Annual Theatre Festival Opens July 23 in Fredericton

Category: stage 299

New Brunswick playwrights take centre stage at the 2019 NotaBle Acts Theatre Festival, July 23 – Aug. 3 in Fredericton. 

The NotaBle Acts Theatre Company will stage its 18th annual Summer Theatre Festival, showcasing new plays by emerging and established New Brunswick playwrights, from July 23 through August 3 at venues across Fredericton. This year’s festival will see sixteen new plays performed, including one act plays, site-specific plays, ten-minute plays, readings, and the festival’s feature mainstage productions, Fruit Machine and Overlap 

Co-created by Alex Rioux and Samuel Crowell along with members of Fredericton’s Solo Chicken Productions The Coop, Fruit Machine is a physical theatre exploration of one of the most shameful chapters in Canadian history, the gay purge that took place in the R.C.M.P. and Canadian Forces in the 1950s and 60s. Overlap by Céleste Godin, which will be performed by Moncton’s Satellite Theatre (in French, with English surtitles), is a play about the company’s home city, both a love letter to and a stinging critique of the city of Moncton. Fruit Machine and Overlap will both be performed at the Black Box Theatre, STU, with Fruit Machine running July 23-25 and Overlap performed July 26-27.

Thirteen of the new plays to be performed at the festival were selected as winners in NotaBle Acts’ annual province-wide playwriting contest, including With Love, Josephine by Sophie Tremblay-Pitre and Gullywhump by Greg Everett, winners of the 2019 competition’s one act category. With Love, Josephine  is a cross-generational Romeo and Juliet-like love story set against the backdrop of Canada’s class and linguistic divides, while Gullywhump is a tale of gothic horror set in the backwoods of New Brunswick.  The plays will be performed as a double-bill at Memorial Hall, UNB, nightly from August 1-3.

Taking it to the Streets, the winners of NB Acts’ 2019 ten-minute play competition, features four short plays performed outdoors at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery Café, including Brandon Hicks’ The Hoard, a comic take on the Marie Kondo-inspired decluttering craze, and Robert Lynn’s Ribbit, Ribbit, about a skeptical young girl’s encounter with Fredericton’s beloved Coleman Frog. These four family-friendly plays will be performed as an hour of free theatre at noon on July 29 and August 1st and 2nd, with additional 7:30 PM performances on July 29 and 30. On these evenings, Taking it to the Streets will be followed by Carlee Calver’s haunting site-specific play A Coward-Bird’s Song, a tale of regret and lost love in a mythical Fredericton once populated by bird people, which will be performed at sunset on the Green near the Gallery.

The festival lineup will also include readings of seven new plays in development, including Sue Rose’s The Plucking Dark Ages, a powerful work about the migrant crisis on the southern U.S. border, the winners of the 2019 NB Acts Middle and High School playwriting contests, and Queen James (or All the King’s Men), a new play by NB Acts’ 2019 Playwright/Dramaturge in Residence Rob Kempson, about the little-known homosexual double life of King James I of England. 

For full show, schedule, and ticket details, visit or phone 506 478-1288.

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