February 16, 2023 – To usher in Islander Day weekend, Confederation Centre of the Arts announced Islanders who will take the stage in The Play That Goes Wrong at The 2023 Charlottetown Festival.
Playing at Sobey Family Theatre, the Centre’s mainstage, The Play That Goes Wrong is an award-winning smash-hit comedy that has taken over Broadway and London’s West End. The Sherlock Holmes meets Monty Python production is a play within a play, telling the story of a failing theatre troupe trying to put on a murder mystery. With an unconscious leading lady, a corpse that can’t play dead, and actors who trip over everything (including their lines), this masterpiece of malfunction is sure to bring down the house. The Play That Goes Wrong has garnered rave reviews from around the world, with HuffPost calling it, “the funniest play Broadway has ever seen.”
Starring in the show is Graham Putnam, a veteran Island comedic actor known for his work on stage and screen. He was introduced to theatre at a young age through backstage work at the Centre, which led to him mounting various community theatre productions in Charlottetown. He then formed the comedy group Sketch 22, which had seven successful seasons that included late night performances at The Mack. Since then, he has been in the long-running improv group Popalopalots, and co-written and performed in Christmas pantomimes at the Centre. He has also starred in several screen projects, including CBC’s Diggstown and the upcoming feature Who’s Yer Father? He jokingly refers to himself as a “single threat” as opposed to a triple threat singer/dance/actor. “It is rare for a non-musical theatre actor to star in a mainstage production at The Charlottetown Festival, so I am incredibly excited for the opportunity,” says Putnam.
He is joined by Charlottetown native Aaron Ryder, who is no stranger to the Centre. He saw his first play at the Centre when he was five years old, which he says inspired him to pursue a career as a performer. He made his Festival debut as a child of Avonlea in Anne of Green Gables–The Musical™, and grew up attending arts education programs at the Centre, such as dance umbrella. He also performed in several Christmas pantomimes and was a Heritage Player for two summers. A graduate of Sheridan College and now based in Toronto, he says he is, “thrilled to be coming home for this dream job”. He adds, “I spent a huge portion of my childhood at Confederation Centre of the Arts and it truly feels like a second home.”
Another cast member is a familiar face – Dawn Ward-Dames, the Centre’s associate artistic director. Ward-Dames was the assistant director for the 2022 production of Anne of Green Gables–The Musical™ and is the co-director and choreographer of Munschables. She is the co-founder of Xclusiv Crew, a vibrant dance team who entertained audiences at the Centre’s Outdoor Amphitheatre the last two summers. Ward-Dames is a graduate of the theatre and dance performance programs at Holland College, where she founded the Hurricanes Dance Team. She has cemented herself into Charlottetown’s cultural landscape and remains dedicated to elevating and diversifying performing arts on Prince Edward Island. “After working behind the scenes on Festival productions, I am so excited to be on stage in this hilariously well-crafted show that audiences are going to love,” says Ward-Dames.
Sponsored by Tim Hortons, performances of The Play That Goes Wrong run from June 14 – September 23. To celebrate Islander Day, patrons can get 40% off tickets (tiers 2/3) for the show purchased between Thursday, February 16 – Saturday, February 18. Tickets can be purchased at the Centre’s box office, via phone at 1-800-565-0278, or online using the code ‘Islander23’. This discount is valid on new purchases and does not apply to opening night or preview performances.
Additional casting for the Festival will be announced soon. For tickets and more information, visit confederationcentre.com.
Communications Manager, Confederation Centre of the Arts
[email protected] | 902-628-6135