Charlottetown Festival on for 2021 with ‘smaller, creative shows’

Charlottetown Festival on for 2021 with ‘smaller, creative shows’

by Sue Jones
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The Charlottetown Festival will present shows this summer, but not on the scale it typically has in the past.

O Brien Plays Marilla

The pandemic ended a run of 55 seasons for Anne of Green Gables: The Musical. (Louise Vessey)

The Charlottetown Festival will present shows this summer, but not on the scale it typically has in the past.

The festival was cancelled last summer in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing the world-record setting run of Anne of Green Gables: The Musical to an end after 55 seasons.

Artistic director Adam Brazier isn’t ready to say yet if Anne will be part of the 2021 season, but if she is it won’t be in a full-size Broadway-style musical production as in the past.

While the mainstage will be open, social distancing is reducing its capacity from 1,100 to 300.

“To be able to do a massive, large-scale musical we would need to be able to house more people,” said Brazier.

“But it doesn’t change our creativity, and it doesn’t change the quality of the work that we’re able to do.”

There will be three shows on the mainstage and the Young Company will be back with shows in the amphitheatre.

Adam Brazier

The pandemic has prompted a rethink of the Charlottetown Festival, says artistic director Adam Brazier. (Laura Meader/CBC)

The realities of creating theatre during the pandemic have led the festival to reconsider everything it’s been doing, said Brazier. In 2020, the festival focused on video productions that could be shared by people across Canada.

“It’s allowing us to rethink the way we work and the kind of work we’ve been doing,” he said.

“We’ve been able to find smaller, creative shows that still fill the space and are still current and important stories to be told.”

The festival will make an announcement of what the three shows this summer will be on April 8, Brazier said.

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