New direction for the musical side of the QAC fall production of South Pacific

Photo: Ladd Johnson

QAC choreographer Laura McCormick puts her dancing SeaBees through their paces in preparation for the upcoming musical South Pacific

Under the experienced eye of director Cheryl Rimmer, the cast and crew of the Quebec Art Company are busy with their preparations for their upcoming production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic South Pacific. Musicals have been a biannual element of QAC programming, but this time new hands are taking control of the musical side of the production. After the departure earlier this year of Douglas Dahlgren, the QAC musical director for the past 20 years, a new team has been assembled under the direction of the new musical director Laura Palladino.  Palladino, an actor in recent QAC productions, has a deep musical background.  A trained professional singer with a performance degree from the Boston Conservatory of Music, she has more recently obtained her baccalaureate in music education from Université Laval. She has had ample opportunity to put this experience to work as she directs and trains both experienced singers and enthusiastic beginners.  “It’s been great to share tips and insights that I have learned along the way,” she remarked, adding “the whole goal is to touch people and move them to the joys and pains of the characters.”


Palladino has gathered an experienced team to complement her skills.  Bill Russell, a folk musician who performs for youth groups across Canada and the US, has stepped into the role of accompanist, adapting the score as needed to the characteristics of individual singers.  Palladino also coaxed Laura McCormick into the QAC after taking her dance class.  McCormick, a professional dancer with over 20 years of experience, has brought new energy and style to the dancing parts of the production. She has only recently moved to Quebec City after owning and operating a dance studio in Montmagny and appears to be enjoying this new challenge with community theatre. “It has been a great experience, teaching non-dancers to dance – they’re great people and it is coming along nicely”, she reports. 


The public will have the chance to see the fruits of their labors, including the dancing and singing sailors and nurses, in just a few short weeks. Performances of South Pacific will run December 3-6 at the Holland Elementary School. Reservations can be made at 418-254-6552, and further information can be found at