ALL TOGETHER NOW – Celebrating local theatre

Theatrical licensor Music Theatre International (MTI) announces updates to All Together Now!: A Global Event Celebrating Local Theatre, in which schools and theatres around the world are empowered to locally produce and perform an exclusive musical revue featuring songs from MTI’s beloved shows over the weekend of November 12, 2021.

MTI’s All Together Now! will be entirely free-of-charge to license with no royalty or rental fees. Participating organizations may license MTI’s All Together Now! as a fundraiser for their theatre – and perform it live, streamed, or a combination of both over a four-day period from November 12 – 15, 2021.

Many renowned MTI authors, their estates and rightsholders are contributing songs from their iconic musicals to the revue including Stephen Schwartz; Lynn Ahrens & Stephen Flaherty; Cameron Mackintosh; Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg & Herbert Kretzmer; Disney Theatrical Group; Frank Loesser; Alan Jay Lerner & Frederick Loewe; Tim Minchin; Jonathan Larson; Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman; Leslie Bricusse & Anthony Newley; Frank Wildhorn; Charles Strouse & Martin Charnin; Marcy Heisler & Zina Goldrich; and many more to be announced.

None of this would be possible without the support of the authors we represent, stated MTI’s President and CEO, Drew Cohen. We are fortunate that so many of these composers, lyricists and rightsholders are embracing the idea of All Together Now!. I know that theatres around the world are eager to see the full list of songs featured in this new revue and we are working hard behind-the-scenes to create a memorable and inspiring show. We will be making more announcements in the very near future, but we encourage everyone to visit the event website as authors and their songs are added.

The brand new musical revue is being put together by a renowned creative team that includes librettist Timothy Allen McDonald (James and the Giant Peach, Between the Lines, Breathe!), director, choreographer and Associate Artistic Director of the York Theatre, Gerry McIntyre (Berkshire Theatre Group’s Godspell, The York’s Hallelujah, Baby!), director and choreographer Racky Plews (American Idiot West End, UK & International Tour, Thoroughly Modern Millie UK and Canadian Tour), director Jeff Calhoun (Disney’s Newsies on Broadway, Tony Award Nomination for Best Director, Deaf West’s Big River, Tony Award Nomination for Best Revival of a Musical), and Music Theatre International’s Chief Operating Officer and Director of Education & Development, John Prignano.

One of our goals in creating this revue is to not only showcase some of the most beloved songs in the musical theatre catalogue, but to also allow local theatres to make this show their own, said the members of the creative team. We’re dividing the revue into sections where we hope to have a couple of different approved song options. We are also creating different moments in the script where organizations can feature remarks from their leadership, local luminaries and public officials. The idea is for every group to put their own stamp on All Together Now! so it resonates with their audiences.

“I’ve been blown away by the response from theatres so far,” said John Prignano. “Many theatrical organizations across the globe have already expressed their enthusiasm for the event and committed to performing the revue in their communities. Unlike some of our shows that may have geographical licensing restrictions, we hope that if there are multiple theatres in a certain area that they get together, pool their resources and potentially perform the revue as a fundraiser for all the groups involved. That’s one of the reasons the show is only available for performance from November 12th through the 15th – we want everyone to experience the magic of musical theatre together as a community.”

“MTI’s All Together Now! is the biggest family reunion ever,” remarked Morrie Enders of the Lincoln Community Playhouse in Lincoln, Nebraska. “We are looking forward to theatre people from around the world gathering on their local stages and raising their voices to sing the greatest music ever created!”

Jennifer Hemme, a teacher and director at Green Valley High School in Las Vegas, Nevada is grateful for the chance to do something meaningful through the arts in her community. “For Arts Organizations I see this as more than just an amazing fundraising opportunity,” says Hemme. “It’s a chance to come together as artists and technicians and reboot our industry! Schools, community and professional theatres all working together toward the goal of re-igniting our passion for the craft that we love and have missed so deeply.”

In the United Kingdom,a passion for a return to live theatre is running high. Pamela Mackie of the Rubber Chicken Theatre in Dunblane, Scotland remarked, “We’ve kept really busy theatrically over lockdown – virtual shows, online rehearsals, remotely filmed showpieces etc., but there is nothing in the world that compares with coming together, live on stage to rehearse and perform musical theatre. To have the chance to celebrate the return of musical theatre not only with each other and our audience locally, but with our theatre family across Scotland, the UK and the world is just incredible. To give our performers young and old the chance to be a part of such amazing songs and musicals, and to know that so many people driven by the same passion for theatre are performing the same songs at the same time will be a special moment. We can’t wait.”

Gary Redpath of the Belfast Operatic Society and AIMS Northern Region Chairman in Northern Ireland also can’t wait to get in on the act, “Committees all across the province are taking brave decisions in order to get non-professional performers back to doing what they love. Through lockdown, music has been proven to provide a welcome release for participants’ mental health. Incentives like MTI’s All Together Now! will help to restore confidence in the performing arts and events industry for audiences in a post- Covid world, helping to kick start the industry. As performance rights are being provided free-of-charge, committees are able to participate at a reduced risk to themselves, allowing more societies to get involved in what will be a landmark weekend for the performing arts.”

Theatres across Australia are already making plans to add MTI’s All Together Now! event to their fall production calendars. Daniel Stoddart Founder and CEO of Hunter Drama and Producer of the Very Popular Theatre Co. in Newcastle, Australia is grateful for this opportunity. “As always, MTI are there to support the arts sector through thick and thin,” says Stoddard. “ The All Together Now! initiative will provide many schools and academies with an opportunity to build audience confidence and economic stability. By offering these resources free of charge MTI’s initiative will certainly help kick start the theatre industry once again. “

In Auckland, New Zealand, Hamish Mouat, the Artistic Director of Kristin School and the Artistic Director of Encore Theatre Collective added, “At a time where theatre makers and creators are at their most vulnerable, many groups, schools and youth theatres are still weary of being in a position to take any financial risk in putting up theatre. MTI’s All Together Now! offers these practitioners the opportunity to get back to what they do best. With performance rights being offered at no cost, this exciting, low-risk initiative opens the door for many organisations from all across the globe to be able to participate, boosting theatrical engagement when people, communities and our industry needs it most, in an epic weekend of theatre magic!”

Further details on licensing and how groups can participate in this worldwide event will be announced in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, please visit www.alltogethernowmti.com for a list of Frequently Asked Questions, an email sign-up and more. Partners Music Theatre International is grateful for the support of our partners in this endeavor: American Association of Community Theatre (AACT), American Alliance for Theatre & Education (AATE), Broadway Media, BroadwayWorld, Disney Theatrical Group, Educational Theatre Association (EdTA), Funk Studios, Hal Leonard, iHeartRadio Broadway, National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT), Playbill, Subplot Studio, TYA/USA.

Peter J Snee

Peter is a British born creative, working in the live entertainment industry. He holds an honours degree in Performing Arts and has over 12 years combined work experience in producing, directing and managing artistic programs & events. Peter has traversed the UK, Europe and Australia pursuing his interest in theatre. He is inspired by great stories and passionately driven by pursuing opportunities to tell them.

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