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Celebrate the holiday season with festive shows at the Playhouse!

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The holiday season is coming up quickly, and this November and December we have a wide range of exciting seasonal shows coming to the Fredericton Playhouse! Read on to learn about music, dance and theatre performances that are sure to put you in a festive mood.

Nothing says Christmas like holiday music, and this year we have a huge selection of concerts to choose from. In addition to two sold-out shows – The Barra MacNeils‘ Cape Breton Christmas on Sunday, December 17 and Symphony New Brunswick’s It’s Christmas with David Myles on Tuesday, December 19 – we’re excited for Canadian jazz sensation Emilie-Claire Barlow‘s performance on Tuesday, November 28 in support of her new holiday album, Lumières d’hiver. Tomato Tomato’s Maritime Christmas show on Friday, December 22 will remind us what makes a Maritime Christmas so special, with the help of special guests Dave Gunning and Heather Rankin.

On Monday, December 18, Shivering Songs presents Tales of A Charlie Brown Christmas with the Jerry Granelli Trio, featuring music and stories from the classic special A Charlie Brown Christmas. Fans of The Four Seasons won’t want to miss the Oh What a Night! Christmas Show  on Wednesday, November 22, with tributes to both Franki Valli and Mr. Christmas himself, Andy Williams. And on Saturday, December 9, NB Country Showcase presents its annual Christmas show, which is always a lively event full of local talent.

Dance lovers won’t want to miss out on a performance of The Nutcracker by Dance Fredericton on Saturday, December 2 and Sunday, December 3. This classic ballet features original choreography, elaborate costuming and sets, and the classical score by Tchaikovsky – it’s sure to delight audiences of all ages.

Fans of theatre can look forward to Theatre New Brunswick’s A Christmas Carol, with four shows running from Thursday, December 14 to Saturday, December 16. This fresh adaptation of a timeless holiday classic follows Dickens’ unforgettable characters as they work to teach old Ebenezer a thing or two about how good it feels to be kind, caring and accepting – all year long. Plus, the fun continues even after Christmas, with DuffleBag Theatre’s Cinderella coming up on Wednesday, December 28 with two Pay-What-You-Will performances. This Kidstage Series performance is always a Playhouse favourite, full of spontaneous fun and audience involvement.

For more information about upcoming holiday shows, visit www.theplayhouse.ca, or contact the box office at 458-8344.

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Emilie-Claire Barlow kicks off the holiday season with an eclectic mix of Christmas and wintry tunes

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On Tuesday, November 28 at 7:30 p.m., Canadian jazz vocalist Emilie-Claire Barlow returns to the Fredericton Playhouse for a special holiday performance.

Barlow is known for her classy demeanour, charming humour, and for her distinct, sultry voice. The two-time Juno-winning sensation has dazzled audiences all over the world, and is always an audience favourite when she performs on the Playhouse stage.

Her new holiday album, Lumières d’hiver, features original takes on an eclectic mix of Christmas and wintry tunes, with classics like “River” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” along with Quebec favourites, and a few surprises. Barlow and her incredible band will bring fresh, imaginative interpretations of beloved holiday songs to the stage, along with hits from her popular repertoire.

Tickets Emilie-Claire Barlow are available through the Fredericton Playhouse box office by calling 458-8344 or online at www.theplayhouse.ca.

The Jerry Cans evoke the contemporary north with their high-energy music

8. Jerry Cans

Fast-rising northern band The Jerry Cans will perform in a Pay What You Will show at the Playhouse on Saturday, November 25 at 7:30 p.m.

The Jerry Cans’ music is inspired by their home territory, Nunavut. With their unique mix of Iqaluit alt-country, throat singing and reggae, this five-piece group is truly one of a kind. In their high-energy show, The Jerry Cans will perform music that evokes the contemporary north and the spirited people who reside there.

The band is passionate about helping to preserve the Inuktitut language, and is committed to challenging common misconceptions about life in the North. Their reputation for infectious, captivating performances has audiences around the globe catching a genuine glimpse of life in the Arctic.

The Jerry Cans’ performance is a Pay What You Will show, a pricing idea offered on select Playhouse performances. This initiative was introduced with a goal of increasing access to Playhouse programs, and encouraging patrons to take a chance on new and exciting performances. For more information about how Pay What You Will works, please click here.

Tickets for The Jerry Cans are available through the Fredericton Playhouse box office by calling 458-8344 or online at www.theplayhouse.ca.

Pay What You Will pricing idea expands for 2017-2018 season

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Following the success of our Pay What You Will pricing idea over the last two seasons, the Playhouse has expanded the initiative for 2017-2018. This year, we will offer Pay What You Will pricing on two Spotlight Series performances: The Jerry Cans on November 25, and Inside/Out on March 15; and on all three Kidstage performances: DuffleBag Theatre’s Cinderella with two showings on December 29, Manxmouse: The Mouse Who Knew No Fear on April 15, and Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia‘s performance of Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny on May 12.

So, how does Pay What You Will work? You still need a ticket for these shows – you can book your seats in advance by calling our box office at 458-8344, through our online ticketing system, or by visiting us at 686 Queen Street. If you don’t book in advance, you’ll also have the option of visiting the box office in person on the day of the show to reserve your seats.

When you attend the performance, we’ll provide you with an envelope, and will ask you to pay whatever amount you wish (based on your own individual experience) following the show, using cash, credit card or cheque. Ultimately, YOU decide the price of your tickets!

We decided to introduce Pay What You Will for two reasons: to increase access to Playhouse programs by reducing potential barriers, and to encourage our patrons to take a chance on new and exciting performances.

For more information about Pay What You Will, please contact our box office at 458-8344.

Classic Albums Live brings Rush’s epic album 2112 to life on stage

7. Rush

On Friday, November 17 at 7:30 p.m., perennial Fredericton Playhouse favourite Classic Albums Live returns to the stage to perform Rush: 2112.

Classic Albums Live presents skilled musicians who recreate the greatest albums of the ’60s and ’70s live on stage – note for note, cut for cut. Don’t look for costumes and look-alike theatrics at these rock recitals, just pure musicianship and songs that shaped a generation.

Released in 1976, 2112 is the fourth studio album by Canadian rock band Rush. It features a seven-part suite that constitutes a full side of the record, telling a dystopian story set in the year 2112. This album marked Rush’s first real commercial success, eventually reaching platinum status. Today, 2112 is widely considered to be one of the greatest progressive rock albums of all time.

This performance marks the first Classic Albums Live show featuring a Canadian artist to be performed on the Playhouse stage, and it promises to be an unforgettable night for rock fans.

Tickets for Classic Albums Live’s performance of Rush: 2112 are available through the Fredericton Playhouse box office by calling 458-8344 or online at www.theplayhouse.ca.

“Friends” of the Playhouse help to provide greater access to the performing arts

At the Fredericton Playhouse, we have a mission of making the performing arts accessible to everyone in our community. But as a non-profit organization, we depend on the support of our donors to share the magic of live performance through our performances and programs.

Each year around this time, we put out a call for support, and we continue to be encouraged by the overwhelming response we receive from our donors, the “Friends of the Fredericton Playhouse.” Their generous donations allow us to maintain and grow our presentation series and outreach programs.

We’re always exploring new ways to expand our existing programs and last season, as part of our existing Arts are for Everyone program, some of our donations were used to pilot a new initiative called the Intergenerational Project. We paired residents from the Shannex Parkland Fredericton retirement home with students from Theatre New Brunswick’s Theatre School, and invited them to attend a show together.

We introduced our senior and youth participants at the Playhouse during a pre-show reception, giving them the chance to chat and get to know one another. Then, they attended BOOM, a play about the music, culture and politics of the Baby Boom generation.

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Students and Seniors share an experience at a recent performance.

We were thrilled by the results, as students and seniors had many lively discussions during the intermission and following the show. Several participants exchanged contact information, and they’ve been able to form friendships as a result, making it an enriching experience for retirement home residents and theatre school students alike.

Thanks to the success of this pilot, the Inter-generational Project will continue this season. Next month, we’ll invite a group of seniors and young people to get to know each other before watching A Passage to Bollywood on the Playhouse stage. We’re able to present this program at no cost to participants, all thanks to our Friends.

Of course, this is just one example of what we’re able to achieve thanks to the generosity of our donors. Last season, we presented 37 world-class professional live performances in dance, theatre and music as part of our Spotlight and Kidstage Series. This included two special Pay-What-You-Will performances, an initiative introduced to help increase accessibility, and to encourage patrons to take a chance on new and exciting shows.

We presented five school matinee performances in 2016-17, making it possible for more than 2,600 students from the Greater Fredericton area to attend a show. Our School Field Trips program offers an assistance grant, waiving the admission fees for a number of students from schools with a pronounced barrier to participating.

The Playhouse delivered 17 Experience More! learning opportunities last year, and 500 individuals participated in these free or low-cost activities, which included workshops, talks, food and drink events, and more.

I’m also very pleased that we were able to provide 600 complimentary tickets through the Arts are for Everyone access program last season. This program aims to reduce barriers to participating in the performing arts by working in partnership with local agencies, such as the Fredericton Food Centre and the Multicultural Association of New Brunswick.

We continue to work to make the Fredericton Playhouse a place where everyone can feel welcome, which is why we offer programs like our School Field Trips series, Experience More! enrichment activities and the Arts are for Everyone access program, which includes initiatives like the Intergenerational Project. Thanks to the support of the Friends of the Fredericton Playhouse, we look forward to providing meaningful performing arts experiences to members of our community for many years to come.

Tim Yerxa is the Executive Director of the Fredericton Playhouse.

 

 

 

A Passage to Bollywood celebrates Diwali with an engaging blend of music, dance and theatre

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The Fredericton Playhouse Spotlight Series will celebrate Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, with A Passage to Bollywood on Thursday, November 16 at 7:30 p.m.

Presented in partnership with the Association of Indo-Canadians, this vibrant performance by Navdhara India Dance Theatre is full of foot-tapping music, colourful costumes and a gripping plot that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Featuring classical Indian songs as well as the latest Bollywood hits, audience members will experience drama, action and romance in this engaging blend of music, dance and theatre.

Based out of Mumbai, and founded by Indian-Australian choreographer Ashley Lobo, Navdhara India Dance Theatre is a contemporary dance company that combines the physical methodologies of western dance with the spiritual philosophies of Indian dance. The company is known for its universal movement style, which transcends culture and moves beyond boundaries, achieving “navdhara” or “new flow.”

In addition to this performance, the Playhouse is pleased to present a sold-out Experience More! Indian Dining Experience on November 16 at 5:30 p.m. Participants will dine at the Crowne Plaza Fredericton, where Executive Chef Matt Mackenzie will provide a meal featuring authentic Indian cuisine.

Tickets for A Passage to Bollywood are available through the Fredericton Playhouse box office by calling 458-8344 or online at www.theplayhouse.ca.