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.

  • Doreen Neville

    Very impressive Evan - congratulations
    14/06/2016 3:06:49 PM

  • Josh Quinton

    Well done, living in NYC I can say we still have a lot of Newfoundland artists in New York from Newfoundland. Glad to learn about this Evan.
    14/06/2016 2:55:27 PM

  • Chase Duke

    As a Newfoundlander living out west I'm impressed with NL youths interest in our history and founding fathers. It was hard to Vote Sabastien or Even! Good luck
    14/06/2016 2:55:17 PM

  • John P. Macneil

    ASM performing Arts in Montreal is impressed with all entries . tough call Anna or Evan both have unique entries.
    14/06/2016 2:50:49 PM

  • Matthew Galgay

    Amazing as a teacher in P.E.I we are planning to duplicate this project for our students!!! T-shirts made lol Team Evan!!
    14/06/2016 2:43:48 PM

  • ben holland

    All presentations were very impressive but that Evan boy was delightful to watch
    14/06/2016 2:39:35 PM

  • francis noseworthy

    Evan love it! mature and impressive.
    14/06/2016 2:37:15 PM

  • Pamela Snow

    Very informative Evan! Well done
    14/06/2016 1:23:12 PM

  • Sheila Singleton

    Great job, Evan.
    14/06/2016 1:01:58 PM

  • Mark A Bradbury

    Great job Evan! Your grandpa Gary and family must be so proud! You certainly get my vote. I was introduced to theatre at a very young age as well through my father Paul. Please check out this link that shows some newfoundlandia within the music industry that had an impact on theatre in and out of this province.
    14/06/2016 12:56:00 PM

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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.