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Writer and storyteller Ivan Coyote defies gender boxes in spoken word performance

19. Ivan Coyote

On Thursday, April 5 at 7:30 p.m., writer and storyteller Ivan Coyote brings their show Tomboy Survival Guide to the Playhouse stage.

Tomboy Survival Guide is part anthem, part campfire story, and part instructions for dismantling the gender stories we tell ourselves and each other. Coyote, along with an all-tomboy band, invites the audience to join them as they navigate the halls of public washrooms, skirt the treachery of growing up under the threat of being picked to be a flower girl, triumph over tying a Windsor knot, and discover the power of realizing they were handsome all along.

This spoken word performance blends story, lyric, music, soundscape, memory and maybe even the odd elementary school photograph. Tomboy Survival Guide is a live stage experience that defies gender and gender boxes with the same compassionate defiance and fearless and tender truth telling that Ivan Coyote has been bringing to their work for nearly two decades of publishing and performing.

Please be advised this performance contains occasional use of strong language.

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


City Council provides unanimous support for new performing arts centre location

Last month, Fredericton City Council unanimously decided to move ahead with an expanded version of the existing Playhouse’s Queen Street site as the location for a new regional performing arts centre.

This latest decision is a huge step forward in the project, and our organization is eagerly moving ahead at a more rapid pace on the realization of this important community project.

Back in December, we met with council to present the option of constructing a new centre, built in phases on the existing Playhouse site and extending onto a portion of St. John Street. Our board of directors recommended this version as the preferred option, a decision we reached after two months of public consultation, including a public opinion survey.


The new site will extend the performing arts centre to the centre line of St. John Street, and closer to the sidewalk on Queen Street.

This version of the new performing arts centre was favoured both in the survey, and by the various organizations and stakeholders we spoke with as part of our consultation process. It will allow us to build a brand new facility that includes an 850-seat theatre, a 300-seat studio theatre, larger lobbies, and shared support space, all of which will be built from scratch.

During council’s January meeting, we were pleased to learn that all of our recommendations regarding the project had been approved. In addition to selecting the expanded Queen and St. John Street site, and agreeing to build the new facility in phases to reduce Playhouse closures as much as possible, council approved several other important points.

City staff members have been directed to conduct a technical study of St. John Street to determine the best configurations of a reduced street width to accommodate the new performing arts centre, which will include consultation with officials from the nearby Legislative Assembly. City staff will also work with the Playhouse to develop a procurement strategy for a design team, which will eventually be approved by both the Playhouse board and City Council.

City Council also approved a construction budget of $33 million to be used as a guide in developing the building’s design, and agreed to work with our organization to resubmit a request for capital funding from the provincial and federal government, with the updated site, development plan and project budget.

We’re thankful to each of our City Councillors and Mayor O’Brien for their continued vision and support. Now that we’ve received the approval of City Council for the project’s development plan, we believe we’ll be able to move forward with beginning the design process very soon. I’m also hopeful that our federal and provincial partners will follow the city’s lead and confirm their investment soon, which would allow us to begin construction as early as 2019.

It’s important that we maintain momentum and continue to move ahead quickly with the project. The existing Playhouse is at the end of its life, and in recent months we’ve seen increasing evidence of that fact as the building has experienced burst pipes, roof leaks and heating issues. It’s only a matter of time before these problems begin to more directly affect our operations and actual performances, leading to cancellations and potential longer-term closures.

We’re excitedly tackling the next phases of developing a new performing arts centre, including planning, design and funding. And as our community’s vision for this state-of-the-art facility continues to take shape, we look forward to sharing more details and information with the public.

Greg MacFarlane is the Vice-President of Fredericton Playhouse Inc.’s Board of Directors.

PostSecret: The Show explores the humour and humanity of our secrets

18. PostSecret

Coming to the Playhouse on Saturday, March 17 at 7:30 p.m., PostSecret: The Show is an immersive and poignant theatrical journey.

This performance is based on the internationally renowned community art project PostSecret, a blog featuring anonymous secrets sent in on postcards. PostSecret: The Show explores the humour and humanity of the personal stories we keep to ourselves and, on rare occasions, share with others.

Projected images, videos, three actors and a guitarist guide the audience through crowd-sourced narratives, revealing the true stories behind the secrets. See the hopeful, shocking and painful secrets that brought hundreds of millions to the PostSecret blog, which has led to six best-selling books and an exhibit in the Smithsonian.

Frank Warren, PostSecret creator, internet phenomenon and recipient of the Mental Health Advocacy Lifetime Achievement Award, collaborated with an award-winning team of theatre professionals to bring PostSecret to life theatrically.

With the bravery of Rent and the surprising honesty of The Vagina Monologues, PostSecret: The Show is a breakthrough in audience-sourced storytelling that reaches beyond the confines of the stage, reminding audiences that secrets can be both walls and bridges.

Please be advised this performance contains occasional use of strong language and mature themes or subject matter. It is intended for mature audiences.

Tickets for PostSecret: The Show are available through the Fredericton Playhouse box office by calling 458-8344 or online at

Inside/Out is a funny, sad and stirring play about Canada’s penitentiary system

17. Inside Out

On Thursday, March 15 at 7:30 p.m., the Fredericton Playhouse Spotlight Series presents a Pay-What-You-Will performance of the one-man play Inside/Out.

Inside/Out is written and performed by Patrick Keating, a kind, soft-spoken and sincere artist who spent years in and out of Canada’s penitentiary system. Keating’s honest and engaging delivery of his funny, sad and stirring story dismantles our ideas of what a criminal looks like, and helps us better understand how language, race and class play a real part in our lives as Canadians.

Inside/Out is about a man’s search for community: the community of the street, the community of prison, and the community of theatre.

A graduate of Simon Fraser’s School for the Contemporary Arts, Keating has been working as an actor in the Vancouver TV, film and theatre scene for the past 20 years. He is currently an associate artist with Main Street Theatre, and has been recognized with two Jessie Richardson Award Nominations. Inside/Out is Keating’s first venture into playwriting.

This show 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.

In addition to this performance, the Playhouse is pleased to present a free Experience More! Conversation with Patrick Keating following the show. This moderated post-performance conversation with Keating will add depth and richness to patrons’ live performance experience. This event is designed to give opportunities to learn more about the artist’s background and who he is, while also highlighting his interpretation and development of the artistic process, and exploring his motivation to create.

Please be advised this performance contains frequent use of strong language and mature themes or subject matter. It is intended for mature audiences only.

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

Unique band Lemon Bucket Orkestra inspires joy in audiences everywhere

16. LBO

Following their wildly celebrated performance at the Playhouse in 2015, Lemon Bucket Orkestra returns with another adventurous and unexpected show on Friday, February 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Canada’s only self-described Balkan-klezmer-gypsy-party-punk superband developed on the streets of Toronto in 2010, and has grown from a quartet of guerrilla-folk troubadours to encompass members numbering in the double digits.

You’ll be blown away by Lemon Bucket Orkestra’s ability to connect with audiences through reworked Balkan and Eastern European folk songs spiked with a signature blend of funk, punk, psychedelia, blues and swing. Incorporating an impressive array of influences and instruments into their performance, this is a truly unique act that inspires joy in all who have the chance to experience them live.

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

Call Mr. Robeson tells the remarkable story of an actor, singer and civil rights campaigner

15. Robeson

Coming to the Playhouse on Thursday, February 22 at 7:30 p.m., Call Mr. Robeson is an award-winning play about one of the forerunners of the civil rights movement.

Call Mr. Robeson follows Paul Robeson, a great and famous American actor, singer and civil rights campaigner. Famous for performing songs like “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” and “Ol’ Man River,” Robeson was branded a traitor to his country for being too radical and outspoken for the 1950s.

This roller coaster journey through Robeson’s remarkable and eventful life highlights how his pioneering and heroic (but largely forgotten) political activism has led many to describe him as the forerunner of the civil rights movement.

Call Mr. Robeson is written, performed and produced by Tayo Aluko, a Nigerian-born artist based in Liverpool, UK. This one-man play has received accolades at Fringe festivals around the world, and won the coveted Fringe Review Outstanding Theatre Award at Brighton Fringe in 2016. The play has also been performed to great acclaim in Nigeria and Jamaica, and at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 2016.

In addition to this performance, the Playhouse is pleased to present a free Experience More! lecture and concert on Wednesday, February 21 at 6 p.m. called From Black Africa to the White House. Presented in partnership with the New Brunswick African Association, this celebration of Black History Month features a musically illustrated talk by Aluko, followed by a panel discussion with Aluko and Saa Andrew Gbongbor, president of the NBAA. Tickets can be reserved in advance through the Playhouse box office.

Tickets for Call Mr. Robeson are available through the Fredericton Playhouse box office by calling 458-8344 or online at

Valentine’s Day gift guide

January is almost over, and that means Valentine’s Day is only two weeks away! If you’re struggling to come up with exciting and innovative gift ideas for that special someone, we’ve got you covered. A night out at the Playhouse makes for the perfect romantic evening! Take a look at our performance suggestions below:


Victoria (February 14)Spend Valentine’s Day itself watching an incredible piece of theatre! Victoria is a moving play that promises to dazzle you and your date. It’s performed by Dulcinea Langfelder & Co., a Montreal-based theatre company known for transporting audiences to a playful universe.


Lemon Bucket Orkestra (February 23). Tickets to see Canada’s only balkan-klezmer-gypsy-party-punk superband are the perfect gift for a musically adventurous Valentine! Lemon Bucket Orkestra returns to the Playhouse stage with the perfect blend of funk, punk, psychedelia and swing to drive away the mid-winter blues.


PostSecret: The Show (March 17). What’s more intimate than sharing secrets with a loved one? How about hearing dozens of hopeful, shocking, funny and painful secrets together? PostSecret: The Show explores the true stories behind secrets that have been shared as part of the incredibly popular PostSecret blog, which has led to six best-selling books and an exhibit in the Smithsonian.


Rosie & the Riveters (April 11)Enjoy a special night out with your sweetheart experiencing uplifting folk music from Rosie & the Riveters! This trio performs original songs with a vintage 1940s flair, featuring sophisticated harmonies, body percussion, scintillating dance moves and lots of humour.


Cadence (May 5)You and your Valentine will swoon for these smooth a cappella crooners! Cadence brings a mesmerizing display of musical genius and an infectious energy to every song they sing, whether it’s a classic song by Joni Mitchell, an old bebop standard, or a cheeky arrangement of a 1980s hit.