Last month at the Fredericton Playhouse, we announced our 2017-2018 Spotlight Series lineup, which includes 24 world class performances. With full-price tickets set to go on sale at the end of this week, it’s an exciting and busy time for our organization.
The Spotlight Series is our flagship program, featuring professional performances in music, theatre, comedy and dance from a wide range of different genres. Diversity is a cornerstone of this series, which is why we always aim to include classical, contemporary and traditional performances, ranging from large-scale productions to small, intimate shows.
In addition to this annual series, we’re pleased to present a special Canada 150 Performance Series this season. This fall, we’ll present four shows as part of this multidisciplinary series, marking a pivotal moment in our history with performances that reflect Canada’s vibrant performing arts landscape.
This series includes Re-Quickening, a performance by leading contemporary indigenous company Kaha:wi Dance Theatre; the return of FIXT POINT with a live stage show of The Tale of a Town – Canada; the Fredericton Symphony Orchestra performing a musical score in conjunction with the 1916 documentary The Battle of the Somme; and a double bill concert with Nova Scotia’s Old Man Luedecke and Scotland’s Breabach, representing a sound that greatly influences music from the East Coast of Canada. All tickets in this series will be $18.67 to mark the year of confederation.
The Spotlight Series will continue to celebrate Canadian talent with musicians like Bill and Joel Plaskett, a dance performance by contemporary dance company Toronto Dance Theatre, and even a cirque show by Quebec-based group Flip FabriQue.
We’re always looking for opportunities to partner with other local organizations, and this year we’re looking forward to working with groups like Centre communautaire Sainte Anne to present the aforementioned Flip FabriQue, and with the Association of Indo-Canadians to once again present a special celebration of Diwali. The Playhouse will also continue to partner with Fredericton FROSTival to present several performances during the months of January and February.
One of the goals of the Spotlight Series is to bring the world to Fredericton, and this year we have performers hailing from a number of far-flung locations, including Navdhara India Dance Theatre’s performance A Passage to Bollywood; Paris – The Show, a theatrical and musical tribute to post-war French songs; Ô-Celli, a group of eight skilled cellists from Belgium; and Call Mr. Robeson, a one-man show about actor, singer and civil rights campaigner Paul Robeson, performed by UK-based Tayo Aluko.
We want the performing arts to be accessible to everyone in our community, regardless of any barriers they may face, which is why this season we decided to expand our Pay What You Will ticket pricing idea. This program has been offered successfully on a couple of shows each year for the last two seasons. It was introduced both to reduce barriers, and to encourage our patrons to take a chance on artists with whom they may not be familiar
This season, Pay What You Will pricing will be available on two Spotlight Series performances – Nunavut-based band The Jerry Cans, and one-man play Inside/Out. It will also be offered for all three performances in the 2017-2018 Kidstage Series: DuffleBag Theatre’s Cinderella, Manxmouse: The Mouse Who Knew No Fear by Netherlands-based Theatergroep Kwatta, and Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia’s performance of Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny.
If you plan to attend more than one show this season, I recommend contacting our box office to become a Spotlight Member. For a low annual membership fee, members receive discounts on Spotlight Series performances, as well as discounts on our partner series, including Theatre New Brunswick, Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada, Symphony New Brunswick and New Brunswick Country Showcase performances.
Perhaps the best reason to become a member is to get first access to seats. While full-price tickets won’t go on sale to non-members until July 28, our members can purchase tickets and select their preferred seats now for all Spotlight, Kidstage, and Canada 150 series performances.
I hope to see you at the Playhouse when our Spotlight Series begins this September. Whatever type of performance you’re interested in, I’m confident we have something that will capture your interest and imagination.
Tim Yerxa is the Executive Director of the Fredericton Playhouse.