Tag Archives: Victoria Playhouse

Cleaning House

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You never know what will turn up when you start cleaning out the props room at the Victoria Playhouse. Anyone for a stuffed turkey or a fish skeleton? Or a shark cruisin’ the hostas? With good sports Amy Kern and Emily Smith.

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

Down the Street

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Matt and Sheldon are enjoying Island Chocolate’s famous deck, down the street from the Victoria Theatre, this morning. This beloved shop opened today for the season with plans in place for physical distancing.

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

Off to Work We Go

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We are excited and thankful to be back to work in the beautiful Victoria Playhouse. While we are not able to welcome our patrons back yet we have a number of ‘some day we are going to get around to it’ maintenance jobs that we will be completing while observing recommended Covid 19 protocols.

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

This is So True!

 

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This is so important and so true!

For a few years now, the actions from Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) have resolutely turned towards digital technology. While the theatre community recognizes the undeniable value of these tools when it comes to production and outreach, it is quite a different matter when it comes to creation.

Since the beginning of the crisis, an optimistic discourse, although unfortunately misleading, is gaining momentum: that the survival of the arts will require they move online. It is true that virtual spaces of togetherness comfort us. We want to believe that they will adequately replace live arts, if not how can we possibly envision the months, or perhaps years, to come? However, to better participate in the current transformation of the world, we must first be honest: the direct nature of the performing arts is, in general, incompatible with digital arts.

Perhaps it is the stunning prospect of a lasting no man’s land of live performance that has caused so many voices to emerge to sing the praises of our digital salvation. Liza Frulla and Louise Beaudoin, two strong advocates for arts and culture, said in an interview with Radio-Canada that the artistic community was going to have to reinvent itself through digital technology. In a blog post published on April 19th in La Presse, Simon Brault, director of the CCA, invites us “to consider the future with a real desire to experiment and innovate” and encourages “the rapid and widespread adoption of digital tools.” He reiterated his position, still in La Presse, insisting on the fact that “we need to encourage the conversation about the digital […].” The CCA has joined forces with Radio-Canada/CBC to offer the Digital Originals program to finance the creation or adaptation of digital works.

The problem is not in creating such programs, nor in the faith expressed in artists. The problem is in the monolithic character of the statement itself. We are puzzled by this tendency to believe that practicing one art form means practicing all the arts forms and that it is therefore enough for artists of all disciplines to migrate online to continue to exist. Each sector requires its own expertise. A dancer is not a visual artist, who in turn is not a film director. Some artists happily choose to adopt digital tools in their practice and that is exciting and commendable. However, each artistic practice must remain radically free. It is precisely this freedom that we are demanding today: the freedom to remain faithful to the performing arts. Not because they are better than digital arts, but because they are inherently different in nature, and this specificity must be preserved.

Theatre is the art of gathering. Without direct encounter with the audience, theatre does not exist. Without this delicious and dangerous awareness of the fallibility of the humans there, in front of you, theatre does not exist. Without the mystical awareness of sharing a unique, fleeting moment, theatre does not exist. Its existential quality is based on its ephemerality. Theatre is what happens between humans gathering together. Theatre is built on the ideas and feelings shared between souls gathering together. We build multifaceted universes, integrate new technologies, we sometimes collaborate with other artistic disciplines, but none of this affects the essential nature of the performing arts, which fulfill the prehistoric need of humans to be among their own, to observe oneself in the cathartic presence of fellow humans.

In these unprecedented times, digital technology is a Band-Aid solution that we appreciate for what it is: a way to keep in touch with our audiences and offer them some substitutes for the shows they are waiting for. Some encouraging and promising initiatives will last. Others are created to be temporary, to keep our heads above water while the storm passes, which may take a long time.

Without knowing everything about the scenarios of deconfinement, we already know that the distancing measures will need to be upheld. It will be a long time before can gather again in a performance venue. The theatre community’s priority is undoubtedly to show solidarity, follow the rules of public health and wait as long as it takes before we can reopen our doors safely.

We are only at the beginning of the crisis. It is therefore astonishing to read Simon Brault rejoicing in the fact that “[…] But the shock of these changes has not led to the disaster we anticipated. Within days, hundreds of artists were broadcasting their creations from their homes. How is it possible, right now, to affirm the avoidance of disaster? And is this digital tidal wave really proof that artists have found a way to make up for the closures of all performance venues? A spontaneous initiative born out of shock does not guarantee the will or the capacity of an artist to pursue this path, an almost systematically unremunerated path, it must be said. From their home studios, encased in a solitude that is the opposite of their practice, many artists are currently worrying that the theatre itself will be swept away by the pandemic after millennia of resistance. Many feel that their duty, at the moment, is to listen attentively and not to succumb to their reflex to produce by quickly learning the basics of digital technology. Some will have the opportunity to finally take this time of isolation for the development, research and creation that is constantly neglected. Some will perhaps succeed in perceiving deep things, which are otherwise hidden from us, and transform them into works to be deployed, one day, on stage.

The theatre will survive this crisis. It will standby. It will endeavor to face its fear of emptiness. It will be patient, but if necessary, it will imagine unexpected ways to bring us together other than through our screens. It will be performed in front of an audience of twelve, will disperse in a football stadium and will distribute astronaut suits to its audience, thirsty for human proximity. It doesn’t matter: as long as we are together.

And then, when the time comes, the theatre will open its doors wide and resume its role where it left off. We do not want a digital exit from the crisis. It is through direct contact with others that we will find that strength that we have missed so much.

This letter is co-signed by the members of the board of directors of the Conseil québécois du théâtre:

Charles Bender, Isabelle Boisclair, Lesley Bramhill, Mireille Camier, Sophie Devirieux, Geoffrey Gaquère, Maude Gareau, Mayi-Eder Inchauspé, Albert Kwan, Hubert Lemire, Mathieu Marcil, Dany Michaud, Mathieu Murphy-Perron, Jane Needles, Solène Paré, Édith Patenaude, Olivier Sylvestre, Leïla Thibeault Louchem, Pierre Tremblay, Anne Trudel and France Villeneuve.

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

Victoria Playhouse Cancels 2020 Summer Season

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Dear Friends,
I’m very sorry to announce that, bearing in mind the recommendations of our Chief Public Health Officers, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our 2020 Festival Season.
This would have been our 39th season of professional theatre and we were gearing up for an exciting summer, including the Maritime debut for Fredericton-based playwright John Spurway and our first rep season since the ’80s! But the health and safety of our staff, audience members, and community must be our priority at this time. We look forward to returning to the stage in 2021 with all the laughs, the tears, and the beautiful interplay of audience and actors that you’ve come to know and love at Victoria Playhouse.
We know that many people are feeling the strain of reduced incomes, but if you feel able to do so, we would be so very grateful for your support to help the theatre survive this crisis. Donations are eligible for tax deductible receipts and donors have many options for giving, including one-time or monthly donations through CanadaHelps.
If you would like to help support Victoria Playhouse through this challenging time, but would prefer to donate in a different way, please call us at 1-800-925-2025.
Together, we will weather this storm.
Sincerely,
Emily Smith, Executive Director

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

A Message from Victoria Playhouse

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Dear friends,
I hope this message finds you safe and healthy during this difficult time. 
Like our fellow arts organizations across Canada, we at Victoria Playhouse are keeping a close eye on updates from our public health authorities regarding COVID-19. The situation is changing daily and, while we have not yet settled on a final plan for our 2020 season, the health and welfare of our staff, our audience members, and our community is paramount! 
We will be contacting all Flex Pass and ticket holders individually when we have more information about our summer programming.
We endeavor to keep everyone informed as decisions are made, but please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions. My email address is emily@victoriaplayhouse.com. 
Stay well,
Emily Smith, Executive Director 

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

Two Tonics This Summer

Victoria Playhouse Announces 2020 Season

The Victoria Playhouse has announced its 39th season featuring two contemporary comedies and a change in format. The Victoria Playhouse Festival 2020 will be presented in the repertory   style, meaning the two plays will run on an alternating schedule all summer. Emily Smith, Executive Director of the Victoria Playhouse, commented on the change of scheduling from previous years. “Under this new format, Islanders will have more options to choose from each week and more time during our busy PEI summer to see everything they want to see at the Playhouse.”

Off the Grid by Fredericton playwright John Spurway and Popcorn Falls by James Hindman will play June 25 to September 6.  Off the Grid tells the story of Marty and Leonard who have agreed to spend a week in a secluded off-the-grid cabin while Marty writes an article on self-sufficient living. After meeting Lowell, their reclusive neighbor, Leonard begins to suspect he might be hiding something. But Lowell is not the only one keeping secrets! The Wellington Advertiser called the 2019 world premiere of Off the Grid a “compelling and heartfelt tale” and “laugh-out-loud funny”.  The Victoria Playhouse production will be the Maritime premiere of this new play.

Popcorn Falls features one small town, two medium-sized actors and twenty-one over-the-top characters. Down on its luck, Popcorn Falls has lost its namesake and could be turned into a sewage treatment plant by its bully neighbor. The residents’ last chance to save the town is a large grant that can only be used if they produce a play… in one week. Led by the Mayor and the local handyman, the enterprising townsfolk try to rise to the challenge. The New York Stage Review wrote that Popcorn Falls is “a perfect tonic to restore faith in humanity” and Broadway Radio said, “I haven’t heard laughter quite this hard in a long, long time!”.

In addition to Off the Grid and Popcorn Falls, the Playhouse will once again be presenting its popular Monday Night Concert Series featuring Canadian and international artists, as well as September programming. For more information, visit victoriaplayhouse.com.

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

Victoria Playhouse Announces New Style 2020 Shows

We’re making a big change this summer!

Summers on PEI are beautiful… and busy! We’re changing our format to make it easier for you to see all the hilarious action on stage at Victoria Playhouse this summer. 
Our Festival 2020 will be presented in rep, meaning that we’ll be alternating  between two plays all summer long!
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Don’t miss a moment of this laugh-out-loud line up!
Our Festival 2020 includes Off the Grid by John Spurway, a funny and contemporary comedy featuring a couple trying to reinvigorate their marriage while spending a week in a remote cabin, and Popcorn Falls by James Hindman, a truly hilarious play about the citizens of Popcorn Falls forced to put on a play to save their town. 
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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

Make a Difference

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There are only a couple of days left to make a 2019 tax-deductible donation in support of PEI’s longest running little theatre!

 
Victoria Playhouse will mount its 39th season of professional theatre in 2020 and we could not have survived for 39 years without the support of our donors. Become a private sponsor now and know that your donation, no matter the size, is important and valued!
Donate Online Now
The Victoria Playhouse Inc. is a non-profit organization and a registered Canadian Charity #108103219RR0001.
All donations are eligible for tax deductible receipts.

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

Make a Difference

There are only a couple of days left to make a 2019 tax-deductible donation in support of PEI’s longest running little theatre!

 
Victoria Playhouse will mount its 39th season of professional theatre in 2020 and we could not have survived for 39 years without the support of our donors. Become a private sponsor now and know that your donation, no matter the size, is important and valued!
Donate Online Now
The Victoria Playhouse Inc. is a non-profit organization and a registered Canadian Charity #108103219RR0001.
All donations are eligible for tax deductible receipts.