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Poster:
J. Johnson, R. Reich

Rough Notes

"Where the Rurals meet the Royals, on the eve of World War II"

in development
Comedy
Drama
Period/Historic
Book Musical
Ensemble Cast
Actor-Musician
Large Chorus
Suitable for Teens
Culturally Diverse
Environmental Theme
War and Peace Theme
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“It’s fresh and a lot of fun!... The characters and situations are truly endearing and have really stayed with me. It’s a gem of a creation!”
International Musical Theatre/Opera &Film Actor/Singer Curtis Sullivan, after extensive dramaturgy on Book/script and lyrics, June 2020
“It has been my honour to work on these pages… there’s a wealth of gold in them and the scope of this piece is massive, including many different cultures. It is very Canadian and Atlantic-Canadian-centric and the challenge has been to pick and choose the wealth and research that should remain...”
Charlottetown Festival Artistic Director, Toronto/Broadway/West End actor Adam Brazier, after Oct-Nov. 2020 dramaturgy

Coming Soon To...

McKencroft and Carleton/Victoria Arts Council (Workshop)

Oct. 27-29

Second Wind Music Centre, Florenceville, NB

"Rough Notes" – the historically-based, traditional, wholly-Canadian musical in which "the Rurals meet the Royals".


It’s the eve of  our nation entering WWII – another great horror, so soon after the FIRST… and 3 diverse Canadian couples at different ages and stages are about to be vastly affected. Here the Scottish, French and Wolastoqiyik/Maliseet-tribe rural peoples of New Brunswick are juxtaposed with the real-life representative Royals, combating a spy and an undercover female journalist at Rideau Hall, Ottawa.  The joys and sorrows of this tense time in our history are also witnessed from the eyes of a 7-year-old boy, the daughter of the first woman of colour to graduate from the University of New Brunswick, and world-famous author John Buchan, Governor General of Canada - who has only a month to live and in which to leave his final legacy to the arts, to the environment, and to humanity.

After 3 table-reads, a mini-workshop and much dramaturgy by such as Adam Brazier in Charlottetown and Curtis Sullivan in Toronto, "Rough Notes" has received a $20,000 grant from Canada Council for the Arts to professionally workshop it, with recorded film/demos, in the Upper River Valley of New Brunswick, a very remote area of our nation and in which it is partly set.

A red and white star
It is wholly Canadian, about, by and FOR Canadians. Not sure other countries, (other than perhaps the UK who love John Buchan!), would be interested in producing it. THAT's how totally Canadian it is!
A red and white star

notes about Development

Full script (in 8th draft after dramaturgy by Curtis Sullivan and Adam Brazier), most of score (16 songs) professionally arranged. Also databased with #365 Women A Year Playwrighting Project. Currently hiring for professional workshop in New Brunswick where it is partly set.
Another poster/script cover used in first few years of development, designed by J. Johnson
Another poster/script cover used in first few years of development, designed by J. Johnson
McKencroft members rehearsing a scene for a mini-workshop and publicity, R. Reich as 'Papa' and Lucas Comeau as 'Pete', appeared in Blackfly Gazette, Sept. 2019, photo by J. Johnson
McKencroft members rehearsing a scene for a mini-workshop and publicity, R. Reich as 'Papa' and Lucas Comeau as 'Pete', appeared in Blackfly Gazette, Sept. 2019, photo by J. Johnson
Creative team of Johnson and Slipp were invited in Nov. 2020, (after dramaturgy work on script/score with Adam Brazier, Artistic Director of Charlottetown Festival) to be on Theatre New Brunswick's live-streamed panel of "Writing A Musical" with TNB AD Natasha MacLellan, Adam Brazier, Broadway performer Tony LePage (Come From Away), and other musical creative teams Kelly McAllister, Nikki Vigneault and Sam Crowell, photo taken as screen shot from video
Creative team of Johnson and Slipp were invited in Nov. 2020, (after dramaturgy work on script/score with Adam Brazier, Artistic Director of Charlottetown Festival) to be on Theatre New Brunswick's live-streamed panel of "Writing A Musical" with TNB AD Natasha MacLellan, Adam Brazier, Broadway performer Tony LePage (Come From Away), and other musical creative teams Kelly McAllister, Nikki Vigneault and Sam Crowell, photo taken as screen shot from video
as in caption, recording the rough demo excerpt of "Mother, May I Quit Piano" (Donnie's Song) in 2019 are Jennifer Johnson of the NSO and former alto soloist of the Atlantic Boychoir, Sydney Chislett., photo taken as screen shot from video.
as in caption, recording the rough demo excerpt of "Mother, May I Quit Piano" (Donnie's Song) in 2019 are Jennifer Johnson of the NSO and former alto soloist of the Atlantic Boychoir, Sydney Chislett., photo taken as screen shot from video.
roles
15+
Traditional Musical Theatre, Some Swing
acts
2

sample media

Lullaby
rough demo. of full song. this demo. from June 2019 sung by Sandi Tattersall, acc't by Johnson PRIOR to C. Slipp arrangement on it. in which "mother Ruth Redfern sings to her young song Donnie (O'Donnell) in Rideau Hall, 1939." She snaps light out on last note.
Greet The Great
Opening Number, full company. (excerpt of rough demo) It is a full Company number sung by the rural Perth, NB townspeople as they await ( whilst singing and dancing) the Royal Train with the Governor General and his entourage. Some solo lines, however, in this excerpt are by the Wolastoqiyik elder 'Gookum Perley Bear' (her "Toqeh" to Mother Earth line is a prayer of thanksgiving) the French Acadian lumberman "Guimont", and the Stationmaster's "They Are Late!" Arranged and performed by Cameron Slipp.
Sit With Me Awhile
This is the 1st love song in the Canadian musical Rough Notes. This is a rough demo. excerpt of Sit With Me Awhile, sung between New Brunswick teens Pete and Beth in the forest as they shyly meet and dance among the trees. These are the first two verses, with a chorus in harmony as sung by arranger Cameron Slipp, with Sarah Slipp as "Beth".
Amateur promo video, done in 2020. New one coming this year (2022-2023) after professional workshop and professional videographer/film editor! Credits for this one incl: McKencroft Production members of Perth-Andover, NB, Marianne Bell, Sandi Tattersall, Bob Curran, Melinda Kavanaugh, Joel Howe, Cameron Slipp, Richard Reich, J. Ivanel Johnson, and members of Rebel Femme and Fredericton Cold Reads, Kaitlyn Adair, Rylan Melles, Alex Dawson, Ryan Griffith. Filmed/edited/narrated by R. Reich, J. Johnson with thanks to Blackfly Gazette and Victoria Star.
Released in Dec. 2021 as an illustrated song excerpt on YouTube, from the historical Canadian musical Rough Notes, by J. Ivanel Johnson, arranged and accompanied by Cameron Slipp, featuring soloist Sandi Tattersall. Pregnant Beth, whose beloved Pete husband has gone off to war, finds quiet joy working in her in-laws Perth Junction general store...The illustrated video to the song is here
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Perusal Materials

Coming Soon!
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