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Guelph's new production company gears for first large scale show Chicago, The Musical

'Guelph has a very vibrant artist community,' says director Susan G. Acheson
august Productions Theatrical Inc. performers. Photo credit: Sarah Sabo Photography

Guelph’s new live production company, august Productions Theatrical Inc. is ready to showcase the second longest running American musical in Broadway history, Chicago the Musical.

Incorporated in 2008 in Toronto, the production officially moved to Guelph three years ago after director Susan G. Acheson’s job in administration at the Ontario Provincial Police brought her to the city. 

While she is busy with her full-time job, Acheson’s passion for theatre pushes her to create and direct plays with people who share the same enthusiasm.

“At times it is challenging, but I have an amazing team,” says Acheson.

Acheson produced, directed and wrote the music and lyrics for A Bedtime Story which premiered in the Guelph Fringe Festival last year and is currently a member of the board of directors at the Royal City Musical Productions.

“This city has been extremely welcoming,” says Acheson.

“Guelph has a very vibrant artist community. They have welcomed us with open arms. Its been really great.”

The production will showcase five shows of Chicago The Musical over the course of four days from June 6 to June 9 at the Guelph Little Theatre on 176 Morris St. 

Acheson says the move to Guelph added a touch to her production that would be impossible in larger cities.

"In Toronto, it is so spread out and there are so many companies and it's challenging finding your place in such a large city. In Guelph, they've been so welcoming," says Acheson.

“Just having that personal connection with people is a lot different.” 

She said Chicago the Musical is the perfect show to premiere on a large scale because it is something everyone can relate to.

“I think people can really connect with the underlying story of corruption. I think it is really relevant to what's going on in society today.”

The story is about two characters who end up in prison and battle each other for fame in a musical that explores the Chicago nightlife, the celebrity world and infidelity between partners.

Acheson hopes people in the city enjoy what her production has to offer in the community. She says going forward, she wants to be able to provide opportunities for performers, crew members and people who are passionate about theatre.