers Neil Bartram and Brian Hill will have a one-time, live performance upon the opening of the conference featuring a global virtual choir.

In 2012, the Canadian Music Theatre Project at Sheridan College commissioned Bartram and Hill to create something specifically for and about college age students based on student's actual experiences. What emerged was a musical theatre piece unlike any other that celebrates the profound effect of our intersecting lives. The Theory of Relativity has now been seen globally including productions at Sheridan College, Penn State, Goodspeed Musicals and The Iris Theatre in London, UK.

College students are invited to be a part of The Theory of Relativity Virtual Choir. "What better way to present a show about human connection than to connect people from around the world through this exciting collaboration," said composer and lyricist Neil Bartram. Through the magic of technology, voice and video submissions will be virtually combined with others to become the thrilling finale of the live performance of the show performed by alumni and students from The Boston Conservatory, The Hartt School at the University of Hartford, Penn State and Sheridan College.

Visit http://virtualchoir.sheridancollege.ca for details on how to record and upload your video. The deadline for submissions is May 31, 2014.

Neil is the composer and lyricist of Broadway's The Story of My Life with book writer Brian Hill (four Drama Desk Award nominations including two for Neil - Outstanding Music and Outstanding Lyrics). Prior to Broadway, The Story of My Life played at Canadian Stage Company in Toronto and Goodspeed's Norma Terris Theatre. Neil has also written music and lyrics for Clara's Piano (Stratford Festival), Somewhere in the World (five seasons at the Charlottetown Festival) and The Nightingale and the Rose, and scored productions of Romeo and Juliet, Timon of Athens and A Midsummer Night's Dream. His adaptation of Carlo Collodi's The Adventures of Pinocchio was commissioned by Chicago Shakespeare Theater for their 2011 season. Neil and Brian's musical Not Wanted On The Voyage received a developmental production at Northwestern University's Barber Theatre as part of the American Music Theatre Project and was part of Goodspeed Musicals' 2012 New Works Festival. His musical The Theory of Relativity, commissioned by Toronto's Sheridan College and written specifically for and about college age students, was part of Goodspeed's 2014 New Works Festival and had its London, UK premiere in May of 2014.

Current projects include Spin directed by Eric Schaeffer (premiered at the Signature Theatre, Arlington, VA), an adaptation of Michel Tremblay's Les Belles-Soeurs, a musical based on Ray Bradbury's classic novel Something Wicked This Way Comes, and the stage adaptation of Disney's beloved film Bedknobs & Broomsticks, all with book writer Brian Hill. Neil's awards include a Jonathan Larson Foundation Award, a Dramatists Guild Fellowship, and a Dora Award. Cast albums include Somewhere in the World and The Story of My Life (PS Classics). Neil is a member of the Dramatists Guild, ASCAP, and is an alumnus of the BMI Lehman Engel Music Theatre Workshop.

Brian's work as an actor, director and writer has taken him across Canada and the United States. As an actor, he spent three seasons with the Shaw Festival, appeared as Raoul in the Toronto production of Phantom of the Opera, performed the role of Joe Gillis in Sunset Boulevard and won a Dora Award for outstanding performance as Frankie in the original Canadian cast of Forever Plaid. For the Stratford Festival he directed Gilbert and Sullivan's Patience and was associate director of Susan H. Schulman's acclaimed productions of Man of La Mancha and Fiddler On The Roof. For four seasons he was artistic director of the Confederation Centre Young Company and served as the Charlottetown Festival's associate director of new play development. He was resident director of the Toronto, Vancouver and national companies of Forever Plaid and served as associate director to Susan H. Schulman for the U.S. national tour of Sunset Boulevard and the first national tour of The Sound of Music. For Disney Theatrical Productions he directed the reading of High School Musical 2, was resident director of the Toronto and Broadway companies of The Lion King, and associate director of Broadway's The Little Mermaid.

With composer and lyricist Neil Bartram he has written the book for Not Wanted on the Voyage (Goodspeed's New Works Festival 2012), The Nightingale and the Rose, Clara's Piano, Somewhere in the World, The Theory of Relativity and The Adventures of Pinocchio, which was commissioned for the 2011 Chicago Shakespeare Theater season. Current Bartram and Hill projects include Spin with director Eric Schaeffer, which premiered at the Signature Theatre in 2013, an adaptation of Michel Tremblay's Les Belles-Soeurs, a musical adaptation of Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes, and the stage adaptation of Disney's Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Brian is best known as the book writer for The Story of My Life, which was developed at Goodspeed's Norma Terris Theatre, premiered on Broadway in 2009 and earned four Drama Desk Award nominations for outstanding musical, music, lyrics, and book.

Under the leadership of producer and associate dean Michael Rubinoff, The Canadian Music Theatre Project ("CMTP") at Sheridan College was launched in 2011 and is Canada's first incubator for the development of new musical theatre works by Canadian and international composers, lyricists and book-writers and serves to create a permanent headquarters for the development of new musicals. As Canada's largest art school, Sheridan made it a priority to create an environment that fosters creativity and provides a stimulating environment to help generate new work. The CMTP facilitates development through the participation of the graduating students of Sheridan's celebrated Music Theatre Performance Program, and guest artists. Emphasis is placed on providing authors with a meaningful developmental creative experience.

Sheridan's Music Theatre Performance Program has a forty-one year history and is Canada's leading program of its kind. Recently, the program transitioned from a three-year diploma to a four year Bachelor of Music Theatre Performance degree. Students receive theoretical and practical training in three core disciplines of acting, singing (musical theatre and commercial repertoire) and dance (tap, jazz, ballet). Alumni work on stages across Canada and around the world including in local productions of mega musicals, U.S. national tours, the Stratford and Shaw Festivals, on Broadway and in the West End.

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