Always Young at Heart

Young At Heart Musical Theatre For Seniors is a non-profit, charitable organization that is dedicated to producing vibrant, professional and original theatre. Created to tour to seniors living in PEI and the Maritime provinces, we are the only professional company providing this type of theatre east of Ontario. In fact, Smile Theatre, based in Toronto, helped us get out start over ten years ago.

Wow! Time flies.

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Our purpose is to enrich the lives of seniors – especially those in long term care facilities. By engaging the skills of professional actors, directors, stage managers, writers, designers, composers and choreographers, we strive to produce high quality, professional theatre designed to stimulate seniors’ minds, spirits and imaginations.

Please take a moment to browse our site – http://www.yahtheatre.com – and check out our up-coming shows. You may also be moved to get involved or make a donation.

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Sherwood On the Go

“Everywhere To Go” is Ian Sherwood’s latest studio creation. Considered to be his best to date, it is chalk-full of instantly appealing hooks and singable choruses while sitting comfortably in Sherwood’s signature style of imaginative, narrative writing.

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Sherwood is a guitar-playing, sax-blowing, crowd-pleasing looping singer/songwriter. A born story teller and a constant creator, his music dances the line between folk and pop. His live performances thrive on intimacy. Whether it’s a theatre show or large festival stage, his persona is irresistible and completely destroys fourth walls.

He has penned tunes for many other artists as well as for theatre, film and television. He was named Contemporary Singer of the Year by the 2013 Canadian Folk Music Awards, Best Male Artist of the Year by the 2012 International Acoustic Music Awards and was the 2008 and 2010 Music Nova Scotia Musician Of The Year. Bob Mersereau of CBC Radio, Fredericton described him as “… a natural performer who entertains as much with his wit and stories as with his songs.”

Ian Sherwood is currently working on his fifth studio album to be released in 2017. He appears at the Harbourfront Theatre on August 3rd at 7:30 PM.

‘Blessed Assurance’ Shines Light in Song at The Guild

Blessed Assurance: The Story and Songs of Fanny Crosby is created and performed by Islanders Pamela Campbell and Nancy Beck. This delightful hour-long musical explores the remarkable life of the woman behind many of our most cherished and familiar hymns.

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Come join in on favourites like “Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross”, “To God Be the Glory”, “All the Way My Saviour Leads Me”, “Praise Him, Praise Him, Jesus Our Blessed Redeemer” and, of course, “Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine”. Lyrics are provided!

Blessed Assurance plays at The Guild August 6th at 2 PM.

Star-Studded Line-Up Lined Up

Confederation Centre has unveiled a stacked Sobeys LIVE @ the Centre lineup for 2016-17. From Thanksgiving through to the spring thaw, the Centre presents a captivating range of rock, comedy, dance, bilingual programming, choral music, and family fun across five unique stages.

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The ‘16-17 season launches October 14 with a farewell tour stop from international smash hit, The Nylons. Known for their dazzling a cappella sound and hypnotic harmonies, the jazz quartet’s wide appeal has taken them across North America, Europe, China, and beyond. The Juno nominees’ farewell tour includes their classic arrangements of ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight,’ ‘Happy Together,’ and ‘Na Na, Hey Hey.’

October also includes the first Island performance from the inimitable Canadian icon, Tanya Tagaq. The pride of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Tagaq fuses traditional Inuit throat singing with electronica and experimental influences. She has collaborated with artists as varied as the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Björk, and Owen Pallett, and collected the Polaris Music Prize and a Juno Award in recent years.

On October 18 Confederation Centre welcomes back globally-acclaimed duo Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy. This fierce fiddling combo commands stages worldwide, infusing traditional roots music from Cape Breton and rural Ontario with an explosive celebration of raw energy.

Other fall highlights include a classical music performance from Grammy-winning violin virtuoso James Ehnes; children’s entertainment from TV’s Toopy and Binoo; a double-dose of folk-pop prestige from siblings Jill and Matthew Barber; and a classic thumper of a rock night on the mainstage, with B.C. road warriors, Theory of a Deadman.

“On behalf of Board Chairman Wayne Hambly and our staff, I would like to invite all Islanders and visitors to experience a performance this fall and winter LIVE @ the Centre,” says Chief Executive Officer, Jessie Inman. “Once again, Darcy Campbell and his team have assembled a thrilling program for patrons celebrating the best in Canadian live music, dance, comedy, and family entertainment—join us for something wonderful.”

Perennial favourites Classic Albums Live return for two more epic rock recitals, presenting Abbey Road from front to back November 5 and Hotel California on April 6. Christmastime offers a brand new holiday family musical from Adam Brazier – to be announced in August 2016 – as well as the return of Mittentime Christmas, a popular solstice revue featuring an all-star cast: Rose Cousins, Tanya Davis, Kinley Dowling, Jenn Grant, Daniel and Patrick Ledwell, Catherine MacLellan, and more.

Other hallmarks include seasonal choral music from the Youth Chorus and Confederation Singers, under the direction of Donald Fraser; showcases and musicals from the blossoming talent of dance umbrella; and the return of the popular Songwriters Series at The Mack, with separate soirees from Mo Kenney; James Hill; and The Lion, The Bear, The Fox.

For ticket information and the entire Sobeys LIVE @ the Centre calendar see addendum, visit confederationcentre.com/live, or contact the box office at (902) 566.1267. Tickets for all shows go on sale to the public Friday, July 29, 2016.

Appreciation is extended to Sobeys, the returning title sponsor for LIVE @ The Centre. Confederation Centre wishes to recognize the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Government of P.E.I., and the City of Charlottetown for their continued support. Media sponsors are The Guardian, Hot 105.5, and Ocean 100.

A Prism For Your Soul

The Glass Menagerie is 1,000 points of light being refracted into a kaleidoscope of emotion. It will give you many feelings, big and small. You may have feelings that you don’t know where they come from and you possibly never will. The performances are so raw they will reach you on a cellular level instead of an emotional one. Basically, The Glass Menagerie may break your heart into a million tiny pieces lying on the floor of the Watermark Theatre. You may not be able to mend it until you’ve had a good cry in your car after the show.

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In Watermark Theatre’s 9th season Robert Tsonos, in his 1st year as Artistic Director, introduced this classic written by Tennessee Williams who wrote his first play as a teenager in 1935. Williams was a cutting edge playwright & most widely recognized for winning two Pulitzer Prizes, with “A Streetcar Named Desire” (1947) and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (1955). This play, I’m told, is partly autobiographical based on his college years in St. Louis providing him with a time & place for his first masterpiece.

Tsonos also took time to thank the interns that are part of the company this season as part of their Mentorship Program. We were talking with one of the stage hands during intermission who was grateful to get some hands-on experience through this program. Another example of how much this theatre continues to care about giving back to the next generation of talent. According to the program: This is a great set for learning. The theatre is small enough to be nurturing & large enough to have processes & policies in place to keep an intern safe.

In the early moments of the first act, Gracie Finley (raised in Charlottetown, trained in London, England, Ms. Finley is best known for playing Anne Shirley at the Charlottetown Festival from 1968 to 1974 and again in 1984 and 1985, being the first Islander to play Anne. She has had numerous roles at The Watermark including The Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, the Nurse in Romeo & Juliet, & Lady Markby in An Ideal Husband) pranced around the stage cleverly decorated with antique furniture (compliments to set designer William Layton who created a convincing depression era St. Louis atmosphere on this unique in-the-round stage) as she reminisced about her younger days of entertaining her multitudes of callers. In a most intense performance, she plays a mother who is extremely worried about the future for her daughter & feels as though something has got to give for better or worse. Finley in my opinion is the face of Watermark this year & gets my vote for MVP of this company.

Leah Pritchard (who has worked throughout the Atlantic provinces & helped lead Watermark Theatre’s youth theatre conservatory for the past two summers) plays Laura, a china doll of a woman who has a penchant for collection glass trinkets. In the grips of the shyness of her character often loses her composure. She displays convincingly that she lives with a disability & very low opinion of herself. I had high expectations of Pritchard’s portrayal of the sensitive, delicate Laura and I was not disappointed. Similarly, Gracie Finley did an outstanding job in her interpretation of the aged Southern Belle Amanda Wingfield. The play was the perfect vehicle for both performers and they pulled out all the stops.

Daniel Briere (who has spent the last 3 seasons at the Stratford Festival of Canada. Recent credits include Hamlet (Shakespeare Bash’d), Antony & Cleopatra, & Romeo & Juliet (Stratford Festival) makes an appearance as the much anticipated dinner guest, and Laura’s high school crush, Jim O’Connor. He is charismatic and dapper, and everything Laura deserves. The scene where Laura and Jim sit on the floor talking may be my favourite part of the show. This is where we see Laura turn into the ethereal, beautiful creature she has the potential to be. And the kiss was pretty spectacular as well.

Rounding off the cast of four, Joshua Browne’s (who has worked at IFT Theatre, Circlesnake Theatre, Theatre Gargantua & more) portrayal of Tom Wingfield is an excellent case study in how raw emotion can be conveyed just by standing still. I’m not sure what method Browne used to master the 1,000-yard stare Tom adopts, during critiques of his character by Amanda, who accused him of being as eloquent as an oyster, but it was effective. And universal. I felt scenes much like that one, between mother and son, were being played out in households all over the world in a million different languages. Often times getting poetic, the young low-wage warehouse worker spoke of magicians, late night travels, & a thirst for adventure. I must admit I was a little surprised to see him smoking on stage, but I later learned it was actually an e-cig, which is apparently acceptable indoors.

I’m not sure how much information to give about the much anticipated second half, for fear of spoilers, but it may not incorporate the ending audiences were hoping for. However, it could be the ending we needed in order to realize how invested we’ve become in the characters.

Robert Tsonos, who directed the play and is doing great so far as Duncan MacIntosh’s successor as Artistic Director for the Watermark Theatre this year did an amazing job in leading the cast and crew to create something, I hope, they will always be proud of. After the show, I think I heard Tsonos’s voice crack as he invited the audience to a reception. He seemed to be quite moved by the performance, and rightly so. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay at the reception for long. I had to go to my car and cry.

This, much like other classics over the years in Rustico, is not light theatre, although there are plenty of laughs scattered throughout the script. The lesson I took from this play is the harsh reality present early in the Twentieth Century still holds true today that if we can’t believe in ourselves we simply cannot expect anyone else to & I can totally relate to that scenario, as I’m sure many others in the audience probably could at some point in their lives. Bottom line: Great show all around. If it is not the ending audience members are hoping for, they can read A Pretty Trap by Tennessee Williams. That oughta cure what ails them!

Review by Kimberley Johnston and PL Holden. Used by permission. Originally posted on http://www.onrpei.ca.

Side By Side By Side

More than ten years ago Betty Jenkins, Mary Ploughman Jones, Linda Shaw Packard, and Mary Roscoe Robertson began their creative journey together. From their promising beginning as participants in the PEI Studio Tour, to the North Winds Exhibition and then six successful years operating Howes Hall Gallery they have evolved both as a group and individually.

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The title “Side by Each” at The Guild reflects the mutual evolution of individual artistic paths. This special relationship is easily identifiable in this new lyrical exhibition of mature, exciting work. The pieces complement and contrast one with the other and celebrate both a professional and personal cohesion.

Throughout the exhibition, the artists will be at The Guild Gallery to discuss their work and give on­site demonstrations. Contact The Guild at 902-620-3333 or follow social media for demonstration times.

Four Tellers Tell All

After a completely sold out season last year, The Four Tellers are back! All new stories and BIGGER laughs. David Weale, Alan Buchanan, Gary Evans and Dennis King gather around the kitchen table at the Harbourfront Theatre on July 30 and August 27 for two delightful evenings of off-the-cuff storytelling.

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These four master tellers will cover four distinct areas of PEI, talking politics, religion, liquor and language, and maybe even throwing in a local impression or two. Add a dash of live music and you’ve got one hell of a kitchen party.