In Tune Conference

In Tune 2013 – Creating the Great Canadian Musical

June 20th – 28th 2013
No Registration Required

Various Venues on Granville Island:

The Arts Club Rehearsal Hall
The Arts Club Granville Island Stage
The Revue Stage
Carousel Theatre Rehearsal Hall
Studio 1398

And SFU Woodwards' Studio T

Check individual events for locations

Download our In Tune Visitors Package HERE

Download the full In Tune Conference Guide PDF HERE

Looking for the 2015 In Tune conference? Go here!


Creating the Great Canadian Musical

In 2011 the first In Tune Conference took on the hot topic of Canadian musical theatre. Now it’s back again with all new masterclasses, panel discussions, new works in development, and amazing performances of Canadian musical theatre works. Don’t miss this community-wide consideration and celebration of how we make musicals in Canada.

Back by popular demand!


Donate to Touchstone's New Musical Voices campaign, or use your Aeroplan Miles to help us out! Our goal is to raise $2500 in support of the artists’ fees associated with workshopping new Canadian musicals at In Tune. All the money raised will go to composers, book writers, musical directors and singer/actors, working on what we hope will be the next great Canadian musical. Any amount you can afford will be gratefully accepted. Details on how to donate can be found here.


To Register Contact Chelsea Haberlin at

A two-day Masterclass in New Musical Creation with Michael John LaChiusa and Sybille Pearson

June 26th & 27th 2013; 10am to 5pm

Improve your skill set and challenge yourself creatively under the guidance of two of contemporary musical theatre’s most accomplished artists.
PART 1 The Learning  June 26th: 10am to 1pm – A series of lectures on the components of a musical, including discussion of book, lyric, music, and dance.
PART 2 The Mentoring  June 26th:  2pm to 5pm & June 27th 10am to 1pm – A Critique Lab in which Sybille and Michael John will work through participants’ material and help them take it to the next stage. Part 2 has limited enrollment.
PART 3 The Interview  June 27th: 2pm to 5pm. Peter Jorgensen leads Michael John and Sybille through a comprehensive interview delving into their career highlights, their creative process, and the business aspects of writing musicals. Followed by an open Q and A.

Admission to the entire Masterclass (Parts 1, 2 & 3) is limited to 12 creators or writing groups and requires submission of resumes and a project synopsis. $375 + GST

Admission to Parts 1 & 3 only is open to all. $100 + GST

A composer, lyricist and librettist, Michael John LaChiusa was nominated for four Tony Awards in 2000 for his score and book for both MARIE CHRISTINE and THE WILD PARTY and received another nomination in 1996 for his libretto for CHRONICLE OF A DEATH FORETOLD. In 1993 he won an Obie Award for his musicals FIRST LADY SUITE and HELLO, AGAIN. He was the recipient of the first Stephen Sondheim Award (1989), the Gilman-Gonzalez-Falla Musical Theater Award (1995) and the Kleban Foundation Award (1999). His work has been produced by the Williamstown Theater Festival, Lincoln Center Theater Company, The Public Theater, Second Stage, and The Mark Taper Forum, prior to subsequent productions across the United States, and in London, Budapest, Melbourne, Stockholm, Seoul and other international cities. Recent projects include GIANT, based on the novel by Edna Ferber, with a libretto by Sybille Pearson, and QUEEN OF THE MIST, which won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical in 2012, and was nominated for several Drama Desk Awards.

Sybille Pearson wrote the book for the musical BABY, with a score by Richard Maltby, Jr. and David Shire, for which she received a Tony Award nomination. She collaborated with Michael John LaChiusa on the musical GIANT which opened in May 2009 at the Signature Theatre in Washington DC, and has had subsequent runs at the Dallas Theater Center in 2012, and The Public Theater in New York City in 2012. With Mr. LaChiusa, she recently completed a new opera commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera Company. As a playwright her plays have been commissioned and performed at the Manhattan Theater Company, The Vineyard Theater, The New York Theater Workshop, the Mark Taper Forum as well as in London, Europe and Australia. She is a founding member of The Playwrights Circle at New York Theatre Workshop. She is a Professor at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, teaching musical theater writing and has been a panelist for the O’Neill Center Musical Theater Conference.

A one-day Masterclass in Directing for Opera and Musical Theatre with Kelly Robinson

Tuesday June 25th 2013; 10am to 5pm

Kelly’s class is an extensive overview of the skill sets of directing for opera and musical theatre. In this day long seminar he will lead directors through a series of topics seminal to the directing challenges they face in lyric theatre. Areas to be discussed include the “meaning” of music, the transition between speech and song, song staging techniques, the function of the chorus, the challenge of acting through singing, and the unique design challenges of music theatre. Kelly's extensive experience and expertise make this class suitable for experienced directors, as well as acting as a great introduction to emerging artists or those new to the medium.

Admission $130 + GST

With a career that spans theatre, opera, and film, Kelly Robinson’s award-winning work as a director and choreographer has been seen at the National Arts Centre, Canadian Stage, the Stratford and Shaw Festivals, the Palace Theatre, the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Centre in New York, Theatre Royal Plymouth, and London’s West End in the United Kingdom. His work with opera includes the companies of Portland, Calgary, Dallas, Arizona, Québec City, Utah, and Minnesota, and the world premiere of LILLIAN ALLING at Vancouver Opera. Film and television credits include choreography for Columbia Pictures, CBC, NBC, and ABC Television. He has taught at The New School for Drama in NYC, in the opera schools at The University of Maryland and Michigan, and at Ryerson University in Toronto. Kelly is currently the director of Theatre Arts at The Banff Centre, a position he has held since 2008.

A one-day Masterclass for Musical Theatre Performers with Robert McQueen

Saturday June 22nd 2013; 10am to 5pm

This class will give students a chance to dig into song interpretation using the skills and coaching that have made Robert a renowned and sought-after teacher. The material can be something that is new to you, or a song that you have had in your back pocket for awhile - or a song that you used to do, it went stale, but you still love it and want to revitalize it. Robert’s dynamic classes are famous for helping performers progress by leaps and bounds and create truly compelling songs. Students should bring a couple of selections as, time allowing, they may be able to do more than one song.

Admission $130 + GST

Canadian director, dramaturge and teacher, Robert McQueen, has worked across the United States, Canada and internationally. Notable productions include William Finn & James Lapine’s FALSETTOS, Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori’s CAROLINE, OR CHANGE, for which he was nominated for a 2012 Dora Mavor Moore Award, and Adam Guettel’s THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA, all for Toronto’s Acting Upstage. Recent opera productions include Vancouver Opera’s THE MAGIC FLUTE for which Robert served as director and dramaturge as well as creating the libretto adaptation. He dramaturged and directed the new music theatre work WHERE ELEPHANTS WEEP, which premiered in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and featured an orchestra of Cambodian traditional and contemporary musicians. In the commercial theatre Robert was the Associate Director for the Broadway and national touring productions of MAMMA MIA. He has taught Masterclasses with The Canadian Opera Company, The Shanghai Academy, and Teatro Mejor of Mexico City among many others.

Production Credits

Photo by Emily Cooper

Produced by Touchstone Theatre
in Association with the Arts Club Theatre


Rachel Ditor, Katrina Dunn

Peter Jorgensen, Steven Greenfield, Barbara Tomasic, Stacey Sherlock, Damon Jang, Fannina Waubert de Puiseau



Sunday June 23

KEYNOTE AND CABARET – Canadian Songbook Cabaret Hosted by Jay Brazeau
8pm – 10pm, Arts Club Revue Stage
By Donation
Local musical theatre luminary John MacLachlin Gray leads the Conference charge with a short Keynote address reflecting on the past, present and future of original Canadian musicals. Directly following, Jay Brazeau hosts an evening of songs from the Canadian songbook. An amazing and rare opportunity to hear songs from Canadian musicals, both well-known and hidden gems, sung by some of the local scene’s most dynamic performers. Curated and directed by Musical TheatreWorks’ Barbara Tomasic.

Wednesday June 26

INFORMATION SESSION – Mapping The Country; New Musical Opportunities In Canada
1pm – 2pm, Arts Club Revue Stage
An overview of some of the great new initiatives and opportunities for the commissioning, development, premiering and disseminating of new musicals in Canada. A groundswell of interest is giving rise to exciting new programs all across the country that will be detailed in a session led by In Tune Co-Curator Katrina Dunn and featuring leading practitioners from around the country.

Thursday June 27

RESEARCH PRESENTATION - The In Tune Papers; New Critical Thinking On The Musical Theatre Genre From Writers And Researchers
10am – 11:30am, SFU Woodwards Studio T (Rm 4270)
Three short presentations, detailing some of the newest ideas in musical theatre theory and most innovative methods in current practice, from leading scholars and writers. Dynamic and lively, this session promises to push the envelope and stimulate thought.

THE INTERVIEW (Part 3 of the “In The Works” Masterclass) 
2pm - 5pm, Arts Club Revue Stage
$20 At The Door
Peter Jorgensen leads Michael John LaChiusa and Sybille Pearson through a comprehensive interview delving into their career highlights, their creative process, and the business aspects of writing musicals. Followed by an open Q and A.

Friday June 28

SHOWCASE - Live Action Case Studies
1:30pm – 2:45pm, Arts Club Granville Island Stage
Get a taste of the most current and innovative work in the genre with this showcase featuring short excerpts from 11 new Canadian musicals, including works currently in development or musicals that have been recently premiered. Along with each excerpt are short descriptions of the unique creation process that led to each work. A live action consideration of how musicals are being created in this country. Hosted by In Tune Co-Curator Katrina Dunn.
In conjunction with the LMDA (Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas) Annual Conference

PANEL DISCUSSION - New Musical Developments: Dramaturgy, Workshopping and Showcasing on Both Sides of The Border
3pm – 4:30pm, Arts Club Granville Island Stage
An international panel on new musical development and dissemination featuring leading figures from the US and Canada. Moderated by Canadian dramaturg Paula Danckert, this debate is designed to spark conversation leading to new opportunities for composers and book writers in Canada.

FEATURE PRESENTATION – Tom Pinkerton; The Ballad of Butterfly’s Son
Book by Hiro Kanagawa, Music by David MacIntyre, Lyrics by Hiro Kanagawa and David MacIntyre
7pm - 8pm, Arts Club Revue Stage
By Donation
At the end of Puccini’s opera Madama Butterfly, the 3-year-old child of Cio-Cio and B.F. Pinkerton is whisked away to America to be raised by Pinkerton and his American wife, Kate. Set 20 years after these events, Tom Pinkerton finds the child struggling to become a man and searching for the mother he never knew. We travel with the youth, now called Tom, as he revisits the Nagasaki of his birth to find love and self-realization. But is he fated to repeat the sins of his father? After a workshop as part of In Tune, our Feature Presentation shows 40 minutes of this stunning new work in staged reading form, sung by some of Vancouver’s finest and directed by Robert McQueen. Audience feedback to follow.


Thursday June 20, Friday June 21 & Monday June 24

NEW MUSICALS BEING WORKSHOPPED all over Granville Island! Projects include:
Miss Shakespeare - Book and Music by Tracey Power, Co-arrangements by Steve Charles & Benjamin Elliott, Dramaturgy and Direction by James MacDonald WORKSHOP CO-PRODUCED BY MUSICAL THEATREWORKS
Loco Phantasmo – Book and Lyrics by Nicola Harwood, Music by Don MacDonald
The Two in One Woman Show – by Dorothy Dittrich

Friday June 28

ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION – New Directions for Canadian Musical Directors
10am – 11:30pm Carousel Theatre Large Rehearsal Hall
An opportunity for local and visiting Musical Directors to converse about their artistic and professional development concerns, and how In Tune might serve those in the future. Led by Maritime composer and musical director Jonathan Monro.