Grand Theatre celebrates its 35th High School Project Opening Night
The Great Grand Road Trip offered online at no cost through to October 11
June 29, 2021 – London ON - The 35th High School Project production – The Great Grand Road Trip will celebrate its opening night tonight with a video viewing party in the Spriet Stage for student participants, Board, sponsors, staff and special guests.
The Great Grand Road Trip is available to view online at no cost from September 29 at 7:30 PM through to midnight on October 11. Viewers are asked to register online at grandtheatre.com, after which a link to view the production will be forwarded by email.
“Early in 2021, there was still so much uncertainty about what programming we could offer and what our capacities levels would be in both our rehearsal and performances spaces. What was certain was that we wanted to have some kind of High School Project opportunity for our students. We talked with Andrew Tribe, a High School Project alumnus and director of the Grand’s 2019 High School production of Titanic: The Musical and asked him to put his creative brain to work and did he ever deliver. I saw the final edits a few days ago, and it is 20 minutes of joy and brilliance. I am so thrilled at what Andrew, the students and professional theatre mentors put together,” noted Dennis Garnhum, Artistic Director.
The Great Grand Road Trip is a love letter to London, Ontario. An original work created by Tribe, High School Project students spent three weeks curiously exploring some of London’s favourite landmarks and imagining the possibilities for theatrical magic. Students utilized unique London environments to reinvent classic musical theatre numbers in new, exciting ways—and all outdoors. Billed as the biggest, sprawling summer musical revue ever, The Great Grand Road Trip video is 20 minutes in length and is followed up by a 10-minute student-produced documentary/behind-the-scenes video, which will give viewers an up close and personal look inside what it took to produce The Great Grand Road Trip.
From 100 applications and auditions, a total of 36 students from across London and area, from Grade 9 to Grade 12, were selected to work in a variety of capacities to develop this one-of-a-kind production that toured to Boler Mountain, Storybook Gardens, Eldon House, Fanshawe Pioneer Village and a special stop at the Grand. Thirty students were in front of the camera performing and six worked behind in photography, videography, illustration and animation.
“After 18 months of being stuck at home, glued to our screens, it brought the company – students and mentors alike, great joy to see the outdoors of London with fresh eyes. The Great Grand Road Trip is a celebration of young people, beginning as individuals and coming together as a united group,” remarked Andrew Tribe.
“We selected songs from the musical theatre catalogue that best showcased each location. Location always came first, with songs being selected through asking ourselves: what story could we tell here? From Finding Neverland to Singin’ in the Rain to Bring it On – The Musical and more, I’m excited for online audiences to see what we came up with together,” Tribe continued.
Students rehearsed in space generously donated by Western Fair District, which allowed for ample room for social distancing and adherence to COVID-19 protocols.
The Grand recognizes with gratitude the financial support of season sponsor, BMO Financial Group and Libro Credit Union, the Theatre’s Make a Difference Youth Programs sponsor. On Opening Night, cast, crew and staff are being treated to commemorative hoodies courtesy of New Era Grafix, another long-time supporter of the Grand.
About the Grand Theatre – World Curious. London Proud.
Under the leadership of Artistic Director Dennis Garnhum and Executive Director
Deb Harvey, the Grand is a leading cultural hub located in the heart of downtown London, Ontario. The Grand offers diverse, relevant, and original stories from around the globe through collaborations with national and international performing arts organizations and is committed to developing, producing, and premiering original stories through its COMPASS New Play Development program. The Grand supports educational programming through initiatives like the High School Project and Subsidized Student Matinees. The Grand is currently undergoing a $9.5 million renovation to its lobby spaces and backstage areas scheduled for completion in Fall 2021. The Grand announced the cancellation of its 2020-21 Season in June 2020 due to the global pandemic.
The Great Grand Road Trip
2021 High School Project
Created and Directed by Andrew Tribe
Assistant Director: Ashley Kippax
Musical Director: Matthew Atkins
Choreographer: Jason Sermonia
Band Members: William Li, Justin Rivet, Jake Schindler
For more information please contact:
Caitlin Core, Communications Manager
ccore [at] grandtheatre.com
519-672-9030 ext. 411