Old Man Luedecke at the Victoria Playhouse

Old Man Luedecke is the real thing, a modern-day people’s poet and travelling bard and balladeer. He’s played around the world to a loving and increasing fan base, and won two Juno awards in the process.

image001.jpg

Not since Loudon Wainwright III has anyone written so honestly, so openly, or with such aching tenderness and good humour about family life. Luedecke has always insisted on a solid poetic heft in the way he uses words, and highly personal stories are what have connected him to the universal in his audience.

Old Man Luedecke’s intimate songs and infectious old-time banjo and guitar welcome you into his world.

His most recent album,“Domestic Eccentric”, is a record about home. It’s about what it means to be a still-youngish man, what it’s like to still be in love with the woman you married a decade ago, about what it’s like to watch your own babies grow to children, and about the joys and sorrows attendant upon the milestones of parenthood.

“You got to hold on, it goes so fast, these early days they don’t last” Early Days.

Old Man Luedecke is at the Victoria Playhouse on August 28th.

Off to Ottawa

With Canada 150 celebrations in full stride, the Confederation Players are preparing for their most dynamic season yet. The iconic troupe kicks off their summer at Confederation Centre on July 1, although the CN-sponsored program has been plenty busy all spring.

image009

On Monday May 29 the troupe hits the road for Montreal and Ottawa, riding a special anniversary train filled with municipal leaders from Eastern Canada. On May 31, the train will leave from Montreal’s Central Station bound for Ottawa and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Conference, where they will perform for more than 1,500 municipal leaders.

The Players troupe, CEO Jessie Inman, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee, and many more will arrive in Ottawa aboard this commemorative train on May 31 at 3:45 p.m. Media and public are invited to welcome Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir George-Étienne Cartier, and many more at the Ottawa Station, platform 2, located at 200 Tremblay Road, where they will be greeted by VIPs and media.

“CN are the perfect partner for Confederation Centre to collaborate with to share our nation’s stories and commemorate the dreams of our founders,” offers CEO Inman, “I invite those in Ottawa to come out and welcome the Players while they are in the capital to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation.”

Courtesy of this unique partnership, the 13-member Players troupe will entertain all week long at the FCM Conference. There are also three public opportunities to see the troupe, including two dates at Inspiration Village – a City of Ottawa attraction in the ByWard Market inspired by the PEI Celebration Zone, made up of repurposed shipping containers.

The Players will perform From Sea to Shining Sea at Inspiration Village from 3-3:30 p.m. on Friday June 2, and 6-6:30 p.m. on Saturday June 3. Admission is free.

The troupe will also perform a suite of Victorian songs on the steps of Parliament on Sunday June 4 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Other activities include two special Canada 150 tree-planting ceremonies with CN in Montreal and Ottawa and emceeing events at the FCM conference.

Amelia Curran at the Victoria Playhouse

Amelia Curran is a Juno-Award winning songwriter, activist and mental health advocate from St. John’s, Newfoundland. Curran’s music is distinguished by her intricate and elliptical lyrics, geologic in their resilience and oceanic in their depths. Over the course of a decade, Curran has built a shoreline of song, a place of radical, perpetual collision of matter and form. Even as she leads us to the ever-eroding lip of the abyss, Curran’s music helps us make sense of the heart’s imperceptible, relentless attrition.

89d883271172811f5feb509c_480x480

Watershed, Amelia Curran’s newest album, marks a threshold, a shake-up, a directional change. The tenor of this new album is openness (not to be confused with optimism), a reflection in part of Curran’s increasingly public efforts to battle the stigma of mental health issues in the arts. As a whole, the album calls for compassion and unification as a breakwater against the sea of cruelties we inflict upon each other, and upon ourselves.

Amelia Curran appears at the Victoria Playhouse on August 21st.

Sears Festival Wraps Up Successful Weekend at the Watermark

This past long weekend, Watermark Theatre hosted the Sears Atlantic Drama Festival for teenagers from PEI, Newfoundland, and New Brunswick. Participating groups from PEI were the Spotlight School of Arts and the Atlantic Academy of Performing Arts, both based in Summerside.

d3e5edfe-6f98-4646-91fc-d54c19123f00

The Sears Atlantic Drama Festival is a non-competitive, three-day drama festival for budding theatre practitioners to showcase their unique theatrical works. Performances are adjudicated by experienced theatre professionals and workshops are offered to the students throughout the festival weekend. Workshops offered this year included classes in stage combat, playwrighting, scene study, physical theatre, improvisation, and behind the scenes.

This year’s adjudicators were Toronto based performer Geoffrey Armour and director and actress Natasha MacLellan, the Artistic Producer of Ship’s Company Theatre in Nova Scotia. An awards ceremony was held on the final night.  The adjudicator’s handed out awards of excellence in playwrighting, acting, ensemble performances, lighting design and technical proficiency.

This was the 7th Festival hosted by Watermark Theatre with Sears Canada as the major sponsor.

“It was an exciting weekend, not just for the students, but also for everyone here at the theatre”, commented General Manager Andrea Surich. “To see the next generation of theatre artists perform on our stage at such a high level is really inspiring to everyone.”

For more information please contact Andrea Surich at 902-963-3963 or generalmanager@watermarktheatre.com

Watermark is a proud member of the PTN – Professional Theatre Network of PEI

Atlantic String Machine at the Victoria Playhouse

The cultural fabric of our island has been woven from the many threads of settlers hailing from all corners of the earth. When these ancestral settlers came to Prince Edward Island, they brought their music with them.

Join the Atlantic String Machine as they trace our musical heritage from Mi’kmaq Lullabies to Celtic Airs to Acadian Laments. This entertaining show, featuring actor/narrator Cameron MacDuffee, is sure to delight islanders and visitors alike. Come discover the music of our island’s peoples, past and present, and truly experience the “Heartbeat of the Island”!

ASM.ColourJBGrille

The Atlantic String Machine was formed in April 2015 and is based on Prince Edward Island. The group is made up of five string players who have performed worldwide with internationally recognized symphony and chamber orchestras, ensembles, bands and artists. They have recently joined together to present a wide range of repertoire from classical to jazz, pop, world music and their own compositions.

The Atlantic String Machine is at the Victoria Playhouse on July 17th

Getting Ready to Dream

Take hip hop, spoken word, and folk. Blend it with contemporary and Indigenous dance, and experience a new musical, full of original Canadian music, dance, and story. The Dream Catchers is a Canada150 Signature project, featuring the TD Confederation Centre Young Company, that will take you on a one hour quest to find hope for the future and dare you to believe that no dream is too small.

image008

The show is a vibrant music and dance-filled spectacle that explores the dreams of young Canadians through a lens of reconciliation, inclusion, and the environment. The musical features brand new original works from a host of Canadian artists: Paper Lions, City Natives, Fred Penner, Emm Gryner, Kinnie Starr, Khodi Dill, Nikki Payne, Carmen Braden, Tiny Emperor, Daniel Maté, Riley Simpson-Fowler, Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, Caroline Savoie, and Twin Flames.

Funded by the Government of Canada, sponsored by TD, and produced by Confederation Centre, The Dream Catchers is written by Mary Francis Moore with direction by ahdri zhina mandiela, choreography by Barbara Diabo, set/costume design from Rachel Forbes, sound design from Bobby Smale, and musical direction by Scott Christian. The original project idea is based on a concept by Yvonne Mosley.

The musical opens on National Aboriginal Day, June 21, in the Outdoor Amphitheatre at Confederation Centre. At the exact same time, a second touring company will open The Dream Catchers at the Museum of Canadian History in Ottawa. The two companies will both spend time touring the nation and performing in Charlottetown this summer.

Company members are from every province and territory and represent a wealth of different backgrounds. The company debuting in Charlottetown includes: Nadia Haddad (of P.E.I.), Josh Graetz, Randy Plain Eagle, Garrett Woods, Kira Fondse, Germaine Konji, Laura Coulter-Low, Ria Kapur, Kirkland Doiron, Colleen Nakashuk, Morgyn Davies, Kevin McLachlan, and Keira-Dawn Kolson.

The company debuting in the nation’s capital includes: Madison Bernard (of P.E.I.), Faly Mevamanana, Rachelle Block, Stephen Thakkar, Emily Meadows, Rohan Dhupar, Clarence Jura, Kaitlyn Post, Erin LeBlanc, Jerry Laisa, Danik McAfee, Alita Powell, and Christopher Mejaki.

For complete touring and local schedules, or for more information, please visit: dreamingcanada.ca.

Mrs. Warren’s Profession at the Watermark

George Bernard Shaw‘s scathing commentary on social hypocrisy and the excesses of capitalism, Mrs. Warren’s Profession, was banned from being performed in England when it was originally written in 1893 because of its frank discussion of prostitution.

mrswarren-web

Mrs. Kitty Warren worked her way out of the London slums and now lives abroad, having provided her daughter Vivie with the education and means to grow into a smart, independent young woman of strong convictions. When Mrs. Warren returns, mother and daughter discover that neither is the woman they thought they knew. A brilliant, provocative play by a master playwright.