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An American Hymnal opens in Hamilton

Canadian musical theatre company Terra Bruce Productions brings the musical chock full of classic numbers to Theatre Aquarius this weekend.

For three performances only, Canadian musical theatre company Terra Bruce Productions is bringing An American Hymnal to Theatre Aquarius this weekend.

The musical is making its debut run in Hamilton after a successful series of shows at the Majestic Theatre in Newfoundland.

The scene is Chicago, 1955. Father Paul Barry has immigrated to America from Ireland, eager to leave the past behind and to help others. He is out of his element in this gritty, energetic new city. He meets Dinah, an “unforgettable jazz singer who leaves a lasting impression.” Featuring an incredible score and memorable vocal performances, the story follows Father Paul and Dinah through the ’50s and into the ’60s in a journey of “love, loss, and hope.”

An American Hymnal brings audiences classic songs like “Only You,” “Midnight Special,” “Morning Has Broken,” and “How Great Thou Art,” in a vibrant tale that incorporates gospel, jazz, rock & roll, and folk.

Connor Lucas is Father Paul Barry in An American Hymnal. PHOTOS: Ritchie Perez

The production combines projection with practical sets and professional choreography. It’s brought to life by a cast and creative team that is chock full of homegrown talent.

The all-Canadian cast features Connor Lucas, Ruth Acheampong, Kelly-Ann Evans and Matthew G. Brown as well as Dharma Bizier, Cecilly Day, Julia Dunne, Philip Goodridge, Jared Hansen, Vicki Harnett, Marvin Kaye, Jade Kimaya, Steve Maloney, Justan Myers, Melanie O'Brien, Adam Sergison and Dakota Jamal Wellman. Members of the cast have performed on stages across the country, including those of the Charlottetown, Stratford, and Shaw Festivals, Mirvish, and the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre.

Stephen Cochrane, the man behind the book of An American Hymnal, has professional credits that include stage and television work as well as writing/directing for interactive gaming. Director Courtney Brown has brought her skills to a long list of venues including the National Arts Centre, Soulpepper Theatre, the Women’s Work Festival, Rising Tide Theatre, and Project Humanity. 

Connor Lucas is Father Paul Barry and Ruth Acheampong is Dinah in An American Hymnal. PHOTOS: Ritchie Perez

Bill Brennan, An American Hymnal’s award-winning musical director, is a composer, percussionist, pianist, professor, and producer who has worked on stage productions, CBC shows, and scores of albums. Mike Herriott (arrangements and orchestrations) has worked on an astounding variety of musical theatre productions and with a glittering array of notables from Doc Severinsen to Michael Bublé.

Built from the ground up by Terra Bruce Productions, An American Hymnal seems certain to embody the company’s mission to produce exciting, original Canadian musical theatre experiences by tapping into "the incredible talent pool of Canadian artists, writers and musicians (to) build a repertoire of high-calibre, world class shows.”

The cast of An American Hymnal coming to Theatre Aquarius this weekend.


Theatre Aquarius 
190 King William St., Hamilton
Friday, June 21 & Saturday, June 22 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, June 23 at 1:30 p.m.
Runtime: 2 hrs, 30 mins (including intermission)
Tickets: $17 - $75
Box office: 905-522-7529 or
For more information: