In the heart of MacEwan University, a theatrical gem is set to light up the Tim Ryan stage this November. [title of show] is a one-act musical with lyrics and music by Jeff Bowen and book by Hunter Bell. For those who enjoy laughter, heartfelt songs, self-reflection, and embarking on an unforgettable journey, this is a performance you certainly won’t want to miss.
A true story of friendship and dreams
Leigh Rivenbark, the director of [title of show] highlights the true story of four friends who dared to follow their dreams of creating an original Broadway musical. Rivenbark adds depth to the narrative, noting, “It’s also about how their friendships are tested on this journey.” Rivenbark’s vision for the show is to inspire the audience members to dream big, fully embrace who they are, and enjoy live theatre. “I love live theatre because it asks us to be present – which is so important in a world inundated with cellphones and social media where it is easy to disconnect. Theatre wakes us up,” he says.
Rediscovering the creative spark
Steven Greenfield, a proud MacEwan alumni and the musical director of [title of show] explains that this musical is a unique journey about rekindling the creative spark within. “To me, the central theme of [title of show] is about rediscovering that spark of creative joy that drew you to being a musical storyteller; that innocent moment when everything fell into place, and you, perhaps subconsciously, realized that this was your raison d’être,” Greenfield says. “It is the creation of something that will never be exactly the same. It is magical. And, above all, it is entertainment.”
Greenfield’s emphasis on building harmonious relationships within the ensemble and creating a supportive, ego-free environment resonates deeply with his vision of theater as a community that interprets, collaborates, and shares stories with audiences. It embodies the essence of theater’s profound impact on all who experience it.
A simple yet heartfelt production
Eli Yaschuk, who plays the character Jeff, underscores the distinctive simplicity of [title of show]. “It is only performed with four actors, one piano, and four chairs, yet it has so much heart to it,” he says. “I think this show is so different because it shows how art is made, the ups and downs that go along with making art.” The show is filled with humour, distinguishing it in the world of musical theatre. “Theatre means coming together to tell stories,” says Yaschuk.
Realness in acting
Matthew Gregg, who takes on the role of Hunter, discusses the authenticity of the characters. He stresses that to truly capture the essence of the production, the actors must convey genuine emotions on stage. “What drives this show is the realness of the characters.” Gregg explains. He notes that despite the show’s commitment to authenticity, it’s important to balance the seriousness of theatre with a touch of lightheartedness. Gregg says the audience should be prepared for a bold, in-your-face experience. “Be prepared for us to be in your face; we are coming for you.”
The Magic of true friendship
Kit Brooks, who plays Susan, shares their insights into the emotional core of [title of show]. “I think the audience will be charmed by the magic of true friendship through these characters.” “This show is really hard to explain; it’s authentic and raw, but it’s also incredibly cheesy and grand,” Brooks says. “This is more than just a comedy.”
Relatability and authenticity
Amber Larson, who’s starring in the role of Heidi, says everyone should be able to relate to the characters in the show because they’re real people. Larson emphasizes the importance of authenticity in acting, encouraging actors to bring their genuine selves to the characters they portray. Larson also acknowledges the presence of the audience within the show. “We know the audience exists in this show, and we use that.” For Larson, theatre is not just a form of entertainment; it’s a safe place to explore ideas and topics, echoing the profound impact the art form has on society.
In a world where authenticity and creativity are often overshadowed by conformity, [title of show] emerges as a shining beacon, reminding us all that it’s okay to dream big, embrace our individuality, and create something truly magical.