PEI

North Rustico's Watermark Theatre looking ahead to 2017

North Rustico's Watermark Theatre has 2017 in its sight now, with its season already announced, and hopes for continued attendance growth.

Successful 2016 season saw ticket sales jump 30 per cent

Watermark Theatre in North Rustico saw attendance at its two major plays rise 30 per cent in 2016. (CBC)

The season may be over at North Rustico's Watermark Theatre, but they aren't resting on their laurels, as they've already announced the lineup for the 2017 season.

The theatre is hoping to build on the success of last season, especially its major productions.

"We did two great shows, our ticket sales were up over 30 per cent, which is amazing," Watermark general manager Andrea Surich told CBC Mainstreet's Angela Walker.

The two plays coming up for next season are well-known works, pairing a lighter piece with a thoughtful drama.

Simon and Shaw

"Barefoot In The Park by Neil Simon, which is a lovely comedy, and Mrs. Warren's Profession by George Bernard Shaw," said Surich.

The plays were chosen because of the quality of the scripts.

Watermark general manager Andrea Surich says if ticket sales go well in 2017, they may extend their season by an extra week in September. (CBC)
"It great writing, always great writing that makes you want to do it, Surich said. "I think in these two pieces, there are also really great characters. That's fun to direct, but it's also fun for actors to play with."

As well as the full productions, Watermark is also presenting a play-reading series, featuring Canadian works, and the return of Classic Music Reignited, where Island musicians interpret Canadian composers in new ways.

This will be the tenth season for Watermark Theatre, and it's now become a mainstay of the community of North Rustico, said Surich.

"Last year I felt that they really embraced the idea of having a great theatre in town, and that was partly because we were so busy," she said. "We do definitely affect the local economy. There's a lot of new restaurants that run in the summertime, and their business is definitely connected to the number of people that are coming to the theatre."

Depending on the level of business in 2017, Surich said the theatre could stay open another week in September.

With files from Mainstreet

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