Casting Announced for Watermark 10th Anniversary Season

Watermark is thrilled to announce casting for the upcoming 2017 summer season, the 10th in the company's history. A few familiar faces and a couple of actors new to the Island will perform in the company's productions of Barefoot in the Park by Neil Simon and Mrs. Warren's Profession by George Bernard Shaw as well as taking part in the 2017 Play Reading Series. Joining previously announced actress Leah Pritchard, who tackles both lead roles this summer, will be Gracie FinleyJordan CampbellIan DeakinJerry Getty, and PEI's own Paul Whelan.

Returning for her 5th season, Gracie Finley will play the oddly hilarious Ethel Banks in Barefoot in the Park and the commanding Kitty Warren in Mrs. Warren’s Profession. Raised in Charlottetown with summers spent in Alberton, Gracie is well known to PEI audiences having played Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables: The Musical at the Charlottetown Festival from 1968 to 1974 and again in 1984 and 1985. For the Watermark, Gracie has performed in Blithe Spirit, The Glass Menagerie, The Shore Field, Alice in Wonderland, The Lion in Winter, Romeo and Juliet, and An Ideal Husband.

A veteran of Canadian Theatre, Ian Deakin has worked from coast to coast and spent 13 seasons at the Stratford Festival. Ian takes on the roles of the oddball Victor Velasco in Barefoot in the Park, and the nasty Sir George Crofts in Mrs. Warren’s Profession. In addition to his many years at Stratford, Ian appeared on Broadway with Christopher Plummer in King Lear at the Lincoln Centre, and Off Broadway at City Centre in Much Ado About Nothing and The Miser. Most recent credits include work at Theatre Calgary, Theatre By The Bay, Drayton Festival Theatre, Globe Theatre, and the Rose Theatre. PEI audiences may recognize Ian as Inspector Closely from a 2010 production of The Last Resort at the Charlottetown Festival.

Audiences will remember Jordan Campbell from our 2015 season when he played Benvolio in Duncan McIntosh's stellar production of Romeo & Juliet. This summer Jordan tackles the role of the uptight Paul Bratter in Barefoot in the Park and the lovable cad Frank Gardner in Mrs. Warren’s Profession. Jordan is a Graduate of the Ryerson University Acting Program and since graduating in 2013 has had the great fortune of performing with Magnus Theatre in Thunder Bay, Globus Theatre in Bobcaygeon and Alehouse Theatre in Toronto.

Actor Jerry Getty has appeared in theatres across the country, including The Grand Theatre, The Stratford Festival, Persephone Theatre, and Magnus Theatre, amongst others. Some of his favourite roles are the title characters in Hamlet, Ethan Claymore, Wally’s Cafe and the one-man show, MacHomer. This summer Jerry plays the very funny Telephone Man in Barefoot in the Park and the sensitive artist Mr. Praed in Mrs. Warren’s Profession.

Paul Whelan has a long history and distinguished career in theatre on the Island having worked with Theatre PEI, Kings Playhouse, The Guild, ACT, and the Confederation Centre. Paul is a producer, production stage manager, director and actor. He directed ACT’s 25th anniversary production of Our Town and this past year a very successful production of The Laramie Project. As an actor, some favourite credits are: Lend Me A Tenor, Noel Coward in Two Keys, The Tempest, and of course Matthew, in Anne of Green Gables-The Musical. Paul will play the stern Reverend Samuel Gardner in Mrs. Warren’s Profession and will make a cameo appearance in Barefoot in the Park.

Entering her fourth season with the company, Leah Pritchard will play both lead roles this summer - the perky Corie Bratter in Barefoot in the Park and the complicated Vivie Warren in Mrs. Warren’s Profession. Last summer, Leah brought an incredible vulnerability and sense of wonder to her portrayal of Laura in The Glass Menagerie, and great comic timing to the dual roles of Edith and Mrs. Bradman in Blithe Spirit. Her other previous credits at Watermark were in The RainmakerThe Lion in Winter, Romeo and Juliet, and An Ideal Husband.

Watermark is thrilled to have all of these fine actors in the company this summer and look forward to another busy season at the theatre in North Rustico.

 


Challenging Season for Actress Leah Pritchard

Leah Pritchard returns to the Watermark Theatre this summer playing the lead role in both main stage productions and she couldn’t be more thrilled. “I'm really looking forward to the challenge of playing two women who are such polar opposites”, says Leah. “I think it’ll be a summer season filled with fun and romance, as well as a healthy dose of girl power!” Entering her fourth season with the company, Leah will play the perky Corie Bratter in Neil Simon’s “Barefoot in the Park” and the complicated Vivie Warren in George Bernard Shaw’s “Mrs. Warren’s Profession”.

After three summers of incredible performances, Artistic Director Robert Tsonos thought it was time to give Leah a high profile opportunity. “Leah has stood out in every role we have given her and I thought she was ready to carry an entire season”, says Tsonos. “She’s versatile, absolutely magnetic on stage, and exudes an intelligence and warmth that audiences have really responded to.”

Last summer, Leah brought an incredible vulnerability and sense of wonder to her portrayal of Laura in The Glass Menagerie, and great comic timing to the dual roles of Edith and Mrs. Bradman in Blithe Spirit. She first graced the stage of the Watermark as the plain spinster, Lizzie, in The Rainmaker, and then demonstrated her considerable acting range as the elegant Alais in The Lion in Winter, Peter and Balthazar in Romeo and Juliet, and the vibrant and witty Mabel Chiltern in An Ideal Husband.

Leah is a Halifax actor, originally from Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia. She has worked throughout the Atlantic provinces with such companies as Gros Morne Theatre Festival, and Hard Ticket Productions in Newfoundland; as well as Neptune Theatre, The Villian’s Theatre, And DMV Theatre, in Nova Scotia. In the fall of 2014, Leah sang with Xara Choral Theatre Ensemble on their debut album “Here On These Branches”, which was nominated for best classical recording of 2015 at the East Coast Music Awards. When not on stage, Leah has also been a teaching assistant for Neptune Theatre’s youth theatre workshops, and has helped lead Watermark’s youth theatre acting conservatory for the past three summers.

The Watermark is delighted to have Leah back for the 2017 summer season.


Our 2017 Summer Season Announced!

 

Watermark Theatre’s 10th Anniversary Summer Season Announced!

Celebrating the 10th year of producing the finest professional theatre on the Island, Watermark Theatre’s Artistic Director Robert Tsonos, and General Manager Andrea Surich are proud to announce the 2017 Summer Season.

The season will include Neil Simon’s classic American comedy Barefoot in the Park, and the scathing Mrs. Warren’s Profession by Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw. The Watermark Play Reading Series returns and will once again be presented throughout the month of August, and our popular music series Classic Music Reignited, with an all Canadian lineup, rounds out the programming for the summer.

The romantic comedy Barefoot in the Park ran for 1,530 performances when it first opened on Broadway in 1963 making it Neil Simon’s longest running hit and one of the longest running non-musicals in Broadway history. A free-spirited bride and her buttoned-down groom settle down to some rocky happily-ever-aftering in a New York City walk-up, occasionally invaded by the bride’s wacky mother and the quirky bohemian who lives in the attic. Made into a movie starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda, Barefoot in the Park is clever and hilarious, filled with snappy dialogue and witty one-liners. “A bubbling rib-tickling comedy” – The New York Times

George Bernard Shaw's scathing commentary on social hypocrisy and the excesses of capitalism, Mrs. Warren’s Profession, was banned from being performed in England when it was originally written in 1893 because of its frank discussion of prostitution. Mrs. Kitty Warren worked her way out of the London slums and now lives abroad, having provided her daughter Vivie with the education and means to grow into a smart, independent young woman of strong convictions. When Mrs. Warren returns, mother and daughter discover that neither is the woman they thought they knew. A brilliant, provocative play by a master playwright.

To commemorate Canada’s sesquicentennial the 2017 Watermark Play Reading Series will consist of all Canadian plays. Join us for a series of play readings that celebrate the best of the Canadian experience as our acting company members lift the words off the page of these classic Canadian plays.

Classic Music Reignited, our popular music series curated by Rob Oakie will also have an all Canadian lineup this year. Island musical artists interpret Canadian classic composers in a way that you have never heard before.


Watermark Hires Local Composer for Summer Season!

He commands the majestic pipe organ at the Basilica, he supervises music for the Diocese of Charlottetown, and he conducts the Strathgartney Chamber Orchestra. This summer, Leo Marchildon will add a new musical accomplishment to his Island repertoire, composing the music for the 2016 Watermark Theatre productions of “Blithe Spirit” and “The Glass Menagerie”.

His musical skills were formed early at the famed St. Michaelʼs Choir School in Toronto, where he was a top student. This was the beginning of a path leading to degrees through The Royal Canadian College of Organists, The Western Conservatory, the University of Toronto and the University of Southern California.

Leo has toured with productions of “Phantom of the Opera,” “Kiss of the Spider Woman” and “Bugs Bunny on Broadway”. He worked as musical editor for the television series “The Adventures of Sinbad” and ”Gene Roddenberryʼs Andromeda”. But Leoʼs first musical love is composing. His compositions can be heard in the stage production “Millieʼs Girls,” the feature film “Gabriela,” and the documentary “Cell Block Scholars” (which earned him a regional Emmy nomination). Many Islanders will recall, of course, that Leo is the composer of the music for the stage production “The Nine Lives of L.M. Montgomery”, as well as “Canada, Our Dear Home”, his symphonic tribute celebrating PEIʼs culture and its role as the birthplace of Confederation.

The Watermark Theatre is delighted to have found a talent like Leoʼs here on the Island, and looks forward to working with him during the upcoming season.


Blithe Spirit a Family Affair at Watermark!

Island native, Bryde MacLean, was born to play the role of Ruth in Noel Coward’s “Blithe Spirit.” Her mother, veteran Charlottetown actor Sharlene MacLean, was pregnant with Bryde when she stage managed a production of the play at The Confederation Centre in 1984. Her father, the well-known Island actor Bill McFadden, starred as Charles Condomine in that same production. (side note: the production was directed by Ron Irving and also starred Cathy Grant, Laurel Smyth, Martha Irving, and Deb Allen)

With this lineage, Bryde was clearly destined for the stage. Encouraged by teachers at Kensington High School, trained at the Summerside School of Dance, Bryde went on to Ryerson University in Toronto, completing the four-year acting program in 2011. Bryde appeared as Anne at Avonlea Village and was invited to bring the Island’s favourite red-head to Barbados, appearing as Anne at the High Commissioner’s Canada Day Celebrations. Island audiences saw Bryde at The Confederation Centre last summer in “Hockey Mom, Hockey Dad”. She recently completed some film and media projects with Island-based Tiny Town Media, and can be seen in season 2 of the television series “Just Passing Through.”

This summer, while Bryde is playing Ruth in “Blithe Spirit,” at the Watermark Theatre, her husband Jeremie Saunders will be playing Owen in “The Melville Boys” at Victoria Playhouse, in Victoria-by-the Sea. Bryde also looks forward to the arrival of her sister, singer-songwriter Tara MacLean, who will open her new musical show “Open Road” (a celebration of Atlantic singer/songwriters) at the Harmony House on July 23rd and 24th.

For Bryde, the summer of 2016 on the Island will definitely be a “family affair.” There is nothing Bryde would rather do than be working in great theatre at home on the Island, and she is absolutely thrilled to be joining the company this summer on the Watermark Theatre stage.

For more information, or to set up an interview with Bryde MacLean please contact Andrea Surich at 902-963-3963 or generalmanager@watermarktheatre.com

 

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