As 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.