Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat lights up Playhouse stage this August!

JUNE 12, 2015

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat lights up Playhouse stage this August!

JOSEPHposter(Fredericton, NB)–In partnership with the The Fredericton Playhouse, Blind Faith Productions is preparing to present their second summer musical production: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

A dazzling, family-friendly story, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, is the first musical by legendary theatrical team Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice. Created for a British school choir, the first performance on a cold winter afternoon on March 1, 1968 was only 20 minutes long. Joseph continued to grow, both in length and in popularity, receiving major productions in London and on Broadway.

This colorful retelling of the biblical story about Joseph, his prophetic dreams, his wondrous adventures and his designer coat sings out to young and old alike. The score includes a variety of musical styles and wall-to-wall hits, including “Close Every Door”, “Go, Go Go Joesph” and “Any Dream Will Do”.

Joseph is the perfect summer show,” says Blind Faith Productions’ artistic producer Shawn Henry. “It’s filled with fun and uplifting songs that always leave the audience wanting more and that stay with you long after the show is over.”

With direction and musical direction by Shawn Henry, this production of Joseph will return to the roots of the original performance and incorporate a children’s choir as an integral part of the show. The choir will be made up of participants in the Go Go Go Joseph Summer Camp which runs August 10-14 and August 17-21, with rehearsals and shows running August 23-30. Henry notes that this is a large undertaking, but one that is sure to give back to the community in spades. “What’s most important to me is that it brings the Fredericton community together, children and adults alike, into one huge spectacle of a show that will have audiences on their feet dancing into the finale.”

Blind Faith Productions is holding open auditions for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat on Sunday, June 14 from 1-6pm and Wednesday, June 17 from 6-9pm at The Black Box Theatre Green Room, St. Thomas University. Versatile performers of all abilities, ages 15 to adult are needed.  Please be prepared to sing a song from the show or one of your own choosing.  If you wish to sing accompanied, please bring music, as an accompanist will be provided.  Auditions are by appointment only.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will run August 28 at 7:30pm and August 29 & 30 at 2pm and 7:30pm at The Fredericton Playhouse.

Tickets on sale at The Fredericton Playhouse box office in person, by phone (506) 458-8344 or online at www.theplayhouse.ca.

-30-

For all media inquiries please contact:

Jill Scaplen
Marketing & Communications, Blind Faith Productions
jillscaplen@yahoo.ca | 506.447.1047

To book an audition time, or to register for the Go Go Go Joseph Summer Camp please contact:

Shawn Henry
Artistic Producer, Blind Faith Productions
dreamcoat2015@yahoo.ca | 506.999.4311

Advertisements

BFP SPOTLIGHT: SHAWN HENRY

ShawnAs we prepare for opening night of Blind Faith Production’s presentation of Next To Normal, the BFP Spotlight turns its focus to our esteemed leader and artistic producer, Shawn Henry. While at the helm of our ship, Henry is also the director and one of the stars of this poignant yet sometimes comedic rock musical.

Born and raised in Fredericton, NB, Henry toured and traveled the world with song and dance troupe Characters Incorporated.  He recalls his first audition for Characters as a twelve year old boy, sitting on a chair centre stage at Nashwaaksis Junior High School, holding a guitar, and nervously singing into the floor.  Director Philip Sexsmith saw potential in him, and the next few years changed the course of his life forever.

Henry often thinks back to those days and remembers a positive experience, where believing in people and striving to make the work the best it can be was a regular occurrence.

After graduating from high school, he went on to study opera at Dalhousie University, graduating with Bachelor of Music in 1995.  Soon thereafter he moved to Toronto, was cast in a number of stage shows, and began teaching music at a private school for the next 15 years.

It was only in the last few years that Shawn discovered his interest in film and television, moved back to Fredericton, and joined the N.B. film Co-op. His observance of the deep connectivity of people in this province is what prompted him to form Blind Faith Productions.  Our namesake is the very reason Henry moved back to this city –blind faith– acting solely on the feeling that great things awaited him.

Henry’s co-founders, Anne Marie Murphy and Jill Scaplen, are impressed with the commitment and passion Henry brings to every single project he tackles. “Shawn is one of those people that exudes such sincerity in everything that he does because he puts his heart and soul into the things that he is truly passionate about.” says Scaplen. “But what makes him such a success is not just his commitment to the project and his dream, it’s his commitment to the people he works with. He’s a generous soul to the nth degree and he has a genuine love of people. Especially those that share his passion.”

Next To Normal is a dream realized for Henry and a beautiful first step in BFP’s infancy. Henry’s homecoming saw him being thrust into the creation of this beautiful production and we’re thrilled that BFP has been met with welcoming arms into the thriving theatre community we are so lucky to have.

Next to Normal runs from Thursday August 29 to Sunday September 1. All performances are at 7:30pm and take place in The Fredericton Playhouse Studio Space.

For tickets, contact The Fredericton Playhouse box office in person, by phone at 506-458-8344 or online at www.theplayhouse.ca.

BFP SPOTLIGHT: JEREMY DUTCHER

jeremyThe BFP Spotlight was thrilled to sit down with the incomparable Mr. Jeremy Dutcher. Dutcher is another former TNB Theatre School student who is carving out a career onstage. A graduate of Dalhousie University, Dutcher studied opera, but don’t let his penchant for long-winded arias fool you. This guy loves rock musicals. And we happen to know that he can deliver a mean rendition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”.

Dutcher plays Gabe, the enigmatic son of Diana and Dan in our upcoming production of Next To Normal at The Fredericton Playhouse Aug. 28-Sept. 1.

BFP: What was the first show you were ever involved in?

DUTCHER: The Music Man put on by the Gilbert & Sullivan Society. I was cast both for my ability to play the snare drum and generally charming awkwardness…

BFP: Do you prefer acting for film or for the theatre?

DUTCHER: I am a film virgin (yet, film curious). So I guess by default… theatre.

BFP: What has been your favorite role to play so far?

DUTCHER:  Being a cat in TNB Theatre School’s Cats.

BFP: What role would you love to play that you haven’t yet?

DUTCHER: JEEEEEEEEESSSSSUSSSSS! (Hoping that reference lands…) Not that I advocate everything Lloyd-Webber has done… but damn, THAT is a score.

BFP: What is the scariest part of an audition?

DUTCHER: That part where I can’t tell if I’m coming across genuine or not… Wait, does saying that make me more or less genuine… I’m bad at this.

BFP: What show could you do for years?

DUTCHER: Doing RENT was a blast… I could play an asshole landlord for the rest of my life; it is really self-affirming.

BFP: What are you auditioning for next?

DUTCHER: Sister Mary Patrick in Blind Faith’s production of Sister Act: The Musical (pending)

BFP: What is the strangest thing a role required you to do?

DUTCHER: Suspend 16 feet in the air… that harness was unkind.

BFP: Have you ever forgotten your lines, or a prop, or choreography during a performance? What happened?

DUTCHER: During a production of Puccini’s opera Gianni Schicchi I forgot my prop gun to shoot the antagonist at the end of the show… finger guns never looked so good 😉

BFP: What is something embarrassing or unexpected that happened to you on stage?

DUTCHER: Picture this: Cat suit onsies. My big solo moment. Step to the front of the stage. Park and bark. Confused by laughter. Later find out a peach-coloured feather from another cat’s suit has found its way in between my legs. Utter embarrassment.

Next to Normal runs from Thursday August 29 to Sunday September 1, with a special preview performance on Wednesday, August 28. All performances are at 7:30pm and take place in The Fredericton Playhouse Studio Space.

For tickets, contact The Fredericton Playhouse box office in person, by phone at 506-458-8344 or online at www.theplayhouse.ca.

BFP SPOTLIGHT: MAX LEBLANC

maxAnother former TNB Theatre School student is in the BFP Spotlight this week as we profile Max LeBlanc. LeBlanc is the acoustic guitar playing frontman of local rock band She Roars, as well as a nursing student at the University of New Brunswick. No stranger to the stage, LeBlanc has spent the last few years writing and performing with his band, biking the local trails, or volunteering at the UNB Rock Climbing Club. LeBlanc plays Dr. Madden, the primary physician whose job is to treat Diana’s mental illness in our upcoming production of Next To Normal at The Fredericton Playhouse Aug. 28-Sept. 1.

BFP: What was the first show you were ever involved in?

LEBLANC: TNB’s Peter Pan, I played Michael and I flewed!

BFP: Do you prefer acting for film or for the theatre?

LEBLANC: I enjoy the stage, but it’s been a long time since I’ve been in front of a camera.

BFP: What has been your favorite role to play so far?

LEBLANC:  I really enjoyed playing the role of Kenickie in Grease. Though that was a little while back. Lately I’ve been liking the role of the singer in She Roars.

BFP: What role would you love to play that you haven’t yet?

LEBLANC: Elder Arnold Cunningham in The Book of Morman. That show looks amazing.

BFP: What is the scariest part of an audition?

LEBLANC: The 30 minutes before actually getting there.

BFP: What show could you do for years?

LEBLANC: I’m actually quite excited to be a part of this one. So… Next to Normal?

BFP: What are you auditioning for next?

LEBLANC:  Does a medical school interview count as an audition?

BFP: What is the strangest thing a role required you to do?

LEBLANC: Probably sitting in grease lightning as it got lifted 15 feet in the air above the stage.

BFP: Have you ever forgotten your lines, or a prop, or choreography during a performance? What happened?

LEBLANC: No actually, I’ve been pretty fortunate during my performances. *Knock on Wood*

BFP: What is something embarrassing or unexpected that happened to you on stage?

LEBLANC: When playing a show in Moncton we once had a speaker catch fire and start smoking. I’ve never known an acoustic guitar to blow a speaker, but there’s a first time for everything I guess.

Next to Normal runs from Thursday August 29 to Sunday September 1, with a special preview performance on Wednesday, August 28. All performances are at 7:30pm and take place in The Fredericton Playhouse Studio Space.

For tickets, contact The Fredericton Playhouse box office in person, by phone at 506-458-8344 or online at www.theplayhouse.ca.

BFP SPOTLIGHT: SARAH BELL

SARAH3The BFP Spotlight continues this week with former TNB Theatre School student Sarah Bell. Bell is a graduate of Mount Allison University’s Classical Music and Drama Studies program and is now an accomplished theatre/film actor and classically trained vocalist at large. Bell plays Natalie, a teenage girl basically trying to find herself while dealing with her mother Diana’s mental illness in our upcoming production of Next To Normal at The Fredericton Playhouse Aug. 28-Sept. 1.

BFP: What was the first show you were ever involved in?

BELL: The first show I ever did was Under A Christmas Moon in 1998 at The Playhouse. My first solo was a line from “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”. We were in full winter attire on stage. Mittens and all.

BFP: Do you prefer acting for film or for the theatre?

BELL: Theatre. No question. I like a live audience, as well the whole rehearsal process. Film is great, but its kind of anti-climactic for me.

BFP: What has been your favorite role to play so far?

BELL: Cathy in The Last Five Years.  The music is incredible and I loved having one other performer to work with. It made for a really intimate and intense rehearsal process.

BFP: What role would you love to play that you haven’t yet?

BELL: Cleopatra in the opera Guilio Cesare. She has some AMAZING arias.

BFP: What is the scariest part of an audition?

BELL: Trying to get back to your Joe Job on time!

BFP: What show could you do for years?

BELL: Patrick Marber’s Closer. So. Good.

BFP: What are you auditioning for next?

BELL: Beethoven’s Treasure. The dog movie.

BFP: What is the strangest thing a role required you to do?

BELL: I had to make out with my cast mate for approximately 20 seconds in pure silence. That was pretty weird. I also made eye contact with my Dad in the front row. That didn’t help anything.

BFP: Have you ever forgotten your lines, or a prop, or choreography during a performance? What happened?

BELL: I was in a production of Fame and had a brain fart and blanked on the closing numbers choreography. I was in the front row or else I would have cheated off one of my cast mates. I kick ball changed until the finale…which was jazz hands on one knee.

BFP: What is something embarrassing or unexpected that happened to you on stage?

BELL: I was in a production of Urinetown and there’s this fight scene at the end that we all did in slow motion. My costume had a tie that kept the whole thing together and while in the fight my cast mate accidentally grabbed the tie and pulled my shirt open in slow mo. I proceeded to panic and pull my shirt back on in slow mo. Professionalism at it’s finest.

Next to Normal runs from Thursday August 29 to Sunday September 1, with a special preview performance on Wednesday, August 28. All performances are at 7:30pm and take place in The Fredericton Playhouse Studio Space.

For tickets, contact The Fredericton Playhouse box office in person, by phone at 506-458-8344 or online at www.theplayhouse.ca.

BFP SPOTLIGHT: DENIS THERIAULT

denistheriaultBlind Faith Productions sat down with our very own film-making guru Denis Theriault for a little Q & A about his journey in theatre and film so far. Theriault plays Henry, the 17-year-old, free-spirited musician in our upcoming production of Next To Normal at The Fredericton Playhouse Aug. 28-Sept. 1.

BFP: What was the first show you were ever involved in?

THERIAULT: I think it was a variety show at The Blackbox Theatre, directed by the always fantastic Leigh Rivenbark. It starred Measha Brueggergosman, Tania Breen and Tony LePage, among others.

BFP: Do you prefer acting for film or for the theatre?

THERIAULT: Definitely film. They’re two completely different beasts, but with film, I like the subtlety and reality of it. Theatre is much bigger and, well…theatrical! This show might change my mind though!

BFP: What has been your favorite role to play so far?

THERIAULT: Radley Weil in Gia Milani’s film All the Wrong Reasons. It’s the juiciest and most extensive role I’ve ever played. The fact that she entrusted this great character to me was an honor.

BFP: What role would you love to play that you haven’t yet?

THERIAULT: I’d love to get the chance to play a real person. An historical figure even. I’d love to dig right in, research them, and interview people who knew them–all to create a more rounded and realistic portrayal. I think that would be an interesting challenge.

BFP: What is the scariest part of an audition?

THERIAULT: Letting your inhibitions go. The moment you can do that, and not care if you make a fool of yourself, you’re set!

BFP: What show could you do for years?

THERIAULT: Next to Normal!!!

BFP: What are you auditioning for next?

THERIAULT: I just auditioned for Beethoven 5 actually (yes, THAT Beethoven) and also an upcoming CBC kids show.

BFP: What is the strangest thing a role required you to do?

THERIAULT: I’ve had to snort “pixie sticks” sugar in order to emulate drug use. That was an interesting one.

BFP: Have you ever forgotten your lines, or a prop, or choreography during a performance? What happened?

THERIAULT: Totally. I remember once, during a rehearsal for a TNB production of Chicago, the stage went quiet. I said out loud (and I was also mic’d) “Ok, who the heck forgot their line?”

It was me. I had forgotten. Totally embarrassing.

BFP: What is something embarrassing or unexpected that happened to you on stage?

THERIAULT: During a production of TNB’s “Big” I ran out on stage, looked out into the audience and quickly glimpsed a friend of mine’s face. In that moment, I totally forgot at what point in the show we were. I totally blanked out and froze like a deer in headlights!

Next to Normal runs from Thursday August 29 to Sunday September 1, with a special preview performance on Wednesday, August 28. All performances are at 7:30pm and take place in The Fredericton Playhouse Studio Space.

For tickets, contact The Fredericton Playhouse box office in person, by phone at 506-458-8344 or online at www.theplayhouse.ca.

Tania Breen returns to the summer stage in an epic rock musical

100_3196-1

(Fredericton, NB) – Fredericton’s summer theatre experience is about to explode as Blind Faith Productions prepares to open Next To Normal, a musical which explores the impact of bipolar disorder on a mother and her family. Not the usual ‘stuff’ of musical theatre, but when you pair the emotional extremes of mental illness with rock music you get something that is socially relevant AND completely entertaining.

The musical will be directed by New Brunswick native Shawn Henry, who returns to work and live in his hometown of Fredericton. Henry has wanted to mount this musical since its Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning run on Broadway just a few years ago.

Says Henry, “This show challenges people, but not in a way that is unmanageable or frightening – it has humour and heart. Not only that, but it has an incredible score that really heightens the emotional impact of the show and lifts you right out of your seat.”

Blind Faith Productions has opted for a smaller, intimate setting for the play, reconfiguring the stage and backstage area of The Playhouse to create a 160-seat studio theatre as was originally created for The Bricklin: An Automotive Fantasy, produced by The Playhouse and Theatre New Brunswick. The hope is to revitalize that unique theatre experience in the community, and to use a space that would traditionally be relatively dark over the summer tourist season. In fact, not since The Bricklin has the studio space been used in such a way during the summer months.

Notable in the casting announcement is that Tania Breen will play the lead role of Diana. Wowing Maritimer audiences for the past several years as both a vocalist and an actor, patrons will remember her stellar performance in The Bricklin as Michelle, a small town girl with big city dreams, where she received rave reviews from the Telegraph Journal, who noted, “Smoky-voiced and smokin’ hot Tania Breen is simply stellar.”

In Next To Normal, Breen plays the delusional, bipolar, and depressed mother who is feisty yet fragile due to her mental affliction. Her character’s condition of roller coaster emotions and deteriorating grasp of reality has taken its toll on her family, and Breen plays her with heart-wrenching honesty all while balancing intense emotions with gutsy rock anthems.

“Tania has an incredible stage presence,” says Henry. “Her versatility as an actor is second to none but her charisma and commitment to a character, no matter what the role, keeps the audience hooked until the story is told.”

This will definitely be an evening of musical theatre not to be missed. Continues Henry. “Tania Breen will lead a cast of rock star performances in a show that is achingly beautiful in its hopes and dreams, and that will also move you to tears.”

Next to Normal runs from Thursday August 29 to Sunday September 1, with a special preview performance on Wednesday, August 28. All performances are at 7:30pm and take place in The Fredericton Playhouse Studio Space.

For tickets, contact The Fredericton Playhouse box office in person, by phone at 506-458-8344 or online at www.theplayhouse.ca.

-30-

For all media inquiries, please contact:

Jill Scaplen, Director of Marketing & Communications
Blind Faith Productions
jill@blindfaithproductions.ca | 506.447.1047

 

A pill-popping pop rock musical caps off the summer season

NTNposter2(Fredericton, NB) – The summer theatre experience in Fredericton just got a heck of a lot more intense. Not your average bubbly feel-good musical, Pulitzer-Prize winning Next to Normal is the compelling story of a slightly dysfunctional family whose mother battles with bipolar disorder along with severe depression. It is an emotional powerhouse of a musical about a family trying to take care of themselves and each other. The family can only sit back and watch as their mother tries to piece together her life and return her house and family back to normal.

With provocative lyrics by Brian Yorkey and a thrilling score by Tom Kitt, you will see just how far two parents will go to keep themselves sane and their family’s world intact.

Originally a ten minute workshop piece presented in 1998, the show had its first reading as a full length musical in 2002. That initial reading was followed by several others in New York City before Next to Normal finally became a fully staged production in early 2008 when it was produced Off-Broadway at Second Stage Theatre. Later that year, a rewritten Next to Normal was produced at Washington, D.C.’s Arena Stage. The musical finally arrived on Broadway at the Booth Theatre on March 27, 2009.

Next to Normal ran for the next two years, garnering a number of award nominations and taking home the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, as well as three Tony Awards include one for Best Actress in a Musical, Alice Ripley. When the show closed in 2011, it had run for over 750 performances.

The cast of Blind Faith Productions’ Next to Normal includes Tania Breen as Diana, Sarah Bell as Natalie, Shawn Henry as Dan, Jeremy Dutcher as Gabe, Denis Theriault as Henry, and Max LeBlanc as Dr. Madden.

Director Shawn Henry notes that “there is definitely something strange about encouraging audiences to see an amazing musical about mental disorder, because it isn’t something that is openly spoken about very often, and it hits home for more people than you would think. Even if none of your family members struggle through dealing with a mental disorder of some sort, this show speaks deeply to the ways in which families seek to survive.”

Continues Henry, “Love, loss, hurt, healing, sibling rivalry, mother/daughter/father/son relationships, school stress, teenage crushes, peer pressure, and temptation are themes that any type of family can relate to.”

“A work of muscular grace and  power. It is much more than a feel-good musical; it is a feel-everything musical.” – The  New York Times

Next to Normal runs from Thursday August 29 to Sunday September 1, with a special preview performance on Wednesday, August 28. All performances are at 7:30pm and take place in The Fredericton Playhouse Studio Space.

For tickets, contact The Fredericton Playhouse box office in person, by phone at 506-458-8344 or online at www.theplayhouse.ca.

-30-

For all media inquiries, please contact:

Jill Scaplen, Director of Marketing & Communications
Blind Faith Productions
jill@blindfaithproductions.ca | 506.447.1047