Tag Archives: Watermark Theatre North Rustico PEI

Married to the Theatre

Actor Ian Deakin, who has two featured roles this summer with the Watermark Theatre, has been a professional actor in this country for 45 years. He has also been with his wife, costume designer Bonnie Deakin, for those same 45 years. Ian has had a long and prolific career by any standard and his relationship with Bonnie has endured while navigating the often rewarding but difficult world of Canadian theatre.

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Ian plays Victor Velasco in Barefoot in the Park and Sir George Crofts in Mrs. Warren’s Profession on stage at the Watermark until September 2nd. Bonnie designed the costumes for both plays at the Watermark this summer while also working as Head of Wardrobe at The Confederation Centre.

A busy schedule for them both but at least they’re on the Island together. Both artists have traversed the country chasing work their entire careers. “Dashing across the country from job to job is really no different now than it was 45 years ago”, says Ian, “the world has changed, and we have both grown richer as artists because of it. Longevity is possibly the only mark of true success for a working actor or designer in this country, as fame is often fleeting. Fortunately we will go on as long as there is someone willing to take a chance on either of us. Retirement is merely another signpost to observe as we head off to the next contract in another part of the country. In the theatre we’re all wastrels and vagabonds and thieves!”

The two met in high school in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. “We were both in a production of Dr Helen Creighton’s The Broken Ring, says Bonnie, “we were good chums then, and fell in love years later, during a production of Cosi Fan Tutti”. Ian describes the proposal: “I was on my knees in formal dress in the green room of Halifax’s Neptune Theatre between the second and third act of The Matchmaker, I was playing August the waiter. I immediately dashed back on to the stage to await my answer.  The reply solidified both my personal and professional future.”

Bonnie talks about those first years together: “when we were first married, I followed Ian everywhere. We had a big steamer trunk, and those days were exciting and fun. It was a great way to stay together and learn about theatre and each other. We met, and worked with, so many of this country’s theatre greats.” Of course life has its ups and downs and relationships in this business aren’t always easy.

“After 10 years, when our son Robin came along”, Bonnie explains, “I stayed home, often taking freelance work that could be done from my kitchen. Feathers and trims and bits of materials would be in every room, but it meant that Robin was able to come home for lunch, and I could take him to school, and hockey, and lessons. Ian was always on the road it seemed. It was hard. There was no internet in those days and phone calls were expensive. His return home was always an adjustment. We had to keep reminding ourselves of what our intent was when we made our commitment to each other.”

Ian has worked from coast to coast and spent 13 seasons at the Stratford Festival in such productions as The Tempest, Julius Caesar, Henry V, Cymbeline and The Odyssey. He appeared on Broadway with Christopher Plummer in King Lear at the Lincoln Centre, and Off Broadway at City Centre in Much Ado About Nothing and The Miser. Bonnie worked for many years at the Grand Theatre in London, Ontario and has designed costumes in theatres across Canada, the U.S., Mexico, and El Salvador. She recently designed costumes for A Christmas Carol for Persephone Theatre in Saskatoon, and at The Confederation Centre she designed for Glenda’s Kitchen and The Voices of Canada.

Bonnie and Ian are especially grateful to have this summer together here on the Island. “For the last year and a half Ian has been the primary caregiver for our son Robin, who sustained a catastrophic brain injury in a car accident”, explains Bonnie. “Ian has been on the front line every day and I have been the breadwinner. This summer has been a golden opportunity for Robin to rediscover independent living, and for us to get reacquainted, and for Ian to perform in two great roles. It’s a rare thing for us to work on the same production, this has been a very positive experience.”

And how has their time been on the Island? “I’m delighted to be working with the Watermark this summer” says Ian, “my admiration for the amazingly gifted cast and crew, to be working with Bonnie again after many years, being here on PEI, and to be sharing with her the beauty of this Island”. Bonnie concurs, “I love this island. The people are warm and welcoming.  I have the kindest landlords who look after me, and now welcome Ian. There is music, art and theatre all around, always something to do, and the restaurants and seafood are wonderful.”

Watermark Extends Summer Season

We are pleased to announce that the Watermark Theatre’s 2017 10thAnniversary summer season will be extended by one week to September 2nd, 2017. The theatre has seen an increase in season ticket passes by 28% so far this summer and individual tickets are already outpacing last summer’s incredible showing of “Blithe Spirit” and “The Glass Menagerie”, which saw a 30% increase in individual tickets over the previous season.

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This summer’s productions of “Barefoot in the Park” by Neil Simon and “Mrs. Warren’s Profession” by George Bernard Shaw have both received outstanding critical and audience response. The Guardian called our production of “Mrs. Warren’s Profession”, “…the most satisfying piece of theatre I’ve seen on Prince Edward Island…Highly recommended”. The Buzz said about the show, “…delivered with intelligence and sensitivity…I am so whole-heartedly grateful for the Watermark Theatre”. “Barefoot in the Park” was equally well regarded, with The Guardian saying about the show, “…hard work, talent, charm and honesty can help carry the day…played with genuine commitment”. The Buzz added, “…a comedy about relationships, full of zingy dialogue and zany antics…a great summer evening”.

Four performances of “Barefoot in the Park” will be added on August 28th and 31st at 7:30PM, as well as on September 2nd at 1:30PM and 7:30PM.Three performances of “Mrs. Warren’s Profession” will be added on August 29th and 30th, as well as September 1st, all at 7:30PM.

“We are, of course, thrilled that we’re able to add extra performances and play right into Labour Day weekend”, says Artistic Director Robert Tsonos, “we’ve had such a wonderful response from audiences so far this season and we’re expecting crowds to increase even more over the rest of the summer”.

The romantic comedy “Barefoot in the Park” is a 1963 play about a free-spirited bride and her buttoned-down groom who settle down to some rocky happily-ever-aftering in a New York City walk-up, occasionally invaded by the bride’s wacky mother and the quirky bohemian who lives in the attic.

George Bernard Shaw’s beautifully crafted “Mrs. Warren’s Profession“, written in 1893, tells the story of Mrs. Kitty Warren who worked her way out of the London slums and now lives abroad, having provided her daughter Vivie with the education and means to grow into a smart, independent young woman of strong convictions. When Mrs. Warren returns, mother and daughter discover that neither is the woman they thought they knew.

Tickets can be purchased at watermarktheatre.com or 902-963-3963

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

Pea Power at the Watermark

Cat’s Pajamas Theatre Company is pleased to announce their production of
“Princess & The Pea”
BY REBECCA L. BYARS AND LANE RIOSLEY

presented by Watermark Theatre, North Rustico P.E.I.
4 Shows Only
Thursday August 10th at 10:30AM
Saturday August 12th at 10:30AM
Thursday August 17th at 10:30AM
Saturday August 19th at 10:30AM

“The Cat’s Pajamas Theatre Co. is back at The Watermark with another classic story to tell! The Princess and the Pea is an adaptation of the classic tale in which a young Prince searches far and wide for true love, regardless of his mother, The Queen’s dissatisfaction. This tale is sure to make you giggle as we explore themes of acceptance, true love, and the importance of a good night’s rest!

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Directed by Suzanne Wilkie & Becca Griffin
Starring Robyn Vienot, Becca Griffin, Brielle Ansems, Carly Billings

Tickets only $10  (+hst and service charge)

Call 902-963-3963 or go to http://www.ticketwizard.ca
Watermark Theatre, 57 Church Hill Ave., North Rustico, PE

Suzanne Wilkie is so excited to be directing her first show with The Cat’s Pajamas! She grew up on PEI and after a brief hiatus in Toronto has returned to this beautiful Island. Her favourite place to rehearse in Charlottetown is right smack-dab in the middle of a park. Suzanne loves beach days, coffee dates with friends, and creating fun theatre!
Becca Griffin, leader of The Cat’s PJs, is a local entertainer who loves to laugh and play music! You may remember seeing her as the Old Farm Cat or the Mother Duck in last year’s production of “The Ugly Duckling!” Becca loves to practice playing her new ukulele (Marilyn), and singing for strangers on the street.
Brielle Ansems is a local singer-songwriter who loves to connect with people through music and theatre. She’s very excited to be heading to Holland College’s School of Performing Arts Theatre Program this fall to further explore the wonderful world of making people feel things.
Robyn Veinot is an island girl who loves music and theatre! She also loves spending most of her time with her niece and nephew. You may remember seeing her in The Cat’s Pajamas production of A Hurried History by the Loonies that Live Here! or in the Confederation Centre’s Christmas productions of Robin Hood and Aladdin.

Reignited at the Watermark

Curated by Rob Oakie, Classic Music Reignited features Island musical artists interpreting classic composers. To commemorate Canada’s sesquicentennial the 2017 series will consist of all Canadian composers.

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July 23rd Canadian Composers – Female
The Music of k.d. lang, Alanis Morissette, Feist
Performed by: Kelley Mooney, Katie McGarry, Marlee & Morgan Saulnier
August 6th Canadian Composers – Bands
The Music of Barenaked Ladies, The Band, April Wine
Performed by: Dylan Menzie, Nick Doneff, Ben Aitken
August 20th Canadian Composers – Male
The Music of Kim Mitchell, Gino Vanelli, Stan Rogers
Performed by: Richard Wood & Gordon Belsher, Tim MacPherson, Logan Richard
All performances are at 7:30 PM at the Watermark Theatre in North Rustico.

Banned and Beautiful Says The Guardian

The Lord Chamberlain’s Examiner declared Mrs. Warren’s Profession “immoral and otherwise improper for the stage” in 1893. It was banned in England.

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This summer it is in repertory at the Watermark Theatre in North Rustico.

“Director Robert Tsonos shows such finesse in bringing this play to life that it is likely the most satisfying piece of theatre I’ve seen on Prince Edward Island.

“Highly recommended.”

Colm Magner, The Guardian