Watermark Hosts Community Gathering

Watermark Theatre is excited to announce our 3rd Annual Watermark Community Gathering taking place on Friday, December 8th at 7:00 pm.  Doors will open at 6:30 pm.

Our first two Gatherings were a resounding success. This season there will be music, treats and awesome door prizes once again. Art works by students of North Rustico’s Gulf Shore School will be displayed in the Watermark Gallery.  A fantastic Christmas basket will be raffled off as well.

Carl Peterson (Scrooge in North Shore Players’ A Christmas Carol) will be our talented Emcee! Entertainment will include Janet McGarry and Serge Bernard, our own MLA Brad Trivers with his band “Party Mix”, Becca Griffin and Todd MacLean, Magician Jeremy Buote, Olivia and Barb, step dancing and storytelling with more acts to be confirmed.

Entrance will be by donation at the door with proceeds being shared between the Gulf Shore Consolidated School music program and Watermark Theatre.

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

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Watermark Announces 2018 Season

Watermark Theatre’s 2018 Summer Season Announced!

Watermark Theatre’s Artistic Director Robert Tsonos, and General Manager Andrea Surich are proud to announce the 2018 Summer Season.

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The season will include the classic thriller Dial “M” For Murder by Frederick Knott and the powerful A Moon For The Misbegotten by Eugene O’Neill. Our popular music series Classic Music Reignited returns once again, celebrating its 5th year, and the Watermark Play Reading Series will focus on new plays in development by Atlantic Canadian Playwrights.

Dial “M” For Murder by Frederick Knott, written in 1952, 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.

Written in 1943 by four-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Eugene O’Neill, A Moon for the Misbegotten is set on a Connecticut tenant farm where two lost souls find hope and redemption under a lover’s moon. Josie Hogan is a boisterous woman with a quick tongue and a tarnished reputation. It’s been a hard and lonely life, working the Tyrone farm with her bullying father. One night, with the man she is in love with, James Tyrone, sparks fly and hope burns anew as two “misbegotten” souls come together.
“O’Neill at the height of his powers… hauntingly poetic truths about love and self-delusion”. — The Los Angeles Times

In a shift in programming to the Play Reading Series, this year’s plays will showcase new work in development by Atlantic Canadian playwrights. A selection process will begin immediately to choose three new, unpublished, and unproduced plays, to be read by our company of actors during the month of August. A list of plays and playwrights will be released in the Spring of 2018.

Yes, it’s been 5 years since we began our Classic Music Reignited series, our popular music series curated by Rob Oakie. As always, Island musical artists interpret classic composers in a way that you have never heard before. Stay tuned for our list of composers and Island musicians soon.

Season Ticket Passes are now on sale at early bird rates until December 31st, 2017. $99 for 4 tickets, $135 for 6 tickets, and $210 for 10 tickets.
902-963-3963 or visit http://www.watermarktheatre.com

Watermark Theatre strives to produce the finest professional theatre on the Island. By producing and presenting theatre, music and artwork, our goal is to enrich and contribute to the community in which we work, the province in which we live, and the Canadian theatre community to which we belong. Watermark believes in the development of the next generation of theatre artists and arts administrators through mentorship and professional training. Plays are chosen from the international repertoire of classic and modern classic plays that are at least 50 years old and Canadian plays at least 30 years old. In all of our programming we strive for artistic excellence and a diversity of voices, while endeavouring to inform, to affect, and to engage with our audience.

Watermark 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

Busting the Box Office

Watermark Box Office up 22.57% for 2017 Summer Season

Watermark Theatre is thrilled to announce that box office revenue for the recently completed 2017 summer season was up by an impressive 22.57% over last year. Productions of Barefoot in the Park and Mrs. Warren’s Profession both exceeded expectations while season subscription passes jumped significantly. A one week extension to the season was a contributing factor to the increase of sales but strong attendance throughout the summer for both productions also contributed. The productions success was generated by wonderful word-of-mouth throughout the Island, a successful marketing plan, and exceptional reviews.

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Review Quotes For Mrs. Warren’s Profession
“…the most satisfying piece of theatre I’ve seen on Prince Edward Island…Highly recommended” – The Guardian
“…delivered with intelligence and sensitivity…I am so whole-heartedly grateful for the Watermark Theatre” – The Buzz

Review Quotes for Barefoot in the Park
“…hard work, talent, charm and honesty can help carry the day…played with genuine commitment” – The Guardian
“…a comedy about relationships, full of zingy dialogue and zany antics…a great summer evening” – The Buzz

Some may remember that last summer (2016) the company saw a 30% jump in individual ticket sales. Increasing box office by an additional 22% this summer is an impressive first two years for Artistic Director Robert Tsonos who is of course thrilled with how audiences have responded so far during his tenure. “We’ll just keep doing what we’re doing and continue to build our audiences as best we can”, says Tsonos. “There was a real sense of excitement this year about our productions and we continue to strive to the highest standards of excellence and our patrons are really responding”.

General Manager Andrea Surich adds that everyone at the theatre played their part. “From our wonderful volunteers, box office and bar staff right through to our talented production team and acting company, everyone contributed to the success of the season. The local North Rusticans were also very supportive this year and we are so grateful for their continued support of our theatre”, adds Surich.

Programming for Watermark’s 2018 summer season will be announced very soon.

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

Watermark Helps Fund Actor’s Fund

Watermark Theatre is proud to announce that $1,617 was raised last week through audience collections and company contributions for the Actors Fund Of Canada (AFC). Generous audience members of Barefoot in the Park on August 23rd and Mrs. Warren’s Profession on August 24th reached into their pockets and donated to an extremely important organization to actors across the country. Cast, crew, administrators, and board directors at the theatre also contributed.

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The AFC is the lifeline for Canada’s entertainment industry. Through compassionate and confidential support, the organization helps Canadian entertainment professionals maintain their health, dignity and ability to work. The AFC is an expression of the community’s goodwill, helping entertainment professionals when they are at their most vulnerable due to injury, illness or other personal hardship.

In the past 24 months, the AFC has distributed over $1 million in emergency financial aid to help entertainment professionals working in all aspects of film & TV, music, theatre and dance. The AFC believes by supporting the health and wellbeing of arts and entertainment professionals, the industry as a whole will benefit. In a sector in which employment can be unpredictable, it’s good to know that a caring community is looking out for their most vulnerable.

‘There are many rewards to a life in the theatre in this country, one of them is not financial”, says Artistic Director Robert Tsonos. “Three members of our company, including myself, have been helped in the past by the AFC when we were in financial distress”. Actors Jerry Getty and Ian Deakin are the other two who found themselves in a financial jam at one point in their career. “We’re thrilled to be able to do our part to help our fellow actors and really appreciate those in the audience who contributed”, says Tsonos.

To donate to the AFC go to: http://afchelps.ca

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

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.”