Tell Tale Harbour World Premiere to Headline The 2022 Charlottetown Festival
– Lineup will feature stories of resilience, community, and strength –
Confederation Centre of the Arts announced today The 2022 Charlottetown Festival lineup, which includes the world premiere of the new Canadian musical comedy Tell Tale Harbour.
Proudly sponsored by The Gray Group Real Estate Development, The 2022 Charlottetown Festival includes seven productions across the Centre’s three venues and features stories and songs from Atlantic Canada.
“This Festival will be a celebration of our region, and the people who help to define what it means to be from Atlantic Canada,” explains Adam Brazier, Artistic Director of Performing Arts at Confederation Centre. “There is a common thread of East Cost resilience and community woven throughout every show this summer.”
Tell Tale Harbour will kick off The Charlottetown Festival in June. Sponsored by Prince Edward Island Potatoes, the musical tells the story of a struggling Atlantic fishing village. The community is looking for a miracle when an opportunity arises to bring a frozen french fry facility to town. Realizing this might be their last chance to save their beloved community, the townspeople come together to secure the factory. Developed with support from the National Arts Centre’s National Creation Fund, the hilarious musical comedy celebrates the people, the trials, and the triumphs of living in a small community in Atlantic Canada.
The musical is based on the screenplay The Grand Seduction (2013) by Ken Scott. When Brazier began drafting the musical adaptation, he sought out a collaborator who could encapsulate Atlantic Canadian storytelling through song, which led him to co-writer Alan Doyle. A Member of the Order of Canada, Doyle is one of the nation’s most treasured songwriters, revered for his solo material and the iconic band, Great Big Sea. Doyle is not only co-writing the musical but will also be starring in the lead role this summer.
“I am so excited to be a part of this project, and to be taking my first steps into musical theatre as a creator and performer. The whole deal is both invigorating and terrifying, as all good art should be,” says Doyle. “I’m stoked for people to know we are crafting a show to make people feel like they’ve experienced something truly special and give them a great night out. I hope its passionate message about the meaning of home, and the hilarious situations it portrays, will move people to laugh and cry and laugh again.”
The production’s music and lyrics are co-written by Doyle and Bob Foster (Music Director of Come From Away [Mirvish]). The book of the musical is co-written by Doyle alongside Brazier and award-winning writer Ed Riche. The production will be directed by Jillian Keiley, Artistic Director of the National Arts Centre English Theatre in Ottawa, ON, with choreography by Linda Garneau.
Tell Tale Harbour will be performed in repertory with Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™,sponsored by CAA Atlantic, which Confederation Centre previously announced will return to the mainstage for the first time since 2019.
The Centre also plans to have two productions about pioneering women from Atlantic Canada playing at its cabaret-style venue, The Mack. Starting performances in early July will be Betty’s Song, a new play written and performed by Island singer-songwriter Ashley Condon. The show is based on the true story of her mother, who was one of the first women to captain her own lobster boat in Eastern P.E.I. The hilarious coming-of-age story takes you through the perils of raising a saucy teenager in 1990s rural P.E.I.
Playing in August at The Mack will be Hey Viola!, a cabaret-style show about Viola Desmond, a Black Nova Scotian businesswoman who challenged racial segregation at a cinema in 1946. The personal and powerful show features the dynamic and inspirational music that filled the life and home of the civil rights trailblazer, including hits like “Dream a Little Dream of Me”, “Smile”, and “A Change is Gonna Come”.
The Charlottetown Festival will also have three shows playing in the Outdoor Amphitheatre. “The programming this year reflects what Charlottetown looks like in 2022; we wanted it to be more diverse, inclusive, and accessible,” says the Festival’s Associate Artistic Director Dawn Ward.
With performances starting in July, Munschables will bring the exciting and silly world of beloved children’s author Robert Munsch to life. Starring members of the cast of Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™, the show will include stories from beloved books like Mud Puddle, Smelly Socks, and Murmel, Murmel, Murmel.
The Outdoor Amphitheatre will welcome back the Mi’kmaq Heritage Actors for an exclusive three-week engagement of the new show Epekwitnewaq Mi’kmaq Voices. The Xclusive Dance Crew will also return with the new show Island Vibe, which explores hip-hop, afro- jazz, contemporary movement, as well as break dancing and tap.
Tickets for The 2022 Charlottetown Festival are on sale now to Confederation Centre members, and to the public on November 18. Patrons who are not yet Confederation Centre members can sign up now to gain early access to festival tickets. For more information, contact Sarah Hastelow at 902-629-1159 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tickets can be purchased online, via phone at 1-800-565-0278, or in person at the Centre’s box office.