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Grand Theatre Celebrates Its 35th High School Project

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From 100 applications and auditions, a total of 36 students from across London and area, from Grade 9 to Grade 12, were selected to develop a one-of-a-kind production.

Grand Theatre Celebrates Its 35th High School Project

The 35th High School Project production - The Great Grand Road Trip will celebrate its opening night tonight with a video viewing party in the Spriet Stage for student participants, Board, sponsors, staff and special guests.

The Great Grand Road Trip is available to view online at no cost from September 29 at 7:30 PM through to midnight on October 11. Viewers are asked to register online at grandtheatre.com, after which a link to view the production will be forwarded by email.

"Early in 2021, there was still so much uncertainty about what programming we could offer and what our capacities levels would be in both our rehearsal and performances spaces. What was certain was that we wanted to have some kind of High School Project opportunity for our students. We talked with Andrew Tribe, a High School Project alumnus and director of the Grand's 2019 High School production of Titanic: The Musical and asked him to put his creative brain to work and did he ever deliver. I saw the final edits a few days ago, and it is 20 minutes of joy and brilliance. I am so thrilled at what Andrew, the students and professional theatre mentors put together," noted Dennis Garnhum, Artistic Director.

The Great Grand Road Trip is a love letter to London, Ontario. An original work created by Tribe, High School Project students spent three weeks curiously exploring some of London's favourite landmarks and imagining the possibilities for theatrical magic. Students utilized unique London environments to reinvent classic musical theatre numbers in new, exciting ways-and all outdoors. Billed as the biggest, sprawling summer musical revue ever, The Great Grand Road Trip video is 20 minutes in length and is followed up by a 10-minute student-produced documentary/behind-the-scenes video, which will give viewers an up close and personal look inside what it took to produce The Great Grand Road Trip.

From 100 applications and auditions, a total of 36 students from across London and area, from Grade 9 to Grade 12, were selected to work in a variety of capacities to develop this one-of-a-kind production that toured to Boler Mountain, Storybook Gardens, Eldon House, Fanshawe Pioneer Village and a special stop at the Grand. Thirty students were in front of the camera performing and six worked behind in photography, videography, illustration and animation.

"After 18 months of being stuck at home, glued to our screens, it brought the company - students and mentors alike, great joy to see the outdoors of London with fresh eyes. The Great Grand Road Trip is a celebration of young people, beginning as individuals and coming together as a united group," remarked Andrew Tribe.

"We selected songs from the musical theatre catalogue that best showcased each location. Location always came first, with songs being selected through asking ourselves: what story could we tell here? From Finding Neverland to Singin' in the Rain to Bring it On - The Musical and more, I'm excited for online audiences to see what we came up with together," Tribe continued.

Students rehearsed in space generously donated by Western Fair District, which allowed for ample room for social distancing and adherence to COVID-19 protocols.

The Great Grand Road Trip
2021 High School Project
Created and Directed by Andrew Tribe

Assistant Director: Ashley Kippax
Musical Director: Matthew Atkins
Choreographer: Jason Sermonia
Band Members: William Li, Justin Rivet, Jake Schindler

Student Participants:

Kees Alcantara

Emily Alton

Ziad Anan

Hephzibar Ngozi Anyim

Thomas Brunt

Sierra Choong

Madison Comfort

Will Cramp

Emma Cuzzocrea

Riley DeLuca

Evelyn Gadsdon

Leah Gliddon

Violet Goens

Dexter Greene

Trinity Hebb

Mika Holzberg

Sarayu Janga

Jessica Ladd

Cindy Li

Miguel Constantin Mandapat

Christmas Maraka

Soleil Marshall

Maggie Mckenzie

Jackson McMullin

Max Middleton

Blessing Onyekwere

Alex Pearce

Emma Puscalau

Camila Rodriguez

Kira Shuit

Will Simon

Ridley Smith

Oliver Stanton

Isaac Szoldatits

Leah Webb

Mia Youmbi


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