Dan Chameroy & Ellen Denny in Life After (2017). Photo by Michael Cooper.

The Crescendo Series

The Crescendo Series offers an unprecedented breakthrough for a composer of musical theatre in Canada through a three-year residency and commitment to produce three of their new musicals. This investment is strategically designed to catapult a selected artist into the local, national and international spotlight resulting in global recognition for the individual and for Canadian musical theatre as a whole.

Our Inaugural Crescendo Series Artist: Britta Johnson

About the Artist

About the Artist

From 2017-2020, The Musical Stage Company will produce three new musicals – one each year – written by Britta Johnson.

Hailed by The Toronto Star as “a major talent,” Johnson is one of the most extraordinary voices in Canadian musical theatre. Her collaboration on the immersive musical Brantwood helped make it the must-see theatre event of 2015, winning the Audience Choice Dora Award. In 2016, she was nominated for two Dora Awards for Best New Musical – one for her original Jacob Two-Two score at Young People’s Theatre (with Anika Johnson), and one for The Musical Stage Company’s Reframed inspired by and performed in front of a painting at the Art Gallery of Ontario (with Sara Farb). Her musical Life After won the inaugural Paul O’Sullivan Prize for musical theatre, was the runner up for the 2015 Stage West Pechet Family Musical Award and was a Patron’s Pick in the 2016 Toronto Fringe Festival. Most recently Britta wrote music and lyrics for the 2017 Dora Award nominated Stupidhead!, was librettist for choreographer Robert Binet’s adaptation of “The Kreutzer Sonata” with Ballet Moscow, and created Trap Door, a collaboration with Anika Johnson and Morris Panych, produced by Theatre Sheridan in the fall of 2017.

Over three years, The Musical Stage Company will produce a body of Britta’s new works. The first production in the Crescendo Series was Life After, co-produced with Canadian Stage and Yonge Street Theatricals. The second production was Dr. Silver: A Celebration of Life co-written by Anika Johnson and co-produced with Outside the March. The third production will be Kelly V. Kelly, co-written by Sara Farb and produced in association with Canadian Stage.

Leading Light

Anne-Marie Canning