Tag Archives: Charlottetown Festival

A Closer Look

A Closer Look: Five Questions with P.E.I.’s Michelle Bouey

Islander talks ‘Dear Rita’, Soulpepper’s ‘Rose’, growing up at the Centre, and why representation in theatre matters

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Islander Michelle Bouey will make her Festival debut next year, performing in the musical love-letter to icon, Rita MacNeil, Dear Rita at The Mack.

An alumna of the TD Young Company, Bouey effectively grew up at the Centre, including years of dance recitals and drama festivals. The Sheridan College graduate will also appear in Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™ next summer, playing Prissy Andrews.

The Centre is currently offering the biggest Festival sale of the year. Until midnight on December 3 (tomorrow), patrons can purchase tickets for all four summer theatre productions at 50% off. Tickets can be accessed online, by phone at 1 (902) 566-1267, toll free at 1 (800) 565-0278, or at the box office. The sale is offered for select dates and is based on availability.

 

Q1: Michelle, you’re coming home in 2020. What’s your favourite thing about a PEI summer?

A: Seafood and the beach! I love being so close to some of the best beaches in the world and the sense of timelessness that goes with it. After a day at the beach it’s fun to have a drink with a friend, while listening to jazz on the Row. A classic Island experience is running into at least three people you know, almost anytime you walk around the downtown area. My favourite thing of all is being able to spend time with my family, who I don’t get to see as often as I’d like.

Q2: Do you have a cherished Centre memory?

A: So many…from dance recitals, summer camps, high school shows, fundraisers, drama fests, and being in the Young Company, it often felt like the Centre was my second home. My summer in the Young Company was my last on the Island before I moved to Toronto for college—what a summer it was! I had dreamed about being in the Young Company since the age of seven and I almost had to shake my head at times that it was me up there performing.

Q3: Are you excited to perform in two very different productions all summer?

A: This is my first time doing theatre in rep [two shows at once], so I actually can’t believe I get to live in two worlds at once. It’s thrilling to me. I love The Mack and the intimate safe space it creates. It’s the kind of venue that gives you more of a chance to connect with your audience.

I grew up listening to Rita MacNeil and watching her Christmas special. To think that a small group of us get to honour her legacy—on East Coast soil, none the less—is so special. For ‘Anne’, I’ve always wished I could be a part of that story. As a child, I never thought being in the show was something that could happen, because of my Asian heritage. Being in a space that feels like home, in a show I’ve cherished in my heart for so long, is special, full-stop. Also, there might just be that kid who looks a lot like me and has their own aspirations to be on stage one day.

Q4: What’s one thing you think many people don’t realize about Anne™?

A: I think many people go into the show thinking it’ll just delightful and fun—and it certainly is! But, I don’t think anyone can prepare you for the heartwarming, deep, emotional journey it takes you on.

I’ve seen the show every year and then some since 1997 and it never fails to touch me greatly. I didn’t think I would see it last year but, my good friend, Emma Rudy, took on the role and I had to go. She shone so brightly and captured the sparkly personality of Anne perfectly. I’m so excited to be working with her next summer. 

Q5: You’re also an active songwriter, what were your personal highlights in 2019 and anything on the horizon to look out for?

 A: 2019 has been, thankfully, a busy year. I would say that two things stand out and it’s interesting how they represent my two passions. Firstly, being part of Mike Ross’s new musical ‘ROSE’ at Soulpepper Theatre was incredible. Based on Gertrude Stein’s children’s book of the same name, Mike captured the magic and innocence of the book perfectly. I played many different parts, as well as my cello. The cast, the show, the magic…I’ll never forget.

 The other amazing experience of 2019 would have to be taking part in Musical Stage Company’s production of ‘UnCovered.’ On the stage of Koerner Hall in Toronto, we sang the songs of Stevie Wonder and Prince, uncovering the different layers of their music in unique and personal ways. Working with Canadian musical icons such as Jully Black, Divine Brown, and Jackie Richardson was deeply rewarding.

As far as my own music goes I’ve released three singles on the usual platforms and a few more are on their way. Aaron Hastelow, no stranger to Island audiences, and I will also be performing a cabaret at The Guild on January 3rdand 4th in the New Year. I may just be revealing a new song or two…

 

Special thanks are extended to Festival title sponsor, CIBC, and to Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™ sponsor CAA Atlantic. The Centre wishes to acknowledge the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Government of P.E.I., and the City of Charlottetown for their continued support.

PEI Professional Theatre Network

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PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

On Track to Festival 2020

Select Casting and 50% Off Sale Announced for Charlottetown Festival 2020

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Confederation Centre offering half-priced tickets from now until December 3

Artistic Director Adam Brazier has revealed select casting for The 2020 Charlottetown Festival, including the leads for Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™ and The Drowsy Chaperone.

Brazier also announced details on the biggest Festival sale of the year. From now until December 3, patrons can purchase tickets for all four summer theatre productions at 50% off. Tickets can be accessed online, by phone at 1 (902) 566-1267, toll free at 1 (800) 565-0278, or at the box office. The sale is offered for select dates and is based on availability. Members of Confederation Centre were given advance access to this sale as of November 18. For show descriptions, see addendum.

Returning as the precocious orphan who changed the Island forever is Emma Rudy, who dazzled audiences last summer. The Buzz dubbed Rudy “the Festival’s best Anne in ages”, raving about her soaring voice, sharp comic sensibility, and well-timed intensity. The Stratford, Ontario native will be back starring in the Homburg Theatre as of June 3, as the 2020 festival begins previews earlier than usual.

“It is such an honour to bring this complex and vivacious redhead back to life through new eyes,” glows Rudy. “I can’t wait to come back.”

Opening June 30 is five-time Tony Award-winning musical comedy, The Drowsy Chaperone. This is the funniest musical written in the past 25 years,” states Brazier. “This show will leave our audiences happy, giddy, and sore from laughter.”

The Drowsy Chaperone will mark the return of Festival favourite Réjean Cournoyer. The Nova Scotia native had major roles here in Evangeline, A Misfortune, and Mamma Mia!, and nationally with Mirvish, Elgin, the Citadel Theatre, and Theatre Calgary. Cournoyer will star as ‘Man in Chair’, a witty theatre aficionado who mourns the end of the Golden Era, narrating the entire musical comedy while listening to its record on vinyl.

Also joining The Drowsy Chaperone in the title role is Island native Catherine O’Brien, returning to the Centre after several years with other Island theatres including in Fascinating Ladies, Young At Heart, and the Victoria Playhouse. O’Brien has performed with The Shaw Festival, Canadian Stage, and Manitoba Theatre Centre. Her previous credits with the Festival include Hairspray, Anne™, and The Ballad of Stompin’ Tom.

Over at The Mack, Islander Michele Bouey will make her Festival debut, performing in the musical love-letter to icon, Rita MacNeil, Dear Rita. Bouey will pay homage to MacNeil as member of a six person ensemble, similar in form to the Festival’s Atlantic Blue in 2019.

A Young Company alumna, Bouey has performed coast-to-coast, including with Soulpepper, Panasonic, and Drayton. She also writes and records her own music, with singles out now on Spotify and Apple Music.

As the Festival is repertory, each of the announced performers will also appear in other productions next summer, to be detailed at a later date.

The Festival’s 50% off sale also applies to the 2020 new production Bed and Breakfast, playing July 11 to September 26 at The Mack.

Special thanks are extended to Festival title sponsor, CIBC, and to Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™ sponsor CAA Atlantic. 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.

PEI Professional Theatre Network

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PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

 

Around the Corner

The 2020 Charlottetown Festival Playbill

Anne of Green Gables–The Musical™  – Homburg Theatre, June 3 to September 26

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The Festival’s crown jewel will return for its 56th consecutive season next summer, a testament to enduring story of an orphan girl who came from away and changed the Island forever. The classic is a humorous, touching, and truly athletic musical that will inspire your imagination, tickle your funny bone, and mesmerize you with both graceful and exhilarating singing and dancing

The Drowsy Chaperone Homburg Theatre, June 30 to September 26

You’ve never seen a show like this! A loving send-up of the Jazz Age musical, featuring one show-stopping song and dance number after another. This clever parody will sweep audiences away with show-stopping song and dance numbers. The cast is complete with a tap-dancing groom, bumbling best man, wise-cracking butler, desperate producer, misguided Don Juan, two goofy gangsters in disguise, and a tipsy chaperone!

Dear Rita The Mack, June 25 through September 25

Making its world premiere in 2020 is an inspiring new production celebrating the life and songs of one of the Maritimes’ most fierce and iconic singer-songwriters, Rita MacNeil. This musical love letter features traditional and new, reimagined arrangements of Rita’s songs weaving her lyrics into new perspectives and inviting her spirit and stories into the cabaret theatre.

Bed & Breakfast – The Mack, July 11 through September 26

When Brett inherits the family home, he and Drew move out of fast-paced Toronto to set up a B&B in a picturesque tourist town. But will these big city boys face friction in their new community?  With dozens of hilarious characters, all portrayed by two actors, Bed and Breakfast is a heartwarming comedy about being out in small town Canada, family skeletons in the closet, and finding a place to call home.\

PEI Professional Theatre Network

28660348_162333201093170_735205771249634989_n

PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

Lifting the Curtain

Confederation Centre Lifts the Curtain on The 2020 Charlottetown Festival

The Drowsy Chaperone brings major musical comedy to the Homburg; Dear Rita to make world premiere at The Mack; Anne™ returns for season 56

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An uproarious homage to Jazz Age musicals. A fiery redhead. An icon of East Coast anthems. A madcap comedy about being out in rural Canada. Have we got a story for you!

Artistic Director Adam Brazier has revealed the playbill for The 2020 Charlottetown Festival, sponsored by CIBC. Featuring five productions across the Centre’s three stages, P.E.I.’s original summer festival offers a wealth of Canadian theatre experiences.

Tickets for all productions will be on sale as of September 18, 2019 and can be purchased through the box office at 1 (902) 566-1267; toll free at 1 (800) 565-0278; in person at the counter; or by visiting confederationcentre.com

“For many years, I’ve been itching to do a large scale musical comedy—a show that not only has great music but also some brilliant tap dancing and hilarious comedic characters,” offers Brazier. “The Drowsy Chaperone is exactly that show. I believe this is the funniest musical written in the past 25 years and it just so happens to be Canadian. This production will leave our audience happy, giddy, and sore from laughter.”

The five-time Tony Award-winning musical comedy follows the tale of a glamourous celebrity bride and her impending wedding. Hailed as “the perfect Broadway musical” this clever parody will sweep audiences away with show-stopping song and dance numbers. The cast is complete with a tap-dancing groom, bumbling best man, wise-cracking butler, desperate producer, misguided Don Juan, two goofy gangsters in disguise, and a tipsy chaperone! The Drowsy Chaperone plays the Homburg Theatre June 30 to September 26, 2020.

Making its world premiere at The Mack in 2020 is an intimate and inspiring new production celebrating the life and songs of the Maritimes’ most beloved singer-songwriter, Rita MacNeil. Developed closely with the family of the late singer herself, Dear Rita is a musical love-letter to a true fixture of Canadian culture, a soft-spoken and passionate performer whose songs were international hits, inspiring people around the world.

Woven around a script from the Island’s own Mike Ross and Lindsay Kyte, this cabaret musical will feature a cast of five and play June 25 through September 25 in the cabaret theatre. “Rita MacNeil’s contribution to Atlantic Canada is immeasurable. Her songs have inspired generations of Canadians and we are excited to share stories of her life and the iconic music she created,” says Brazier.

Also playing at The Mack from July 11 through September 26 is a heartwarming new Canadian comedy, Bed & Breakfast, dubbed “a doozy worth of Fawlty Towers” by the Toronto Star.

“This is a hilarious show that offers two tour-de-force performances,” explains Brazier. “Two actors play an entire rural community, switching from character to character at a break-neck speed.”

With more than a few unexpected and hilarious plot-twists, we follow big city boys Brett and Drew over the course of one year as they endeavour to run a rural B & B. We see them struggle from renovation hell to their farcical opening weekend, and encounters with small-town prejudice—all the way to their big decision: do they stay here or do they pack it all in? “This charming and heartfelt comedy is a perfect fit for our island,” adds Brazier, “it’s funny, relatable, topical, and very entertaining.”

The Festival’s crown jewel Anne of Green Gables–The Musical™will return for its 56thconsecutive season next summer, a testament to enduring story of an orphan girl who came from away and changed the Island forever. Sponsored by CAA, Anne™ returns to Confederation Centre a bit earlier than usual next year, beginning previews on June 3, and showing through September 26.

The full-scale classic is a humorous, touching, and truly athletic musical that will inspire your imagination, tickle your funny bone, and mesmerize you with both graceful and exhilarating singing and dancing. New set and costume designs will be added in 2020, completing a three-year reimagining of the production led by designer Cory Sincennes. Sponsored by CAA, Anne™ returns to Confederation Centre a bit earlier than usual next year, beginning previews on June 3, and showing through September 26.

Further announcements will be made in the months ahead regarding casting, as well as a new 2020 production for the Confederation Centre Young Company.

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.

PEI Professional Theatre Network

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PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

Festival Delivers the Goods

Mamma Mia!, What a Season at The Charlottetown Festival

Confederation Centre in the home stretch of the Festival—closing September 28

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From Avonlea to the shores of a Greek Island paradise to the streets of St. John’s Newfoundland, The Charlottetown Festival is finishing off a world-wind trip of a season this month. While some Islanders are saying “Where did the summer go to?”,  there are still three weeks left to see the four productions playing at Confederation Centre of the Arts.

This year The Charlottetown Festival, sponsored by CIBC, launched an ambitious season with three musicals in the Homburg Theatre and two at The Mack. While Kronborg closed its run in July, the Festival continues through September 28. In the Homburg Theatre catch Mamma Mia!, for a sunny ABBA-driven tale of laughter, dancing, and (of course) love, with a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget. Sponsored by Tim Hortons, the blockbuster musical is an intoxicating experience, with big laughs and stunning design and choreography.

“This year’s mainstage productions were definitely influenced by popular demand, with Kronborg and Mamma Mia! being the most requested shows by Islanders for years,” remarks Adam Brazier, artistic director at Confederation Centre. “We’re very pleased with the richness and variety of programming, as we always strive to put forward something for everyone.”

Tickets for all productions can be found online at confederationcentre.com, by calling the Box Office at 1(902)566-1267 or 1(800)565-0278, or by visiting the box office in person.

Enjoying its 55th consecutive season is Anne of Green GablesThe Musical™, the enduring story of an orphan girl who came from away and changed the Island forever. Sponsored by CAA, this is the first season with Stratford, Ontario native Emma Rudy starring as Anne, who has brought a new energy, humour, and vocal prowess to the iconic role.

At The Mack, patrons can take in two productions that will hit every East Coaster close to home. Spinning Yarns, by Festival favourite Stephen Guy-McGrath, is a hilarious one-man show that pulls the audience into the raucous world of Newfoundland in the early ‘80s with heartwarming songs and uproariously funny stories of childhood.

Atlantic Blue, presented by Juno-nominated and celebrated Island singer-songwriter Tara MacLean, explores the deep roots of the Atlantic Canadian music scene. The production boasts a full stage of performers and musicians from the Festival, with Tara and her squad breathing new life into treasured songs from East Coast legends as well as her own.

The Charlottetown Festival would like to extend sincere appreciation to all production sponsors, including SYSCO Food Services (production sponsor for Kronborg), Honibe (Atlantic Blue) and Key Murray Law (Spinning Yarns). 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.

PEI Professional Theatre Network

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PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

New Mama Steps Up

Artistic Director Adam Brazier has announced a casting change for the forthcoming production of Mamma Mia! at The Charlottetown Festival.

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Opening this Friday August 9, Mamma Mia! is sponsored by Tim Horton’s and plays until September 28 at Confederation Centre of the Arts. The high-spirited musical stars Rebecca Poff as single mother Donna and Katie Kerr as her only child, Sophie, who is also the bride-to-be in this sunny ABBA-driven tale. For Sophie’s wedding, Donna has invited her two lifelong best friends–practical and no-nonsense Rosie, and wealthy, multi-divorcée Tanya–from her one-time backing band, Donna and the Dynamos.

Rosie is played by Festival favourite Nicola-Dawn Brook and stepping into the role of Tanya is Sara-Jeanne Hosie. The pride of Victoria, B.C., Hosie made her Festival debut earlier this summer in the much-acclaimed remount ofKronborg-The Hamlet Rock Musical and also as Miss Stacey in Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™.

Hosie steps in for the Festival’s Susan Henley who had to withdraw due to injury. “This is my first time performing in Mamma Mia!” she offers, during a break in rehearsals. “I admire Susan Henley so much and am honoured to step into her sequins and stilettos.”

The actor has spent the last 25 years performing nationally in such roles as Mary in Mary Poppins; the Villain in the acclaimed Ross Petty Panto; to Alison Bechdel in the Canadian premiere of Fun Home. Also an accomplished director and choreographer, Hosie was nominated for a 2019 Dora Mavor Moore award for her choreography in Kiss of the Spider Woman (Eclipse).

Hosie comes by her Charlottetown Festival connection honestly, as both of her parents performed here, including appearances in the original Kronborg and as Matthew in Anne™ for her father, Bill Hosie.

“It was a childhood dream of mine to perform here,” Hosie recalls. “I remember being in the audience as a child, and now I get to smile at my parents in photos backstage every day.” 

Opening this Friday August 9, Mamma Mia! is sponsored by Tim Horton’s and plays until September 28 at Confederation Centre of the Arts. The high-spirited musical stars Rebecca Poff as single mother Donna and Katie Kerr as her only child, Sophie, who is also the bride-to-be in this sunny ABBA-driven tale. For Sophie’s wedding, Donna has invited her two lifelong best friends–practical and no-nonsense Rosie, and wealthy, multi-divorcée Tanya–from her one-time backing band, Donna and the Dynamos.

Rosie is played by Festival favourite Nicola-Dawn Brook and stepping into the role of Tanya is Sara-Jeanne Hosie. The pride of Victoria, B.C., Hosie made her Festival debut earlier this summer in the much-acclaimed remount ofKronborg-The Hamlet Rock Musical and also as Miss Stacey in Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™.

Hosie steps in for the Festival’s Susan Henley who had to withdraw due to injury. “This is my first time performing in Mamma Mia!” she offers, during a break in rehearsals. “I admire Susan Henley so much and am honoured to step into her sequins and stilettos.”

The actor has spent the last 25 years performing nationally in such roles as Mary in Mary Poppins; the Villain in the acclaimed Ross Petty Panto; to Alison Bechdel in the Canadian premiere of Fun Home. Also an accomplished director and choreographer, Hosie was nominated for a 2019 Dora Mavor Moore award for her choreography in Kiss of the Spider Woman (Eclipse).

Hosie comes by her Charlottetown Festival connection honestly, as both of her parents performed here, including appearances in the original Kronborg and as Matthew in Anne™ for her father, Bill Hosie.

“It was a childhood dream of mine to perform here,” Hosie recalls. “I remember being in the audience as a child, and now I get to smile at my parents in photos backstage every day.”

PEI Professional Theatre Network

28660348_162333201093170_735205771249634989_n

PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

 

Early Bird Gets the Worm

‘A Season of Homecoming’: Islander Day Sale Announced for The Charlottetown Festival

Last major ticket sale of 2019 on offer for any show, any date of summer festival

With recent glacial temperatures driving many to dream of Island summer, Confederation Centre is rolling out a sale to give Islanders their first chance to plan some exciting summer activities. With ‘the Islander Day Sale’, the Centre is offering a can’t-miss deal: 30% off tickets for any show, any date of The 2019 Charlottetown Festival.

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This promo runs from Saturday, February 16 through Monday, February 18, and applies to all Festival performances at both the Mack and the Homburg Theatre. Patrons can access the sale by contacting the box office online, via phone at 902.566.1267, or in person, using promo code ‘ISLANDER.’ This is the last Festival-wide ticket promo for 2019.

Sponsored by CIBC, The Charlottetown Festival is the largest theatre festival in Atlantic Canada, and is staging a playbill of five shows celebrating homecoming. Come join us for a spell–have we got a story for you!

Included are all performances of Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™, sponsored by CAA. The enduring story of an orphan girl who came from away and changed the Island forever has touched the lives of millions at the Centre. Running runs June 29 to September 28, the heartfelt and hilarious musical will be carried by newcomer Emma Rudy as “Anne with an E”.

Charlottetown favourite son Aaron Hastelow will star in the powerhouse rock show Kronborg—The Hamlet Rock Musical,sponsored by SYSCO Food Services. Playing June 28 to July 20, this summer’s electrifying production follows the crown prince Hamlet (Hastelow) on a quest for vengeance upon his uncle (festival favourite, Cameron MacDuffee) for taking his father’s life.

Over at the Mack, July 20 through September 28, Spinning Yarns: Tales and Tunes from a Homesick Newfoundlander will shine a light on ‘the Rock’ in the early ‘80s: a world of boisterous adventures and dubious childcare! Presented by Key Murray Law, this hilarious evening stars Newfoundlander, Stephen  Guy-McGrath (Evangeline, Million Dollar Quartet) with Brendan Wall (Spoon River, Jesus Christ Superstar).

The Festival also welcomes Tara MacLean’s Maritime love-letter, Atlantic Blue this summer. Sponsored by Honibe, this celebration of East Coast songwriters will play from August 2 to September 28. MacLean explores the place and people behind classic songs like ‘Sonny’s Dream’, ‘Put Your Hand in the Hand’, ‘Fare Thee Well Love’, and more. Backed by the addition of more than a dozen members of the Festival company and orchestra, this new production will make every Atlantic Canadian proud.

Back by popular demand, is Mamma Mia! A mother, a daughter, three possible dads; and a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget! Sponsored by Tim Hortons, this blockbuster musical will shake the house with all the ABBA jams from August 9 to September 28.