Site-specific theatre makers Mitchell Cushman from Outside the March and Julie Tepperman from Convergence Theatre have teamed up with Sheridan College for their biggest project yet: an immersive musical called Brantwood: 1920-2020. Taking place in an actual Oakville school currently slated to be redeveloped as a condo, the show features 40 actors (mostly students from Sheridan College’s musical theatre program), 40 musical numbers and 15 scenes occurring simultaneously at any given time.
Daily Xtra caught up with Cameron Francis and Daniel Bowen, Sheridan students who play a gay couple haunted by the ghosts of Brantwood’s past, to chat about this exciting project.
Daily Xtra: What has it been like working on Brantwood with your Sheridan classmates?
Cameron Francis: The process started back in September where we participated in workshops with the writers. It also gave them an opportunity to write certain things into the script that we had created through improv exercises.
Daniel Bowen: We have spent four years together and have truly become a close family. This is probably the first and only time we will all get a chance to work together before we head out into the real world.
Can you tell us about your characters’ storyline?
DB: My character’s name is Adam. Him and his partner Nate, played by Cam, are from 2020, so they are in a future timeline. Adam and Nate are the first residents of the Brantwood condos.
CF: They have only been living in the condo for a month, but Adam has been having trouble sleeping and very strange events have happened to him when he is alone.
How is Brantwood different than a more conventional musical?
DB: Brantwood is a completely different beast. We are fitting about 15 hours of material into one single hour. Everything has to be timed to the minute and sometimes even to the second.
CF: Another difference is that there is no backstage. There is no break for the entire 2.5 hours we are performing, no intermission, no scenes off. There 15 storylines happening at once throughout the school, so there is never a dull moment for the audience.
What will the audience’s journey be like for the show?
CF: That is completely up to the individual.
DB: This show is essentially a “choose your own adventure” show. They get to follow whoever they want, participate in some of the action if they desire. The more times you come and see the show, the more you get to experience.