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Bright lights of Broadway beckon for seven Sidney students

The students with Mountain Dream Productions will participate in a learning summit
Claire Maddison, Sophie Burns, Charlie Walls and Lily Edgell (back row) and Claire Maddison, Sophie Burns and Charlie Walls (front-row) will be travelling to New York City over March Break to take part in Broadway Student Summit, a gathering of theatre students from around the world hosted by the Broadway Teaching Group. They are part of the Sidney-based Mountain Dream Productions musical theatre school. (Submitted/Mountain Dream Productions)

Seven musical theatre students are about to give their regards to Broadway.

Claire Maddison, Sophie Burns, Lily Burns, Charlie Walls, Lily Edgell, Marina Hembruff and Izzy Walls of Mountain Dream Productions musical theatre school in Sidney are heading to New York City over the March break, leaving March 16 and returning March 22 to take part in the Broadway Student Summit, a gathering of theatre students from around the world hosted by the Broadway Teaching Group.

Twelve-year-old Lily Burns, who has performed in over 20 productions in her six years with the company, said in a release that she is looking forward to the trip.

“I am so grateful for this opportunity and I can’t wait to go to New York to do a lot of magnificent things with fantastic people,” she said.

Rob Forbes, executive director of the school, said the students will attend 10 master classes taught by working Broadway actors and directors in musical theatre skills, audition techniques and creative mindfulness among other topics. The students will also take the opportunity to watch four Broadway shows to gain personal insight into what it takes to make it.

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Forbes said the students will take the lessons learnt to build on what they have been absorbing in their program held on Tuesdays at the Mary Winspear Centre, which has continued to host classes in acting, singing, dancing, stagecraft, lighting design and stage management during the pandemic. Overall, the students have even been able to put on nine shows since March 2020 — one recorded at home, one filmed as a movie, two live-streamed, four with reduced-capacity audiences and one with a full-size but masked audience.

The whole Mountain Dream cast are currently rehearsing their production of Anastasia, the Broadway musical inspired by the popular animated feature film set to hit the stage in June.

Mountain Dream Productions has been providing musical theatre education to youth and adults in the Greater Victoria Area for more than 25 years and has been operating at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney since 2008. Classes are held on Tuesdays.

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