Watermark Theatre in North Rustico is embarking on a new initiative to produce and present theatre in every season of the year.
The Theatre will present the first annual Watermark Children’s Theatre Festival this spring; the plays Educating Rita and The Drawer Boy in the summer; the play Beneath Springhill: The Maurice Ruddick Story this fall; and a remount of their 2021 production of A Christmas Carol next winter. The Watermark Music Series will continue on Sundays during the summer and occasionally throughout the year.
“During the pandemic, I’ve been able to take the time to evaluate our role as an arts organization in our community and on the Island,” says Robert Tsonos, artistic director at Watermark, “and I believe that we are now in a position to expand from our usual summer programming, to producing and presenting theatre all year long. It’s a thrilling next step in the growth of the organization.”
Three productions will be featured in the Children’s Theatre Festival: The Princess and the Handmaiden by Leslie Arden, produced by Kitbag Theatre (PEI), will be performed March 10–12; Seeds of Change by Lojo Simon, produced by Neptune Theatre (Halifax), will be presented free online from March 24–26; and The Paper Bag Princess by Alissa Watson, adapted from the classic children’s book by Robert Munsch and produced by Geordie Theatre (Montreal), will be performed April 16–18.
Educating Rita by Willy Russell, a warm, funny and intelligent play about relationships, connections, and freedom, will be performed from July 12–30. The play follows Rita, a married hairstylist who decides to go back to school to broaden her horizons. She enrolls in university and finds herself assigned to Frank, a jaded professor courting alcohol to navigate life and divorce.
Canadian classic and winner of the 1999 Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama, The Drawer Boy by Michael Healey will be performed from August 9–September 3. A young actor from the big city lives with two farmers to gather stories about rural life. The farmers’ lives are irrevocably altered when art attempts to imitate life and the line between truth and fiction is crossed.
Beneath Springhill: The Maurice Ruddick Story by Beau Dixon will be performed from September 28–October 8. The play chronicles the life of Maurice Ruddick, an African Canadian who survived the historic mining disaster in Springhill, Nova Scotia in 1958. Created and performed by Beau Dixon, the one-man show recalls the events of seven miners trapped one mile beneath a small mining town, the effect it had on their rural Canadian community, and the racial tension that surfaced as a result.
The 2021 production of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, adapted by Danielle Pearson will be performed from December 14–18.
The Watermark Music Series, curated once again by Rob Oakie, will return on July 24, August 14 and August 28, with Island musical artists interpreting the songs of classic composers.
Season passes are now on sale at ticketwizard.ca or by calling the box office at 963-3963. Single tickets for The Princess and the Handmaiden are also on sale. All other single tickets will be available soon.