Toronto, ON – OUTSIDE THE MARCH and THE MUSICAL STAGE COMPANY are thrilled to announce the cast and location of their inaugural collaboration, Dr. Silver: A Celebration of Life, created by two of the most exciting and innovative artists in Canadian musical theatre, Anika Johnson and Britta Johnson.
An immersive musical from the leading practitioners of immersive theatre in Canada, Outside the March, in partnership with Canada’s leading contemporary musical producers, The Musical Stage Company, this rapturous and singular experience will be staged in Toronto’s historic Heliconian Hall. Audiences are invited to join The Silver Singers at the Heliconian to celebrate the life of the mysterious and magnetic spiritual leader Dr. Gordon P. Silver. The festivities promise to be an enchanting experience; a sungthrough, psychedelic dissolution into the transcendental power of music.
Past Musical Stage Company collaborators Kira Guloien (GREY GARDENS) and Rielle Braid (LIFE AFTER) are joined by Donna Garner, Peter Deiwick, Broadway veteran Bruce Dow (Timothy) and students from the prestigious Wexford Collegiate as THE SILVER SINGERS. Andrew Scanlon will play the role of Timothy for the work-in-progress dates in June.
Dr. Silver boasts an eclectic, multimedia design team, with Production Design from Nick Blais
(JERUSALEM, TERMINUS), Anahita Dehbonehie (TOMORROWLOVE, VITALS) and Ken MacKenzie (BRANTWOOD, Mr. BURNS), Video Designer Nick Bottomley (Stratford's TREASURE ISLAND and Stephen Fry's upcoming MYTHOS at the Shaw) and Sound Designer Richard Feren (JERUSALEM, TOMORROWLOVE). The production will be musical directed by the nationally-acclaimed Elizabeth Baird (KINKY BOOTS, GREASE) with choreography by frequent Johnson collaborator Barbara Johnston (SUMMERLAND, BLOOD TIES).
These announcements come on the heels of auspicious productions from both companies earlier in the year: Outside the March (in partnership with The Company Theatre) enjoyed an acclaimed sellout run of Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem, while The Musical Stage Company’s celebrated production of Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori’s Fun Home (as part of the Off-Mirvish Series) closed just days ago.
Dr. Silver: A Celebration of Life reunites both Outside the March’s Artistic Director Mitchell Cushman and The Musical Stage Company with Anika Johnson and Britta Johnson. Cushman previously collaborated with the Johnsons on Brantwood (Sheridan’s Canadian Musical Theatre Project), the largest production of an immersive, site-specific musical in Canadian history. Brantwood notably garnered a Dora Mavor Moore Audience Choice Award for Outstanding Production in 2015.
The project also marks the continuation of The Musical Stage Company’s CRESCENDO SERIES – an unprecedented breakthrough for a composer of musical theatre in Canada through a three-year residency and commitment to produce three of their new musicals. The inaugural Crescendo artist is Britta Johnson and it was recently announced that her musical Life After, which premiered in a coproduction from The Musical Stage Company with Canadian Stage and Yonge Street Theatricals in Fall 2017 (the first production from the Crescendo Series residency), will be further developed at San Diego's Old Globe Theatre in Spring 2019.
In advance of the world premiere, Dr. Silver: A Celebration of Life will offer audiences a unique
opportunity to watch the rehearsal process of a new Canadian musical as part of Luminato, June 14 – 17, & 19 at Heliconian Hall. Tickets for the work-in-progress performances are available now at luminatofestival.com.
Dr. Silver: A Celebration of Life will return to Heliconian Hall for performances beginning September 13 (Opening night: September 17). The hall will be made wheelchair accessible for the duration of the production run. Tickets for this production are available now at DrSilverTO.ca or by calling 1-888-324-6282
About Dr. Silver: A Celebration of Life
On stage at Heliconian Hall beginning September 13, 2018
Media Night: September 17, 2018
An Outside the March and The Musical Stage Company Experience
Book, Music & Lyrics Anika Johnson & Britta Johnson
Director Mitchell Cushman
Music Director & Supervisor Elizabeth Baird
Arrangements Bram Gielen
Accompanist/Conductor Adam Sakiyama
Choreographer Barbara Johnston
Production Designer Nick Blais
Production Designer Ken Mackenzie
Production Designer Anahita Debhonehie
Projection Designer Nick Bottomley
Sound Designer Richard Feren
Harmony Silver Rielle Braid
Gordon Jr. Silver Peter Deiwick
Timothy Sweetman Bruce Dow
Caroline Silver Donna Garner
Vera Silver Kira Guloien
With students from Wexford Collegiate as THE SILVER SINGERS
Twitter: @OutsideTheMarch, @MusicalStageCo
Facebook: @OutsideTheMarch, @MusicalStageCo
For more information please contact:
Suzanne Cheriton, Red Eye Media, firstname.lastname@example.org, 416-805-6744
About The Heliconian Club and Heliconian Hall (35 Hazelton Ave.):
The Toronto Heliconian Club is the oldest association of its kind in Canada. Founded in 1909 to give women in the arts and letters an opportunity to meet socially and intellectually, the Club holds to its original purpose while responding to the changes of contemporary life. The hall itself dates from 1875 when Yorkville was a rural village on the outskirts of Toronto. Originally a church and then the headquarters of a painters’ union, the building was bought by the club in 1923 and named Heliconian Hall. Its architecture is Carpenter’s Gothic with a simple board and batten exterior, and with the embellishment of a Victorian rose window and carved
rafters in a high vaulted ceiling. Its good acoustical properties are a boon to this day to the Club’s musicians and other performers. Heliconian Hall is one of the few church buildings of this style in southern Ontario. It was designated a Toronto historic site in 1990 and a National Historic Site in 2008.
Heliconian Hall is centrally located at 35 Hazelton Avenue, in the heart of Yorkville.
About Outside the March:
Outside the March creates unforgettable immersive encounters-redefining the experience of theatre for a new generation of audiences.
Over the past eight years, we have become one of Canada’s leading immersive theatre companies, inviting our audiences to play with us in kindergarten classrooms, parade with Queen Elizabeth along the Danforth, tinker in garages, congregate in churches, venture out on a 911 paramedic call, weather the apocalypse in an abandoned adult movie theatre, infuse an old funeral home with love, and join us up onstage at the Royal Alexandra Theatre.
Past productions include Jerusalem, Lessons in Temperament, TomorrowLoveTM, Mr. Burns, Vitals, Passion Play, Terminus and Mr. Marmalade, garnering two Dora Awards for Outstanding Independent Production, two Toronto Theatre Critics Awards for Best Production, a Dora Award for Outstanding New Play, Two Prize for Production Awards at the SummerWorks Festival, and a host of critical acclaim. For more information, visit outsidethemarch.ca.
About The Musical Stage Company:
The Musical Stage Company is Canada’s largest not-for-profit, professional theatre company dedicated to musical theatre. We create transformative experiences through musical storytelling locally, nationally and internationally. Established in 2004 as Acting Up Stage Company, we unveiled our new name in 2017 alongside the ambitious goals of making Canada a leader in musical theatre, reaching every Torontonian through diverse musical stories, and creating a national and international presence.
Our productions – including award-winning contemporary musicals, world premieres and concerts – are seen live by 30,000 people over the 80+ nights that we are onstage annually in venues both traditional and surprising. We incubate new Canadian musicals from development to production, investing in Canadian musical theatre writers and building national and international partnerships. To date, our work has been recognized with 61 Dora Award nominations, 11 Dora Awards and 16 Toronto Theatre Critics’ Awards.
Beyond the stage, we build and enrich communities through musical storytelling. Our robust education programs develop the artists and audiences of tomorrow, offering musical theatre training that boosts self-confidence and self-expression for over 100 young people each year without cost to the participants. We also curate innovative musical programs in partnership with diverse organizations, maximizing the resonance of our work across disciplines and communities. For more information visit: www.musicalstagecompany.com.