Branch Out Productions, one of the city’s most active community theatre groups, has three shows coming up in the months ahead.
The magic of live theatre can take many forms. It can come by way of a moving script, a show-stopping performance or a powerhouse cast. It can come from a stunning set, a captivating costume or by the experience of seeing all these elements work together. But it can also be described as the feeling one gets when they step inside the rehearsal hall, that sense of community that comes from being part of something big, with lots of moving pieces.
Fredericton’s Branch Out Productions has long been a place where career-aspiring performers and casual enthusiasts alike can come together on stage to build a show and entertain an audience. Between now and February, BOP will be staging three separate shows beginning with a jukebox musical next week.
“The Marvelous Wonderettes is next week! It’s a hilarious 1950’s and 60’s musical revue featuring popular songs from those decades like Mr. Sandman, Son of a Preacher Man, Heatwave, and others,” said BOP’s Ben Harrison. “Act One is set at a high school graduation and Act Two takes place at their 10-year reunion. We performed the show five years ago as part of Frostival and it’s always been a BOP favourite.”
In the past, many of BOP’s shows have taken place at the Tom Morrison Theatre or the Charlotte Street Arts Centre, attracting full houses on a regular basis. But things are different this season, for obvious reasons. Next week’s performances of The Marvelous Wonderettes will be held at the company’s studio space, 800 St. Mary’s St. for limited, socially distanced audiences. There will also be a live-stream of each performance.
“It’s been interesting having to adapt to smaller, in-house performances,” said Harrison. “It’s had a unique set of hurdles.”
Auditions for BOP’s annual winter production will be held Nov. 20-21. This season the company will be working with director Stacie Cougle for a production of Love, Loss and What I Wore by Nora and Delia Ephron. Auditions will be open to female identifying people of all genders aged 16+, and the show will run as part of Fredericton’s 2021 Frostival event, February 4, 5 and 6.
There is also a holiday cabaret show in the works, which will be recorded and shared on the BOP Facebook page, as well as a fundraising Christmas craft market coming up on Dec. 5. There is no shortage of opportunities to be entertained or to get involved.
The Marvelous Wonderettes | Nov. 12-14 | BOP Studio and online | View Event
Audition Call: Love, Loss and What I Wore | Nov. 20-21 | BOP Studio | View Event
JingleBOP Christmas Arts & Crafts Market | Dec. 5 | BOP Studio | View Event