Tag Archives: 2017 Charlottetown Festival

The Next Anne Shirley

Trading Kinky Boots’ red heels for red braids, AJ Bridel is set for school again. The 22-year-old actress will become the 18th triple threat to play Anne Shirley at The Charlottetown Festival, joining an all new production led by Artistic Director Adam Brazier.

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2017 marks the first time Brazier will direct the treasured Island musical, and his search for the iconic hero of Avonlea was exhaustive. “AJ brings the kind of imagination, desire, and youthful excitement that is essential to the role,” he explains. “I am very excited to begin the rehearsal process and bring this new Anne Shirley to our stage.”

Born in Calgary and raised in Kitchener, Ontario, Bridel is a rising star of Canadian theatre. In 2016 she won a Toronto Critics Award and Dora nomination for her turn as ‘Lauren’ in Mirvish’s Kinky Boots and also starred in the Ross Petty panto Sleeping Beauty. She made a national splash in 2012, placing in the top-3 on CBC TV’s Over the Rainbow reality talent competition and went on to play Dorothy in Drayton’s The Wizard of Oz. Her turn as Anne Shirley will mark her Festival debut as well as her first time on the East Coast.

For her part, Bridel is honoured to join the Festival, calling it a dream role. “I cannot wait to spend the summer on this beautiful island, working with one of Canada’s greatest directors, Adam Brazier and recreating Anne of Green Gables with the incredible cast and crew he has assembled,” she enthuses. “Anne is a Canadian treasure and I am so excited to put those red braids on and try my best to fill the shoes of the incredible actresses who have loved her as much as I do!”

Stay tuned for more exciting announcements as this is the first of several changes towards a revived Anne™ production with Brazier at the helm. Casting news will soon be revealed for ‘Matthew,’ ‘Marilla,’ ‘Rachel Lynde,’ ‘Diana,’ and ‘Gilbert.’

Set designer Cory Sincennes – who has made waves with striking Festival designs (Mamma Mia! and Bittergirl) and at theatres across the country – is hard at work imagining a new visual aesthetic for the now 53-year-strong production. The Festival’s Musical Director Bob Foster is also exploring a new sound design for the show with Peter McBoyle (Evangeline) and other changes. Choreographer Robin Calvert will return in 2017 as well.

Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™ begins it Guinness Record Holding 53rd consecutive season June 26, playing the Homburg Theatre until September 23. Appreciation is extended to the title sponsor for The 2017 Charlottetown Festival, CIBC. Media sponsors are Ocean 100, Hot 105.5, and The Guardian.

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Bittergirl is Back

Let’s take it back to The Mack!

Bittergirl: The Musical sold out virtually its entire run when it first premiered at the Festival and will return this summer with new songs and scenes, and the same girl-group hits like ‘I’m Gonna Make You Love Me,’ ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,’ ‘I Will Survive,’ and ‘Too Many Fish In The Sea.’

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For a limited time only Bittergirl tickets are 40% off for a special Valentine’s Day promotion. Use promocode ‘love’ between February 11 and 14 and treat yourself and a friend to the most hilarious musical of the summer. This promo applies to dates between July 8 and 19, 2017. For tickets, visit the Confederation Centre box office in person, via phone at 902.566.1267, or online at confederationcentre.com/theatre.

This hysterical Canadian-made comedy returns July 5 through August 26, and The Charlottetown Festival has announced complete casting. Jay Davis, Steffi DiDomenicantonio, and Marisa McIntyre all return from the 2015 world premiere and will be joined by London West End veteran, Nicola Dawn Brook.

Brook is no stranger to musical comedy, bringing howls to the Homburg all summer in 2016 blockbuster Mamma Mia! as former Dynamo, Rosie. Brook also recently appeared in Mirvish’s mega-hit Kinky Boots and has performed in her native United Kingdom. with the Prince of Wales Theatre and Victoria Palace, and on the screen in Sweeney Todd and The X-Factor.

For her part, Brook is thrilled to return to the Island “I’m a huge fan of 60’s music and coupled with its hilarious script I think we’re going to get up to some giggles on stage!” she enthuses. “I love to make people laugh. Especially when the news makes you want to scream!”

“The audiences were so warm and generous during our Mamma Mia run,” she continues, “I would often get a lovely hug from audience members after the show — that’s a very special feeling!”

Bittergirl: The Musical is written by Annabel Fitzsimmons, Alison Lawrence, and Mary Francis Moore and will be directed by Artistic Director Adam Brazier. Bob Foster is the show’s musical supervisor and Lisa MacDougall the musical director. Set and costume design is from Cory Sincennes.

Appreciation is extended to the title sponsor for The 2017 Charlottetown Festival, CIBC. Media sponsors are Ocean 100, Hot 105.5, and The Guardian.

Dream Catchers Goes On Tour

It’s off to the races for the creative team behind The Dream Catchers, a national touring production and signature initiative supported by the Government of Canada’s Canada 150 Fund.

For the next eight weeks, an artistic team from the Centre is traveling coast to coast to coast, facilitating creative workshops and engaging more than 260 young people. These workshops will take place in each province and territory, tapping into the visions that youth have for our country, with a focus on the environment, inclusion, and reconciliation.

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The 13 workshops launch this weekend Saturday, February 4, at the Trinity United Church Community Hall in Summerside, P.E.I. with partner organization Generation XX. Each of these sessions will be led in collaboration with regional artists, including Fred Penner, Emm Gryner, City Natives, and in Summerside, the Island’s own Paper Lions.

Close to 300 dreamcatchers, encapsulating the dreams of Canada’s youth, will be created by the end of workshop tour each workshop and integrated by Indigenous visual artist Nick Huard into a stunning national dreamcatcher, exhibited in the Centre’s crown jewel, Memorial Hall, all summer long.

Mary Francis Moore, associate artistic director of The 2017 Charlottetown Festival will be guiding all of these workshops alongside Huard. Other collaborating artists include Romesh Thavanathan (Tiny Emperor) from Hey Rosetta!, Twin Flames, Kinnie Starr, Khodi Dill, Daniel Maté, Nikki Payne, Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, Carmen Braden and Riley Simpson-Fowler.

After engaging young people across Canada in workshops and through digital submissions, The Dream Catchers creative team will produce a vibrant musical for an expanded 2017 Young Company. Thirteen new pieces of performance art – music, stories, spoken-word, dance and more – will be created between now and April and woven into a brand new musical premiering at the Centre on National Aboriginal Day, June 21. Presented by both a touring company and a Charlottetown-based troupe, this production will also travel across the country this summer.

For more information, please visit: dreamingcanada.ca Follow hashtag #Centre150 for tour updates on this and other 2017 commemoration projects at Confederation Centre of the Arts.