director Jessica Hickman
Every April, the College presents a year-end musical as a core component of the Diploma Program’s curriculum. Our students were set to perform Disney’s Newsies at the McPherson Playhouse, however, three weeks into the rehearsal process, the COVID-19 global pandemic brought that process to a seeming halt.
The production and creative team were set with the task of creating a new performance and learning experience. The result was a comprehensive ‘performance portfolio’ with several projects that challenged the students to think creatively and tackle performance through a variety of media. The 51 students, now in isolation in their homes, captured digital audio, video, and drone footage, which have been crafted into a series of short video performances that explore their version of what would have been Newsies, now seen through the lens of the pandemic. The story of Newsies follows a small group of youth rising up against the oppressive constraints of society. In a re-imagined way, that spirit continues through this health crisis, with the students ‘seizing the day’ and seizing an opportunity to create and perform together!
“We are incredibly proud of the staff and students who have fully embraced the challenge of transitioning a live intimate art form to the digital world with some surprising outside the box solutions. Managing these types of challenges, and being required to think creatively to find alternate solutions for going forward, is an invaluable lesson we hope they will carry with them throughout their careers.”
–Caleb Marshall & Heather Burns
Emma Marie St-Denis
Justine Elizabeth Joudrie
director / choreographer Jessica Hickman*
music director / audio engineer Heather Burns
production manager Jackie Adamthwaite
technical director / production designer / video editor R.J. Peters
video editor Pedro M. Siqueira
costume designer Shannon Carmichael
audio mixing Brooke Maxwell
featuring excerpts from Disney’s Newsies
music by Alan Menken
lyrics by Jack Feldman
book by Harvey Fierstein
*The participation of this Artist is arranged by permission of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association.