The 2022 Charlottetown Festival lineup at Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown will feature stories of resilience, community, and strength, including the world premiere of the new Canadian musical comedy Tell Tale Harbour and the return of Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™. The 2022 Festival includes seven productions across the Centre’s three venues and features stories and songs from Atlantic Canada.
“This Festival will be a celebration of our region, and the people who help to define what it means to be from Atlantic Canada,” explains Adam Brazier, Artistic Director of Performing Arts at the Centre. “There is a common thread of East Coast resilience and community woven throughout every show this summer.”
Tell Tale Harbour will kick off the Festival in June. The musical tells the story of a struggling Atlantic fishing village. The community is looking for a miracle when an opportunity arises to bring a frozen french fry facility to town. Realizing this might be their last chance to save their beloved community, the townspeople come together to secure the factory. The musical comedy celebrates the people, the trials, and the triumphs of living in a small community in Atlantic Canada.
The musical is based on the screenplay The Grand Seduction (2013) by Ken Scott. When Brazier began drafting the musical adaptation, he sought out a collaborator who could encapsulate Atlantic Canadian storytelling through song, which led him to co-writer Alan Doyle. A Member of the Order of Canada and a revered songwriter for his solo material and the band, Great Big Sea, Doyle is not only co-writing the musical but will also be starring in the lead role.
“I am so excited to be a part of this project, and to be taking my first steps into musical theatre as a creator and performer. The whole deal is both invigorating and terrifying, as all good art should be,” says Doyle.
The production’s music and lyrics are co-written by Doyle and Bob Foster, Music Director of Come From Away (Mirvish). The book of the musical is co-written by Doyle alongside Brazier and writer Ed Riche. The production will be directed by Jillian Keiley, Artistic Director of the National Arts Centre English Theatre in Ottawa, ON, with choreography by Linda Garneau.
Tell Tale Harbour will be performed in repertory with Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™, which will return to the Mainstage for the first time since 2019.
Opening in early July will be Betty’s Song, a new play written and performed by Island singer-songwriter Ashley Condon. The show is based on the true story of her mother, who was one of the first women to captain her own lobster boat in Eastern PEI. The coming-of-age story takes you through the perils of raising a saucy teenager in 1990s rural PEI.
Playing in August at The Mack will be Hey Viola!, a cabaret-style show about Viola Desmond, a Black Nova Scotian businesswoman who challenged racial segregation at a cinema in 1946. Created by Krystle Dos Santos and Tracey Power, the personal and powerful show features the dynamic and inspirational music that filled the life and home of the civil rights trailblazer, including hits like “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” “Smile,” and “A Change is Gonna Come.”
There will be three shows playing in the Outdoor Amphitheatre.
Starting in July, Munschables will bring the silly world of children’s author Robert Munsch to life. Starring members of the cast of Anne, the show will include stories from books like Mud Puddle, Smelly Socks, and Murmel, Murmel, Murmel.
The Mi’kmaq Heritage Actors will return for an exclusive three-week engagement of their new show Epekwitnewaq Mi’kmaq Voices, created and performed by the Mi’kmaq Heritage Actors.
The Xclusive Dance Crew will also return with their new show Island Vibe, which explores hip-hop, Afro- jazz, contemporary movement, as well as breakdancing and tap. Island Vibe was written and choreographed by Dawn Ward and Joe Dames in association with Xclusiv Crew.