The Music

Carole Pope

On the Polaris Prize short list, Carole Pope’s work has been recognized with three Juno Awards multiple independent music awards, a Genie Award, 4 gold, 1 platinum and 1 double platinum album. Pope has toured with David Bowie and performed at Roskilde, World Pride, AGO, MOCCA, Fashion Cares 25 with Elton John, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, The AGO, Luminato, Joes Pub, The Global Cabaret Festival, The Frostbite Festival, Reykjavik, and countless othersShe has contributed music to film and television, including: Transparent Season Two, Love or Whatever, Pretty Hard Cases, The L Word, General Idea Art AIDs and the fin de siecleThe Trailer Park Boys Movie, This Revolution, Queer As Folk, The Five Senses, The Silencer, and Cruising.

Rough Trade

Rough Trade was a trailblazing, politically charged, punk-inspired New Wave rock band. It was formed in Toronto in 1975 by multi-instrumentalist Kevan Staples and Manchester-born, Scarborough-raised vocalist Carole Pope. Notorious for the openly sexual nature of their songs and the burlesque theatricality of their live performances — which often included bondage and sexual satire — the band was one of the first mainstream musical acts to include explicitly gay and lesbian references. They enjoyed critical and commercial success in the early 1980s and won four Juno Awards before disbanding in 1986. Rough Trade was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2020 and the Canadian Music Week Indy Hall of Fame in 2007.

The Book

Kate Rigg

A CanAsian graduate of the Juilliard School of Drama Kate Siahaan-Rigg is an award-winning playwright, performance artist, stand-up comedian and lead singer of the punk comedy band Slanty Eyed Mama. Her plays have been produced at Theatre Passe Muraille, The Tarragon Theatre, Center Theater Group Los Angeles, The Brava Theater Center San Francisco. HERE NYC. Dixon Place NYC, La Mama ETC (in NYC and Melbourne, Australia), Out North Alaska, New World Theater, Theater Offensive Boston, The Comedy Central Theater Los Angeles, Magic Theater SF and many more. She has been invited to perform original works at the Smithsonian Institute and major theater festivals across North America.

Creative Director

Robert McQueen

An Associate Artist with The Musical Stage Company, Robert is also a faculty member at HB Theatre Studio and Arte Studio in Mexico City. Robert has directed The Musical Stage Company production of Caroline or ChangeThe Wild PartyFalsettosThe Light in the Piazza and Fun Home for which he won a 2018 Theatre Critics Award for Outstanding Direction. AdditionallyRobert directed the premiere production of Life After (2018 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Direction) and ReFramed, a collaboration with the Art Gallery of Ontario. His new project Boys Fall from the Sky is opening at the Royal Alexandra Theater in Toronto in Spring of 2022.

Associated Artists

Artists associated with the development process of Rough Trade include:

Marc Kimelman

Marc is the associate choreographer for Broadway’s Tony-award winning Jagged Little Pill. He was the associate choreographer for Broadway’s A Bronx Tale and National Tour,  the Kennedy Center’s Next to Normal, and assistant choreographer for Broadway’s revival of Jesus Christ Superstar. He choreographed Saturday Night Fever (National Tour), Billy Elliot (GoodSpeed Musicals), Man of La Mancha (Stratford Shakespeare Festival), Newsies, Play It Cool and The Apple Boys (Off-Broadway), Once on this Island (Dora Award for Outstanding Choreography).

TV/Film credits includes: Degrassi: The Next Generation, Don’t Talk to Irene feature film (starring Geena Davis), Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and NBC’s One Night Only. Marc was movement consultant for Vogue magazine (Annie Leibovitz, Charlize Theron, A$AP Rocky). Associate/Assistant: Queen’s We Will Rock You (National Tour), Freaky Friday (Disney workshop), Hands on a Hardbody (Broadway workshop), Seven Deadly Sins (NYC Ballet with Patti Lupone), Elementary (CBS).

Marc has worked with Disney, Katy Perry, NYC Ballet, Deborah Cox, Queen, Neil Young and Chaka Kahn.


Adam Sakiyama

ADAM SAKIYAMA is a Dora award-winning music director & composer with a passion for new work development. Recent theatre credits include UnCovered: Dolly Parton (Musical Stage Co.), Sunday in the Park with George (Eclipse Theatre), Songs for a New World (Theatre Sheridan), Stupidhead! (Outside the March), Next to Normal (Musical Stage Co. / Mirvish), Billy Elliot (Stratford). Composing credits include Quench (Axon Interactive) and in between (National Ballet of Canada). Songwriter & Arranger for Super Simple Songs, one of the most watched educational channels on YouTube. Currently writing the score for Macbeth (Ballet Kelowna), premiering spring 2022.

Rob Preuss

80s rocker Rob Preuss joined Burlington new wave band ‘the Spoons’ at the age of 15. They became a sensation all throughout Canada, with several radio hits and 2 gold records.  After leaving the Spoons, he joined the band Honeymoon Suite, and they went on to win a Juno award and toured throughout North America, Europe and Asia.  Rob began playing musical theater at age 23, and has played many shows including Beauty and The Beast, Phantom of The Opera, Tommy, Miss Saigon, Starlight Express and Blood Brothers. Rob spent 15 years playing and conducting Mamma Mia! in Toronto and on Broadway, and was also the associate musical supervisor of ‘Once The Musical’ on Broadway, which won a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album in 2013. 

Chilina Kennedy

Broadway supernova Chilina Kennedy is known for playing Carole King in the musical Beautiful on Broadway for over 1,200 performances. She also recently originated the Tony-award winning role of Dina on the First Broadway National Tour of The Band’s Visit. Chilina’s first appearance on Broadway was in 2012 when she played Mary Magdalene in Des McAnuff’s Jesus Christ Superstar, which also had successful runs at the Stratford Festival of Canada and the La Jolla Playhouse. Selected Canadian credits include the title role in Ted Dykstra’s Evangeline (Charlottetown Festival and original recording), the title role in Ross Petty’s Pantomime The Little Mermaid (Toronto Critics Award), three seasons at the Stratford Festival (three Broadway World Awards). She is now the star of a new Musical Paradise Square which opens on Broadway at the Barrymore Theatre in Spring of 2022.

Brandon Antonio

Rising Canadian theater star Brandon Antonio was nominated for a 2019 Dora Mavor Moore award for his role in the Mirvish production of Next To Normal and has been wowing musical theater audiences ever since with his devilish smile and powerhouse vocals. He was last seen at Dream in High Park starring alongside Chilina Kennedy in Blackout.


Canadian theater darling Kaylee Harwood is an award-winning performer whose work spans from the Stratford & Shaw Festivals to Broadway, National Tours & Radio City Music Hall.

Kaylee has tread the boards at Broadway’s Neil Simon Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, The Citadel, Western Canada Theatre, Arts Club, Carousel Theatre and the Niagara Symphony Orchestra. She appeared as Mrs. Claus in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Rockettes and toured North America for two years on the 1st & 2nd National Tours of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.