Celebrating 50 Years of Theatre Sheridan

Story by Allison Sippel

Sheridan’s Musical Theatre is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Look at any playbill in Canada for a musical production and you are bound to find a Sheridan alumni in the cast.

For example, Six, the newest musical hit at the Ed Mirvish Theatre in Toronto. Out of the 6 leads, 2 are 2023 Sheridan graduates.

Tania Senewirante is the Associate Dean of Visual and Performing Arts at Sheridan. Tanya believes it’s the people that make the program successful and unique. “[Students and faculty] truly love the art form of musical theatre,” says Senewirante. She added that they lead “with compassion and kindness.”

Chris Scholey is the Producer of Theatre Sheridan. Scholey attributes the mass success of the program in part to what he describes as “a fantastic melding of skill sets.” At Theatre Sheridan, students work closely with many other departments and programs, to help the with tech and art design of the production.

Another aspect that Scholey believes helps students find success post-graduation is that the program has industry professionals guiding their students including, lights, set design, and choreography. Sheridan students are getting expert advice when it comes to the Musical Theatre program. In turn this sets them up for incredible networking opportunities during their studies and into graduation.

Many graduates of the program have found success at world renowned theatres such as the Stratford Festival and the Shaw Festival.

Success also doesn’t just happen. It is earned through hard work. And many current Sheridan students spoke on just how demanding this program is.

Third Year students Ethan Berkeley-Garica and Evelyn Hecht can certainly attest to this.

“It’s a little crazy, not going to lie,” says third year student Ethan Berkeley-Garica. He also notes that classes can run from 8am to 8pm, making for a long day. 

Hecht also notes that the workload comes from both “work inside and outside of school”. She explains that scheduling group assignments with other students can be tricky as well due to the limited flexible hours in the day left for this.

Associate Dean Senewiratne notes that the program is still growing in a variety of ways and that they have an exciting future ahead, acknowledging the amount of change that happened in the industry due to COVID. 

Senewirante says they are working to make the program accessible to anyone. “[We want to] build on creating a space where all stakeholders feel like they get to be themselves,” says Senewirante. 

The show lineup for this season is definitely one to look forward to with classics like Mary Poppins and Sweeney Todd among the shows. You can purchase tickets to shows or find more information here https://www.sheridancollege.ca/about/theatre/box-office.