Curated and Directed by Marcus Nance
A CELEBRATION OF BLACK MUSICAL THEATRE
Throughout the ages the African-American community has told stories of life, love, pain and hope through the glorious expressions of musical theatre and poetry. In this update of the sold-out 2019 Meighen Forum concert, Festival artists take you on a journey with the voices of legendary Black poets and the music of the African-American musical-theatre canon, including hits from Aida, Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Color Purple, Hamilton, The Lion King, Once on This Island, Show Boat and many more. As Maya Angelou said, “Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, / I am the dream and the hope of the slave.”
Virtual: Selections from Why We Tell the Story - Song & Readings List
House Program: Why We Tell the Story
Virtual Runtime: One hour and 4 minutes
Study Guide: Why We Tell the Story
Production support is generously provided by Mary Ann & Robert Gorlin.
2021: Co-curator of Play On! and Singer in Why We Tell the Story. Fourth season. Stratford: Up Close and Musical (Stratfest@Home), The Rocky Horror Show, Tommy, The Music Man, Fiddler on the Roof. Elsewhere: Dear Evan Hansen (Mirvish); Lil' Red Robin Hood (Ross Petty Productions); Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Theatre Aquarius); Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang, Seussical, James and the Giant Peach (YPT); Our Town, Sweeney Todd (Shaw Festival); UnCovered: Queen and Bowie (Musical Stage Company); Dream a Little Dream, Shrek (Grand Theatre); Chicago, Twist and Shout (Drayton Entertainment); Next to Normal (Citadel Theatre/Theatre Calgary); The Rocky Horror Show, A Christmas Carol (Citadel Theatre); Jesus Christ Superstar, Chicago (Mayfield); Hunchback (Catalyst). Film/TV: If I Only Had Christmas (Hallmark Channel). Training: BFA, University of Alberta. Online: robertmarkus.com. Instagram: @rjbmarkus. Et cetera: Special thanks to family, friends, TH, and JRS, for their constant support.
2021: Curator and director of and Singer in Why We Tell the Story. 10th season. Stratford (highlights): Up Close and Musical: Voice of a Preacher's Son, Billy Elliot the Musical, Little Shop of Horrors, The Music Man, Guys and Dolls, HMS Pinafore, Carousel, Crazy for You, Jesus Christ Superstar, Moby Dick, To Kill a Mockingbird, My One and Only. Elsewhere: La Bohème, Jesus Christ Superstar (Broadway); Sweeney Todd, Floyd Collins, Pal Joey (Shaw Festival); Wizard of Oz, Beauty and the Beast (Grand Theatre); Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Mermaid, Mikado (Drayton); Evangeline (Charlottetown); Kismet, Of Thee I Sing (Encores! N.Y.C.); Jesus Christ Superstar (La Jolla); Dark Star Requiem (Luminato); Porgy and Bess (Toronto Symphony); Elsewhereless (Tapestry). Film/TV: Murdoch Mysteries, Departure, Mayday, Prodigal Son, The Producers, Beatrice Chancy. Recordings: The Voice Next Door. Awards: Metropolitan Opera winner, Dora nominee. Training: Fresno State University. Online: marcusnance.com.
2021: Singer in Why We Tell the Story. Third season. Stratford: Up Close and Musical, Mum in Billy Elliot, Ronnette in Little Shop of Horrors. Elsewhere: Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland (Bad Hats and Soulpepper); Emmie in Caroline, or Change, Edwina in Passing Strange (Musical Stage Company and Obsidian); Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins, Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz (Young People's Theatre); Flaemmchen in Grand Hotel, Polly Plummer in The Magician's Nephew, Zoe in An Octoroon (Shaw Festival); Nicola in Kinky Boots (Mirvish). Film/TV: Sex/Life, Tallboyz, Too Close for Christmas, Love in the Wilds, Suits. Directing: Talk is Free Theatre, Grand Theatre London, Sheridan College. Awards: Dora Awards: Caroline, or Change, Kinky Boots, The Wizard of Oz. Critic's Pick: Mary Poppins, Passing Strange. Toronto Theatre Critics Award: Passing Strange. Online: Instagram: @vanessa_sears. Twitter: @nessasears.
2021: Director of Music for the Stratford Festival. Music director of and Keyboard for Why We Tell the Story and Finally There's Sun. 12th season. Stratford: Billy Elliot, The Music Man, HMS Pinafore, A Little Night Music, Carousel, Man of La Mancha, Pirates of Penzance, Kiss Me, Kate, Funny Thing Happened... (Stratford/Mirvish). In concert: Up Close and Musical (Stratfest@Home), The Fantasticks, Passion, Next to Normal. Elsewhere: Toronto/US tours: Show Boat, Ragtime, The Lion King, Mamma Mia!, Hairspray, Lloyd Webber's The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music, Billy Elliot, Irving Berlin's White Christmas, The Lord of the Rings, Threepenny Opera (Soulpepper); London Symphonia's Enchanting Broadway. Recordings: Carousel, Crazy for You (Stratford cast recordings); The Voice Next Door (Marcus Nance). Training: Vocal Coaching and Accompanying, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dedication: Franklin dedicates this season's performances to the memory of his cherished friend Pablo Keselman, who supported great singers and musicians, and deeply admired cabaret.
2021: Lighting designer of Why We Tell the Story, You Can't Stop the Beat, Play On!, Freedom and Finally There's Sun. Ninth season. Stratford: Lighting designer, Othello, The Comedy of Errors. Assistant lighting designer, six seasons (2011-2016). Selected credits: A Chorus Line, Tommy, A Word or Two, Jesus Christ Superstar. Studio Theatre technical director, 2013. Elsewhere: Honour Beat (Grand), After the Fire, The Particulars (Punctuate, The Theatre Centre); Kinky Boots, Newsies (Drayton Entertainment); Salt-Water Moon (Mirvish, Factory, Why Not); Wildfire (RARE, Soulpepper); The Emancipation of Ms. Lovely, The Breath in Between (Crow's); Superior Donuts (Coal Mine); Laurier (Charlottetown Festival, TNB); Beaver (Storefront); Noises Off (Soulpepper); A Line in the Sand, The Crackwalker (Factory Theatre); Hana Hashimoto (Carousel Players). Training: National Theatre School of Canada. Et cetera: Course Lecturer at Ryerson University, Instructor at the NTSC, General Manager of Lights On Stratford, a two-time Dora nominee and a 2020 Pauline McGibbon Award nominee.
2021: Production stage manager of the Festival Theatre Canopy and Studio Theatre. 25th season. Stratford: Shows include Chicago (interrupted by COVID), Billy Elliot, A Chorus Line, Crazy for You, Fiddler on the Roof, Camelot, Oklahoma!, West Side Story, My Fair Lady, Man of La Mancha, Hello, Dolly!, The King and I and others. Elsewhere: Over 40 years as a stage manager in live entertainment including gala events, music concerts, opening ceremonies and fundraising events including A Christmas Carol for the Stratford Hospice. Over 25 years with the Canadian Opera Company as a stage manager; production stage manager and resident director of Jersey Boys, Toronto; 25 years as a singer/dancer and choreographer in Canadian theatre; associate director/choreographer to her mentor, Alan Lund. Et cetera: Love to Paul, daughters Stephanie and Jennifer, son-in-law Andrew, and her grandchildren, Kennedy, Koston and Connor. I am so grateful to be back at work.
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