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Polaris Prize-winning artist Tanya Tagaq performs throat singing that transcends genre

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Coming to the Fredericton Playhouse on Friday, October 21 at 7:30 p.m., Polaris Prize-winning artist Tanya Tagaq will deliver a distinctive performance featuring music unlike anything you’ve ever heard.

Unnerving and exquisite, Tagaq’s unique vocal expression is rooted in Inuit throat singing, but her music also incorporates electronic, industrial and metal influences. This Inuk punk is known for delivering fearsome, elemental performances that are visceral and physical, heaving and breathing and alive.

Her show draws incredulous response from worldwide audiences, transcending language and culture. Tagaq has collaborated with everyone from opera singers, to avant-garde violin composers, to experimental DJs to create cutting edge, challenging music.

With a string of Juno nominations, and with her latest album, Retribution, set to be released in October, she demonstrates her ability to make difficult music that speaks a universal tongue.

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

“Experience More” at the Playhouse

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Bboyizm leads a Hip Hop dance workshop on the Playhouse stage.

When we consider the performing arts, it’s common to picture passive audience members sitting down and watching a performance unfold on a stage. That’s certainly a huge component of what we do at the Fredericton Playhouse, but we also go beyond the stage to offer more participatory experiences in which our patrons can play an active role.

Each season the Playhouse presents a program called Experience More! This series of innovative workshops and activities is presented in conjunction with our Spotlight Series, and is an opportunity for audience members to have a more enriching performing arts experience through hands on participation.

We aim to provide events that will appeal to a wide range of interests and abilities, and while there is a nominal fee for some activities, we also have offerings that cost little or no money. Many of these activities are offered at venues outside of the Playhouse, within our community, and we relish the opportunity to connect and partner with other organizations.

This season, in addition to master classes for trained dancers, we’re looking forward to providing a number of dance workshops open to participants of all different skill levels, ranging from a Bollywood dance class open to everyone, to a ballet masterclass for experienced dancers.

One of the best ways to enhance a dance or theatre performance is to hear from the creator of the piece, which is why ticketholders will be invited to attend post-show conversations with actors, creators and artistic directors following a number of performances in the Spotlight Series this season. These moderated discussions are an opportunity for audience members to ask questions and gain a better understanding of the artists’ background and motivations.

We like to include food and wine events in our Experience More! programming, to help create the feeling of a complete evening out, during which participants can immerse themselves in the culture of the performance they’re attending. We’re excited to offer a traditional Newfoundland dinner prior to a performance by Newfoundland-based folk trio The Once, as one example, which should lead to a lively night of food and entertainment.

This series also offers opportunities for local performers to highlight their talents and hone their skills. We can’t wait to see country music fans participate in our Hank Williams Open Mic this fall. Later in the season, local singer-songwriters will have a fabulous opportunity to sign up for a Songwriters Workshop, led by acclaimed singer-songwriter Stephen Fearing.

We’re pleased to give our audience the chance to play a direct role in certain performances, such as with Vancouver-based dance group Out Innerspace’s performance titled Major Motion Picture. Interested participants can leave a message on a Digital Graffiti Wall using infrared technology, which will later be incorporated on stage in the Playhouse performance.

These are just a few of the 16 activities we have planned for the season. Some of them have limited space, and I would encourage you to contact our box office to pre-register.

Aside from our Experience More! programming, we were pleased to once again participate in Doors Open Fredericton on Sept. 25. We offered guests a closer look at our front of house, backstage and catwalk areas, as well as an on-stage technical demonstration of lighting and sound, followed by a special performance.

This annual activity was a chance to show the public how we make the magic happen on stage, while also exploring the Playhouse’s history, and how our present-day operations work.

Becoming an active participant is a great way to meet new people and learn something new, all while enhancing your performing arts experiences at the Playhouse.

Tim Yerxa is the Executive Director of the Fredericton Playhouse.

 

Menopause the Musical celebrates women and “the change”

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On Wednesday, October 19 and Thursday, October 20 at 7:30 p.m., the Playhouse will present Menopause the Musical, an off-Broadway hit that will have audiences cheering and dancing in the aisles.

Since its creation 15 years ago, Menopause the Musical has been performed to sold-out audiences across North America and around the world. This hit show features 25 brilliant parodies based on classic hit songs from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s.

Set in a department store, this wildly funny musical brings together four women who at first appear to have nothing in common other than an interest in the same bra, but who in fact share more than they could have imagined. The characters make fun of everything from their woeful hot flashes and mood swings, to night sweats and chocolate binges.

These women create a sense of sisterhood and form a bond with the audience, celebrating together over the realization that menopause no longer needs to be “the silent passage.”

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

A cappella sensations the Nylons bring farewell tour to the Playhouse

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Coming to the Fredericton Playhouse on Thursday, October 13 at 7:30 p.m., Canadian a cappella act The Nylons will perform as part of their farewell tour.

These international stars and Juno-winning performers have performed as an ensemble for the past four decades. The Nylons are known for covers of songs like the Turtles’ “Happy Together,” Steam’s “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” and the Tokens’ version of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”

The Nylons have performed all over the world, and are living legends in the world of vocal music. Don’t miss this final chance to see why this quartet is renowned for their vibrant live show, dazzling harmonies, smooth arrangements and fabulous showmanship during their exciting farewell tour.

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

Rock band Sloan celebrates milestone anniversary of One Chord to Another

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On Wednesday, October 12 at 7:30 p.m., Canadian rock band Sloan will perform at the Fredericton Playhouse as part of a special tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of their Juno-winning album One Chord to Another.

Released in 1996, One Chord to Another is a Beatles-influenced record that features stand-out hits like “The Good in Everyone,” “Everything You’ve Done Wrong” and “The Lines You Amend.” Sloan will perform the album in its entirety, along with other hit songs and fan favourites from their extensive catalogue.

Since forming in Halifax 25 years ago, Sloan has become a household name, releasing 11 albums and winning a Juno and several ECMAs along the way, all while maintaining their original four-member lineup. Known for their brilliant live show, the band presents challenging harmonies, complex instrumentation and clever lyrics.

After a quarter of a century, Sloan is going stronger than ever – this is a rock show you won’t want to miss.

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

Marty Haggard pays tribute to Merle Haggard in Playhouse performance

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On Thursday, September 29 at 7:30 p.m., the Fredericton Playhouse will present a special tribute performance by Marty Haggard, the son of the late country singer-songwriter Merle Haggard.

Marty Haggard toured with his legendary father during the ’80s, singing harmony and playing guitar. In 1986 he released the song “Trains Make Me Lonesome,” which garnered him a nomination for Top New Male Vocalist from the Academy of Country Music.

Marty’s love for his dad’s music inspired him to begin a project titled A Tribute to Merle Haggard in 2010, which has led to two tribute albums. Marty has spent the past five years performing across the United States and Canada, and throughout the UK. He is currently working on a new album of his own music.

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

The Playhouse launches its 2016-17 dance program with provocative company Joe Ink

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On Saturday, September 24 at 7:30 p.m., the Fredericton Playhouse will launch its dance program for the 2016-2017 Spotlight Series with contemporary dance company Joe Ink’s inventive new performance, titled 4OUR.

Led by Artistic Director Joe Laughlin, Joe Ink has built a reputation for its versatility, creating provocative, witty and lyrical work. Described as “wickedly sophisticated,” “unusual” and “daring,” Laughlin’s style is uniquely informed by his background in gymnastics and performance, and choreographic experience in dance, theatre and new media.

Exploring the dynamics of family, the transference of memory, and the singular moments that shape our lives, 4OUR is an emotionally resonant and visually striking performance that reflects the unique chemistry and cross-generational relationships between the dancers. Rich in Laughlin’s signature brand of intricate choreography, he performs alongside dance greats Gioconda Barbuto, Heather Dotto and Kevin Tookey.

This is the first of several dance performances to be presented in 2016-2017 by the Playhouse Spotlight Series. The season includes Roots: A Journey Through India on October 30; Out Innerspace on November 29; Le Patin Libre on February 12; and Ballet BC on February 24.

The Playhouse is also offering two Experience More! events in association with Joe Ink. Participants of all ages and experience levels can register through the box office for a Move It! Dance Workshop at the Charlotte Street Arts Centre on Friday, September 23 at 7 p.m. This inclusive class teaches the basics of dance and choreography and demystifies the creative process, while participants experience the sensation of joyful, confident, expressive movement. In addition, Joe Ink ticketholders are invited to attend a free post-performance Conversation with Joe Laughlin, which will be moderated by Lisa Anne Ross.

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