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The Ins and Outs of Ticketing

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The Fredericton Playhouse box office is a busy hub, with ticketing staff constantly issuing tickets and offering advice and service to our patrons. It’s also an area of our business that inspires many questions.

The first thing patrons need to know is that there are a number of different ways to purchase tickets – online through our website or app, over the phone, or by visiting us in person. We’re open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; on performance days the box office is open until the end of the first intermission. We are closed on weekends, except on performance days, when the box office opens four hours prior to the show until the end of the first intermission.

Of course, patrons are able to purchase tickets online 24/7. Our ticketing site is also optimized for use with mobile phones. Because of the convenience of online ticketing, we’ve noticed a growing trend toward online purchases over the years – during our 2015-2016 season, fully 43 per cent of all orders were placed online.

For the majority of performances at the Playhouse, patrons have the option of selecting their own seats – subject to availability. A map of the theatre showing the seating layout is provided on our website, and at the box office window. When purchasing online, you can either select your seats from an interactive seating chart or use the “Best Seat Available” option to have the system find the best seats for you.

The exception to this is “general admission” performances, such as those presented in our intimate backstage studio. For these events, patrons are guaranteed a seat, but will have to pick the location when they arrive for the show.

The box office is often quite busy, and not just on the days when tickets for a highly anticipated performance go on sale. In the 2015-2016 season, we issued 58,040 tickets, in 17,986 orders. In total, we processed nearly $1.5 million in transactions.

The Playhouse doesn’t just sell tickets for performances in our own venue – we also provide ticketing services for event organizers using other venues in our region. During the 2015-2106 season, we serviced 33 other events in various venues, including Theatre New Brunswick’s Open Space Theatre, Oromocto Pioneer Days and Fredericton High School’s Tom Morison Theatre.

If you’re planning to attend a show with a large group, be sure to let the box office staff know – many shows offer a special group rate, allowing you to save up to 20 per cent on the ticket price, depending on the size of the group.

Like any other ticketing operation, the Fredericton Playhouse charges nominal service charges on all orders, depending on how a patron chooses to purchase tickets and have them delivered. These fees are quite competitive compared with other ticketing services, and range from $2 for orders placed at our box office window, to $7.50 for tickets that are placed online or over the phone and then sent by mail to the patron. Printing your tickets at home can save on service charges, as can ordering your tickets in person.

One thing many people don’t realize is that the Playhouse has a very progressive return policy on tickets. Of course, in the unlikely event that a performance is cancelled, patrons are eligible for a full refund. But in the event something unexpected comes up and you are no longer able to attend the show for which you purchased tickets, we will gladly exchange your tickets for a box office credit that can be applied to future purchases. The only caveat is that tickets must be returned to the box office at least two hours before the scheduled performance so that we have ample opportunity to sell them to another patron.

One last note – if you’re interested in seeing a show that’s already sold out, don’t despair, just add your name to the wait list. Our box office staff will take down your information, and will contact you if seats become available. We often open up more seats as the date of the show draws closer, so there is still a good chance you’ll have the opportunity to purchase tickets.

Our box office is a huge part of the Fredericton Playhouse’s operations, and we want to ensure purchasing tickets is as straightforward and user-friendly as possible for our patrons. If you have questions about any of our policies, give the box office a call – our dedicated staff is here to help.

Tim Yerxa is the Executive Director of the Fredericton Playhouse. 

 

 

 

Machine de Cirque dazzles audiences with theatrics, acrobatics and juggling

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Coming to the Fredericton Playhouse on Thursday, February 9 at 7:30 p.m. as part of Fredericton Frostival, Machine de Cirque will dazzle audiences with theatrics, acrobatics, juggling and more.

Founded in 2013 in Quebec City, Machine de Cirque is a young, contemporary circus company whose show is both poetic and humorous.

Set 15 years after the apocalypse, this performance follows five survivors who create an astounding machine as part of their quest to find signs of humanity. Armed with a talent for acrobatics and ingenuity, these wacky characters masterfully manipulate props, including a teeterboard, juggling clubs, a drum kit and even a bath towel!

Sometimes comical, sometimes nostalgic, Machine de Cirque’s performance will delight audiences of all ages.

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

The Gift of Live Performance

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Ballet BC: 16+ a room (performing February 24, 2017)

The holiday season is always a particular magical time at the Fredericton Playhouse, and 2016 has been no exception. The last few weeks have been full of heartwarming holiday performances, and it’s been wonderful to see friends and family come together to take in festive shows.

I hope you’ve had the opportunity to take in a performance or two this November and December. From comedians like Sharron Matthews, Nikki Payne and James Mullinger, to music from Celtic group Còig, Symphony New Brunswick and the New Brunswick Country Showcase; from Dance Fredericton’s annual performance of The Nutcracker, to Theatre New Brunswick’s The Snow Queen, we’ve had offerings for every taste this holiday season.

We’re also looking forward to our upcoming annual show by DuffleBag Theatre. On Dec. 28, this beloved group will perform ’Twas the Night Before Christmas as part of our Kidstage Series. This post-Christmas show is always a favourite, full of spontaneous fun and audience involvement that is sure to delight children and their family members.

Of course, the magic of the performing arts isn’t confined to the holidays – it continues all year long. We could all stand to take a few hours away from our busy lives, and spend time with our loved ones, enjoying a shared experience.

Gifts of experience provide a great alternative to more materialistic presents, and the arts and culture sector in particular offers a number of potential suggestions. From gallery memberships, to a registration in a class or workshop, to tickets to a festival or performance, there are lots of ways to provide your friends and family with an interesting new experience that will appeal to their particular interests.

The Playhouse has dozens of shows already scheduled for 2017, offering a wide range of performances to choose from if you’re searching for a last minute Christmas gift.

If you have a dance lover on your list, they may be interested in performances by Le Patin Libre, described as contemporary dance on ice; internationally acclaimed Ballet BC; or Carmen, the latest collaboration from Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada and Symphony New Brunswick.

Families can look forward to a fun outing with the kids, with tickets to shows like the Fredericton Symphony Orchestra’s Welcome to the Orchestra, or “ambassador of the blues” Guy Davis, who performs as part of our Kidstage Series this spring.

Comedy fans will appreciate the opportunity to see the always popular Buddy Wasisname and the Other Fellers, Newfoundland’s longest touring entertainers. Alternatively, there’s This is That LIVE, a live stage performance of the satirical CBC radio show that will feature a mix of character interviews and mockumentary stories.

If you’re shopping for a music buff, I have suggestions to cover a number of different genres. There’s The Who’s Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry, a reimagining of the classic rock opera by the HillBenders; Juno-winning folk musician Stephen Fearing; and Swingin’ with Oscar, a tribute to jazz pianist Oscar Peterson by the Rémi Bolduc Jazz Ensemble.

Looking for something to please a theatre lover? Take a look into Roller Derby Saved My Soul, a delightful comedy from New Brunswick’s own Nancy Kenny, or BOOM, an explosive new performance by Rick Miller that documents the music, culture and politics that shaped the Baby Boom generation.

Classical music aficionados will welcome the chance to see the Vienna Boys Choir when they return to the Playhouse this March. There are also a number of Symphony New Brunswick performances coming up in 2017, including Canada Comes of Age, featuring a special performance by New Brunswick-born contralto Heather Flemming.

I’m also looking forward to a couple of crowd-pleasing shows that are sure to impress fans of spectacle, including young, contemporary circus company Machine de Cirque, and Immortal Chi, a spectacular fusion of Chinese martial arts and jaw-dropping acrobatics.

Of course, for those who are especially difficult to shop for, we always have gift certificates available through the box office. You can also purchase drink vouchers from the box office this year, as an extra way to treat your gift recipient when they use their tickets or gift certificate.

The holiday magic doesn’t need to end with December – with the gift of performance you can keep it alive throughout the year ahead.

Tim Yerxa is the Executive Director of the Fredericton Playhouse.

 

DuffleBag Theatre performance is the perfect post-Christmas family activity

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On Wednesday, December 28 at 2 p.m., DuffleBag Theatre will perform ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas at the Fredericton Playhouse, a family-oriented show that will delight audiences of all ages.

Presented as part of the Kidstage Series, DuffleBag Theatre is an annual favourite at the Playhouse, known for performances that are full of spontaneity and audience involvement. Watch as this skilled theatre troupe brings the timeless story of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas to life, with lots of hilarious twists along the way!

The “nearly world-famous” DuffleBag Theatre has been performing since 1992, starting at the London International Children’s Festival in Ontario. Now based in Toronto, DuffleBag performs over 600 shows a year across Canada, the U.S. and internationally. All are performed with the same sense of fun that audiences have come to expect.

Join us at the Playhouse this holiday season for the perfect post-Christmas family activity!

Tickets for ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas are available through the Fredericton Playhouse box office by calling 458-8344 or online at www.theplayhouse.ca.

Fredericton Playhouse holiday gift guide

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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

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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

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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 www.theplayhouse.ca.