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Top 20 Under 40 - Brian Lee

This 21-year old launched Steppin Out Theatrical Productions while in high school

By: Sarah Bauder
Published: February 27th, 2013 in Culture » Stage » Interviews
Brian Lee

Shalom Life is proud to present our 3rd annual ”Top 20 Under 40” list. Over the next 20 days, Shalom Life will showcase 20 individuals of diverse talents and backgrounds that have made a significant contribution to their field both locally and globally. From entrepreneurs to philanthropists, entertainers to doctors, this list places a spotlight on a small sampling of the spectacular, innovative, and passionate Jews that call Toronto home.

Top 20 Under 40- Brian Lee

Age: 21

It’s rare to find a multihyphenate at such a tender age, but Brian Lee is one of them. The actor, director, producer, musical director, and philanthropist, is both the founder and artistic director of Steppin’ Out Theatrical Productions.

“Steppin’ Out Theatrical Productions is a not-for-profit musical theatre company, which I started in at 16-years-old. We are the resident musical theatre company at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts, and produce a three show season- two musicals and one revue show,” Brian explains.

“I started Steppin’ Out as an effort to bridge the gap between the professional and the community theatre world. We produce professional quality musicals with talent from all over York Region and the GTA. Steppin’ Out also donates seats to each production to local charities, which are used as fundraisers for these organizations. We have raised money for charities affiliated with autism, eating disorders, women's shelters and synagogues. I wanted to make sure that we gave back to the community by helping local charities and other organizations,” he continues.

Lee is an adept multi-tasker, and could be the envy of folks twice his age. In addition to running a non-profit theatrical company that’s in the midst of rehearsals for their production of Gypsy (with Lee conducting a 19-piece orchestra), opening next month, Lee is also working towards his undergraduate degree at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. For those unfamiliar, the institution is regarding as one of the best music schools on the planet.

Lee regards a recent endeavor as his greatest accomplishment.

“I’ve worked on over twenty productions, and all of them have given me something different. At this point, I believe my greatest accomplishment to date was a production of Fiddler On The Roof that I directed in November 2012. The production was inspired by feelings and experiences on the March of the Living- it allowed me to deal with thoughts that I had had when I was 16-years-old, and channel them into my art. The production aimed to show Fiddler in a new light. We had no set except for four large birch trees which floated around the stage to create the barren landscape of Czarist Russia, and a 9-piece klezmer orchestra, playing one of the most beautiful musical theatre scores every written. The show allowed me to bring together 14 years of Jewish education, and my love and passion for theatre. I was lucky enough to have a fantastic group of actors, as well as an amazing production team who brought new life to the piece, and who brought this classic Jewish story to life in a way that I had only dreamed of,” he shared.

Find out more about Brian Lee on page 2!

Related articles: Brian Lee, Top 20 Under 40, Steppin Out Theatrical productions, Theatre, Berklee, Fiddler on the Roof, Jewish
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