Music & Lyrics by Ben Elliott and Anton Lipovetsky

Book by Josh Epstein and Kyle Rideout

Adapted from the Novel by Suzette Mayr

Director & Dramaturge: Meg Roe

Music Supervisor: Lily Ling

Music Associate: Arielle Balance

Sound Designer: Brad Danyluk

Percussionist: Sally Zori

Stage Manager Mentor: Heather Barr

 

Faraday dreams of becoming a large animal veterinarian and speaking to gigantic crowds, but just feels ordinary.

When Ethan, a classmate known for wearing a unicorn onesie, dies suddenly, Faraday is set off on a mysterious and life changing quest to fulfill the dead boy’s final wish. Adapted from the award-winning novel by Suzette Mayr, Monoceros is a new Canadian musical that inspires us to celebrate our individuality.

In order to provide a safe environment to sing in, a collection of open-sided tents were set up on Langara’s campus—creating an outdoor musical theatre lab in which to develop Monoceros. A short documentary film about Studio 58’s projects over the past year, including this one will be released in April.

Artwork by Emily Cooper

Monoceros was commissioned by The Musical Stage Company (Toronto, ON) with funding by the Aubrey & Marla Dan Fund for New Musicals. The team would also like to acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Creative Team

Ben Elliott Music & Lyrics

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Ben is a composer, singer songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer, and actor living in Vancouver, BC. Ben is thrilled to return to his alma mater to work on Monoceros with the incredibly talented company of actors studying here. Previous Studio 58 credits include: sound design for Troilus and Cressida, and co-musical director for The Park, an original musical he and fellow Studio grads, Anton Lipovetsky and Hannah Johnson, wrote while at Studio. This fall, Ben is headed to Chicago (if all goes well, of course) to perform the role of music supervisor for the production of the Beatles version of Shakespeare’s As You Like It at Chicago Shakespeare. He is also developing a new musical with award winning playwright Fatuma Adar, with the help of The Musical Stage Company’s new work development program, Launchpad, which hopefully will see a public performance in 2021/22. When not writing for musical theatre, Ben composes for film and television, writes jingles for the radio, and works as a singer songwriter and producer, releasing his original music and music videos whenever he can. Ben is extremely grateful for the opportunity to further develop Monoceros, for the chance to create alongside Anton, Josh, Kyle, Meg and Lily, and for the love and support from his amazing wife Kori. Ben is a graduate of Studio 58

Anton Lipovetsky Music & Lyrics

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Anton Lipovetsky is a theatrical composer, lyricist, performer and teacher based in Vancouver, BC. He is currently an artist-in-residence at Toronto-based Musical Stage Company as part of their Crescendo Series. Stage musicals he has collaborated on include Joseph Jacket Multi-Mask (Sheridan College), REPRINT (Musical Stage), Elbow Room Café (ZeeZee Theatre/Studio 58), Best Laid Plans (Touchstone/Patrick Street), cool beans (Solo Collective) and Broken Sex Doll (Virtual Stage/The Cultch). This year, Anton's musical commissions This Is It (Nashville Children's Theatre) written with Dave Deveau will premiere in Nashville and Blackout (Musical Stage Company) written with Steven Gallagher will premier in Toronto. As an actor, Anton has performed across Canada on stages like the National Arts Centre, the Luminato Festival, Banff Arts Centre, Caravan Farm Theatre, Belfry Theatre, Touchstone Theatre, Arts Club Theatre, Firehall Arts Centre and has performed for five seasons at Bard on the Beach. Anton is the recipient of two Jessie Richards Awards, four Ovation awards and a Vancouver Mayor's Arts Award for Emerging Theatre Artist. He is a graduate of the Studio 58 Acting program and the Stratford Festival Birmingham Conservatory for Classical Theatre.

Josh Epstein Book

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Josh Epstein’s work as a writer, producer and actor has taken him to all corners of the world. Currently, he's writing an original feature for Paramount, a remake for Aircraft Pictures, re-writing one for Mark Gordon/E1, as well as developing television, all with business partner Kyle Rideout. Their latest film Adventures in Public School stars Judy Greer, premiered at TIFF, opened TIFF Top Ten with theatricals in CDN/US/UK/JPN before landing on Netflix, Crave, and HBO Eastern Europe. Their first film Eadweard won 5 Audience Choice Awards, had 15 Leo nominations and has been distributed around the world. As an actor Josh has won 4 Jessies, been nominated for 3 Dora Awards and is the recipient of the Most Promising Actor Award at the Stratford Festival. He is a proud Studio 58 grad and recently directed Cabaret, their highest grossing show in their 54 year history.

Kyle Rideout Book

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Kyle Rideout is an actor, director, and writer. Currently he is writing with Josh Epstein three feature films: Astrid’s Deathlist (Paramount Pictures), a remake of an 80’s cult classic (Aircraft Pictures), and an unannounced feature (Stellar Citizens, Scythia Films) that he is set to direct. His latest film, Adventures in Public School, he co-wrote and directed, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, was named a TIFF Top Ten Film, was nominated for numerous awards including a Canadian Screen Award for ‘Best Original Screenplay’, and sold to Netflix. His directorial debut, Eadweard, won five audience choice awards, and multiple ‘Best Feature Film’ special jury prizes at festivals worldwide. His short film, Hop the Twig, won on the CBC Short Film Face-off. Kyle is also an established actor who has acted on stage across Canada as well as at Bard on the Beach for seven seasons earning two Jessie Awards. Some recent film/voice-over credits include Damnation, iZombie, The Arrangement, Deadpool, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Warcraft, My Little Pony, Lego Ninjago, Ready Jet Go, Beat Bugs, Dinotrux, and Lego Elves. He is a graduate of Studio 58.

Meg Roe Director & Dramaturge

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Meg’s work as an actor, director, dramaturg, composer and sound designer has been seen across the Canada at Crows Theatre, Shaw Festival, Theatre Calgary, Canadian Stage, Factory Theatre, PuSh Festival, Alberta Theatre Projects, Bard on the Beach, Theatre Junction, Citadel Theatre, Ruby Slippers Theatre, Electric Company Theatre, Blackbird Theatre, Theatre Aquarius, Arts Club, Belfry, Theatre SKAM, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Catalyst Theatre, RealWheels, Intrepid Theatre, Elbow Theatre, Vancouver Playhouse, Western Canada Theatre, National Arts Centre, Centaur Theatre, The Banff Centre, Yukon Arts Centre, Why Not Theatre, Savage Society, internationally with the American Conservatory Theatre (San Francisco), Center Theater Group (Los Angeles), and as a collaborator with Crystal Pite's renowned dance company Kidd Pivot.

Lily Ling Music Supervisor

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Lily Ling is a Toronto based Chinese-Canadian musician and the current Music Director and Conductor for the And Peggy tour of Hamilton. She is the first female to hold the title of Music Director and also the first East Asian to conduct the show. Previously, she served as the Associate Conductor for the Philip (2nd national) Tour. Other credits include the Music Director and Conductor for 20th Anniversary Off-Broadway revival of john & jen; Associate Music Director and Vocal Coach for the Chinese language premiere of The Lion King in Shanghai; Music Supervisor for the Chinese premiere of A Gentleman’s Guide To Love And Murder; numerous productions in Canada including Kinky Boots, Next To Normal, Once On This Island, The Fantasticks, The Wizard Of Oz, and the Canadian premieres of The Light In The Piazza, Parade, High Fidelity, Jerry Spring: The Opera, and Reefer Madness. Lily is a graduate of Penn State University’s MFA in Music Direction.

Arielle Ballance Music Associate and Pianist

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Arielle Ballance is a classically trained Royal Conservatory pianist who also holds a diploma in Theatre Arts from MacEwan University. For over ten years she has passed along her love of performing to students and professional actors alike. Arielle has music directed, accompanied, and instructed for numerous musical theatre companies in BC and Alberta, such as Theatre Under the Stars, Capilano University, Alberta Opera, and Carousel Theatre for Young People, for which she earned a 2019 Jessie award nomination for Significant Artistic Achievement. She is also the recipient of the 2019 Ovation Award for Outstanding Music Direction for her work on Company with Raincity Theatre.

Brad Danyluk Sound Designer

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Brad is a Vancouver-based sound designer who specializes in musical theatre. His past work includes many productions at Arts Club, TUTS, Gateway Theatre, Patrick Street Productions, Theatre Calgary, and others. He also works as a sound system consultant, a music recordist and mixer, and as an operator for live music and theatre shows. Post-pandemic he has shifted to primarily working as a recording and broadcast sound engineer for classical music at the Chan Centre, and helps all kinds of productions sound their best in recorded or streamed formats.

Sally Zori Percussionist

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Sally (they/them/theirs) is a transgender Iraqi multi-disciplinary artist born in Baghdad, raised in the United Arab Emirates and different parts of Canada. At the age of 11, they picked up their first drum, the Doumbek, and never stopped. By the time they were 18, they’d taught themselves to play the congas, bongos, timbales, drum kit, and guitar. They pursued an early career in music, performing and touring while attending the University of Windsor to study Film & Television. Their musical journey taking them all over Canada and the world, performing in international arts festivals (Sydney Festival, Dublin Fringe, and the PuSh Festival). They continue to play stages and theatres with different bands, orchestras, musicals, and theatre (and one lucky NYE '08 had the chance to play percussion for Aretha Franklin). Today, Sally is still a session musician, percussionist, and content creator under Zori Media, a company they started in 2017 focusing on content creation for non-profits and social ventures. On the horizon, Sally is working on a project that will share the story of their experience as a third culture kid and finding Home, combining theatre with film and live musical underscoring.

Heather Barr Stage Manager Mentor

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Heather (she/her) is a queer stage manager based on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. She is a graduate of Studio 58 and is thrilled to be back at her alma mater mentoring Caroline, the student stage manager of Monoceros. Heather’s select credits include: Mx (The Cultch), The Café (ITSAZOO), Catalina La O (JKJK Productions), Double Happiness: Detour This Way (N. Tam/R. Jacob), She Mami Wata & The PussyWitch Hunt (the frank theatre), The Troll Grandfather (Axis Theatre), Taming of the Shrew & Shakespeare in Love (apprentice – Bard on the Beach). This past year, she was awarded the Jessie Richardson Sam Payne Award for Most Promising Newcomer.