Musical Theatre and the Making of Now. Here. This.

On March 10, 2021, the Musical Theatre students put on a hybrid live performance of music, singing, dancing, monologues and more. Students performed in three locations (Chapel, Library, and Theatre) and student Houses rotated throughout each location to watch the performances safely. 

Students performed for four hours, showing their peers their work six times, back to back. This set-up was uniquely designed to ensure students could perform safely, watch in real-time, and experience all that the Musical Theatre students have learned over the past few months working with Beau Dixon, award-winning Musician, Actor, and Playwright and guest Musical Director.

Director of Musical Theatre, Geoff Bemrose reflects on his experience working with Beau on the Musical Theatre Program this year and shares what impact this experience has had on our students. 

What is the biggest take away you have, personally, from working with Beau Dixon this year?

Beau is an incredible artist who brings out the best in each of the students he works with. He was able to give amazing feedback in such a positive way to novice and experienced performers alike. His work recording 20 individual singers and producing our virtual choir performance of "Seasons of Love" from the musical RENT was breathtaking. Above all, he is a great person and we had a lot of fun making great art in these challenging times. 

What impact do you think this has for our students?

To have the opportunity to work closely with an industry professional is invaluable. Beau has worked for big companies such as Stratford and the Shaw Festival so he has so much experience to offer our students. Not only did they learn and improve on vocal technique, they were also able to do a deep dive into the character behind the song. He has encouraged an entire group of young singers here at LCS! They will also have high-quality recordings and videos of their performances to keep to add to their portfolios. 

What was the genesis of the format for this year's performing arts showcase? The challenges? Were there any pleasant surprises?

With singing in groups being limited this year, Rachel and I had to reimagine the entire Musical Theatre program. We had just come off of a highly successful, award-winning production of the musical Chicago and a full-scale dance showcase last year so we had tons of momentum for the program. With this pivot, we decided to focus on individual theatre skills and the artistic process. This allowed the students to choose their own path and try new things. Without an audition process, the pressure was off and some students really stepped out of their comfort zones to learn something new. With the help of Nancy Smith, we zoomed in Shaw Festival actors and choreographers to work with our students. Students choreographed dances and taught their peers while others worked on their singing with Beau. Monologues were picked (in some cases written) and rehearsed, lights were set and programmed into our new lighting board. Many students are featured in at least two of the three disciplines (dance, acting, and singing). 
  
Back in the fall, our original plan was to video everything to release online in March, with the hopes of doing some sort of live show. In February, we enlisted professional filmmaker, Tyler Boyco to shoot and edit the acts and we have approximately 25 pieces (dances, monologues, solo singing performances, a virtual choir) that have come out of this process. 

It has been an amazing experience and has allowed students to have a big voice in the creation of their art. The live show on March 10th will feature a live dance showcase in the Theatre, a visual art gallery and live music in the Chapel, and video performances of songs and monologues in the Learning Commons. The houses will rotate through these stations in sets of two in order to stay in line with Covid protocols. We will then release all of the content online for parents and the wider community on March 26th! 

Stay tuned for video clips and photos of the performances later this month!
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4391 County Road 29, Lakefield Ontario K0L 2H0   705.652.3324   admissions@lcs.on.ca

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Lakefield College School is a private, coeducational boarding and day school for students in grades 9 through 12, located in Lakefield, Ontario, Canada.

We respectfully acknowledge that Lakefield College School is located on the Treaty 20 Michi Saagiig territory and in the traditional territory of the Michi Saagiig and Chippewa Nations, collectively known as the Williams Treaties First Nations, which include: Curve Lake, Hiawatha, Alderville, Scugog Island, Rama, Beausoleil, and Georgina Island First Nations.
Lakefield College School respectfully acknowledges that the Williams Treaties First Nations are the stewards and caretakers of these lands and waters in perpetuity and that they continue to maintain this responsibility to ensure their health and integrity for generations to come.


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