Chuck Kuepfer, Staff Reporter
The Singer’s Theatre will be presenting Blood Brothers at Kitchener’s Conrad Centre for Performing Arts, August 24-26.
The musical, written by Willy Russell based loosely on the 1844 novella The Corsican Brothers, is being staged by a cast of 40 young singers who participated in The Singer’s Theatre’s 10-day intensive musical workshop.
The singers have been busy rehearsing for parts for Blood Brothers, which tells the story of fraternal twins separated at birth.
“We rehearse long hours, 8-5,” said director Gord Davis. “It’s heavy, it’s intense, because we’ve got a lot to do in a short amount of time.”
This year marks the 10th anniversary for the intensive musical workshops, a two-week program for local singers ages 14-24 who are challenged to rehearse and stage an entire musical.
The workshop culminates with a series of public performances.
Past musicals staged by youth who have participated in the summer workshop over the past decade have included Les Misérables, Titanic, Jane Eyre and Miss Saigon.
Blood Brothers follows the tradition of unique, large-scale musical theatre productions.
“Personally, I’ve always loved Blood Brothers,” said Davis. “It’s a beautiful story. We like to try to do things that are fairly challenging for the kids, both musically and content wise.”
Productions for the workshops, designed to simulate the intense rehearsal schedule of a professional show, are selected a year in advance by Davis and Amanda Brunk, musical director and producer for The Singer’s Theatre.
“We talked things over and we decided this would be a good one to do,” said Davis.
The performers went through a full run of the musical for the first time on Friday, Aug. 17.
“We try to get it all blocked and everything learned the first week. Then we can spend the first few days of the next week polishing and fixing things up, then we move into the theatre,” said Davis.
His approach musical theatre is to have all cast members involved in every scene.
“It’s kind of a unique way of working. It’s the way I developed when I was teaching at the high school in Elmira, and I brought it to Singer’s Theatre,” said Davis. “You get used to it and you sort of know what to do to get it to happen. It does take a bit of effort, that’s for sure.”
Blood Brothers is being staged Aug. 24-26 at the Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts, located at 36 King Street West.
Show times are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday.
Tickets are $21 and available at www.ticketscene.ca or at the door.