After a season and a half of empty theatres and dark stages, the Fredericton Playhouse announced the return of their signature Spotlight Series.
The series brings a number of acclaimed musicians, dance, circus shows, comedy performances, theatre pieces and more to the stage.
Tim Yerxa, the director of the Playhouse, said that the series came to be the flagship program of the Playhouse because it brings top-quality art of all kinds to the city.
“It’s basically the way that we invite the world to Fredericton and invite Fredericton residents to come and have an artistic experience or a live event experience from some of the best artists working today,” said Yerxa.
During the pandemic, the Playhouse was unable to host live events, which included the Spotlight Series.
“For an organization whose mandate and our ‘raison d’etre’ is to bring people together, to share experiences and seek them shoulder to shoulder, to not be able to do that has been pretty tough on the organization and also on the team,” said Yerxa.
Once given the all-clear by the government, the Playhouse began to work on this season’s series.
Yerxa said the pandemic did not cause any complications for the artist selection process, but rather made it easier. The Playhouse was able to use acts that were cancelled due to the pandemic in 2020 and bring them back for this year.
“In a way, a lot of the programming that we had expected to do earlier, but now finally we’re able to put it together. And then also some new stuff that we found touring in [2021 to 2022] that we were able to add to the schedule,” said Yerxa.
This season, in contrast to previous years, will feature a few more comedic acts because Yerxa said “we all need a good laugh right now.”
The lineup includes everything from drag queens, to the Anne of Green Gables ballet, a film screening of Frankenstein (1931) and musicians such as Twin Flames among others.
“What’s important in this series is that people who live in Fredericton deserve to have access to great performing arts experiences and it affects their quality of life. We like to think that you can come to the corner of Queen and St. John Street to see work that you otherwise would have to travel to Toronto to see,” said Yerxa.
The series begins on Oct. 13 with musicians Twin Flames, a Canadian multi-award-winning, Indigenous singing duo that incorporates Western and traditional instruments into contemporary folk music, along with elements of Indigenous/Inuit storytelling in traditional and non-traditional styles.
“There’ll be a lot of stuff there that people have never heard before and a lot of familiar names as well. So it’ll be a mix of things that are known to the public and things that are yet to be discovered,” said Yerxa.