EMERGING ARTIST COMPOSERS
- LESLIE ARDEN
- Leslie Arden has written and composed over a dozen musicals, including the critically acclaimed and multi-award-winning The House of Martin Guerre, and the Chalmers Award winning The Happy Prince. Leslie also collaborated with Norm Foster on the oft produced The Last Resort and Ned Durango. She’s been commissioned by choirs all across Canada, and she’s spent 3 seasons as a composer with The Stratford Festival. She recently composed the score for Jeannette Lambermont’s production of Goethe’s Faust, and she’s currently at work on a contemporary musical adaptation of Moll Flanders.
- DAVID WARRACK
- Born in Calgary, first heard on Radio at age of 5. Writer of 79 professionally-produced musicals, including Rob Roy at the Edinburgh Festival (leading to subsequent CD) and some of the longest-running shows in Canadian Theatre history. Most recently, A Snow White Christmas at Theatre Orangeville in 2013 (written with the legendary Norm Foster). Three Dora Mavor Moore Awards (Toronto equivalent of New York’s Tony Award). Toured and recorded with Maureen Forrester for fifteen years as conductor/accompanist. Toured and recorded with Jeff Hyslop for four years. Toured for 5 years with Don Harron (Charlie Farquerson). Ten years as Michael Burgess’ Accompanist/Musical Director. Toured with Michael Burgess/Rebecca Caine across Canada (19 concerts). Hundreds of non-theatrical compositions, most recently premiere of oratorio Abraham in October of 2015 with Richard Margison as Abraham (6 featured soloists, Bach Children’s Choir, Elmer Iseler Singers). Comic writing includes four years on Peter Gwowski’s Morningside (CBC) and countless satirical revues, including Toronto Toronto which ran for over three years. Producer of theatre (62 productions), television (specials, plus the only 3 televised Dora Award shows), recordings and concerts (The Ginger Group, Ronnie Hawkins’ Farewell concert at Massey Hall, Beny Maissner Tribute at Koerner Hall). Founding Conductor of Canada Pops Orchestra. Guest conductor across Canada (Vancouver, Ottawa, Halifax, etc.). Organist/Choir Director at Hillcrest Christian Church since 2006. Conducted first radio special in 1972 (Ballade for Charlottetown Festival on CBC), followed by 44 years of TV and radio presentations, most recently a Christmas television special for Vision Television. Seven years in a row as part of the Elora Festival doing concerts featuring Jackie Richardson, Ma-Anne Dionisio, Burgess/Caine, and a multitude of stars. Stratford Music Festival with Len Cariou in 2013. 2014 recording of The Three Davids, featuring the music of David Frishberg, David Shire, and David Warrack. One-man show – Feeling As Though I Were Flying in 2015. Ongoing concerts with Bill Bridges, Susan Cuthbert, Theresa Tova, Mary Pitt, and Moshe Hammer. Musical Director for over 250 productions, including Shenandoah on Broadway, the cross-Canada tour of Jacques Brel, four years of Showcase Theatre Festival in Vancouver Island, and nine of Ross Petty’s Pantomimes at the Elgin/Wintergarden Theatre in Toronto. Recent projects include performing in showcase of Baby Grand at Buddies in Bad Times; MD for Theatre Museum Gala (with Sheila McCarthy, David Rogers, Jackie Richardson, Michael Therriault, Raoul Bhaneja, and Ma-Anne Dionisio); the Gala for the 60th Anniversary of Regent Park; the celebration of the 80th Anniversary of the Muskoka Festival in Gravenhurst; Songs of the City at Jane Mallett Theatre (Co-Producer /Musical Director/Composer) in April of 2015 and 2016: composers writing songs based on individuals “saved” by United Way organizations; Heart and Soul (MD of Jazz/Musical Theatre concert in support of Alli’s Journey, a charity dedicated to helping young adults with Cancer); Cole Porter Tribute with Marilyn Lightstone, Lawrence Cotton, and Gabi Epstein at Jazz Bistro; Valentines Day concert at Toronto Centre for the Arts; May concert with Theresa Tova and Brian Katz; guest appearance with Wintergarden Orchestra; 2 May concerts with Marshall Loomer; June concert with Marilyn Lightstone.
Married to the marvelous, talented Lona Davis. Three exceptional children: Gordon (Jessica), Cayleigh (Patrick) and Levi. Four awesome grandchildren (Alexis, Grayson, Griffin, and Neave), all under the age of three!
- TRISTAN HERNANDEZ
- Tristan Hernandez is an actor, singer, musician, and writer originally from Brantford
Ontario. He is a proud graduate of the Sheridan Music Theatre Degree program. Tristan also is
the Front Man and Lead Singer of the Toronto local band Quarter Heads. More info on the band
can be found on their website www.quarterheads.com. Tristan is so excited to be a part of The
Great Canadian Showtune and to have his work showcased alongside so many incredible
- TYLER CHECK
- Tyler Check is an actor, singer, musician, and writer originally from Kingston Ontario. A proud graduate of the Sheridan Music Theatre program, Tyler is currently performing in Million Dollar Quartet at Stage West in Calgary. Tyler also hosts a Canadian theatre podcast interviewing prominent people in the theatre industry called Let’s Grab Coffee. This podcast can be found on iTunes, SoundCloud, and at his website www.tylercheck.com. Tyler is so excited be a part of The Great Canadian Showtune and to have his work showcased alongside so many incredible writers.
- COLLEEN & AKIVA
Colleen Dauncey (music) and Akiva Romer-Segal (lyrics) are a contemporary musical theatre songwriting team based in Toronto, Canada. Together they wrote the scores to The Subway Songs, Scenes From The Bathhouse (Talk Is Free Theatre), and Toronto Fringe hit Bremen Rock City (with librettist Sara Farb), and contributed songs to Touch Me: Songs for a (dis)Connected Age (Forte Musical Theatre Guild, three Calgary Critics Awards including “Best Production of a Musical”). They also wrote the score to Prom Queen: The Musical, a movie adaptation which has recently been workshopped by the Segal Centre, Theatre Aquarius and the Canadian Musical Theatre Project at Sheridan College. Prom Queen: The Musical will have its world premiere in Fall 2016 at the Segal Centre in Montreal. Colleen & Akiva are currently Writers-in-Residence at Talk Is Free Theatre where they are developing Offline, a collective creation musical which will debut in Barrie, Ontario in Spring 2017.
Colleen & Akiva’s songs have been performed internationally by cabaret performers, recording artists, and Broadway stars, including being featured twice in New York’s Cutting-Edge Composers series. They were selected as participants for the 2011 Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project in Chicago, the Canadian Musical Theatre Writers Collective, Acting Up Stage’s Noteworthy program for songwriters and librettists, and Theatre 20’s Composium initiative. They are grateful for the generous support from the Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent On Records (FACTOR), the Ontario Arts Council, and the Canada Council For the Arts.
For more, visit colleenandakiva.com
- KEVIN WONG
- Kevin Wong is a composer/lyricist/violinist based out of Toronto. Kevins song cycle, Recurring John, debuted in a first concert reading as part of the 2014 SummerWorks festival in the Musical Works in Concert lineup then went on to premiere as part of the Chicago Musical Theatre Festival. Other projects: Highrising (book & lyrics: Matthew Milo Sergi), STAR!(ving) – A Collection of Songs (Originated in part at the Canadian Musical Theatre Project), Evie (co-lyrics & book: Matt Murray), niáng, and Misprint (Book by Lauren Toffan). Kevin is a previous participant of the Canadian Musical Theatre Project, a member of the Canadian Musical Theatre Writers’ Collective, a member of Theatre20’s Composium, and an alumnus of Acting Up Stage Company’s NoteWorthy program. He is currently the Metcalf Foundation Intern Artistic Director at Acting Up Stage Company.
- GARY WILLIAMS
- Born in Halifax, raised in the US and Berlin, Germany, Garry lives and works in Halifax as a theatre artist, teacher and musician. He holds a degree in Music and English from Mt. Allison University, and studied Music and Theatre at Manhattanville College, NY and the Free University (FU) Berlin. He works year-round as an actor, director, singer, songwriter/composer and playwright, whose work has taken him across Canada, and to Europe.
In 2004, Garry founded DaPoPo Theatre and provided artistic direction with associate directors Eric Benson and Kim Parkhill, with productions such as The Sex Play (2006), Sunday in the Park With George (2007), When Did You Last See My Mother?, the original musical revue So… What About Love? (2009), Julius Caesar (2010), and his original play Jesus Is A Faggot (2014). Garry featured Sky Gilbert as part of the annual DaPoPo Live-Festival, as well as Guillermo Verdecchia, DanielMacIvor and
HugoDann. In 2013, he co-presented DaPoPo’s ‘The Drinking Game’ in Lethbridge, Alberta for Theatre Outré.
Outside of his work with DaPoPo, Garry has worked with queer friendly companies including AngelsAndHeroes?(Fewer Emergencies); the Halifax Summer Opera Workshop (Cosi fan tutte, Le nozze di Figaro, Alcina); Us vs Them (A Tournament of Lies, Litmus Road); and TheatreSpeak (Mimi). He is an ardent supporter of the Playwrights’ Atlantic Resource Centre (PARC), and a member of Theatre Nova Scotia.
Garry has worked with the YouthProject, founded and co-facilitated the Queer Youth Ensemble Acting Out! with RichieWilcox and Kym Butler in 2010-2011. He has appeared as part of the QueerActs Festival, and has been delighted to perform in support of NSRAP and Halifax Pride. Garry has become a staple of [[MenzBar|Menz & Mollyz], where he hosts the weekly Sing-Along Show Tunez on Saturday nights; a soirée of (mostly) original songs, A Little Cabaret, with Kristi Anderson and Zach Faye; and the ever-popular Café DaPoPo, and DaPride Café, with DaPoPo Theatre.
- NOAH MACDOUGALL
- Noah MacDougall is an emerging composer, music director and freelance musician. Proudly born and raised in Prince Edward Island, he now calls Toronto home. He holds a Bachelor of Music from UPEI. Most recently, he was commissioned to write an original score to a brand new musical entitled ‘Perry Loved Mary’ (Book by Luc Trottier) which premiered this August for a one-week, sold-out run in Port Perry, ON. Additional compositions include an original score for Theatre By The Bay’s production of ‘As You Like It’. Noah has also done orchestrations for Smile Theatre, Solar Stage, Kliffer Entertainment and Stephenville Theatre Festival. As a music director, he has worked from Newfoundland to Calgary, and with numerous theatre companies around Ontario, (Acting Up Stage, Mainstage Theatre Co. CurtainCall Players, Innovative Arts) Upcoming: ‘The Wizard of Oz’ at St. Lawrence College (Brockville) and ‘The Little Mermaid’ at The Globe Theatre (Regina).
- LEZLIE WADE
- Lezlie Wade – is a director, writer, lyricist and actor. She was the assistant director on four
shows at the Stratford Festival working exclusively with Des McAnuff, including Jesus Christ
Superstar at the Lajolla Playhouse and on Broadway. She was associate director on Henry V.
Other recent directing credits include: Obeah Opera, Panamania, The Twelve Pound Look,
Shaw Festival, Dream A Little Dream, The Grand Theatre, Dog Sees God, Rubinoff
Productions, Queen Milli of Galt, Theatre Aquarius, The Yalta Game, Shaw Festival and
Elegies and A Man of No Importance, Acting Up Stage Co for which she was nominated for a
She was also the resident director on The Toxic Avenger working with John Rando for DanCap
productions, and Love, Loss and What I Wore for Darryl Roth / Rubinoff productions directing
some of Canada’s leading performers including Andrea Martin, Margot Kidder, Barbara Budd,
Wendy Crewson, Sheila McCarthy and Jeanne Becker to name a few.
As a writer her musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol has been presented across Canada.
Other plays include: Queen of the Mist and The Squid’s Embrace, which was developed at
Road Less Traveled Productions in Buffalo, N.Y. and Theatre Aquarius.
Lezlie is an alumni of the BMI workshop in NY as a lyricist. She is currently working on
her musical, The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen with her collaborator Daniel
Green. Prince Jen has been work shopped at AMTP in Chicago, and the ASCAP
Dreamworks Workshop for Stephen Schwartz, Stephen Flaherty and Dick Scanlan. The
Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen short-listed for the Tom Hendry award and is
currently under option in NYC. It was short-listed for the Tom Hendry award for best new
Lezlie will be directing H.M.S. Pinafore at the Stratford Festival in 2017.
- DANIEL GREEN
- Daniel Green is a composer/lyricist and music director. He was most recently
the associate conductor for Rocky on Broadway. Past Broadway playing and
conducting credits include Big Fish, Matilda, Peter and the Starcatcher, The
Addams Family, and Wicked.
As a composer, he has been awarded a NAMT grant from the National Fund for
New Musicals; a retreat at Running Deer Musical Theatre Lab; been nominated
for a Weston Playhouse New Musical Award; and accepted into the BMI Musical
Theatre Advanced Workshop. His current project The Remarkable Journey of
Prince Jen, which he is writing with Lezlie Wade, was recently showcased at the
Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival and the Toronto Summerworks concert
series. Other composing credits include Oneida, which was given a staged
reading at the Village Theatre’s Festival of New Musicals; Fanny Brice (Asolo
Rep Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Northwestern University) and
Twelfth Night (Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival).