A fiery redhead. A grieving son. A gregarious family on the Rock. The musical pull of the Atlantic. A young woman’s search for family. Sit a spell. Have we got a story for you! The Charlottetown Festival at the Confederation Centre of the Arts is a celebration of Canadian performing arts, held annually in the heart of Prince Edward Island’s capital city. Actors, dancers and musicians come from across Canada to show off their talents in musical theatre production.
The 2019 Festival begins June 21 with the much anticipated return of Kronborg–The Hamlet Rock Musical. This original Canadian work has become a cult favourite for Islanders who recall the 1975 production starring Brent Carver and Beverly D’Angelo. This remains the only production in the history of the Festival to be produced on Broadway.
Based on the Shakespearean tragedy Hamlet, originally written by Cliff Jones, this musical rocked the rafters in 2017 selling out a concert presentation at the Historic St. Mary’s Church in Indian River and later packing the Homburg Theatre. This fully realized production will weave the story of a prince who plots revenge on his uncle for taking his beloved father’s life.
The Festival’s crown jewel Anne of Green Gables–The Musical™ will return for its 55th consecutive summer, a testament to the global appeal of a classic inspired by a classic. This enduring story of an orphan girl who came from away and changed the Island forever will run June 24 to September 28.
A mother, a daughter, three possible dads; and a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget! Back to the Centre by popular demand, it’s Mamma Mia! This sunny ABBA-driven tale follows a daughter’s quest to find her father by inviting three men from her mother’s past to her wedding. Presented as a co-production with the Grand Theatre in London, Mamma Mia! will play on P.E.I. from August 8 to September 28.
Over at The Mack, the Festival is thrilled to welcome Tara MacLean’s Maritime love-letter, Atlantic Blue. This celebration of East Coast songwriters previously played at The Guild, and will show from July 26 to September 27. MacLean explores the place and people behind classic songs like ‘Sonny’s Dream’, ‘Put Your Hand in the Hand’, ‘Fare Thee Well Love’, and more. The Island songwriter celebrates those who found a way to create beauty from the challenging experiences in their own lives. With the addition of members of the Festival and its orchestra, this new production will make every Atlantic Canadian proud.
From July 15 through September 28, Spinning Yarns will shine a light on Newfoundland in the early ‘80s: a world of raucous adventures, death defying escapades, and dubious childcare! This hilarious evening of story and song stars festival favourite, Stephen Guy-McGrath (Evangeline, Million Dollar Quartet). Through it all shines a fierce love of family and a boundless longing for home.