NotaBle Acts Theatre Festival Continues Through July 30!

NotaBle Acts Theatre Company is staging its 15th annual Summer Theatre Festival, showcasing new plays by emerging and established New Brunswick playwrights, from July 19-30 at venues across Fredericton. This year’s festival features fourteen plays, including one act plays, site-specific works, free lunchtime theatre and readings, and A Record of Us, a dance-theatre hybrid that will be staged by NotaBle Acts and Solo Chicken Productions as the festival’s feature mainstage production.

Created by Lisa Anne Ross and Lesandra Dodson and performed by members of Solo Chicken Productions’ the coop, A Record of Us is a physical theatre piece inspired by the writings of David Adams Richards that fuses text and movement in a series of living snap-shots to evoke the raw beauty, the enduring humour, and the hardscrabble realities of our province. A Record of Us will be performed at the Fredericton Playhouse July 20-23 at 7:30 PM nightly.

The festival also features a dozen plays that were selected as winners in NotaBle Acts’ annual province-wide playwriting contest, including Caged by Alex Donovan and Wasters by Jake Martin, winners of the competition’s one act category. Caged depicts a tense encounter between a Vietnam War deserter and an Iraq War deserter in a military detention centre, while Wasters takes us into the daily lives of Sid and Cam, who live out their days on a hotel roof, waiting for their own personal Godot, after an apocalyptic flood has devastated their city. Caged and Wasters will be performed as a twin-bill at Memorial Hall, UNB, nightly from July 28-30 at 7:30 PM.

The three site-specific plays in Street Scenes will take festival audiences on a scenic tour of downtown Fredericton, beginning at Christ Church Cathedral with John Ball’s romantic comedy First Sight; stopping along the banks of the St. John River for Gordon Mihan’s Ralph and Laura and the River Valley Promo, the story of a failed entrepreneur whose latest venture is the unfortunately-named Lawrence of Arugula Boat Tours; and ending in the historic Garrison District for Jean-Michel Cliche’s Fort Faith, in which a British and French soldier carry on their historic grudge hundreds of years after the war has ended and their armies have abandoned them. Performances of Street Scenes will take place on July 24, 26, and 27 at 7:30 PM.

The four winners of the NB Acts playwriting contest’s ten-minute play category will be featured as an hour of free lunchtime theatre in Taking it to the Streets, performed from noon-1 PM daily from July 25-29 in downtown Fredericton’s Barracks Square. Taking it to the Streets offers an hour of high-energy comedy, including Brandon Hick’s Speed-Marriage (the logical sequel to speed dating), Arianna Martinez’s dating comedy Parallel Lines, Britany Sparrow’s Star Wars-inspired A Disturbance in the Force, and Brent White’s Five Short Plays About Nothing, in which playwrights battle for supremacy, reality TV Survivor-style.  

Two nights of free readings, July 19 at Milda’s Pizza in the Charlotte Street Arts Centre and July 25 at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, will feature runners-up from the contest’s one act category along with Tissue, a devised work-in-progress by NotaBle Acts 2016 Dramaturg in Residence, Erica Kopyto.

For full show, schedule, and ticket details, visit www.nbacts.com or phone 506 458-7406.

 

 

Festival reading series will include new work by artist in residence.

Play Out Loud will present new work by Erica Kopyto alongside runners up from this year’s playwriting contest.

Erica Kopyto does not consider herself a playwright. She’s an accomplished dramaturg, a curator, a director, a producer, an activist and an educator, but not a playwright. At least not officially, yet.

“I’ve co-created and devised new pieces before,” said Kopyto, “but my main activity in the theatre is as a dramaturg and literary manager focusing on new play development.”

Kopyto spent two years in residence at the Banff Arts Centre and fourteen years as Literary Manager at Toronto’s Nightwood Theatre. She is currently in Fredericton as NotaBle Acts Theatre Festival’s artist-in-residence, where she can share her experience with the many artists involved in this year’s festival.

“It is definitely a gift to be brought in to engage and create with such a diverse and busy group of dedicated theatre makers,” said Kopyto. “I hope to offer some of my specific dramaturgical skillset to the plays in development but the secret of course is that I get to learn so much in the process.

“Being able to work on a variety of plays at various degrees of development and with such a great group of artists at different stages of their own artistic development, has made for a very lively time here so far.  Fredericton has a very encouraging theatre scene.”

Kopyto will also have the opportunity to showcase her own work during the festival as part of the opening night kickoff party and the Play Out Loud reading series.

“The piece I’ll be sharing, Tissue, is a work at the beginning stages of its development,” she said. “I’ll be sharing just some snippets at the festival.”

As a work in progress, Tissue is far from a completed piece. Through her residency, not only will Kopyto be able to help other theatre artists develop their own work, but also present something of her own for feedback and development.

“I asked six women, all from different disciplines, two playwrights, a critic, an academic, a novelist, a social worker and my several year old daughter, to offer some writing on the general theme of relationships,” she said.  “Some content had been previously published in various forms.  Some of it is recorded verbatim.  I’ve then recontexualized the pieces, added some of my own writing and am weaving together a narrative thread.  As a process it’s actually quite fun. The writers who offered up their work were all very generous in allowing me to do whatever I wanted with it.  I’m not being cautious at all and there are no specific rules I’m trying to follow except my one golden rule: what tells the better story.”

Opening Night Kickoff Party | July 19 | Milda’s Pizza | Charlotte Street Arts Centre | 7:30pm | FREE

Play Out Loud | July 25 | Beaverbrook Art Gallery | 7:30pm | Admission by donation