Theatre New Brunswick’s season opening world premiere production of Bluebirds by Vern Thiessen has broken box office records at home and around the province.
Theatre New Brunswick’s season opening production of Bluebirds has turned out to be so much more than just a beautiful show. Bluebirds opened a six show run in Fredericton with two sold out performances at the Open Space Theatre before hitting the road to perform before some of the largest audiences the company has seen in over a decade.
“It’s been an amazing run so far,” said Matt Carter, TNB’s director of development and communications. “The audience response has been incredible. We have received so many kind words in the lobby after each performance, through emails, phone calls, and on our social feeds. It feels really good to be welcomed back with such a positive response and it’s been great to reconnect with so many friends and supporters around the province.”
Bluebirds is TNB’s first fall production in three years. The play tells the story of three Canadian women who served in the Canadian Army Medical Corps during the First World War. Though a work of fiction, the characters in the play are based on the lives of three actual nurses who treated battlefield casualties during the latter part of the war.
“With everything we’ve been living through these past few years, I think the play’s theme of empowerment in the face of adversity really connected with our audience,” said Carter. “It’s also primarily a story about nurses. When we talk about war and conflict, stories involving healthcare and those who administer it rarely lead the conversation. So it’s nice to shed some light on the struggles faced and the sacrifices made by nurses, then and now.”
TNB’s provincial tour began in Campbellton on November 1, followed by performances in Moncton, and Saint John with dates in St. Andrews, Florenceville-Bristol and Sackville coming up this weekend.
“The popularity of this show has surpassed our expectations,” said Carter. “This tour has broken every box office record set over the past several years. The advanced tickets sales we’ve seen so far top everything we’ve seen since we started touring the province again back in 2015. The response to our first show in Campbellton in twenty years was amazing. Our Moncton show sold out, and we had a good size crowd at the Imperial as well.
Carter says from the moment TNB announced its season back in August, people have been reaching out and offering to help spread the word in their communities.
“I’m grateful to our audience and to everyone who pitched in to help us spread the word about this show,” said Carter. “So many people have reached out and offered to hang posters, and contact local influencers on our behalf. Someone even reached out and offered to give us a guided tour of their community the day we would arrive. As great a production as I believe this show to be, its success has a lot to do with the support we have received from our friends. New and old.”
There are three performances remaining on TNB’s fall tour. Dates and info below.
Nov. 4 | W. C. O’Neill Arena Theatre | St. Andrews, NB | 7:30 p.m. | TICKETS
Nov. 5 | Carleton North High School | Florenceville-Bristol, NB | 7:30 p.m. | TICKETS
Nov. 5 | Motyer-Fancy Theatre | Sackville, NB | 7:30 p.m. | TICKETS
Directed by Natasha MacLellan
Featuring Kirsten Alter, Mélanie LeBlanc and Sharisse LeBrun
Costume Designer | Sherry Kinnear
Projection Designer | Christian Ludwig Hansen
Sound Designer | Stewart Legere
Lighting Designer | Chris Saad
Set Designer | Andrea Evans
Stage Manager | Teagan Keith
Choreographer | Sarah Power