In spring 2020 Schmooze Productions was in the midst of rehearsals for ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ when the COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to in-person performance. Now Schmooze and other area groups are returning to the stage with the global production ‘All Together Now’ (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)

In spring 2020 Schmooze Productions was in the midst of rehearsals for ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ when the COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to in-person performance. Now Schmooze and other area groups are returning to the stage with the global production ‘All Together Now’ (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)

Nanaimo and area theatre groups participating in global theatre event

Auditions upcoming for mid-Island production of musical revue ‘All Together Now’

Eight Nanaimo and area theatres and performing arts groups are joining thousands more from around the world in a celebration of local theatre.

The theatrical licensing agency Music Theatre International has made 36 songs from 34 musicals available free to license with no royalty or rental fees to be performed as part of its new musical revue, All Together Now. From Nov. 12 to 15 theatre groups from around the world can pick 15 of those songs to feature in their version of the revue, which may be presented as a fundraiser. According to the MTI website, more than 3,800 performances will be taking place at 1,600 venues in 36 countries.

Dean Chadwick, artistic producer of Nanaimo’s Schmooze Productions, is a member of MTI, having worked with the group for years to present musicals. Chadwick describes All Together Now as a moment of solidarity for an industry heavily impacted by COVID-19.

“It’s just a time to stand together,” he said. “We’re all going to perform together and just celebrate theatre.”

Chadwick approached theatre organizations from across the Island to participate in the production. Aside from Schmooze, the “mid-Island edition” of the revue will include VIU’s Malaspina Theatre and Satyr Players, Western Edge Theatre, the OV Arts Centre, Dover Bay Secondary School’s Bay Theatrix, the Nanaimo District Secondary School Dance Team and the Qualicum Beach Dance Studio Musical Theatre Class.

Chadwick said the groups are “thrilled” to take part and that “it’s so nice to have a project to work on.”

“This is something I’ve been honestly hoping for and working for for quite a few years,” he said. “And that is to get a familial production going where we’re all working together on one and working towards a common goal and this is just the perfect timing, the perfect storm for all of this to come together.”

The production will feature songs from musicals including Rent, Les Misérables, Hairspray, Fiddler on the Roof and Mamma Mia and auditions take place Sept. 8 at the OV Arts Centre. To audition, click here.

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