Sheridan College will be showcasing three new shows this week during the 2019 Festival of New Musicals. Hoarding, Grow, and Pump Up The Volume will be performed by this year’s Honours Bachelor of Music Theatre Performance graduating students. All three productions include collaborations with Canadian and international partners.
Keenan Smith, who plays Mark Hunter (Hard Harry), the lead in Pump Up The Volume, feels humbled to know how much of an impact the cast has on the show. He’s especially excited for people to come see the musical and where the show might go from here.
On October 9th and 10th, the festival will be held at Sheridan College in Oakville, with performances starting at 7 p.m. Then, on the 11th, the festival will have a pay-what-you-can at the Winter Garden Theatre in Toronto at 2 p.m. The students will be presenting a 45 minute cut from act one of each musical.
Dave Solomon, associate director for several Broadway musicals and director for Pump Up The Volume, praised the students on the production, saying, “their commitment, their passion, and talent has just been wonderful.” Solomon, alongside James Sampliner, music supervisor, and Jeff Thomson, who creates the music, have been working alongside the students for several weeks preparing the show.
Benjamin Page, who plays Malcolm, a quiet but troubled teen in Pump Up The Volume, has learned a lot from this experience. He said, “An actor needs to take chances so the creative team can know what needs to be adjusted.”
Page has faced challenges throughout this whole experience, specifically with his role in the musical. With his time on stage being in short bursts he says he had to draw on his technique in order for him to return to that same place each time.
Although he has faced challenges, Page is excited for the audience to see a specific moment in the show: “The mood shifts and you can feel the air igniting. It’s one of those moments that make you go ‘yup, that’s why I love musicals.’”