Tag Archives: Adam Brazier

Keynote Speaker Announced for Theatre Conference

Confederation Centre of the Arts is pleased to announce Bob Martin as the keynote speaker for The Charlottetown Festival Theatre Conference happening Sept 5-9, 2017.

image006

“We’re excited to have Mr. Martin, a champion of Canadian theatre, as our keynote speaker for this important event,” said Adam Brazier, Artistic Director of The Charlottetown Festival. “His experience as both an actor and a writer, will bring an invaluable wealth of knowledge and inspiration to our attendees.”

Martin has worked as an actor and writer in theatre, film and television for over 30 years. He has received many awards in both Canada and the U.S., including a Tony for his portrayal of “Man in Chair” in The Drowsy Chaperone. This original Canadian musical not only made it to Broadway and the West End, but went on to win five Tony Awards in total, including the first for Canadian writers. Martin is also well known as the co-creator of Slings & Arrows, the hit Canadian television show about running a Shakespearean theatre festival.

The Theatre Conference, a national gathering, kicks off on September 5 with the performance of Kronborg 1582 in the Homburg Theatre followed by four packed days of showcases of new Canadian works, breakout sessions, panel discussions and more, culminating with the world premiere of the new musical, A Misfortune at The Mack. Martin will give his keynote speech on September 7 at 11:00 a.m. in Memorial Hall.

Aligning with the dates of the 1864 Charlottetown Conference, The Charlottetown Festival Conference will celebrate industry developments and new ideas as well as showcase some of the new musical theatre content being created in Atlantic Canada. The winners of the 2017 Charlottetown Festival Commission will also be revealed, who will receive $50,000 in funding to develop new works.

Special thanks are extended to the Government of Canada for their support of Confederation Centre; and The Charlottetown Festival sponsor, CIBC. Appreciation is extended to media sponsors Ocean 100, Hot 105.5, CTV, and The Guardian.

For more information, to purchase your conference pass, and see full conference schedule

Advertisements

A Stacked Sobeys Season

Confederation Centre has pulled back the curtain on a dazzling lineup for the upcoming season of Sobeys LIVE @ the Centre. Centre officials are proud to present their most dynamic season of LIVE to date, including contemporary dance, chamber music, Indigenous performance, choral concerts, rock’n’roll, family fun, and live theatre.

The advance ticket sale for Members of the Centre’s Founders’ Circle is available as of noon on Monday August 14. E-news subscribers will be able to purchase tickets as of Tuesday August 15 at 9 a.m., while tickets for the general public will be available as of 9 a.m. on Wednesday August 16.

 

image012

The ’17-18 season kicks off on October 16 with major pop-rock icons, The Barenaked Ladies and their Canada 1-FIVE-0 TOUR, presented by the National Arts Centre. October 24 marks the return of Canadian troubadour Joel Plaskett, joining his father Bill Plaskett for a collaborative show in the Homburg Theatre to celebrate their duo album, Solidarity.

November is jam-packed month with 11 shows on deck. These include Liam Corcoran’s album release for Nevahland; the Island premiere of A Passage to Bollywood, a rollicking family musical experience; the return of Classic Albums LIVE with the prog-rock classic 2112 by Rush; and a one night only musical comedy performance of the international hit, Menopause the Musical.

The holiday season is equally busy in December with Tomato/Tomato’s A Maritime Christmas channeling old school holiday concerts with special guests Heather Rankin and Dave Gunning. From December 14-16, Adam Brazier’s Holiday Spectacular variety show brings big laughs, guest stars, stunning dance and musical numbers, and sketches to the mainstage.

Sprinkled throughout December, the Choral Music Programme – under the direction of Donald Fraser – presents three beloved annual concerts, with Handel’s Messiah, Sing Noël, and Sing Along Messiah.

The 2018 portion of the LIVE calendar is equally exciting, and more stacked than ever with the theatre renovations now complete and no more closures planned. January offers critically acclaimed Indigenous artist Susan Aglukark as well as the return of Toronto Dance Theatre (TDT). TDT has produced an exceptional body of original Canadian choreography and had a major impact on the development of national dance audiences.

Other highlights in 2017 include Island artists The East Pointers, Dennis Ellsworth and Kinley Dowling, and The Atlantic String Machine. The Songwriters Series also returns with three heavy hitting raconteurs from Canada’s East Coast: Old Man Luedecke, Hillsburn, and Fortunate Ones, each performing for one night only in the intimate listening space of The Mack. Fellow Maritimer, Classified makes a rare Charlottetown appearance on April 14, with a special acoustic performance with guest artists entitled Classified and Friends.

The Centre’s own dance umbrella program culminates their 2017-18 instructional season with four public performances — musical theatre romps The Nifty Fifties and All the World’s A Stage in March and April at The Mack, and the matinee and evening Annual Showcases, May 5 on the mainstage.

For ticket information and the entire Sobeys LIVE @ the Centre season calendar please visit confederationcentre.com/live or contact the Confederation Centre box office at (902) 566.1267 or toll free, at 1-800-565-0278. Special thanks are extended to the Government of Canada for their support of Confederation Centre; as well to Sobeys, the returning title sponsor for LIVE @ The Centre. Media sponsors are The Guardian, Hot 105.5, and Ocean 100.

Did You Hear Did You Hear?

While Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™ is enjoying the first of a three-year revival in the Homburg Theatre, many changes are happening behind the scenes. Following the addition of new leads, sets, and costumes, a sweeping new sound design has been introduced and the harp has been returned to the orchestra for the first time in years.

image008

When asked to instill a new life into the musical’s score, Festival Music Director Bob Foster went right to the harp, bringing in Janice Lindskoog for a total of 14 orchestra members. “In many ways, the harp is the musical heart of the sound and is a most beautifully written part,” he says. “Just adding it back in has made a huge difference to the sound in the pit and on stage.”

 For her part, Lindskoog is thrilled to return, having played with the Festival from 2005-11, including a tour to Toronto. “Every harpist will bring their own personality and interpretation to the score, which is charming and timeless,” she offers. “I play the imaginative orchestrations by John Fenwick, which contribute special colours and allow for musical expression in the accompaniment of the voice.”

 adaThe musical world has changed a lot since Anne™ first premiered, and so has the listener’s ear. With advanced systems in every home now, a certain quality has become normalized, and a theatre can no longer rely only on its acoustic sound. Foster and Director Adam Brazier brought in Peter McBoyle, a sound design expert of great renown to help with this industry shift.

 “Alongside Kevin MacLean, Head of Audio, and the new advanced equipment at the Centre, we are on our way to bringing the sound of this musical up to date, “ says Foster. “I also give great thanks to the fine musicians in the pit who have helped breathe new life into this national treasure.”

McBoyle desired to present the score in a richer way and bring out the nuances in the strings and the woodwinds. He also wanted to clarify the actors’ mics, so that every lyric would be heard crisply. “I wanted to achieve all of this in a way that sounds natural and that doesn’t call attention to itself,” explains the designer. “Ideally the audience would never know that the sound they are hearing is coming from speakers.”

 One challenge was the large number of hats worn this year. “This can make it tricky to get a good mic position and good sound from the performer,” says McBoyle. “The sound reflects off the hat and makes a great mic sound not as sharp as it could be. Theatre is always a combination of collaboration and compromise though and we found ways to work things out.”

 “Sonically, the funeral procession in Act 2 is something I am most proud of,” he reflects. “The orchestration is really something special and the addition of a little bit of rain and a distant thunder makes it beautiful, sad, and thoughtful all at once.”

 “Of course, adding the live harp back in to the pit was a great decision for a variety of reasons and I’ve developed a mic technique that really makes the harp sound full and dynamic and so, given that it was an important part of the reinvention of this show, I am very happy with how it sounds in the mix.”

 Patrons can hear and see Anne™ in the Homburg Theatre until September 23, 2017. Special thanks are extended to the Government of Canada for their support of Confederation Centre; and The Charlottetown Festival title sponsor, CIBC and production sponsor RE/MAX Charlottetown.  Appreciation is extended to media sponsors Ocean 100, Hot 105.5, CTV, and The Guardian.

The New Anne Shirley

Summer School

It’s School Again! for Aaron Hastelow. The Islander will return to The Charlottetown Festival this summer for his second stint as Avonlea sweetheart, Gilbert Blythe.

image006

Last year Hastelow made history, becoming the first native Islander to play the romantic lead since Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™ came to life in 1965. This summer he’ll do so opposite a new Anne in AJ Bridel, a new director in Adam Brazier, and as part of a completely redesigned show.

The new look and feel for Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™ is being led by Brazier, artistic director at The Charlottetown Festival, alongside Musical Director Bob Foster, and Set and Costume Designer Cory Sincennes (Evangeline, Mamma Mia)

“I couldn’t be more excited,” remarked Hastelow. “When I heard that Cory was redesigning the sets and costumes I was over the moon. He’s one of Canada’s finest and I cannot wait to see him put his mark on the show.”

“AJ Bridel is going to be phenomenal as Anne,” he continues. “She’s a good friend and I can’t wait to get into rehearsals and start teasing her.”

Hastelow has spent several summers at the Centre, including roles in Mamma Mia!, Ring of Fire, and with the Young Company. He is currently performing in another staging of Mamma Mia! at Theatre Aquarius.

Known as a gifted singer of many styles of music, Hastelow is also set to release his debut album this summer, created at the Sound Mill Recording Studio. The self-titled EP will be available at The Showcase Gift Shop at the Centre and even includes an acoustic arrangement of Gilbert’s signature tune from Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™, ‘Wond’rin’,

For his part Hastelow is thrilled for everything that awaits in the golden summer ahead. “There’s nowhere better to be in summertime than P.E.I. — it’s home. It just means the world to me, and I can’t wait.”

Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™ opens on Canada Day, July 1, sponsored by ReMax Charlottetown. Appreciation is extended to the title sponsor for The 2017 Charlottetown Festival, CIBC. Media sponsors are Ocean 100, Hot 105.5, CTV, and The Guardian.

Festival Funds New Canadian Musicals

The Charlottetown Festival and Confederation Centre of the Arts share a rich history as champions for Canadian playwrights and composers. To that end, The Charlottetown Festival is pleased to announce new project funding for original Canadian musicals.

image006

“We are seeking to fund new musicals in various stages of development from across the country,” explains Artistic Director Adam Brazier. “The commissions will range from early-stage to mid-stage funding for new or developing musicals.”

A total of $50,000 will be given to Canadian creators this year. Funding is available up to $6,000 for early-stage research and incubation and up to $15,000 for mid-stage or continued development. This new funding for musical development aligns with the announcement of the inaugural Charlottetown Festival Theatre Conference, celebrating new works, taking place September 5 – 9 at the Centre.

“With the recent breakthrough of successes like Evangeline, Ride the Cyclone, and Come From Away we are seeing Canadian stories produced and celebrated on stages across North America,” Brazier continues. “What better time than now, during the 150th anniversary of Confederation, to support inspired storytelling and exciting new ideas in theatre.”

To be considered for this opportunity, applicants should review the submission requirements online. Submissions can be sent electronically to submit2017@confederationcentre.com or by mail to the Centre c/o Artistic Director, Adam Brazier. Deadline for consideration is 5 p.m. AT on Monday, May 15, 2017.

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

For more information and to review all requirements, visit: confederationcentre.com/centre150 and select ‘The Charlottetown Festival Commission.’

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.

image006

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.