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.