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Announcing the first ever CMTWC Writers Workshop - Canada’s premier training program for emerging musical theatre writing talent. In this unique course, the only one of its kind in Canada, students will learn the craft of musical theatre songwriting in an intimate and nurturing environment.


With a class size of 12 participants, this exclusive program is open to musical theatre composers, lyricists, and composer-lyricists from across the country.


Students will receive world-class training from renowned Canadian musical theatre legend Leslie Arden and a rotating faculty of other high profile guests.


The workshop meet every other Monday evening in Toronto, for a total of 11 classes, from October 2016 through March 2017. The workshop will culminate in a showcase of work created during the program in the spring of 2017. 

Additional guest faculty will include Canada’s most celebrated musical theatre talent.




For further information, please contact Landon Braverman & Joseph Trefler at

Meet the Writers


Trevor Barker is a singer-songwriter, composer, music director, and coffee enthusiast from Toronto. Originally from the small town of Devlin, Ontario, Trevor was always surrounded by music and learned his chops from his piano- playing grandmother, father, and older sister. He's a classically trained pianist, who also learned a lot by ear, playing the latest country, pop, and rock hits on the radio without sheet music. Into his late teen years, Trevor discovered musical theatre, and immediately fell in love. He spent the next 5 years on stage performing in musicals such as RENT, Beauty and the Beast, Footloose, White Christmas, The Buddy Holly Story, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Pirates of Penzance, Fiddler On The Roof, High School Musical, Spamalot, A Chorus Line, and West Side Story. Trevor went on to study songwriting at Langara College's Singer-Songwriter Program in Vancouver, BC, where he learned to develop his skills as a solo and collaborative artist. Trevor recently finished composing and music directing Tuck & Daisy (T&D Productions) at FringeKids in Toronto! He is currently performing his original compositions in Alex In Wonderland at Solar Stage Children’s Theatre.


Deanna Choi is a performer, sound designer, and composer with a degree in behavioural neuroscience. She co-founded the Badass Brahms Chamber Collective, and completed residencies with the National Youth Orchestra, the Banff Centre, the NAC, and Stanford. Design credits include Laurier (TNB/Confederation Centre for the Arts), Paradise Comics (Filament Incubator), Osia (SummerWorks), This Is How We Got Here (SummerWorks), Tiger Bamboo (Soulpepper). Her work combines live performance, improvisation, electronic soundscapes, and principles of psychological research. She received the national gold medal in violin performance upon her graduation from the Royal Conservatory of Music and was a Chancellor’s scholar at Queen’s University. Her life goal is to have as much Zen as a three-toed Bradypus sloth. Upcoming: Alien Creature (TPM).


Richard Lam is an actor, musician, and sound designer. Acting credits include: Spoon River (Charlottetown Festival), Incident At Vichy, Blood Wedding, Marat/Sade, Spoon River, Of Human Bondage, The Crucible, The Dybbuk, Idiot’s Delight, The Dead, The Thirst of Hearts (Soulpepper Theatre); Heart Of Steel (Next Stage); Paper Song, Are We There Y et? (Concrete Theatre); Sexual Perversity in Chicago(Quiet Things Creative). Sound design credits include: The Dead, The Thirst of Hearts, A Tender Thing (Soulpepper Theatre); Creditors (Coal Mine Theatre); That Syncing Feeling (Outside The March). Music direction credits include: Spoon River (assistant), Heart Of Steel, The Dead, The Thirst Of Hearts. Richard is the creator of the Soulpepper Cabarets The New Toronto and The Times They Are A-Changin’, and wrote the book, music, and lyrics for the original musical From Here. He shares a Dora award for best ensemble with the cast of Of Human Bondage. Richard holds a BFA in Acting from the University of Alberta and is a graduate of the Soulpepper Academy. 


Jaemoon Lee is an actor in Toronto and a graduate of Randolph Academy. He was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea. In search of a better life, he moved to Oregon, US, when he was just about twelve. It was there in high school he’d discovered music and theatre arts and started to dream of being in the arts industry. Then he moved here, to Toronto, to continue his artistic pursuit at the Randolph Academy college program. Nowadays, he spends his time developing his new musical while auditioning for film/TV and theatre.


Colin Simmons is an actor, singer, and creator. This year Colin appeared in the Stratford Festival’s productions of Shakespeare in Love, directed by Declan Donnellan, and The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, directed by Tim Carroll. He won Stratford’s Dora Mavor Moore Guthrie Award for outstanding contribution by a young artist. Other theatre credits include Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play (Outside the March); Caretaker in Brantwood: 1920-2020, Alfie Byrne in A Man of No Importance, and Leo Frank in Parade (Theatre Sheridan). Workshops include Valentine in Faust (Theatre by the Bay); Jimmy Valentine in The Gift of the Magi, Max in A Snow White Christmas (Theatre Orangeville); and Lonnie Wynn in Prom Queen! The Musical (Canadian Music Theatre Project). Colin was the recipient of Acting Up Stage Company’s 2015–2016 Banks Prize for Emerging Musical Theatre Artists. Colin was part of Theatre 20's Composium Lab in 2015. He is thrilled to be participating in CMTWC’s inaugural Writers Workshop. Currently, he’s writing a musical based on a Brothers Grimm fairy tale which is set to be workshopped in 2017. He is a proud graduate of the Bachelor of Music Theatre Performance program at Sheridan College. 


Steven Taetz is a lyricist, composer, and vocalist. Having written for other artists and his own projects in pop, EDM, country, jazz, and most every other genre, he has charted for both radio play and sales. He has had the pleasure of performing at a variety of leading venues including Carnegie Hall, Rockwood Music Hall, The Bitter End(NY), Hotel Cafe (LA), Capital Pride (Wash DC), House of Jazz (Montreal), and Toronto’s The Rex, Jazz Bistro (quarterly residency), and noted festivals across North America. In 2013, he co-wrote with Juno-winning artists from each province to create a Canadian songbook, receiving several government awards to record these songs on his first album of original material. Steven is thrilled to join the Canadian Musical Theatre Writers Collective’s Writers Workshop to continue building on his lifelong passion for musical theatre, which guides his musical training, composition, and live performance. Inspired most by the “golden age of musicals,” Steven is currently working on two feature-length musicals that he hopes to workshop in 2017, and will share previews of this new material - set to jazz arrangements - in his upcoming solo live performances.


Heidi Stock is Founder of Aspiring Canadian Writers Contests Inc. (ACWC), which recognizes and develops unpublished Canadian writers by providing mentoring opportunities with acclaimed published writers. ACWC launched in 2012 with the Aspiring Canadian Poets Contest. The poetry contest has run on an annual basis since 2012. This year’s contest judge and mentor is Canada’s Parliamentary Poet Laureate, George Elliott Clarke (who is also a librettist). For the past eleven years, Heidi has worked as a fundraiser, helping non-profit organizations find new sources of private sector funding from individuals, foundations, and corporations. Heidi is pleased to be co-writing with singer/songwriter Julian Troiano and working with producer Murray Foster on a future musical production,


Angela Wong is a book writer and lyricist originally from Vancouver, B.C. She wrote the book and contributed lyrics to Riverview High: The Musical which was voted Pick of the Fringe in the Vancouver Fringe Festival in 2012. It was also one of the best-selling shows of all time at the Vancouver Fringe Festival, and it won an Ovation Award from Applause Musicals Society for Outstanding Community Production (Small Theatre) in 2013. She also wrote the book and lyrics of The O.C.: The Musical which was voted Pick of the Fringe in the Vancouver Fringe Festival in 2015. She is currently working on a new original musical that examines the experiences of second generation Chinese-Canadians and the intergenerational and intercultural issues they face while growing up in Canada. Angela is also an avid photographer (


Allison Wither is a performer and writer working in Toronto, Ontario. She graduated from Sheridan College’s Musical Theatre Degree Program. She is currently working on two shows "Every Silver Lining" about a girl whose brother passes away from cancer and how that affects her family, and "Depression Hotline" a show about a company that pays people depending on how many calls they take per day, instead of actually spending time on their clients. Allison also performed in musicals such as Mary Poppins as Mrs.Banks (The Lower Ossington Theatre), Legally Blonde as Enid Hoopes (The Lower Ossington Theatre), In The Heights as Abuela (Theatre Sheridan), Make Your Mark as Ali/Writer of the show (Smile Theatre), Theory of Relativity as Dana (Stage, Song and Screen) and Godspell as Joanna (Theatre Sheridan). She was also apart of the amazing sight-specific musical Brantwood as Pips/Lipstick Lois. Brantwood won an Audience Choice Dora last year. Allison is an emerging artist working on musical theatre as well as a pop album. Her music can be found on YouTube under Allison Wither.


LESLIE ARDEN has written and composed over a dozen musicals, including the critically acclaimed and multi-award-winning The House of Martin Guerre, and the Chalmers Award winning The Happy Prince. Leslie also collaborated with Norm Foster on the oft produced The Last Resort and Ned Durango. She’s been commissioned by choirs all across Canada, and she’s spent 3 seasons as a composer with The Stratford Festival. She recently composed the score for Jeanette Lambermont’s production of Goethe’s Faust, and she’s currently at work on a contemporary musical adaptation of Moll

JIM BETTS is a Musical Theatre writer and teacher. He studied in the 1970’s and ‘80’s with Lehman Engel and Gordon Delamont, and was the first President of the Guild Of Canadian Musical Theatre Writers when it was formed to carry on the Lehman Engel tradition in Canada. He has taught the basics of musical theatre writing for the Guild, Theatre Orangeville, ScriptLab, Smile Theatre, the Playwrights Guild Of Canada and Sheridan College. He cofounded the Canadian Musical Theatre History course at Sheridan, co-produced five years of Canadian Musicals at Hart House with The Group Of Several, coordinated the Canadian Musical Theatre Festival for ScriptLab, mentored and produced the work of new and established writers, and published the first ever collection of Canadian Musical Theatre songs in Field Of Stars (Volumes 1 &2). His own musicals include Colours In The Storm (being revived at London’s Grand Theatre in 2017), Little Women, The Shooting Of Dan McGrew, On A Summer’s Night (aka Oberon), Jacob Two-Two Meets The Hooded Fang, Thin Ice, Stagefright, The Moose That Roared, and Extraordinary (The Extraordinary Life Of An Ordinary Women) which he wrote in celebration of his mother’s 90th birthday. His collaboration with composer Marek Norman, Dancer (A Musical In Ten Furlongs), the story of Northern Dancer’s historic win at the 1964 Kentucky Derby, is scheduled to premiere at The Elgin Theatre in Toronto in May of 2017; and his collaboration with composer John Estacio, Bluenose, will premiere soon with Smile Theatre, the company for which Jim is also currently Artistic Director.

NEIL BARTRAM is the composer and lyricist of Broadway’s The Story of My Life with book writer Brian Hill (four Drama Desk Award nominations including two for Neil – Outstanding Music and Outstanding Lyrics). Neil has also written music and lyrics for Clara’s Piano (Stratford Festival), Somewhere in the World (five seasons at the Charlottetown Festival) and The Nightingale and the Rose, and scored productions of Romeo and Juliet, Timon of Athens and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. His adaptation of Carlo Collodi's The Adventures of Pinocchio was commissioned by Chicago Shakespeare Theater for their 2011 season and is now licensed through the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization. His musical The Theory of Relativity, commissioned by Toronto's Sheridan College and their Canadian Music Theatre Project was written specifically for and about college age students. Relativity had its US premiere at Goodspeed Musicals in 2015 and its London premiere in the same year.

Current projects include Senza Luce, commissioned by Michael Rubinoff and the Canadian Music Theatre Project, You Are Here, co-commissioned by Acting Up Stage and the Signature Theater, Spin, directed by Eric Schaeffer (premiered at the Signature Theatre, Arlington, VA), an adaptation of Michel Tremblay's Les Belles-Soeurs, a musical based on Ray Bradbury’s classic novel Something Wicked This Way Comes, and the stage adaptation of Disney’s beloved film Bedknobs & Broomsticks, all with book writer Brian Hill. Neil’s awards include the ASCAP Foundation’s Yellen Award, a Jonathan Larson Foundation Award, a Dramatists Guild Fellowship, and a Dora Award.


Cast albums include The Story of My Life and The Theory of Relativity (PS Classics).

Neil is a member of the Dramatists Guild, ASCAP, and is an alumnus of the BMI Lehman Engel Music Theatre Workshop.​

DAVID WARRACK was born in Calgary, and first performed on radio when he was five. It’s pretty much been non-stop since then. He has a commanding presence in every facet of the arts/entertainment industry. David has a varied career as a Composer, Conductor, Pianist, Vocalist, Lyricist, Librettist, Arranger, Orchestrator, Music Director, Director, Satirist, Comedian, Actor, Poet, Producer, Impresario, Bon Vivant, and Hockey Coach – he has truly done it all! And judging by his project board, “he’s only just begun”. As a writer he has had 66 shows produced professionally and he has been Musical Director for over two hundred productions across North America, including Shenandoah starring John Cullum on Broadway. He won a Dora Mavor Moore Award in Toronto for his production of Toronto, Toronto, and for outstanding Music Direction on the production of Closer Than Ever. David is also the music director/conductor for the Canada Pops Orchestra.

DANIEL MATÉ is an award-winning composer, lyricist, and educator, recently returned to his hometown of Vancouver after ten years in New York City, where he earned an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU. In 2013 he received the prestigious Edward Kleban Prize, a US$100,000 award given annually to the “most promising lyricist in American musical theatre.” Other honours include a Jonathan Larson Foundation Grant and the ASCAP Foundation’s Cole Porter Award for Excellence in Music and Lyrics. Musicals include The Longing and the Short of It, a contemporary song cycle; and The Trouble With Doug, a Kafka-inspired comedy which will premiere in Denmark in Spring 2017, directed by Tony-winning performer Victoria Clark. Current and upcoming projects include Adam Claims His Baggage, an original ‘autobiomagical’ musical; Middle School Mysteries, a show for young people commissioned by Two River Theater Company in Red Bank, NJ; and Sylvia’s Hotel, a Vancouver-based musical co-written with bookwriter Deborah Vogt and composer Landon Braverman. Daniel’s work has been performed at numerous prominent venues from New York’s Lincoln Center to the Kennedy Center for the Arts in Washington, D.C. He has led songwriting workshops for adults and children in inner-city schools and recovery homes from Brooklyn to South Central LA, as well as facilitating songwriter salons in Vancouver for local musical theatre writers. Daniel was recently named Composer-Lyricist in Residence for Vancouver’s Touchstone Theatre, thanks to a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts. He has also narrated audiobook versions of three best-selling books by his father Dr. Gabor Maté, and leads workshops with Dr. Maté on intergenerational relationships and healing. Daniel lives in East Vancouver with his wife Tanya, a naturopathic doctor.

A Newfoundland-born performer, music director, and writer, JONATHAN MONRO's first international appearance of note was as a pianist at Carnegie Hall. He has been featured in over seventy productions for TV, film, and stage, including two shows on Broadway, and seven seasons with the Stratford Festival. As a composer, Jonathan was the recipient of BMI New York’s Harrington Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement in songwriting. He has written over 20 incidental scores for plays - most recently Anne Frank (Stratford) and Alice Through the Looking-Glass (Stratford/NAC), as well as six original musicals, including Variations on a Nervous Breakdown (which won 4 Betty Mitchell Awards, including Best Musical), and A History of Summer (with book and lyrics by Adam Mathias). He is currently working with 8-time Academy Award-winner Alan Menken as Musical Director and cast album producer on his new musical, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. Jonathan recently finished a 2-month writer’s residency in Venice, Italy. He has been working on two new musical commissions, both to be released in 2017.

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