All posts by Edward Staskus

Edward Staskus is a freelance writer from Sudbury, Ontario, and lives in Lakewood, Ohio.

Full Cast Announced

Full Cast Announced For ‘DEAR RITA’ at The Charlottetown Festival

 World premiere will feature an ensemble of actor-musicians channeling Rita MacNeil’s songs and spirit

Tickets are “flying on their own” for this summer’s world premiere of Dear Rita,opening June 29 at The Charlottetown Festival. Sponsored by Key Murray Law, Dear Rita is a musical toast to ‘Cape Breton’s First Lady of Song’, celebrating the life, tenacity, and musical legacy of the late great, Rita MacNeil.

Confederation Centre of the Arts is pleased to announce the show’s cast of performers, including: Michelle Bouey (Lovers’ Lament), Sheldon Elter (Métis Mutt; Evangeline), Kristi Hansen (Citadel Theatre), Melissa MacKenzie (Good Girl), and Festival favourite, Brendan Wall.

Additional musical accompaniment is from guitar legend Chris Corrigan (P.E.I.), who in fact recorded and toured as Rita’s lead guitarist for many years; and drummer Trevor Grant.

“We picked songs from Rita’s catalogue, from her popular hits to ones that made her bandmates weep, and created narratives around these to offer new perspectives,” shares Kyte, the playwright. “I keep getting asked, ‘Who plays Rita?’ The answer is that it’s not one person. Everyone is Rita — everyone on the stage, and everyone whose heart she touched with her music. In Dear Rita, we invite Rita’s spirit into the room so her songs can live on through our own experiences.”

MacKenzie and Bouey share the distinction of both being Islanders making their Mainstage debuts in Dear Rita and are also both alums of the Confederation Centre Young Company. For Bouey’s part, she can’t wait to connect with audiences through Rita’s music. “I grew up listening to Rita MacNeil and watching her Christmas TV specials,” she shares. “To think that a small group of us get to honour her legacy on East Coast soil is so special”

An Edmonton native, Hansen is also marking her Festival debut, following turns with the NAC, Citadel Theatre, and Vertigo Theatre. Elter, Hansen’s husband is a versatile actor,  writer, and musician, known nationally for his one man show, Métis Mutt, which he performed at the Festival in 2018. His TV credits include CAUTION: May Contain   Nuts, Hank Williams’ First Nation, Delmer & Marta, and Hell on Wheels

Dear Rita is presented from June 29 to August 6. Festival tickets can be purchased online, via phone at 1 (800) 565.0278, or in person at the Centre’s box office. Shows will be presented with no intermission and concessions are to be ordered online in advance. 

Confederation Centre wishes to acknowledge the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Government of P.E.I., and the City of Charlottetown for their continued support. The title sponsor of The Charlottetown Festival is CIBC.

Theatre PEI

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Watermark Updates a Cottager

Casting Update – Cottagers and Indians

A casting change to our production of Cottagers and Indians. The role of Arthur Copper will now be played by Gordon Patrick White.
Gordon has worked with various companies in the Atlantic provinces, as well as The Great Canadian Theatre Company in Ottawa (‘An Acre of Time’), Native Earth in Toronto (‘A Very Polite Genocide’), Magnus Theatre in Thunder Bay (‘Dead White Writer on the Floor’), and Theatre North West in Prince George BC (‘Where The Blood Mixes’). Other credits include Clov in ‘Endgame’ (Theatre NFLD and Labrador); ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ (Theatre New Brunswick); Puck in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ (Stephenville Festival); ‘Strange Humours’ (Eastern Front Theatre); Titus in ‘The Devil’s Diciple’ (Neptune Theatre); ‘Merlin'(Halifax Theatre for Young People); Kemp in ‘Vigil’ (Live Bait Theatre); and as twins Edger and Ledger in ‘Ivor Johnson’s Neighbours’ (Ship’s Company Theatre). He has appeared in three season at the Stratford Festival, in such roles as Simon in ‘Mother’s Daughter’, Paris in ‘Romeo and Juliet’, Black Dog in ‘Treasure Island’, Egeon in ‘The Comedy of Errors’ and Ezekiel Cheever in ‘ The Crucible’. Gordon appeared as Edger in ‘King Lear’ at the National Arts Centre, with August Schellenberg, directed by Peter Hinton. Tv and film credits include: Haven, Black Harbour, Mr. D, New Waterford Girl, Blackfly, Rollertown, Charlie Zone, and Picnicface.

Watermark Theatre’s Mandate
Located in North Rustico, PEI, on land that is the traditional unceded territory of the Mi’Kmaq, the Watermark Theatre is a professional theatre company that produces time-honoured plays, as well as contemporary plays that resonate with our times.
As a company we are led by the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility and commit to incorporating these core values in everything we do.
We prioritize environmental stewardship and sustainability.
The Watermark Theatre is dedicated to the development of the next generation of theatre artists and arts administrators through mentorship and professional training.
In all of our programming we strive for artistic excellence while endeavouring to inform, affect, and engage our audience and our community.

For more information please contact Lara Dias at 902-963-3963 or admin@watermarktheatre.com

Theatre PEI

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Staying in Touch

Island Fringe Festival is entering its 10th year and we are thrilled! We have become an Island staple, bringing innovative, accessible, unconventional shows to PEI every summer. Working within COVID restrictions, we are proud to safely offer you an in-person festival for our 10-year anniversary. With ongoing travel restrictions, the 2021 Fringe lineup will exclusively feature Island artists. To make our 10th anniversary extra special, we are planning a closing night gala event! This gala will include music, prizes and awards and a COVID-compliant celebration! Does the idea of a Fringe-style gala simply make you want to dance with excitement? This is where you come in. We are asking our steadfast fringe community’s help to sponsor our 10th anniversary gala. Our goal is to raise $3000 through our “$10 for 10 campaign”. We are seeking $10 donations from 300 supporters. In exchange, we will recognize you as a “Star Supporter” with your name on our wall of donors on display at the awards gala. A commemorative gift in recognition of your contribution will also be available. You can either click:https://www.paypal.com/donate/?cmd=_s-xclick…to donate via Paypal, or send an e-transfer to islandfringe@gmail.com (please make your security answer ‘starfish’). Anonymous sponsors can identify this preference in the memo section, or, include the name of an Island Fringe Festival show, event or performer from the past that you want to honour and that name will be placed on the wall. This campaign runs until July 10th, 2021 Thank you for supporting the 10th Island Fringe Festival!!

Theatre PEI

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Field Tripping

Grade 9 students from East Wiltshire Band had their FIRST field trip of the year this week; they came to see a matinee performance of Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland‘s Between Breaths. “It was a beautiful play and it felt so good to be in a theatre again!” – @EastWiltshireBand (Twitter) ☺️We’re thrilled to see student groups back in the building! Thanks for visiting 🧡🎭

Theatre PEI

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Rocking the Open

Coming Soon to the CCAG – Art in the Open at 10 Years: An Incomplete Archive

-Opening June 19, retrospective exhibition celebrates art festival’s first decade-

It may be hard to believe, but Art in the Open, Charlottetown’s outdoor public art festival, is 10 years old! The first edition, held in August 2011, brought together the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, this town is small, inc., and the City of Charlottetown to collaborate and create a festival that celebrated visual art in the setting of the city’s parks and other public spaces. 

Charlottetown-based artist-archivist Donnalee Downe and Wendt have been sourcing documentation, artifacts, and artworks from artists as well as the general public, all towards a new exhibition, entitled Art in the Open at 10 Years: An Incomplete Archive, that will be open to the public in the Centre’s concourse this summer. theatre

He welcomes visitors to visit the exhibition from June 12 to September 19 at the Centre. “I think audiences would love to see all of the images and records we’re collecting in one place. Donnalee is a master organizer, categorizer, and collector, and she’s bringing an artistic vision to the exhibition as well,” he adds.

Art in the Open at 10 Years: an Incomplete Archive can be seen at Confederation Centre in Charlottetown. Art in the Open 2021 runs from 4 p.m. to midnight, August 28.

Theatre PEI

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Singing Songs at the Watermark

Watermark Music Series Artists Announced
 
Watermark is pleased to announce the artists performing in the 2021 Watermark Music Series. Curated as always by Rob Oakie, the series features local PEI artists interpreting the music of great songwriters. Due to limited capacity of only 40 seats, two concerts are already sold out.
 
Sunday July 25th, 7:30pm – SOLD OUT
The Songs of John Prine – The beloved American songwriter passed away from COVID-19 in 2020 and his loss was felt by the international music community and fans around the globe. For more than half a century, Prine wrote many iconic songs including Angel From Montgomery, Illegal Smile, Paradise, Hello In There and many more. Reimagining his songs will be a trio of wonderful young up and coming PEI artists, Brielle Ansems, Justyn Thyme and Lawrence Maxwell.
 
Sunday August 8th, 7:30pm – Tickets Still Available
Songs For a Small Planet – This is the first step in creating an international project dedicated to creating visionary songs that inspire us to make the world a better place. Themes of environment, social justice, self-care, tolerance, love and more will be presented by a stunning group of PEI women. Leading the way is project creator and musician Teresa Doyle who will be joined by Island treasure Meaghan Blanchard, poet and songsmith Tanya Davis and international touring artist Emmanuelle LeBlanc of Vishtèn fame. Special guest Julie Pellissier-Lush, PEI Poet Laureate, actress, best-selling author, recipient of the Queens jubilee medal, the Meritorious Service Medal recipient, and the Senators 150 medal will join the group to offer Mi’kmaq greetings and read a selection of her poems.
 
Sunday August 22nd, 7:30pm – Sold Out
Jazz & Swing from the 30s and 40s – It was an amazing time for music as the world dug out of the depression and jazz and swing took over as the popular music of the day. Artists including Cab Calloway, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Tommy Dorsey and many more commanded the charts and had people out on the dance floor like never before. Interpreting music from the era will be the SOPA All Stars. Izzy Serebrov, Luisa Güiza, Drew Cassibo and Samuel Ochoa Caceres are star students of the Holland College School of Performing Arts and will provide some stunning arrangements of iconic songs from the era.
 
Tickets for the August 8th concert are on sale at http://www.ticketwizard.ca
Or call the box office at 902-963-3963
 
Watermark Theatre’s Mandate
Located in North Rustico, PEI, on land that is the traditional unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq, the Watermark Theatre is a professional theatre company that produces time-honoured plays, as well as contemporary plays that resonate with our times.
As a company we are led by the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility and commit to incorporating these core values in everything we do.
We prioritize environmental stewardship and sustainability.
The Watermark Theatre is dedicated to the development of the next generation of theatre artists and arts administrators through mentorship and professional training.
In all of our programming we strive for artistic excellence while endeavouring to inform, affect, and engage our audience and our community.
 
For more information please contact Lara Dias at 902-963-3963 or admin@watermarktheatre.comtheatre

Theatre PEI

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Blue Whale Makes Landfall

Strange animal sightings abound in PEI this spring! Our security footage captured a glimpse of a humpback whale making its way across our property in Historic Charlottetown… unusual indeed 🐋📹

Sign up to volunteer as a Whale Puppeteer following any of the remaining performances of The Charlottetown Festival‘s Between Breaths (1-hour commitment): https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080e44aca82aa3fb6-whale

Theatre PEI

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Lend a Helping Hand

The Great Canadian Giving Challenge!
Donate to Watermark Theatre from June 1st to 30th, and every $1 donated to us through CanadaHelps gives us a chance to win $20,000.
The more you give, the more chances for us to win!
Please support our 2021 Summer Season by donating here:
https://www.canadahelps.org/…/cha…/watermark-theatre/…
You may also send a cheque to:
Watermark Theatre, PO Box 190, 57 Church Hill Ave, North Rustico, PE, C0A 1X0
We are a not for profit charitable organization and a charitable tax receipt will be issued with all donations.

Theatre PEI

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