From tears to triumph

Dal's Susan Stackhouse a part of Triple Sensation

- October 5, 2007

Triple Sensation looks for Canada's next do-it-all performer — someone who can sing, dance and act. (CBC-TV)

Auditions are tough stuff. You plaster a smile over your waning confidence, try to stop your hands from shaking and hope the judges won’t be able to hear your heart hammering in your chest.

The last thing you could bear is to be ridiculed in front of a national audience.

That’s where Triple Sensation differs from other reality shows. It respects the young Canadians who put it all on the line for their chance at the big time.

“You don’t have to deprecate talent to make compelling television,” says the show’s creator and executive producer Garth Drabinsky, who’s come to Halifax to give local media a sneak peek of the show. “Here, you see it all – the struggles, the sacrifices, the work ethic, the emotional discipline… the show takes you right into the psyche of the performer.”


If you watch

What: Triple Sensation
When: Oct. 7, Oct. 14 and Oct. 21
Where: CBC-TV

Triple Sensation premieres Sunday, Oct. 7 at 8 p.m. on CBC-TV. Through three two-hour segments, 1,000 young hopefuls are pared down to 12 finalists who can sing, act and dance. They get to work with theatre professionals in an intense, month-long series of master-class sessions and then perform for a panel of industry legends. At the end, one of the 12 is named Canada’s next best do-it-all performer and awarded a $150,000 scholarship.

Dalhousie professor Susan Stackhouse, a specialist voice, speech and dialect coach, is one of the theatre professionals handpicked by Mr. Drabinsky to mentor the 12 finalists.

“This is my fantasy faculty,” says Mr. Drabinsky over lunch at the Lord Nelson. “You saw the transformation in those kids, the breakthrough moments… and Susan was a part of that. The kids were crazy about her… her impact is quite spectacular.”

It was a busy summer for Prof. Stackhouse, who’s happy to be back in the classroom. She juggled duties as chair of the theatre department with acting in two plays at Ontario’s Blyth Festival and driving to Toronto’s National Ballet School where she worked with the Triple Sensation finalists.

“Watching it today, I feel very proud to be a teacher. It’s moved me greatly,” she says. “The whole step of the way you’re rooting for each one of them.”


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