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Valentine’s Day gift ideas from the Playhouse

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! This year, think outside the box and surprise your special someone with something other than chocolate and flowers. Give them a night they’ll cherish for years to come with tickets to a Fredericton Playhouse performance! Check out our suggestions below, and visit or contact our box office at 458-8344 for more information on upcoming shows.


Ballet BC – February 24. Celebrate Valentine’s Day a few days late with a powerful, passionate performance from Playhouse favourite Ballet BC. Treat your Valentine to an evening featuring three pieces from three celebrated choreographers, by a dance company known for its bold and innovative style.


The Who’s Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry – March 17. If you have a sweetheart who swoons for classic rock OR bluegrass music, you’ll want to consider tickets for this unique show. Forty-five years after its original release, the Who’s classic rock opera Tommy has been reimagined as a full-length bluegrass tribute by the HillBenders. Your date will fall in love with this new and exciting version of a classic!


Immortal Chi – April 6. Immortal Chi is full of spectacle, and is sure to wow your Valentine with adrenaline-packed stunts, traditional weaponry, innovative video projections and stunning costumes! This fusion of Chinese martial arts and jaw-dropping acrobatics is accompanied by an all female percussion ensemble, and is a true feast for the senses.


Stephen Fearing – April 8. Enjoy a romantic night out with the music of Juno-winning folk singer-songwriter Stephen Fearing. This musician is known for mixing powerful lyrics, creative arrangements and brilliant guitar playing. You and your special someone will be captivated by his arresting voice and his ability to turn a phrase with ease.


Swingin’ with Oscar – May 13. Your jazzy Valentine will appreciate this tribute by the Rémi Bolduc Jazz Ensemble to the legendary jazz pianist Oscar Peterson. Your date will be captivated by acclaimed jazz saxophonist Bolduc’s dazzling virtuosity and stunning maturity – a must-see performance!

ECMA Songwriters Tour features some of the East Coast’s hottest up-and-coming artists


Coming to the Fredericton Playhouse on Thursday, February 16 at 7:30 p.m., the ECMA Songwriters Tour features five of Atlantic Canada’s hottest up-and-coming songwriters.

Presented in the Playhouse’s intimate backstage studio space, audiences will be treated to performances by New Brunswick’s Mike Biggar, Jordan Musycysn of Cape Breton, Newfoundland’s Jon Pike, Nova Scotia’s Ian Sherwood, and Andrew Waite from Prince Edward Island. These artists were selected by members of the Atlantic Presenters Association after seeing them perform during the 2016 East Coast Music Awards in Sydney, N.S.

Known for intense, roiling live performances, signature soaring vocals and warm, disarming on-stage humour, soulful roots artist Mike Biggar is a definitive natural live performer who has earned affection from listeners and accolades from the industry, including an ECMA win in 2012.

A masterful storyteller, Jordan Musycysn writes stories about life and love with humour and pathos, moving listeners from laughter to tears and back again on his Music Nova Scotia-nominated debut album The Pitch.

Jon Pike is one half of alt-pop duo Everglow, known for a polished radio-ready sound accompanied by a thrilling live performance. The band has quickly risen in popularity since debuting three years ago, earning an ECMA for Fan’s Choice Video of the Year in 2016.

Musician, storyteller and creator Ian Sherwood creates songs full of instantly appealing hooks and singable choruses, incorporating his signature style of imaginative, narrative writing. This Canadian Folk Music Award-winning artist is known for his unique musicianship combined with tales of heartbreak, victory and adventure.

Best known for his rock-roots band Andrew Waite & the Firm, Waite’s songwriting is honest, rugged and evocative. Under his lead, the band became a regional finalist in CBC’s annual Searchlight competition and won the 2016 Music PEI Rock Recording of the Year.

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


Le Patin Libre combines urban street dance with artistic expression on the ice


On Sunday, February 12 at 2 p.m. during Fredericton Frostival, the Fredericton Playhouse Spotlight Series will present Le Patin Libre performing Vertical Influences at Willie O’Ree Place.

Montreal-based company Le Patin Libre describes their performances as “contemporary dance on ice.” Formed by former high-level figure skaters in 2005, the group has transformed their athleticism into a means of free expression. The five-member troupe is reinventing ice skating by bringing urban street dance and high-level artistic expression onto the ice, with a mix of movement, wit, speed and grace.

In their two-part piece Vertical Influences, Le Patin Libre explores human interrelations between individuals and the groups they are part of. They touch on leadership, bullying, individualism and rivalry, all while evolving toward a new harmony. The performance challenges audiences with an almost vertiginous rhythmic and choreographic essay.

In addition to this performance, the Playhouse is pleased to present a free Experience More! Public Skate with Le Patin Libre on Saturday, February 11 at 1 p.m. in Officers’ Square. During this event, members of Le Patin Libre will perform an excerpt from Vertical Influences, and will also lead skaters in a series of participative activities, allowing them to experience the freedom and pleasure of this new kind of ice dancing.

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

The Ins and Outs of Ticketing


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


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

The Gift of Live Performance


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


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