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Fredericton Playhouse holiday gift guide


With Christmas only a month away, it’s time to start thinking about gifts for everyone on your list! The Playhouse has you covered with holiday gift ideas for every taste. Plus, new this year, you can purchase two drink vouchers from the box office for $15! Give your loved ones the total package by treating them to drinks from our bar in addition to tickets or a gift certificate. Read on for our top gift suggestions!

For the dance lover:

Le Patin Libre (February 12) – Le Patin Libre is a Montreal-based company that describes its performances as “contemporary dance on ice.” This special performance takes place at Willie O’Ree Place, and brings urban street dance and high-level artistic expression onto the ice, with a mix of movement, wit, speed and grace.

Ballet BC (February 24) – Internationally acclaimed contemporary dance company Ballet BC makes its triumphant return to the Playhouse with three pieces from three celebrated choreographers. This performance promises to be powerful, thought-provoking and transformative.

Carmen (June 1) – Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada collaborates with Symphony New Brunswick to bring this ballet about passion, seduction and revenge to the stage, featuring the iconic score by Bizet and Shchedrin.

For families:

Welcome to the Orchestra (March 19) – Presented by the Fredericton Symphony Orchestra, this fun performance is the perfect way to introduce children to the orchestra. Every section of the orchestra will have the chance to shine during the show, to the delight of audience members of all ages.

Guy Davis (April 9) – Known as an “ambassador of the blues,” Guy Davis is an accomplished artist who has performed around the globe. Children and their families will gain a deeper appreciation for the blues thanks to Guy’s immense knowledge and impressive musicianship.

For the comedy fan:

Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers (April 4) – Newfoundland’s longest touring entertainers plunge into some new and classic material in this show. From sketch comedy to poignant ballads, their ranting and raving has something for everyone.

This is That LIVE (April 26) – Pat Kelly and Peter Oldring offer an intimate look behind the scenes of CBC’s award-winning satirical show This is That in this live stage performance. Featuring a mix of character interviews and mockumentary stories, this send up of public radio doesn’t just talk about issues, it fabricates them.

For the music buff:

The Who’s Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry (March 17) – Forty-five years after its original release, the Who’s classic rock opera Tommy has been reimagined as a full-length bluegrass tribute. This opry brings a new perspective to Tommy, while also paying respect to the original, featuring the virtuoso musicianship and rockstar vocals of the HillBenders.

Stephen Fearing (April 8) – One of Canada’s foremost singer-songwriters, Juno-winning folk musician Stephen Fearing is known for mixing powerful lyrics, creative arrangements and brilliant guitar playing. Audiences will be captivated by his arresting voice, accomplished musicianship and his ability to turn a phrase with ease.

Swingin’ with Oscar (May 13) – Born in Montreal in 1925, Oscar Peterson became one of the most important pianists in the history of jazz. The Rémi Bolduc Jazz Ensemble pays tribute to Peterson in this special performance. Bolduc is one of Canada’s greatest jazz saxophonists, and along with his band, he displays dazzling virtuosity and stunning maturity.

For the theatre lover:

Roller Derby Saved My Soul (April 21) – Roller derby and superheroes collide in this delightful comedy, described by critics as “perfect escapism and purely satisfying entertainment.” Written by and starring New Brunswick’s own Nancy Kenny, this one-woman show is fun, uplifting and original.

BOOM (May 12) – From Dora and Gemini-winning performer Rick Miller, BOOM is an explosive new solo performance that documents the music, culture and politics that shaped the Baby Boom generation. This performance is a mind-blowing experience for audiences of all generations.

For the fan of spectacle:

Machine de Cirque (February 9) – Machine de Cirque is a young, contemporary circus company whose show is both poetic and humorous. Armed with a talent for acrobatics and ingenuity, these five performers masterfully manipulate props, including a teeterboard, juggling clubs, a drum kit and even a bath towel!

Immortal Chi  (April 6) – Immortal Chi is a spectacular fusion of Chinese martial arts and jaw-dropping acrobatics, accompanied by an all-female percussion ensemble. Audiences will be blown away by adrenaline-packed stunts, traditional weaponry, incredible feats of human endurance, innovative video projections and stunning costumes.

For the classical music aficionado:

Vienna Boys Choir (March 15) – Comprised of 100 choristers from 30 different nations, the Vienna Boys Choir delivers 300 concerts to almost half a million people every year. Their repertoire includes everything from medieval to contemporary and experimental music, but the choir is particularly known for their own arrangements of quintessentially Viennese music, waltzes and polkas.

Canada Comes of Age (April 25) – This performance by Symphony New Brunswick features Camerata NB, New Brunswick-born contralto performer Heather Flemming and a guest appearance by Theatre New Brunswick.

For everyone:

Still not sure which performance to choose? Give the gift of live performance with a Fredericton Playhouse gift certificate! Shop online, in person, or by phone at 458-8344.

School Field Trips to the Playhouse expose youth to the magic of live performance

School Bus-In

More than 2,700 students attended Playhouse School Field Trip programs in 2015-16.

Each year, the Fredericton Playhouse delivers a series of matinee performances for students as part of the School Field Trips program. This program is designed to expose students to the magic of live, professional performing arts, and to help fill the gaps in the education system.

In recent years, with fewer and fewer resources put into arts education in our schools, we have felt an obligation to increase our School Field Trips offerings, and in return, have seen increased interest from schools. During the 2013-2014 season, 1,200 students attended one of our matinee performances; that number increased to more than 2,000 in the 2014-2015 season, and 2,700 in 2015-2016.

We are thrilled with these high levels of participation, and anticipate those numbers will continue to rise during our current season. Between February and April of 2017, the Playhouse will present four theatre and music performances, each designed to stir the senses and inspire audiences in their own unique ways.

Our School Field Trips series consists of performances suitable for a range of ages. The upcoming lineup includes Moon Mouse: A Space Odyssey, a cosmic adventure about celebrating differences that’s targeted at elementary-aged children; “ambassador of the blues” Guy Davis, with a performance for anyone from pre-school to Grade 8; Jake’s Gift, an award-winning Canadian play about a Second World War veteran, offered in both English and French and intended for Grades 5 to 12; and Jabber, a play that challenges prejudices and assumptions, created for middle school and high school audiences.

We are also able to provide study guides for performances, allowing teachers to discuss the shows with their students, and to better incorporate these performances into their regular curriculum.

In addition to the matinee performances, we offer tours of the Playhouse free of charge. Students can get a behind-the-scenes look at how the Playhouse operates, and can visit the fly floor, spotlight booth, and dressing rooms. The tour also includes an onstage lighting and sound demonstration.

We encourage teachers to make a day of it when booking a tour field trip, and to also plan a visit to other downtown locations, such as the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, New Brunswick Legislature or Science East.

Our mission at the Playhouse is to make the performing arts accessible to everyone in our community, and last season we realized that a number of schools in the region were unable to participate in our School Field Trips program because of financial barriers.

Thanks to a grant from the Fredericton Community Foundation and the generous support of our donors, the Friends of the Fredericton Playhouse, we introduced a School Field Trip Accessibility Program during the 2015-2016 school year.

Through this program, we were able to provide 600 students with admission to a performance at no charge to the students or their schools. We were also able to offer transportation assistance to certain schools, to help offset the costs of travelling to the Playhouse by bus.

This year, we are delighted to be able to expand the accessibility program; in 2016-2017, we will be able to provide 800 students from local schools with admission to a matinee performance.

We hope to continue to expand this program further, and to make Playhouse shows accessible to as many students as possible in our community. Our Friends of the Fredericton Playhouse campaign is underway now, and the funds we receive will be used to support projects like the School Field Trip Accessibility Program.

We believe that exposure to live performance can have a lasting impact on a young person, but we also realize that many students only get to experience the performing arts through their school life. That’s why we place so much importance on the continued growth of the School Field Trips series and the Accessibility Program.

Tim Yerxa is the Executive Director of the Fredericton Playhouse



Fiery Celtic band Còig to perform special Cape Breton Christmas performance


On Friday, December 2 at 7:30 p.m., Còig, one of Atlantic Canada’s premier traditional groups, will perform a Cape Breton Christmas show at the Fredericton Playhouse.

Còig is an ensemble of skilled musicians with a fiery Celtic style at its musical core. The four-member band easily shifts between century-old tunes of past generations to original and contemporary compositions, featuring over a dozen instruments, including fiddles, piano, guitar, banjo, mandolin, viola, bouzouki, whistles and more.

With driving tunes, haunting songs and infectious energy, Còig is an unparalleled musical force. In this special holiday performance, the group will perform Celtic Christmas music to help inspire a festive mood.

The band includes fiddler Chrissy Crowley, multi-instrumentalist Darren McMullen, fiddler and vocalist Rachel Davis and pianist Jason Roach. With a combined total of over 30 nominations and awards, each of Còig’s talented musicians have released their own successful solo albums and have toured both at home and abroad before coming together as an exciting super group.

In addition to this performance, the Playhouse is pleased to present an Experience More! Cape Breton Step Dancing for Beginners class on Saturday, December 3 at 9:30 a.m. at the Charlotte Street Arts Centre. Led by Còig members, this workshop will focus on basic Cape Breton-style step dancing, and participants will learn steps for jigs, strathspeys and reels. Contact the Playhouse box office to register.

Tickets for Còig are available through the Fredericton Playhouse box office by calling 458-8344 or online at

Get into the holiday spirit with festive shows at the Fredericton Playhouse!


The holiday season is upon us, and this November and December we want you to embrace the festive spirit with special performances at the Fredericton Playhouse! Whether you’re celebrating with family, friends or coworkers, we’re pleased to host a wide range of comedy, music, dance and theatre performances that are sure to inspire holiday cheer.

Comedy fans won’t want to miss Sharron Matthews’ performance, Sharron’s Christmas Party on Wednesday, November 30. Matthews combines her powerful voice with her signature comedic wit to create holiday-themed pop medleys and fun sing-a-longs that will have you roaring with laughter and crooning along. Then on Thursday, November 1, Nikki Payne and James Mullinger star in A Very Dysfunctional Christmas, a hilarious new show for adults. The comedians explore everything from awkward family dynamics to blending household traditions to screaming children high on sugar – all the elements of a real Maritime Christmas.

If you love to listen to music this time of year, we have a number of options to choose from. First there’s Còig with A Cape Breton Christmas on Friday, December 2. One of Atlantic Canada’s premier traditional groups, Còig is sure to put you in the holiday spirit with Celtic music that ranges from classic favourites to contemporary compositions. The New Brunswick Country Showcase will present its annual Christmas show on Saturday, December 3, and it promises to be a lively event featuring local talent. Then on Tuesday, December 6, Symphony New Brunswick will present The Seasonal Symphony. This Christmas celebration includes performances by the Louisbourg Choir, as well as other local choirs.

Dance lovers won’t want to miss out on a very special performance of The Nutcracker by Dance Fredericton on Saturday, November 26 and Sunday, November 27. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, this classic ballet features original choreography, elaborate costuming and sets, and the classical score by Tchaikovsky.

Audiences in search of theatre this holiday season can look forward to Theatre New Brunswick’s The Snow Queen, with four shows running from Thursday, December 15 until Saturday, December 17. Adapted from the Hans Christian Andersen story, this cinematic production tells the tale of an epic winter adventure, and is perfect for adults and children alike. And the fun continues even after Christmas, with DuffleBag Theatre’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas on Wednesday, December 28. This Kidstage Series performance is always a Playhouse favourite, full of spontaneous fun and audience involvement.

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


Sharron Matthews creates hilarious, holiday-themed pop medleys in special Christmas performance


Hilarious performer Sharron Matthews brings her holiday performance Sharron’s Christmas Party to the Fredericton Playhouse on Wednesday, November 30 at 7:30 p.m.

Matthews has been described as the love child of Jack Black and Bette Midler, thanks to her jaw-dropping vocals, pop culture punches and hit-melody mash-ups. Her one-of-a-kind concert experience is one part stand-up, one part pop concert.

In addition to performing in a sold-out show at the Playhouse with comedian Mary Walsh in 2015, Matthews has played to sold-out audiences and five-star reviews across Canada, South Africa, London and New York City. She has appeared in hit films like Mean Girls and Hairspray, has starred in stage productions such as Les Miserables and The Wizard of Oz, and was a vocal coach on Global’s hit TV show Canada Sings.

In this crowd-pleasing Christmas performance, Matthews combines her powerful voice with her signature comedic wit to create holiday-themed pop medleys and fun sing-a-longs that will have you roaring with laughter and crooning along. This irreverent performance is sure to put everyone in the holiday spirit!

Tickets for Sharron’s Christmas Party are available through the Fredericton Playhouse box office by calling 458-8344 or online at

Out Innerspace’s new dance performance explores themes of surveillance and propaganda


On Tuesday, November 29 at 7:30 p.m., contemporary dance company Out Innerspace will perform their latest work, Major Motion Picture, at the Fredericton Playhouse.

Innovative yet accessible, Out Innerspace is a Vancouver-based company that pushes beyond traditional aesthetics and forms with unreserved ingenuity. Artistic directors David Raymond and Tiffany Tregarthen challenge each other to commit to their imaginations, combining their contrasting points of view to make a radically intricate dance language that’s both amusing and poignantly meaningful.

Major Motion Picture involves seven dancers exploring timely themes of surveillance, territory, propaganda and belief through eccentric and lawless characters. Incorporating infrared technology and an onstage surveillance system as well as Out Innerspace’s trailblazing movement invention, this innovative performance examines conflicts between the self and the crowd. It raises questions about how human beings want to be seen, heard and understood in the world as a group, a generation, and as a people.

In addition to this performance, the Playhouse is pleased to present a free Experience More! Digital Graffiti Wall at the Fredericton Public Library on Sunday, November 27 from 3 to 5 p.m. This interactive platform is a video system that uses infrared technology, and allows members of the public to create their own content. Participants can write a message, draw a picture, or leave a symbol – the finished product will be incorporated into Out Innerspace’s performance at the Playhouse.

Tickets for Out Innerspace are available through the Fredericton Playhouse box office by calling 458-8344 or online at

Matthew Barber and Jill Barber join forces for special concert


Coming to the Fredericton Playhouse on Saturday, November 19 at 7:30 p.m., Playhouse favourite Jill Barber will take the stage along with her brother, acclaimed singer-songwriter Matthew Barber.

Juno-winning performer Jill Barber is renowned for her distinct voice, incredible range and versatility, spanning genres from acoustic folk to powerful jazz. In concert, she charms her audience with her innate talent and confidence, keeping listeners hooked on her every note.

Matthew Barber is one of Canada’s most respected and admired singer-songwriters, with eight folk and roots records to his name. Known for a sound that ranges from tuneful folk-pop to strident roots-rock, he has built an impressive solo career since his debut in 1999.

The Barber siblings joined musical forces to create The Family Album, released earlier this year. This special concert will feature music from the album, which includes original songs, as well as a selection of covers from the likes of Canadian greats Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, and more.

Tickets for Matthew Barber and Jill Barber are available through the Fredericton Playhouse box office by calling 458-8344 or online at