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JETHRO
the Runaway Puppy - a new musical

StoryBook is honoured to work with this incredible Canadian trio as they bring to life this wonderful little story about a puppy that could. 

A workshop reading is the culmination of a week or so of work by the writers and actors in fine-tuning the story they hope to one day present on stage in a full-scale theatrical production at some time in the future.

The actors will spend one week working with the writers to bring to life all their hopes and dreams for their new piece of Canadian theatre.

 

We invite the community to join us for the first public reading of this new script on Friday, July 29 at 7pm.

 

Audience members will be invited to take part in a Q&A after the reading so the writers can learn more about how to make the show all they dream it will be.

THE STORY
A truck pulls up at the side of a gravel road. The door opens and lets a puppy out with a single word - “Stay!” - then drives away.
 

Next morning up on the ridge another truck pulls up. The door opens and Zelda gets out to take in her new home: after leaving an unfulfilling life in New York City she is gambling everything on finding who she truly is - in Abiquiú, NM. 

When Zelda adopts the puppy (and names him Jethro) the two begin an adventure of discovery and learning. Jethro learns firsthand about bullies and makes friends “that like him, not that look like him.” Zelda begins to find her artistic voice. This is the life she dreamed of, and Jethro is the final piece that makes it complete. Their happiness is threatened when, during a thunderstorm, Jethro runs away into the desert.

For three days and three nights 
Zelda searches desperately. Jethro, alone and afraid, meets clever desert creatures who take him in and teach him the wisdom and courage to find out who he truly is - and to find his way home.
 

Plus he learns a little about recycling along the way. And the environment. And the stars. And a little about snakes (but nothing scary!).

book by W Joseph Matheson
lyrics by Louise Pitre & W Joseph Matheson
music by Diane Leah, Louis Pitre & W Joseph Matheson
based on the book by Karen Chrappa, Illustrated by Jennet Inglis

 
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DATE:
Friday, July 29


VENUE:

Beddington Theatre Arts Centre

RUNNING TIME:

7:30pm to 9:30pm

RECOMMENDED FOR:

ages 6+

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W. JOSEPH MATHESON

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Joe’s work has been seen across Canada as well as in the US. Most recently he wrote the book for THE TIMES THEY ARE A’CHANGIN’ - a retrospective of 60s protest music. THE TIMES premiered at the Harold Green Jewish Theatre in Toronto with a sold-out run resulting in added shows due to public demand. The show transferred to Montreal’s Segal Centre in the spring of 2019, sadly becoming a casualty of Covid-19 mid-run.

As an actor Joe has worked across Canada: original Canadian companies of JERSEY BOYS, MISS SAIGON, The Who’s TOMMY, ASSASSINS, and the first US National tour of RAGTIME; created roles in new works including THE ANGEL AND SPARROW, THE JAZZ SINGER, THE LITTLE PRINCE, LUCK BE A LADY, JASPER STATION, PAULO AND DAPHNE, MOBY DICK, DON MESSER’S VIOLIN, COULD YOU WAIT...? and SKETCHING SUNSHINE; performed throughout the US, England, and much of Europe. Other Theatre: ANNIE, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (YPT); COMPANY (Theatre20); FLOOD THEREAFTER (Canadian Stage); LEGALLY BLONDE (Neptune); SOUND OF MUSIC (Persephone); Shaw and Stratford Festivals; John Grey’s ROCK AND ROLL (TNB, Toronto, Aquarius)

TV/Film: ODD SQUAD (Vegas Singer); MURDOCH MYSTERIES (Fletcher); ORPHAN BLACK (Christie); REALLY ME (Tack); Amish Murder (Father Burkholder); STATE WITHIN (Reporter); POWER PLAY (Reporter); NOTHING TOO GOOD FOR A COWBOY (Arch); Bobby Davro Show (UK)

 

LOUISE PITRE

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Louise Pitre is called the grande dame of Canadian musical theatre. In addition to headlining the Toronto, US touring and original Broadway company casts of Mamma Mia!, for which she received a Tony nomination, Louise is known for her signature performances as Piaf in Piaf-Dietrich..a legendary affair; Dr. Madden in Next To Normal; The Snake in The Little Prince, Fantine in Les Misérables (Toronto, Montreal and Paris) and Piaf

(5 productions).

She also earned raves for leading roles in Luck 
Be A Lady; Company; Gypsy; Mame; A Year With Frog and Toad and Annie (YPT Toronto); The Toxic Avenger; Sweeney Todd; Annie Get Your Gun; Blood Brothers to name a few. Louise co-created and co-starred (with W. Joseph Matheson) in The Times They Are A’Changin’ for the Harold Green Jewish Theatre. It was in the middle of its run at the Segal Centre in Montreal when COVID happened. She won the role of Adult Marie in MARIE - DANCING STILL, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens’ new musical which was heading to Broadway in 2020. 

In September, 2009, Louise made her Carnegie Hall debut singing the role of Ulrika in the concert version of the musical Kristina by ABBA’s Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus which she reprised at Royal Albert Hall in April 2010. Louise has guested with orchestras across Canada and the U.S. and appears in concert regularly with musical director Diane Leah throughout North America. Her small screen appearances include CBC’s Pretty Hard Cases, Over The Rainbow (Judge), Merry Matrimony (Lead/Hallmark), Lifetime’s A Christmas Wedding, Recipe for a Perfect Christmas, MVP, Flashpoint and the CBC biopic Celine.

She can still be seen 
as the host of Star Portraits on Bravo! Louise is the winner of many awards and honorary degrees. She has released five solo cds. All info is available on her website: www.louisepitre.com

W. JOSEPH MATHESON

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Joe’s work has been seen across Canada as well as in the US. Most recently he wrote the book for THE TIMES THEY ARE A’CHANGIN’ - a retrospective of 60s protest music. THE TIMES premiered at the Harold Green Jewish Theatre in Toronto with a sold-out run resulting in added shows due to public demand. The show transferred to Montreal’s Segal Centre in the spring of 2019, sadly becoming a casualty of Covid-19 mid-run.

As an actor Joe has worked across Canada: original Canadian companies of JERSEY BOYS, MISS SAIGON, The Who’s TOMMY, ASSASSINS, and the first US National tour of RAGTIME; created roles in new works including THE ANGEL AND SPARROW, THE JAZZ SINGER, THE LITTLE PRINCE, LUCK BE A LADY, JASPER STATION, PAULO AND DAPHNE, MOBY DICK, DON MESSER’S VIOLIN, COULD YOU WAIT...? and SKETCHING SUNSHINE; performed throughout the US, England, and much of Europe. Other Theatre: ANNIE, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (YPT); COMPANY (Theatre20); FLOOD THEREAFTER (Canadian Stage); LEGALLY BLONDE (Neptune); SOUND OF MUSIC (Persephone); Shaw and Stratford Festivals; John Grey’s ROCK AND ROLL (TNB, Toronto, Aquarius)

TV/Film: ODD SQUAD (Vegas Singer); MURDOCH MYSTERIES (Fletcher); ORPHAN BLACK (Christie); REALLY ME (Tack); Amish Murder (Father Burkholder); STATE WITHIN (Reporter); POWER PLAY (Reporter); NOTHING TOO GOOD FOR A COWBOY (Arch); Bobby Davro Show (UK)

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DIANE LEAH

Diane Leah is an experienced pianist, composer / arranger, educator, and music director, with credits that span 40 years in Canadian music.

As a young musician, she founded her own jazz vocal group, Cloudburst, which performed during the 1970s and 80s. She went on to serve as music director for Catherine McKinnon and Don Harron from 1983 to 2000.

From 1999 until September 2019, Diane served as the Director of Music for the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto. Her keen musical sense and original compositions were instrumental in growing its choir into an acclaimed and sought-after vocal ensemble that has sung at events ranging from sports awards to the Celebration of Life for NDP leader Jack Layton.
 

Upon her retirement from MCCT, Diane received a scroll from the City of Toronto acknowledging her “leadership and dedication” and proclaiming her “an inspiration and an example of what makes Toronto a special place.”
 

Since 2011, Diane has been music director for Toronto’s Broadsway, also featuring Julie Michels and Heather Bambrick. The trio have performed in theatres across Canada and the US.Broadsway’s symphony concert, Broadsway with Symphony, has been a favourite of audiences from Ontario to Newfoundland.

Diane’s many music theatre credits include Beauty and The Beast (Music Director–Young People’s Theatre [YPT]) and We Will Rock You (Associate Music Director–Mirvish).

She was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for her work on YPT’s production of A Year with Frog and Toad, and in January of 2013, Diane was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for public service.

Diane has worked with a vast array of artists, including Jackie Richardson (Cookin’ at the Cookery), Alana Bridgewater (We Will Rock You), Thom Allison (Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Over the Rainbow) and Micah Barnes (Micah at The Sands). She was pianist and arranger for Thom’s album Whole Lotta Sunlight and recently performed with Thom in his seasonal show, Shut Up! It’s Christmas.

As long-time music director / pianist for Tony Award–nominated Louise Pitre (Mama Mia), Diane has performed in various concert formats, from duo to symphony orchestra, throughout Canada and the U.S. She helped create (with Joe Matheson), Could You Wait (Grand Theatre, London) and On the Rocks, Louise’s well-received biographical show. Diane also collaborated on Pitre’s album La Vie en Rouge, a tribute to Edith Piaf.

As an educator, Diane currently works with aspiring actors at Toronto’s Randolph Academy, a connection she has enjoyed since 2001.