Fredericton / Blog / 201810 / Theatre New Brunswick present new work by Norm Foster

Theatre New Brunswick present new work by Norm Foster

Theatre New Brunswick present new work by Norm Foster

The Foster Festival’s world premiere production of Come Down From Up River visits the Fredericton Playhouse for four performances Nov. 8-10.

As part its 50th anniversary season, Theatre New Brunswick will present the world premiere production of the Norm Foster comedy, Come Down From Up River.

Come Down From Up River tells the story of Shaver Bennett, a logger from the woods of northern New Brunswick. One day Bennett arrives at the doorstep of his estranged sister’s daughter, whom he hasn’t seen in 20 years. The niece, Bonnie Doyle and her wife Liv Arsenault welcome him into their lives in this sweetly moving tale. Set in Saint John, New Brunswick, Come Down From Up River explores family and forgiveness with a healthy dose of laughter sprinkled with tears.

This production made its debut earlier this year as part of the Foster Festival’s 2018 season and to help celebrate 50 years of TNB, the original cast and crew are heading to Fredericton for four performances November 8-10 at the Fredericton Playhouse.

The Foster Festival was founded in 2016 as a new home for Norm’s plays both new and old.  Based in St. Catherine’s, Ontario, the festival has already produced nine of his plays including four world premieres. But long before he had his own annual theatre festival, back before he was known as Canada’s most produced playwright, Norm Foster was a morning radio host right here in the city!

As host of a popular morning show on CIHI in the 1980’s, Norm would often slip into one of several characters he created to help keep the program light and entertaining. Whether it was Blanch Devine, from the station’s cafeteria or roving reporter Wyatt Tisdale, Norm’s love for crafting humourous, distinct characters was common knowledge well before his first play hit the stage.

In 1983, TNB Artistic Director Malcolm Black decided to include one of Norm’s plays as part of the company’s 15th season. That play was Sinners and it was a huge success. He followed it up the following year with The Melville Boys, a play many consider to be the work that launched Foster’s career.

So here we are, 35 years later, and Norm’s work is headed back on the stage (and the company) that started it all. Whether you enjoy laugh out loud comedy or simply love to experience a heartwarming story, there’s a good chance you’ll love Come Down From Up River by Norm Foster. 

Come Down From Up River | November 8-10 at the Fredericton Playhouse.


Matt Carter is a husband, writer, bike enthusiast, photographer, craft beer lover, musician and first year gardener based in Fredericton. A proud Frederictonian and New Brunswicker, he founded the arts and culture website Grid City Magazine, where he does his best to share music being made and events taking place throughout the region.