Dial M Busts Out

Watermark Theatre is thrilled to announce that box office revenue for the recently completed 2018 summer season was up by 10% over last year. Productions of Dial M For Murder and A Moon For The Misbegotten both exceeded expectations while season subscription passes increased as well. In fact, Dial M For Murder became the highest grossing production in the history of the company. The productions’ success is attributed to the extremely high quality of work from all the artists involved, wonderful word-of-mouth throughout the Island, a successful marketing plan, and exceptional reviews from both The Guardian and The Buzz.

This marks the third year in a row that box office revenues have increased for Watermark since Artistic Director Robert Tsonos and General Manager Andrea Surich took over the company in the Fall of 2015.

e1708dd3-bdf1-4bb9-85cd-b119c9ed4477

Robert is of course thrilled with how audiences have responded to his programming. “We seem to have reached a tipping point where word of mouth across the Island has boosted our audience numbers. People have started to spread the word about the work we do here in North Rustico and it’s very satisfying to see so many full houses. People are driving from across the Island now to see our shows and letting tourists know how to find us. We feel like we really have the support of the whole Island behind us now. It’s a great position to be in”.

Andrea Surich says that the theatre has become an economic engine for the community. “The restaurants and shops in North Rustico and surrounding area keep getting busier and busier. We help them out by luring new visitors to the area and they help us out by allowing our patrons to have a bite to eat or do a little shopping before one of our shows. A full summer evening’s experience.”

Programming for Watermark’s 2019 summer season will be announced very soon.

For more information please contact Andrea Surich at 902-963-3963 or generalmanager@watermarktheatre.com

Advertisements

A Family Affair

Married actors Madeleine Donohue and Geoffrey Pounsett drove from Toronto with their two small children in early June to North Rustico PEI to spend the summer performing at the Watermark Theatre. Madeleine is starring in “Dial M For Murder” as Margot Wendice, while Geoffrey tackles the roles of James Tyrone in “A Moon for the Misbegotten” and Max Halliday opposite his wife in “Dial M For Murder”.

fb123847-04e6-424c-842b-a1379f106c9a

“In the play I have an affair with my husband’s character, Max, while my stage husband- played by Artistic Director Robert Tsonos- seethes in the background”, says Madeleine, “Despite the spooky subject matter I’m having SO much fun playing Margot, and the whole creative team’s done a terrific job”. “We’ve never worked together before”, says Geoffrey. “The opportunity has arisen a couple of times, but each time one of us was already committed to something else. In the past, one of us has usually stayed in Toronto with the kids while the other is away for work. This was the perfect opportunity to finally share the stage while also having a great summer experience together as a family.”

The two met in the summer of 2008, when they each appeared in both the Fringe and Summerworks Festivals. Madeleine had written her very first play, and Geoffrey was appearing in Erin Shield’s “If We Were Birds”, which continued on to a successful run at Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre . “The Fringe/Summerworks scene is pretty social, so we bumped into each other often. Eventually we discovered that we lived a block away from each other” recalls Madeleine. “Our colleagues were pretty encouraging; we had both attended the same theatre school so we had a lot of friends in common, though we’d never met.  I’d just ended a relationship, and my girlfriends wasted no time in “suggesting” that I check out this Geoffrey guy. Thank goodness for pushy friends!”

Having performed at both the Neptune Theatre (A Few Good Men, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) and the Charlottetown Festival (Fire, Anne of Green Gables), Geoffrey was eager to return to an east coast stage this summer. His work has taken him across the country, including multiple seasons at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Theatre Calgary and the NAC, as well as a villainous turn in the Canadian production of the international hit “War Horse”.  He is also a noted director of new Canadian plays, including two Governor-General’s Award nominees, and a classical theatre instructor at George Brown Theatre School in Toronto.

Madeleine has appeared in 9 Shakespeare productions, including five tours with Ontario’s Driftwood Theatre Group. She has also performed in four shows with Theatre Gargantua, a physical theatre company in Toronto.  She has worked extensively in children’s theatre, touring North America with Roseneath Theatre and Metaphysical Theatre. With her company Down n’ Out Productions, Madeleine produced five productions at Toronto’s Campbell House Museum, including a play she wrote about the war of 1812 which went on to tour the province. Her most recent children’s plays were commissioned by the Royal Ontario Museum.

Madeleine also loves teaching theatre to kids and teens. “With both of us working in theatre, scheduling is probably the biggest challenge we face as parents, whether in Toronto or elsewhere”, says Geoffrey.  “We’re very lucky to have a reliable network of friends in the city, as well as the world’s most committed grandparents. Our kids have spent quite a few hours in audition waiting rooms and theatre greenrooms, or hanging in parks with friends while we audition. They’re pretty familiar with the transit system already” Madeleine adds “I did two shows when they were tiny babies, and both times the companies were incredibly supportive when it came to scheduling issues, or providing space for babysitters or nursing, etc. And we love that our kids are already passionate theatregoers! So far, puppets are a MAJOR hit.”

Geoffrey reports “the kids are loving the island. They just went to their first Ceilidh and have now decided that they’re step-dancers. I’d worked here twice before (at the Charlottetown festival) but it’s Madeleine’s first time on the island, so we jumped at the opportunity to drive east. The kids are at the perfect age; at 3 and 4 they don’t mind being whisked away from friends and activities for a few months.”

“I don’t think they want to go back!” adds Madeleine. “I don’t blame them. We’re living in York, and they have so much space to run around. And they’re fascinated by the fishing boats in North Rustico. It’s been a magical summer so far.”

Both plays, “Dial M For Murder” and “A Moon For The Misbegotten” run to September 1st. Tickets can be purchased via the company’s website http://www.watermarktheatre.com or by calling 902-963-3963.

For more information, or to further interview Madeleine or Geoffrey, please contact Andrea Surich at 902-963-3963 or generalmanager@watermarktheatre.com

Watermark Theatre is a proud member of the PTN (Professional Theatre Network of PEI)

This Week at the Watermark Theatre

Performances this week at Watermark Theatre in North Rustico, Prince Edward Island.
Maddy Geoffrey Robert Dial M
July 16th 7:30PM – A Moon For The Misbegotten
July 17th 7:30PM – Dial M For Murder
July 18th 7:30PM – A Moon For The Misbegotten
July 19th 7:30PM – Dial M For Murder
July 20th 7:30PM – A Moon For The Misbegotten
July 21st 1:30PM & 7:30PM – Dial M For Murder
July 22nd 7:30PM – Classic Music Reignited

Discovering Your Roots

Actor Discovers His Roots In Hunter River

Actor Paul Cowling is performing this summer at Watermark Theatre in North Rustico. This is his first time on the Island, but he has roots that go quite a ways back. “My mother’s family came to the Hunter River area from Scotland sometime in the mid-1800s, around 1839,” Cowling says. “My great-great grandfather, Farquhar Beaton, and his wife Flora, settled in that area. A land lease shows he was given 100 acres on the Old Princetown Road. He had 8 children, one of whom was Malcolm, who was my great-grandfather. Malcolm in turn had 22 children, most of whom were also born in Hunter River. My grandfather, Bentley, was among them.”

969db1a8-7d9c-4450-b239-557c60f0003c.jpg

Cowling says that his mother’s family were all close, so he met many of his grandfather’s siblings while he was growing up. “The Beatons were, and still are, very close to each other. They are also very good musicians, and play fiddle, guitar, mandolin, and banjo. When my great grandfather moved his family to Saskatchewan, he became well-known for his musicianship, winning “old time fiddle” contests around the region. This love and ability to play music was passed on to all of his children, and growing up I remember many, many kitchen parties that would go on long into the night. So, I hope to have a chance to go to the ceilidhs on the island, to listen to the music and relive those childhood memories.”

Paul is also a musician, learning the guitar in his early teens. “The Beatons all played by ear, and I was lucky enough to inherit whatever gene that was myself. Sadly, I contracted Lyme Disease several years ago, and it’s affected my hand. So, I haven’t been able to play since. I’m starting a new treatment in the fall, and I’m hopeful I’ll be able to play again soon. My mother always said that the Beatons have music in their blood, and I do miss not being able to pick up the guitar from time to time.”

Though he’s been busy with rehearsing two shows, Cowling has had some time to explore the island. “It’s so beautiful here,” Cowling says. “More so than I could have imagined. I had a very limited idea of what the area was like. People talk about how red the soil is, but until you see it, in the fields or on the beaches, you really can’t begin to describe it. I’ve taken quite a few photos of it since I’ve been here. Also, it goes without saying that the people I’ve met on the island have been very friendly and welcoming.”

Once he is out of rehearsal, and the shows at Watermark are up and running, Paul plans to make the trip out to Hunter River. “I want to see the area that marked the beginning of the Beaton journey in Canada, and where Farquhar Beaton and his wife, and any of his children, are laid to rest. I want to pay my respects, and in some way thank him for coming to Canada and starting a life and a family that eventually led to my being here on the island. Also, to thank him for passing down, in whatever way, the love of music and talent for entertaining that resulted in my becoming an actor.”

Asked for a few final thoughts about his experience here in PEI so far, Cowling has this to say: “I feel like I’ve been given a gift. Here I am, in the home of my ancestors, working on two fantastic shows with an enormously talented and wonderful group of individuals. The island itself is breathtakingly beautiful, the people are lovely and kind, and the whole area is alive with amazing music and musicians. I can’t think of a better place to spend the summer. Who knows, maybe I’ll get a chance to do it again someday.”

Paul Cowling is performing in two shows at the Watermark Theatre this summer; “Dial M For Murder”, and “A Moon For The Misbegotten”. Both shows run all summer to September 1st. Tickets can be purchased via the company’s website http://www.watermarktheatre.com or by calling 902-963-3963.

For more information, or to further interview Paul Cowling, please contact Andrea Surich at 902-963-3963 or generalmanager@watermarktheatre.com

Watermark Theatre is a proud member of the PTN (Professional Theatre Network of PEI)

Plan Your Visit to the Watermark

Barachois Inn – www.barachoisinn.com

To find other North Rustico hotels nearby, visit HotelsCombined

topplanvisit

OTHER THEATRES ON THE ISLAND

Victoria Playhouse – victoriaplayhouse.com

Charlottetown Festival – www.confederationcentre.com/en/theatre.php

Harbourfront Theatre – www.harbourfronttheatre.com

The Guild – www.theguildpei.com

Young at Heart Theatre – yahtheatre.com/yaht

Watermark and all the theatres listed above are members of the PTN – Professional Theatre Network of PEI

 

 ABOUT NORTH RUSTICO

North Rustico – www.northrustico.com

 

 

From Charlottetown to North Rustico – 30 to 35 minute drive

Back to Life

Local Photographer Exhibits at Watermark Theatre’s Gallery

The distinguished Canadian photographer from New Glasgow PEI, Lionel F. Stevenson, will have his works on display at Watermark Theatre’s gallery this summer.  Mr. Stevenson studied photography in Toronto and was awarded Canadian Photographer of the Year in 1967. In 1977 he founded a commercial photography and design studio, Camera Art in Charlottetown which he operated until his death in 2017.

73736153-ff41-497b-b019-36e5360e9396

Lionel embarked on a great number of photographic projects, including “Elders of Island” which is a collection of 30 portraits of Island elders purchased by the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, a series of architectural books with Scott Smith and “Document of Our Times” a 1978 exhibition at The Confederation Centre that recorded Island life.

In 2012-13 Lionel had a retrospective, “50 Years of Photographs” at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, which revealed to the viewer the range and dedication of his talent. To quote Pan Wendt, curator of Lionel’s retrospective, “If the photograph has always been a matter of evidence, Lionel Stevenson’s photographs are evidence not only of moments in the past but the lasting strength of the attentive hand and eye.”

The Watermark Gallery is a fine art gallery exhibiting original art created by local artists, it opens to the public on June 26th and is open daily except Sundays until August 31st. Call the theatre for operating hours at 902-963-3963.

For more information please contact Andrea Surich at 902-963-3963 or generalmanager@watermarktheatre.com

New Music for a Murder

Watermark Theatre is thrilled to have local PEI composer Leo Marchildon back at the theatre this summer composing music for their upcoming production of “Dial M For Murder” by Frederick Knott. Leo composed music for “Blithe Spirit” and “The Glass Menagerie” two years ago for the theatre to great acclaim.
c476390b-0f7f-49de-8c7c-4bd4950b04ed
“I’m thrilled to be working once again with Watermark”, says Leo, “unlike my earlier scores for the theatre, I’ve decided with “Dial M” to focus on moods and textures rather than developing character themes, as the play revolves around plot development as opposed to character evolution. My score is reminiscent of the Hitchcockian thrillers of the ’50’s, yet laced with a contemporary sensibility through additional sound design. The slightly skewed harmonies in this score suggest that nothing is quite what it seems, and I hope this pervasive use of dissonance will help to enhance the sense of mystery and tension for the audience.”

Originally hailing from Toronto, Leo earned degrees in piano, organ, violin and composition before attending the University of Southern California graduate program in film scoring. He has since written for television, film, and stage as well as working as music editor for such TV shows as Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda and The Adventures of Sinbad. His score for the musical drama The Nine Lives of L.M. Montgomery precipitated his move to PEI in 2007. In 2017 he was commissioned by the PEI Symphony to compose “Song of a Tree” as part of the Cantata for Canada 150. He currently serves as organist/music director for St. Dunstan’s Basilica, is music supervisor for the Diocese of Charlottetown, and is the Atlantic representative for the National Council of Liturgical Music. He also conducts the PEI Pops!

Written in 1952, Dial M For Murder tells the frightening story of a husband planning the murder of his adulterous wife. He arranges the perfect crime by blackmailing a scoundrel he used to know into strangling her at a time when he has the perfect alibi. Of course, things do not turn out as planned. The play that inspired Alfred Hitchcock’s film classic weaves an ever-tightening web of danger and deception. Full of twists, turns, and suspense, this gripping thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat.

“Dial M For Murder” runs from June 26th to September 1st at the Watermark Theatre in North Rustico.

To book tickets go to watermarktheatre.com or call 902-963-3963

Watermark Theatre is a proud member of the PTN (Professional Theatre Network of PEI)

For more information please contact Andrea Surich at 902-963-3963 or generalmanager@watermarktheatre.com