The Canadian Musical Theatre

Jim is not only a writer of Canadian Musical Theatre, but a teacher and advocate as well.

His advanced age gave him an opportunity to study The Craft Of Writing For The Musical Theatre with Broadway Conductor and Composer Lehman Engel, whose tradition of teaching young musical theatre writers is still being continued at New York’s BMI Lehman Engel Workshop. After Leman’s passing in 1982, Jim helped found The Guild Of Canadian Musical Theatre Writers, where he and other of Lehman’s Canadian students tried to continue Lehman’s mentorship of aspiring composers, lyricists and librettists with classes based in Toronto. Jim has taught similar classes for almost 30 years, for awhile with Toronto’s ScriptLab, and most recently through a partnership between Smile Theatre and The Playwright’s Guild Of Canada.

Jim is also interested in the history and development of the Musical Theatre in Canada, and founded the first college course in The History of The Canadian Musical Theatre at Sheridan College in Oakville.

Also well known as a dramaturge and director of new Canadian Musicals, Jim is currently continuing that work as Artistic Director of Smile Theatre.

Jim is occasionally available for private tutoring and script assessment: if you are interested in such a service, please contact jim by email, jimbetts@northernriver.com.