Theatre New Brunswick (TNB) have announced their 2015-2016 season. The new season features a wide and diverse range of theatre that extends to include public talks, cabarets and professional artist training at both the Fredericton Playhouse and TNB’s newly renovated Studio Theatre located at 55 Whiting Road.
As part of his first season with TNB, artistic director Thomas Morgan Jones asks How do we care? and will use this question as a running theme for the season.
“At TNB, we believe our theatre season is an opportunity for a long form conversation with our audience,” said Jones. “We know that the best way to start a conversation is to ask a question, so each season we will be posing a question to the audience. This season the question is, ‘How do we care?’ How do we care for our family, friends, colleagues, and for strangers. In answering this question, we are launching a brand new theatre space, the TNB Studio Theatre, have our first co-presentation with Harvest Jazz and Blues; three world premieres; Studio Fridays, a new lecture and cabaret series; professional development for teachers; as well as professional artist training with guest instructors from around Canada and internationally. In addition to all of this we are featuring local photographer Matt Carter’s photography as the visual centrepiece of our season, and are launching a brand new website. We look forward to beginning the conversation with the Fredericton and New Brunswick community!”
TNB Main Stage
TNB’s 2015-2016 season includes three Main Stage productions at the Fredericton Playhouse beginning in September with Life, Death and the Blues. This special co-presentation with the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival stars Maple Blues Award winner Raoul Bhaneja and Juno Award winner Divine Brown in a show that combines autobiography, interviews, live music and multi-media to paint a big canvas about the power, passion and meaning of the Blues.
For the holidays, TNB will present the award-winning musical, Little Women. From the pages of the classic novel, this Broadway musical adaptation follows the journey of the March family from the sister’s early years to womanhood. As each character in the story finds their own voice, they truly come together as a family. With soaring music, unforgettable performances, and beloved characters, this family musical is sure to move and delight.
The company concludes its Main Stage season with Marion Bridge, a play set in Eastern Canada and written by celebrated Canadian playwright, Daniel MacIvor. Marion Bridge is the story of three sisters who reunite at their childhood home in Cape Breton to care for their dying mother. As they learn to live with each other and care for their mother, they discover the meaning of family, and the possibility that their lives can be different from what they expected and what they have come to accept. This Governor General Award nominated play is deeply moving, humorous, and is filled with heart.
TNB Studio Theatre
The company’s season kicks off with a world premiere production of Thomas Morgan Jones’ You Play Beautifully, a stunning one-actor production set to an original score by Fredericton’s very own renowned composer and musician, Michael Doherty. In this powerful and moving play, world famous pianist Jonah shares with the audience the story of his life. His passion for music, his tumultuous relationship with his mother, and his one great love affair … all told through elegant design, an original score, and the power of the spoken word.
TNB’s Studio Theatre series continues with the hysterical dark comedy, Vigil. In this play by Morris Panych, Kemp receives a message from his ailing and estranged aunt, and immediately travels to see her. He soon discovers that everything is not as it seems, with a twist that you have to see to believe.
Watching Glory Die by celebrated Canadian playwright Judith Thompson is inspired by the true story of New Brunswick teen Ashley Smith and takes a bold dramatic leap from recent news headlines to forge the kind of visceral lyricism that is the hallmark of Judith Thompson at her most powerful. TNB is thrilled to be presenting this Mulgrave Road Theatre production.
The Studio series concludes with a world premiere of the ground-breaking play, Returning Fire, by Fredericton playwright Ryan Griffith. Returning Fire tells the story of a soldier returning from war and travelling to visit a loved one in Fredericton. During this 45 minute performance, the two characters text each other as one travels from a military base to their meeting in the city’s downtown. The audience receives each of these texts on their own hand-held devices until they discover where to find the actors, and witness the reunion. This incredibly innovative play will be a once in a lifetime experience!
TNB Young Company
This season will see TNB Young Company tour another original work to New Brunswick schools. The Space Between, written by TNB Theatre School/Young Company director Tania Breen, tells the beautiful and moving story of a young boy who is dropped off for a weekend visit with his grandfather. His grandfather, a military veteran, is as displeased to have the boy there as the boy is to be there. They are unsure of each other, a bit afraid of each other, and don’t know how to get along. In this inter-generational story, two opposites learn to find common ground—they learn to be family.
TNB Theatre School
As is tradition at TNB, the entire season will conclude with a production starring the TNB Theatre School’s senior musical theatre students. This season they will stage the adored family musical, Mary Poppins, the classic musical story of a nanny who forever changes the lives of one London family.
Studio Fridays/ Artist Training
In addition to an amazing line-up of productions, TNB will be launching Studio Fridays. One Friday each month, the company will host talks and cabarets at the TNB Studio Theatre. The company has also announced a variety of professional training opportunities aimed at local, regional and national theatre artists.
Subscriptions are now on sale at the Fredericton Playhouse box office. For more information about the season including detailed production information, guest instructor bios and full company information visit their new website at www.tnb.nb.ca