NotaBle Acts’ Summer Theatre Festival Gets Underway This Week

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Fredericton’s annual celebration of new plays by emerging and established writers takes place July 20-30.

The NotaBle Acts Theatre Company is set to stage its 21st annual Summer Theatre Festival, showcasing new plays by emerging and established New Brunswick playwrights, from July 20 – 30 at venues across Fredericton. Thirteen plays of all style and genres, from hard-hitting dramas to mysteries and outrageous comedies, will be performed over eleven days, including one act plays, outdoor ten-minute plays and site-specific plays, readings of new works in development, as well as this year’s mainstage production A Canyon Contained written by Jena McLean and directed by Theatre New Brunswick’s Artistic and Executive Director, Natasha MacLellan.    

A Canyon Contained will mark a homecoming of sorts for McLean, as she was the first winner of NotaBle Acts’ inaugural High School Playwriting Contest in 2014 before earning a spot in the prestigious playwriting program at the National Theatre School of Canada, where she penned the first draft of the play. A Canyon Contained is a hard-hitting drama about two sisters who have been pulled in different directions, but are forced to reconnect when older sister Jessica shows up to drive younger sister Regan home from a tumultuous high-school party. As the events of the previous night unspool, the political and personal divide between the sisters becomes apparent, as topical issues of consent and agency in the #MeToo era come to the fore.  

The twelve other new plays to be performed at the festival were selected as winners in NotaBle Acts’ annual province-wide playwriting contest, including Murder Mondays by Julianne Richard and I Hope You Can See the Birds by Kaitlyn Adair, winners of the competition’s one act category.

Taking it to the Streets, this year’s series of ten-minute plays will feature four short, funny, and family-friendly plays by Brandon, Julianne Richard, Sandra Kell and Mary Walker whose play Chicken Man is about a chicken who refuses to accept that it is his genetic destiny to remain flightless.  These four plays will be performed as an hour of free theatre from July 24-27 outdoors at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery courtyard beginning at 7:30 p.m.

This year’s Street Scenes series of site-specific plays includes A Toast to Happiness by Sana Hashmat and the two comedic sketches in Gillian Salmon’s Historical Walking Tour/Where We Go One, We Go All.

The festival lineup rounds out with a series of readings of new plays in development where audiences can get a sneak peek at new writers and new works.

Find all the details on this year’s festival including show times and ticket info by visiting

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