Titanic: The Musical full steam ahead at The Grand

  • By Whitney South

By Whitney South, Best of London. 09.18.19

The Grand Theatre’s High School Project is once again ready to set sail, with Titanic: The Musical taking over the Spriet Stage now until Saturday, Sept. 28.

It’s been over a century since the ill-fated voyage of the RMS Titanic first captivated the world, embarking on her maiden voyage from Southhampton, England, to New York. 
And it’s a story we know all too well.

After hitting an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. deep in the heart of the North Atlantic, the disaster resulted in the loss of over 1,500 lives, almost two-thirds of the passengers and crew on board.

Over a century later, many are still drawn to the story.

“Titanic: The Musical captivates us in part because it shows us as we are — the countless stories that have been told and retold about the tragedy highlight the depths of our capacity for indifference and neglect,” said Education Coordinator Meghan O’Hara. “Titanic also tells us the stories of those passengers and crew who boarded the ship full of hopes and dreams, and how the human capacity for courage and kindness has the ability to prevail, even when faced with an insurmountable disaster.”

Billed as a legendary celebration of human achievement and a catastrophe of epic proportions, Titanic first took Broadway by storm in 1997, with music and lyrics by Maury Yeston and a book by Peter Stone that swept the Tony Awards, taking home every nomination including Best Musical and Best Score.

According to Grand Theatre Artistic Director Dennis Garnhum, the saga of Titanic was chosen for two key reasons.

“The subject matter is based on a historical event that the students can explore, research and examine in a very tangible way,” he explained, adding the production was one that also required a large company — a demand the project had no problem in fulfilling. “Glorious, confident voices are needed — and we certainly have that. Our 50-member cast will create soaring harmonies and fill our glorious theatre with a triumphant ensemble sound — exactly the way it was intended.”

This year’s production is directed by Andrew Tribe, a High School Project alumnus who participated in two productions himself. No stranger to the local scene, Tribe is currently the artistic director for London’s Original Kids Theatre and has taken the helm on previous Grand offerings Chariots of Fire, and Elf.

“Central to the story of the Titanic are the hopes and dreams of those aboard the most legendary ship in the world,” he said. “Every person on that ship had one thing in common, whether they were the captain or a third-class passenger — they all dreamt of a new life. Titanic carried the dreams of those aboard it . . . The High School Project, too, is a dream realized, and the young people symbolize our collective dream, our hope for tomorrow.”

The High School Project’s production of Titanic: The Musical takes over The Grand Theatre’s Spriet Stage (471 Richmond St.), now until Saturday, Sept. 28.

Tickets are available at, by phone at 519-672-8800, or at the box office.

Photography by Whitney South

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