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New Plays to Spark New National Conversation

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A new national conversation about what we hope our country could be in 150 years begins February 2, 2015. Sparked by nine newly commissioned plays, Canadians’ hopes for our country’s future will be captured on video at 21 locations around the country and shared on Canada 300.ca.
Prince Edward Island Premier Robert Ghiz noted, “In 2014, Prince Edward Islanders celebrated the 150th anniversary of the conversations which began our country. Now, Islanders invite all Canadians to express their hopes for our shared future. Through an innovative use of art and technology, PEI’s Watermark Theatre will inspire Canadians to express their dreams for what our country could be on its 300th birthday, 150 years from now.”
Nine new plays will play three performances in 21 cities. The first audience in each location will be comprised of invited community builders; the second one will be comprised of invited student community builders. The third performance is for the general public.
The very short plays are written by exceptional playwrights from around Canada. They include Governor General Award winners like Kevin Loring and emerging theatre sensations like Melanie Léger. All performances will be available in English or in French.
The five actors, Richard Beaune, Shiong-En Chan, Eloi Hoimer, Malube and Josée Young, are fluently bilingual. Watermark Theatre actor and director Robert Tsonos directs the plays in both languages. Award winner Jackie Chan designs the set,   Laura Gardener helms the costumes. Internationally acclaimed Canadian music director, Boko Suzuki will create a new score for the plays.
Audience ideas sparked by the plays will be posted at canada300.ca where the conversation will continue with contributions from Canadians everywhere.
“Why should theatre spark the national conversation? Because to dream about the next 150 years, some imagination is needed. And theatre is an art form which specializes in sparking people’s imagination,” noted the project leader Duncan McIntosh, Artistic Director of Watermark Theatre. “Canadians need a place to express our big ideas for the future: Ideas bigger than the ones that fit into a four year election cycle or a 24 hours news cycle. Canada 300 is the place to express them.”
The project is funded by the Province of Prince Edward Island, the Government of Canada, The Palmer Family Foundation, Eastlink, Long Run Explorations, Sunrise Group of Companies and Louis (Lou) W. MacEachern.
The project will culminate at the J.S. Palmer Conference in September, 2015, where one representative from each community visited will be invited to Charlottetown to contribute to the first conversation of Canada’s next 150 years.
Canada 300, produced by Max Reimer, has been guided by a circle of elders which include Maria Campbell, OC; , Paule Gauthier, PC, OC, OQ, QC; Aldéa Landry, PC, CM, QC; Paul Martin, PC CC; Ruben Nelson and Thomas H.B. Symons, CC, OOnt FRSC.
The plays were selected from a national call for plays which received over 100 submissions. The circle of artists who chose the plays were Sonja Smits, Tanya Davis, Jackson Davies, Jane Hilderman, Tom Jackson, Alain Jean and Pamela Sinha.
The first performance/conversation will be held on Monday, February 2, 2015 in the Théâtre Petit Champlain in Quebec City. This will be followed by performances in the next two weeks in St John’s (LSPU Hall) and Corner Brook (Arts and Culture Centre) and Iqaluit (Joamie Ilinniarvik School).  17 performances follow until May 9th, 2015.
Nominate yourself or someone you admire to receive an invitation, or buy a ticket at www.canada300.ca.  All performances are limited to 150 people.

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Written by jamarch