Theatre New Brunswick has just announced its offerings for the new 2016-2017 season, all of which has been planned keeping in mind a central, challenging question: “How can we change?”
The answer, it seems, is “for the better.” With this second season under the guidance of artistic director Thomas Morgan Jones and general manager Susan Ready, TNB is planning to expand the scope of its touring performances to allow more accessibility for New Brunswick audiences. Five out of the six TNB productions will be going on tour throughout the province following their opening run in Fredericton. As well, to further foster creative innovation, TNB will be hosting performances at their new Open Space Theatre in Fredericton. Located in the city’s industrial park on 55 Whiting Road, this 98 seat black box theatre provides a more personal experience for audiences while allowing for exciting new creative possibilities for the upcoming productions.
The first showing of the season will be ‘A Sunday Affair’, written by Gabrielle Houle, Thomas Morgan Jones, and Richard Lee, and showing in Fredericton October 13th-23rd, before going on tour. Working with a minimalist set with heavy emphasis on physical theatre, ‘A Sunday Affair’ is the story of a priest and his sole, lovesick parishioner, told over the span of 60 years. Perhaps most the most exciting aspect of this performance is that it has received a French translation, and will be doing a French tour in collaboration with Théâtre Populaire D’Acadie in order to truly speak to all of New Brunswick.
TNB’s second production will be ‘Ghost Light’, showing from November 17th-27th, before going on tour. Both written and performed by acclaimed New Brunswick actor, Shawn Wright, ‘Ghost Light’ is an autobiographical production and tribute to his late mother, telling the story of Shawn’s upbringing in Saint John. ‘Ghost Light’ focuses on his relationship with his mother and her influence in putting Shawn on stage to begin with, and promises to be witty, charming, and emotional.
TNB’s holiday performance will be a stage adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s ‘The Snow Queen’, from December 15th-17th, before going on tour. The adaptation of this classic story is being produced with grand ambitions. With a broad cast and considerable theatrical talent behind it, ‘The Snow Queen’ will be an excellent holiday experience for audiences of all ages.
The first offering of 2017 will be TNB Young Company’s ‘The Damsel In Distress Who Saved Herself’, written by Fredericton student, Kira Smith. Portraying a traditional fairy tale setting in which the characters are anything but, ‘The Damsel In Distress’ challenges stereotypes and reverses roles with a princess who’s a talented fighter and a prince more skilled at sewing than swordsmanship. This production will tour New Brunswick schools from February to April, providing an inspiring example of creative excellence from Atlantic Canada’s youth.
The last touring production of the season, Ryan Griffith’s stage adaptation of Alistair MacLeod’s short story, ‘The Boat’, runs from March 9th-18th, before going on tour. Telling the story of a boy from Cape Breton struggling between following his dreams and continuing in his family’s traditional trade, ‘The Boat’ is set to be a fitting adaptation of a fantastic story of the Maritimes.
The only production of TNB’s 2016-2017 run that is not the world premiere of a new script and won’t be touring is compelling in its own right – TNB Theatre School’s musical production of ‘Shrek’, running from May 4th-6th. Telling Dreamworks’ classic early 2000’s tale of everyone’s favourite ogre, Shrek provides adventure and comedy, and promises to be fun for whole family. While there’s no guarantee they’ll be doing anything by Smashmouth, this musical production is sure to be a blast no matter what.
For more information visit www.tnb.nb.ca