This year’s 2022 Fall Festival features new work by six playwrights as well as a one-time digital art showcase.
Theatre New Brunswick’s Fall Festival of New Plays returns this month for a third season. Dedicated to the development of new work by playwrights from New Brunswick and the Atlantic region, this year’s Fall Festival includes six new scripts by playwrights Santiago Guzmán, Jean-Michel Cliche, John Spurway, Anthony Bryan, Jena McLean and Thomas Hodd.
Each of the playwrights included in this year’s festival will work with a dramaturge to develop their work. Audiences will be able to enjoy readings of four of this year’s plays, live-streamed through YouTube.
“I’m happy to see such a diverse mix of writers and work included in this year’s festival,” said Natasha MacLellan, TNB’s artistic and executive director. “As a stanch supporter of new play development, being able to provide each of these playwrights with a critical and constructive look at their work is essential to the continued development of their plays and their careers as theatre artists.”
In addition to the development of new plays, this year’s Fall Festival will also feature a series of digital art installations created as part of Digital Now!, a province-wide digital literacy initiative TNB led earlier in the year.
“Presenting digital art is something altogether unique and different for us,” said MacLellan. “Earlier this year we had the opportunity to host a series of workshops across the province open to all artists interested in learning about digital trends, and how these tools and resources could complement their work. Through support received from the Canada Council of the Arts, we were able to commission nine of those workshop participants to make digital art and apply some of what they learned to their own practice. This series of installations will showcase some of what these artists were able to create.”
A full schedule of live readings and installations can be found below, along with times to view and engage with each.
Leaving Marjorie Bliss
by John Spurway
Advertised as “a modern senior’s care facility with all the amenities of home,” the Marjorie Bliss Retirement Home barely provides decent meals for its residents. Three friends and residents, Edythe, Audrey, and Maxine, determine to escape the retirement home together. Leaving Marjorie Bliss explores friendship and the meaning of home for Marjorie Bliss residents.
Wednesday Sept. 14 | 7:30 p.m. | LINK
by Thomas Hodd
O’Brien is set in 1914, and is based on the St. John Street Railway Strike and Riot, which took place July 22-24. Rather than telling the story through the eyes of public figures such as the Mayor of Saint John or the Chief of Police, O’Brien focuses on a fictional working-class family directly impacted by the strike. O’Brien is a story that addresses NB labour-class history, women’s suffrage in New Brunswick, and the looming start of the First World War.
Friday Sept. 16 | 7:30 p.m. | LINK
Bonus Points If You Have Air Conditioning
by Jena McLean
Bonus Points if You Have Air Conditioning is a show about love, theatre, and how
impossible it can feel to write a play. Following the playwright through, in their own words: “a play about the fear that, no matter what, I will never find romantic love,” Bonus Points if You Have Air Conditioning brings its audience along the process of self-reflection through the writing of a play.
Saturday Sept. 17 | 7:30 p.m. | LINK
The Questing Beast
by Jean Michel Cliche
The Questing Beast is an adaptation of various Arthurian Legends involving Sir Palamedes, the seldom mentioned Arab knight of the Round Table. In the original tales, Palamedes behaves as a narrative scapegoat, becoming a cautionary tale for paganism and showcasing the redemptive power of Christianity. The Questing Beast, retells the story from Palamedes point of view, endowing him with agency and humanity, while deconstructing the colonial narratives at play in Arthurian legends.
Sunday Sept. 18 | 2 p.m. | LINK
Digital Art Installations:
Space Ghost is an interactive sound and video installation by Philip Clark. Upon entering the room, viewers of Space Ghost become part of this unique exhibit as a motion sensor camera captures their image and places it within the larger display. Space Ghost will be on display at the Charlotte Street Arts Centre September 8. The following evening, Space Ghost will be accompanied by a live concert featuring performances by musicians Gold Punks, Digital Circus and Lazermortis.
September 8 | 6-10 p.m. | Public viewing
September 9 | 8 p.m. ($15) with live performance.
(Becoming) Larger Than Life
As the saying goes: go big or go home. For her art piece, Costume Designer Sherry Kinnear has created a 14-foot-tall hoop dress which will act as a digital canvas displaying costumed characters on this gown-like a stage. This larger-than-life gallery piece combining digital projection with costumes from Kinnear’s history as Head of Wardrobe at TNB will display in the newly renovated lobby of Theatre New Brunswick.
September 12-13 | 6-10 p.m. | Public viewing | Open Space Theatre Lobby
Selfie: Others in Ourselves
An interactive video installation by Yessica Enriquez, a reflection of mediated quotidian activities that isolate us but at the same time connect us resulting in a deep need for each other, we cannot exist without one another we need each other’s input and essence to keep going but in fact the digital interactions are fragmenting and also are a destruction of the Self. The piece alludes to the body and reality; and at the same time the imaginary and symbolic spaces that we create as an interface with reality.
September 14 | 6-10 p.m. | Public viewing | Open Space Theatre Lobby
The Digital Theatre
Alicia Potter Drisdelle has created a two-dimensional digital theatre for her installation piece, complete with a lobby, studio, writers’ cafe, administration area and more. Come explore the theatre, discover helpful information about our theatre scene here in New Brunswick, and follow clues to meet a digital ghost. Whether you’re an emerging artist, an established professional or a lover of theatre, The Digital Theatre provides a fun way to connect, and collaborate in a new type of theatre space. It’s open to share, and ready for us to play!
Follow this link if you’d like to visit The Digital Theatre. For a guided tour with Alicia and her Digital Dramaturge Zach Moull visit TNB.
September 16 | 6-10 p.m. | Public viewing | Open Space Theatre Lobby
Marie Alone in the Mirror
For this Installation project, Moncton-based theatre artist Mélanie LeBlanc adapts a scene from her play Marie Alone and sets it inside a digitally modified mirror to question the idea of loneliness by breaking through the viewer’s own literal self-reflection and allowing them to observe someone else’s – Marie’s.
Digital Dramaturge: Matthew Waddell. Director of photography: Hugo St-Laurent. Carpenter: Camillien LeBlanc. Special thanks to: Xavier Richard, James McClure and Celeigh Lynne
September 17 | 6-10 p.m. | Public viewing | Open Space Theatre
Let’s Raise the Vibration!
With this project, artist Mireille Albert set out to help visitors explore the concept of raising their vibration. Through a modest audio-visual experience where visitors will interact with a digitally enhanced representation of themselves as a ‘vibrational’ being, Albert’s self-projection kiosk will allow visitors to see and interact with a rendition of their ‘vibrational’ alter, causing changes to the image through the use of their voice.
Postponed | 6-10 p.m. | Public viewing | Open Space Theatre Lobby
The ATTENTION! project
The ATTENTION! Project is an interdisciplinary theatrical installation exploring the body and mind’s response to overstimulation as a result of the modern and digitally driven phenomena of ‘the fear of missing out’ and ‘hustle culture’. Picture walking through a haunted house of overstimulation; five separate performances happening simultaneously on different screens, flashing lights, wind chimes, an oscillating fan and more. The performances, each exploring a different facet of the project’s theme, range from stand-up comedy to physical theatre and beyond.
Directed by Kaylee MacNeil. Videography by Sean McCormick. Stage Management by Tristan Tozer. Artistic Collaborators: Noah Deas, Gill Salmon, Becca Hastings and Dustin McCormick.
Special Thanks to Nathanael Telman, Theatre New Brunswick, and the Charlotte Street Arts Centre.
September 22 | 6-10 p.m. | Public viewing | Charlotte Street Arts Centre
As part of TNB’s Digital Now! Showcase, musician and artist Taylor White will create a short auditory experience featuring live acapella music. All vocal elements will be created on the spot, by the artist, through use of an advanced looping station. The result will be a one-time, unique exploration of sound, the human voice and digital augmentation!
Special thanks to TNB the Digital Now program and Tony’s Music Box.
September 23 | Public viewing 10-5 p.m. with a 30-minute live performance beginning at 4:30 p.m. | Open Space Theatre
The Anatomy of Expression
The Anatomy of Expression by Kaitlyn Adair is a pre-recorded theatrical performance, streaming during the duration of the Fall Festival, that looks to explore the intricate variations of expression from four performance artists’ perspectives.
Featuring Indigo Komiwonuhke Poirier, Gillian Salmon, Nomi Iudit, Madigan Donovan-Downs and Kaitlyn Adair. Videography by Kristy Edwards. Stage management and tech by Madigan Donovan-Downs. With special thanks to Robin Adair and Chris Saad.
Available for viewing September 8-17 | Link
The Open Space Theatre is located at 55 Whiting Road.
The Charlotte Street Arts Centre is located at 732 Charlotte Street.