Jeunes Citoyens / Young Citizens

Evan St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador

Fair address: Avalon Regional Fair

Project: John Murray Anderson - A Little Known Figure in Newfoundland's History

My project is about John Murray Anderson (JMA).  Despite being relatively unknown to many people today he had a huge impact on Broadway.  It was his dream that St. John's would develop a professional theatre company.  He would be so proud to know that 60+ years after his death a musical was written and performed in his hometown about his life.

What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

I was so surprised to see how talented JMA was. He was involved in all areas of theatre. JMA wasn't just a singer or a dancer. He was involved in the production, writing, lighting and design of 30+ shows on Broadway. He also gave many famous people their start on Broadway including Harry Belafonte and Gene Kelly.

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

JMA was far removed from Broadway and at a time when the musical theatre community was not very developed in Newfoundland he persisted and despite many setbacks he was determined to be a success. His story is about pursuing a dream and never giving up.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

As a young person who is very interested in musical theatre it is so encouraging to see how successful John Murray Anderson was on Broadway. Even though it was unheard of 100 years ago for a Newfoundlander to be a success on Broadway he was determined. Today we have so many opportunities and experiences compared to what John Murray Anderson had. Children today have the opportunity to perform with local theatre companies and can take advantage of voice and music lessons. JMA had to create his own opportunities.

  • john philllips

    Wow! Learned a lot about JMA by this very well done production. john
    14/06/2016 12:42:37 PM

  • Chris Newhook

    Impressive piece of work Evan. My wife Connie is artistic director for the Placentia Area Theatre d'heritage, a theatre troupe here in Placentia. She has been studying and considering staging a play based on the life of Patricia Murphy, another NLer, from Placentia, who went to New York and made it big (in the restaurant business). I'll be sure to share this link with her about John Murray Anderson. Maybe he could be her next project!
    14/06/2016 11:46:41 AM

  • Brian Shea

    I learned something!
    14/06/2016 11:32:10 AM

  • Johanna Jestican

    Great Job Evan :)
    14/06/2016 8:15:26 AM

  • Bob MacLeod

    Marvellous. Keep at it Best of luck, Bob MacLeod
    14/06/2016 7:40:09 AM

  • Gina

    Great Job on this look back in time! You are quite charismatic.
    14/06/2016 6:41:15 AM

  • Joe

    Great job! I had never heard of JMA before - very interesting.
    14/06/2016 6:20:06 AM

  • Andrew Graham

    Great job Evan! I have to say it’s entertaining and educational. If you keep going at this pace, my kids might end up doing a project on you when they get older. Cheers Andrew (Newfie, living on the mainland)
    14/06/2016 5:35:35 AM

  • Leila Caines

    Wow! Awsome!
    14/06/2016 5:14:15 AM

  • Isaac 7 Beth Natsheh

    Always so proud of you . Well done Evan
    14/06/2016 4:42:11 AM

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Project partially funded by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage.
  • Canadian Heritage / Patrimoine Canadien
  • Government of Canada
  • HBC: Hudson's Bay Company
  • ecentricarts inc.