Second annual Watershed Festival reimagining the future of music theatre

Images via Watershed Festival website.

The Watershed Festival is presented by the DAN School of Drama and Music at Queen’s University, in partnership with the City of Kingston, with support from the DAN Foundation. The 2022 Festival will take place in Katarokwi/Kingston from Tuesday, May 24 to Sunday, May 29, at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts and the Kingston Grand Theatre.

“In an effort to reimagine the future of music theatre, the Watershed Festival strives to support and promote those who CREATE ground-breaking and genre-expanding work, to deeply EXPLORE the past, present and future of the art form, and to INSPIRE the next generation of artists and audiences,” festival organizers said in a media release. “This year’s festival features several exciting performances, workshops, panels, speakers, and conversation.”

Festival-goers are invited to experience brand-new works of music theatre, including Ursa: A Folk Musical, SOLO, The Lancashire Lass, and new music theatre shorts in the New Works Showcase. According to the release, Dr. Stacy Wolf (Princeton University), the author of Beyond Broadway, will deliver the Watershed Keynote address. Join Theatre Making Movement’s “Watch-Me-Work” session and panel, and hear from renowned Canadian artists such as Yvette Nolan, Deantha Edmunds, Kevin Wong, Alaina Viau, Troy Defour, and many others to speak about about their most recent projects.

“We welcome music theatre experts from Canada, the UK, China, and The Czech Republic to deliver talks on a variety of topics in music theatre,” the organizers stated.

According to the release, leadership of the Watershed Festival includes: renowned composer, librettist and educator Dr. Dean Burry – Artistic Director; accomplished Algonquin playwright, director and dramaturg Yvette Nolan – Artistic Associate; former artistic director of Thousand Islands Playhouse and current professor at Queen’s University Greg Wanless – Managing Director; and Assistant Professor and Queen’s National Scholar in Music Theatre and Opera at Queen’s University Dr. Colleen Renihan – Symposium Director. The current Artist-in-Residence is Leslie Arden, composer/orchestrator, lyricist, librettist, performer, director and teacher, who has written many musicals including the DAN school’s very own The Lancashire Lass.

Tickets are being sold through the Kingston Grand website with the option to purchase single tickets to any performance, or a passport to the entire festival in one-, two-, and three-day packages, according to the release. Prices of the passports include catered coffee breaks and lunch each day. Links to each event along with their pricing were provided by the festival and are as follows. All ticket prices are subject to HST and handling fees:

For more information about this year’s festival including all panels, presentations, workshops and performances visit the Watershed Festival website at 

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