Theatre New Brunswick name new Fredericton theatre at 55 Whiting Road.
(Fredericton) Last fall Theatre New Brunswick introduced a new performance venue into Fredericton’s thriving arts and cultural landscape. Located in the company’s headquarters at 55 Whiting Road in Fredericton, the intimate 98-seat theatre played host to the first three productions of the company’s 2015-2016 season.
Today, Theatre New Brunswick officially named the venue, the Open Space Theatre.
“The Open Space Theatre is full of possibility,” said Thomas Morgan Jones, Theatre New Brunswick’s artistic director. “This new name perfectly encapsulates the feeling and function of this dynamic new performing arts venue. A permanent home for Theatre New Brunswick in Fredericton, a launching pad for our provincial and national touring, and a welcoming space for artists of all disciplines to create, invent, share and dream.”
Planning for this project has been ongoing for the past few years. TNB General Manager Susan Ready has overseen all aspects of the $150,000 renovation project from inception through the many stages of design and construction.
“Thanks to a generous private donor and funding secured through The Department of Canadian Heritage and the TNB Foundation, we were able to create a new flexible performance space that meets our needs now and will allow us to grow as a company,” she said. “The Open Space Theatre will also allow arts groups in Fredericton and New Brunswick a new and affordable performance venue to call home.”
Further renovations of the company’s building planned for the summer months include a new rehearsal studio which will be home to the TNB Theatre School, new washrooms, dressing rooms and a complete makeover of the building’s facade, made possible through a recent grant from the City of Fredericton’s Community Funding Grants Program.
Outside of TNB’s regular programming, other successful events were held at the venue over the past six months including a sold-out musical performance, a four night theatre performance by Fredericton’s Next Folding Theatre Company and a two day residency by Saint John contemporary dance company, Connection Dance Works.
“The potential of the Open Space Theatre is limitless,” said Jones. “The intimacy with the audience allows for a quality of conversation and engagement that isn’t possible in larger venues, and the technical capabilities of the space make it a blank canvas ready to realize artists’ imaginations and instincts.”
The introduction of the Open Space Theatre marks another step forward for Fredericton’s growing arts ecology. Located minutes from the city’s downtown core, this new performance venue proves that meaningful and professional arts experiences are no longer confined to the downtown district.
“Our new theatre at Whiting Road is TNB’s statement that live theatre is alive and well in this city, is relevant to our community and is a big part of our vision.” – Doug Forbes, chair, TNB Board of Governors
“TNB’s new theatre is an intimate, engaging space, enveloping the audience and including us in the theatrical experience. It is a much-needed addition to our community, providing more opportunities to create and view live performance.” – Kate Rogers, Executive Director, Charlotte Street Arts Centre.
“The allure of the Open Space Theatre to me is that so much is possible. The actor and audience inhabit the same space. The experience has been magical. – Mike O’Brien, City Councillor
“I have attended a few performances at TNB’s Open Space Theatre and I was impressed with how the TNB crew were able to transform the flexible space for a variety of theatre styles, be it a cabaret-style reading of playwrights or a touching two-person theatre performance. I look forward to many more great performances at the Open Space Theatre!” – Angela Watson, Cultural Development Officer, City of Fredericton