Subscriptions are on sale now for Theatre New Brunswick’s (TNB) 2013-2014 season including a classic comedy, a holiday family favourite, contemporary drama and Broadway’s “perfect musical.” Caleb Marshall announced his fifth season as TNB Artistic Producer on Thursday evening, May 2nd.
“Extraordinary theatre begins at home,” says Marshall. “By sharing in TNB’s season audiences will not only be entertained and engaged, they’ll also be supporting theatre made right here in New Brunswick.”
TNB FOUNDATION SPECIAL FUNDRAISER
The season kicks off in September with Jason Robert Brown’s intensely personal contemporary musical The Last Five Years (The Black Box Theatre, St. Thomas University | Sept. 26-28, 2013) This special TNB Foundation Fundraiser stars New Brunswick’s – and Broadway’s -Tony LePage and Natalie Roy.
Jason Robert Brown (Songs for a New World) has been hailed as “one of Broadway’s smartest and most sophisticated songwriters since Stephen Sondheim.” This intensely personal contemporary song-cycle musical ingeniously chronicles the five year life of a marriage, from meeting to break-up… or from break-up to meeting, depending on how you look at it. Cathy tells her story backwards while Jamie tells his story chronologically; the two characters only meet once, at their wedding in the middle of the show.
TNB MAIN STAGE
Sparks, fists and one-liners will fly when TNB opens its Main Stage season with Noël Coward’s Private Lives (The Fredericton Playhouse | Oct. 17-19, 2013).
“Part of our mandate at TNB is to bring the world’s best theatre to our audiences. Two seasons ago we brought modern classics back to the TNB stage with A Doll’s House. Here we offer a very different battle of the sexes with a sophisticated and classic comedy,” explains Marshall. “We will transport our audience to the glamorous world of 1920’s Paris and Deauville.”
“Gorgeous, dazzling, fantastically funny,” says The New Yorker.
Elyot and Amanda, once married and now honeymooning with new spouses at the same hotel, meet by chance, reignite the old spark and impulsively elope. After days of being reunited, they again find their fiery romance alternating between passions of love and anger.
For the holidays, TNB will offer up a brand new adaptation of an old favourite to the stage with a three-city tour of Miracle on 34th Street (The Fredericton Playhouse – Dec. 5-7 | The Imperial Theatre, Saint John – Dec. 8 | The Capitol Theatre, Moncton – Dec. 9 )
“This is one of the all-time favourite Christmas classics and I am looking forward to bringing this new version to Theatre New Brunswick,” says Marshall who will be adapting the story by Valentine Davies.
At Macy’s department store Christmas is big business. By chance they’ve hired Kris, a nice old man with whiskers, as this year’s Santa Claus. His unconventional ways unleash waves of goodwill that turn Macy’s and the commercial world of New York City upside down. As the debate over Santa Claus heads for the courts, Kris Kringle manages to change the lives of an idealistic lawyer, a world-weary mother and one little girl along the way. A Christmas classic for more than 65 years, this story of triumph of faith over greed, and goodwill over commercialism is as relevant and meaningful as ever.
TNB NEXT STAGE
In the new year TNB Next Stage presents a powerful New Brunswick drama: Marcel Roman Thériault’s The Net: A Tragedy of the Sea (The Black Box Theatre, St. Thomas University | Feb. 26 – March 1, 2014)
“It’s important that TNB, as a provincial theatre company, look for opportunities to celebrate the talent and the stories of New Brunswick’s Acadian community,” explains Marshall. “This was produced by Theatre Populaire D’Acadie in French and in English by The Great Canadian Theatre Company and Ship’s Company and I look forward sharing it with our TNB audiences.”
“An intense and intensely absorbing and disturbing story,” says The Chronicle Herald.
Set against the backdrop of the 2003 Shippagan fishing riots, the tensions of a society and way of life on the brink play out between three generations of an Acadian family in this gripping play. As tradition dictates, ageing patriarch Anthime, the owner of a prized crab boat, is leaving everything to the first-born son of his first-born son. However, his second son, Leo has been successfully running the business for years, and has no intention of stepping aside. And Etienne, an MBA graduate and budding environmentalist, has other plans for his life.
March brings another opportunity to engage with New Brunswick’s larger theatre community as TNB and Saint John Theatre Company partner for their first co-production: John Logan’s RED (The Imperial Theatre March 20-22 | The Fredericton Playhouse Backstage March 26-29). The 2010 Tony winner for best play will be directed by Caleb Marshall and star SJTC’s Stephen Tobias as abstract expressionist Mark Rothko.
“We’ve been increasing our engagement with other local theatre companies and I’ve been very impressed with Saint John Theatre Company’s continued commitment to raising the standard of theatre practice in that city,” said Marshall. “I look forward to working with them on one of the most acclaimed dramas in recent years.”
“Intense and exciting … RED captures the dynamic relationship between an artist and his creations,” says the New York Times.
It’s 1958 and master abstract expressionist Mark Rothko has just landed the biggest commission in the history of modern art, a series of murals for New York’s famed Four Seasons Restaurant. In the two fascinating years that follow, Rothko works feverishly with his young assistant, Ken, in his studio on the Bowery. But when Ken gains the confidence to challenge him, Rothko faces the agonizing possibility that his crowning achievement could also become his undoing. Raw and provocative, RED is a searing portrait of an artist’s ambition and vulnerability as he tries to create a definitive work for an extraordinary setting.
To continue to build relationships with the local theatre community, TNB will introduce TNB Extras in the 2013-2014 season including TNB Presents to offer opportunities for two local companies or artists to present their work at the TNB Studio, the TNB Reading Series focusing on established and emerging New Brunswick female voices and the 24 Hour Play Challenge where local companies go from blank page to the stage in just one day. As well TNB will host the annual Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre Cabaret in spring 2014.
TNB SPECIAL PROVINCIAL TOUR
In October and November, Theatre New Brunswick will partner with Halifax’s Onelight Theatre to bring Hawk or how he plays his song to nine First Nations communities around New Brunswick. Hawk tells the story of a young First Nations musician who believes that he can pursue his dual passions – music and fishing – without compromising his identity and relations to his family. The script was developed by Onelight in cooperation with members of New Brunswick’s Elsipogtog First Nation.
“This is an opportunity to reach our to our First Nations communities in a way that we have not been able to do before,” says Marshall. “In addition to telling the specific story of one particular young Mi’kmaq youth it speaks to the universal struggles between rural and urban, parents and children, expectations and dreams to which many people throughout New Brunswick can relate.”
“Truthful storytelling soars in Hawk … a wonderful experience for its insights and innovative staging,” says The Chronicle Herald.
Take a journey through a pivotal year in the life of one family. Hawk is a young musician who believes that he can pursue his dual passions – music and fishing – without compromising his identity and relations to his family. His mom Rose follows traditional teachings and lives on the reserve and his Dad, Paul is a successful lawyer who lives in the city. Hawk’s parents want the best for their children, but they have very different ideas about what that means.
TNB YOUNG COMPANY
The 2014 TNB Young Company will tour new adaptations of Maritime works to New Brunswick schools from January – April 2014. Renowned playwright Hank Stinson adapts Wally Finds His Inner Bear for elementary school students. This charming New Brunswick story of a boy and his bear is written by eight-year-old Nick Burtt of Fredericton.
Nova Scotia playwright Jennifer Overton will adapt her award-winning script God’s Middle Name for middle and high school audiences. This compelling tale takes audiences on one mother’s journey through the uncharted territory of raising an autistic son.
“In recent years we’ve focused our TNB Young Company on classic stories such as The Velveteen Rabbit, The Secret Garden or adaptations of Shakespeare but it is also important that we bring them stories from their own backyard,” says Caleb Marshall. “We want them to take pride in the theatre grown right here in the Maritimes.”
TNB SENIOR MUSICAL THEATRE
The 2013-2014 season will cap off with the musical Variety calls “practically perfect”: Guys and Dolls (The Fredericton Playhouse | May 8-10, 2014). Damon Runyon’s mythical New York City is full of some of Broadway’s most beloved characters and most memorable melodies.
“TNB Theatre School is New Brunswick’s leading pre-professional theatre training and we seek to challenge our senior students with the great works of musical theatre,” says Marshall. “Guys and Dolls certainly fits the bill and has remained crowd-pleaser for over 60 years.”
“This is why Broadway was born!” says Newsweek.
Welcome to Damon Runyon’s mythical New York City where the men are guys, the women are dolls and the dice are loaded. Love is the thing that has nipped them in this oddball romantic comedy. Next spring our Senior Musical Theatre students bring you some of Broadways most beloved and memorable characters: upright but uptight Sarah Brown, slick Sky Masterson, perpetual fiancée Adelaide and crap-shooting Nathan Detroit.
Also new this season, TNB matinées have moved from Sunday to Saturday afternoon and preview performances have been added for the TNB Next Stage. Preview tickets will go on sale four weeks in advance of production. Subscriptions packages are on sale now through The Playhouse box office (506)458-8344, or online at tnb.nb.ca. Single tickets will go on sale in August.