Katrina Dunn’s In Tune Notebook

The 2013 In Tune Conference left me with so many resonant images of the incredible new work in musical theatre that is growing here and in other places in Canada. From the beautiful glimpse of Tom Pinkerton we got in our Feature Presentation to the fabulous cross section of talent and ideas on display in the Live Action Case Studies, it is clear that we need to be feeding the new potential growing in this genre from Canadian creators. Our Masterclass leaders found so many ways to articulate the power of the form. Here are just a couple of examples from my notes:

“The book is in every part of the musical – in every note, in every song, in every bit of dialogue.”
- Sybille Pearson

“The whole range of human emotion is available to you in rhythm, pitch and duration.”
- Kelly Robinson

As we wound our way through the nine days’ activities, shifting from intense focus to wonderful chaos, it was clear that there is so much more to be done. As one of the producers of In Tune I walked away wishing for commissioning money, multi-year and multi-partner development arcs, travel money to bring presenters, producers, teachers and important artists, and of course more money to spend on development time for new works. I have a whole two years to make some of that happen! Thank-you to everyone who was involved. Your passion made it a truly special time. I leave you with the moving end of John Gray’s Keynote Speech that he gave on June 23rd:

One way of looking at the world is that it’s made of rock, air or water. If you choose to see the world as rock, you see a series of defined spaces or niches. To survive, you have to fit in, to take on a corresponding shape.  But the world is also made of air, fire and water – which will form themselves around you, create a space that corresponds to your shape – assuming that you have one. (We’ll discuss fire another time.) Put another way, in the effort to produce work that fits the template of the American musical, be careful you don’t loose sight your own shape – the part of yourself that’s capable of something original, something brand new.
- John MacLauchlin Gray [2013 In Tune Keynote Speech]

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