Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2012

Getting Intimate with Lesley Smith

Halifax-based actor Lesley Smith is excited about her role in Neptune Theatre’s production of Intimate Apparel, the story of an African American seamstress living in a New York City boarding house for women who sews elegant undergarments for socialites and prostitutes. On the eve of the play, AE spoke with Smith, who plays the role of Mrs. Van Buren, about her passion and her profession.
AE: What inspired you to start acting? LS: When I was quite young I saw my first play, Les Miserables at Neptune, and I remember seeing young Cossette and Eponine and thinking, "I want to be up there too!" I started taking classes at Neptune and fell in love. It was make-believe and storytelling, it was imagination let loose.

AE: Are they the same reasons you still act today? LS: Yes.

AE: What are the greatest challenges of the profession? LS: You've got to be adaptable because you only have so much control over how much work you get, when it will come, where it will happen and what it will b…

Pelley does Proust!

Chad Pelley is a multi-award-winning writer from St. John’s, Newfoundland. His debut novel, Away from Everywhere, was a Coles bestseller, won the NLAC’s CBC Emerging Artist of the Year award, and was shortlisted for the for 2010 ReLit award, as well as the Canadian Authors Association Emerging Writer of the Year award. It has been adopted by multiple university English courses, and a film adaptation is in the works. Recently he took AE’s Proust Questionnaire.
AE: What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? CP: Can you imagine if we lived in a world where we willfully woke up, Monday to Friday, and went to work on another person’s dream … making that person rich off the fruits of our labour? Just because we had bills to pay? That would seem like a global-scale recipe for misery. Your time not being your own, I mean. AE: Where would you like to live? CP: The 1800s. I’ve always felt I was born in the wrong century. Those people were dapper, loved a good old-fashioned courtship, and had…


In Halifax tonight, suddenlyListen Music presents “The Sum of Its Parts,” featuring off the cuff music from two duos: Norm Adams (cello) & Tim Crofts (piano) and Rob Power (percussion) & Paul Bendzsa (woodwinds). Adams is the Founder of sL which organizes improvised music concerts and bi-weekly workshops open to anyone. Arts East recently spoke to Adams about tonight’s concert and his double life: as principal cellist for Symphony NS and as Artistic Director of an organization with no musical restraints.
AE: What inspired you to start suddenlyListen? NA: This is our 11th season and it sort of came out of being a classical musician. When I was a student, I was searching for something more current. Somehow, improvised music became a part of that. Over the last few years, I’ve swung further out to free improvised music, which is music with very little or no structure – so maximum expression, minimal structure; maximum exploration, minimal framework. It’s sort of the opposite of cla…

Nu Visions!

On Saturday from 12-2pm, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is hosting a dual book launch. Fredericton-based Goose Lane Editions has published both books that visually and literarily delve into the lives of two celebrated Nova Scotian artists: Jacques Hurtubise, edited by Sarah Fillmore (AGNS’ Chief Curator) and David Askevold, edited by David Diviney (AGNS’ Curator of Exhibitions). Arts East caught up with Diviney a couple days before the February 25th launch.
AE: What inspired you to create David Askevold: Once Upon a Time in the East? DD: The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia had a long association with David Askevold, beginning in the late 1980s with his inclusion in the group exhibition Eighty/Twenty: One Hundred Years of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and with the acquisition of Kepler’s Music of the Spheres Played by Six Snakes (1971-1974) alongside other early works.To date, David is represented in the permanent collection by 21 works that together characterize the broad scope o…

Kinky Kitten Club!

From the creative team that brought you Short Skirt Butch comes Kinky Kitten Club - an exploration of the perverse and private fantasies of a phone sex-line, starring Stephanie MacDonald. AE spoke with the play’s Halifax-based writer Lee-Anne Poole.
AE: How long have you been involved in theatre? LAP: Since I was a kid, in one way or another.
AE: What are the biggest challenges of the gig? LAP: As a writer, the biggest challenge is getting my piece to a place I'm happy with it.
AE: What are the rewards? LAP: Hearing an audience laugh.
AE: How long have you been involved with The Sex Festival? LAP: This is just The Sex Festivals second year. We are a young festival. But I have been involved since the get go.
AE: How has the festival evolved since its inception? LAP: Too early to say, but hopefully we'll be around long enough to do some major evolving!
AE: What inspired you to produce Kinky Kitten Club? LAP: I wrote and produced this piece. As it stands Kinky Kitten Club is a reading.…


Pamela Halstead has been a part of Canada’s evolving theatre scene for over 20 years. The now Artistic Director ofLunchbox Theatre in Calgary returns to Halifax to direct DMV Theatre’s production of Pageant. Recently, AEcaught up with Halstead to discuss Daniel MacDonald’s play, her eclectic experiences and her views on Atlantic Canada’s theatre scene.

AE: How long have you been involved in theatre? PH: I studied theatre at Dalhousie in the 80's and have worked professionally most years since then - as an actor, director, teacher and arts administrator.
AE: What are the biggest challenges of your profession? PH: The biggest challenge always remains financial - whether as an individual artist or if you are running a production company. Theatre, in most instances, cannot generate enough revenue from ticket sales to cover expenses so you rely on government, sponsorships and donors to make up the difference. And as an artist you are always looking for work and hoping that the producing t…

The Art of the Circus!

Atlantic Cirque is celebrating its 10th anniversary with 30 professional and amateur circus artists wowing Dunn Theatre audiences from February 23-26. Three Sheet (2011’s Music Nova Scotia's Entertainers of the Year) will also be performing. Arts East spoke with President and Founder Ana├»s Guimond, to find out about her school/company and her passion for circus arts.
AE: What was the inspiration behind starting Atlantic Cirque 10 years ago? AG: I had been a professional acrobat for a few years and after visiting Halifax and discovering that there was a performing arts/buskers festival with no circus component, and no circus school east of Montreal, I thought it would be a perfect place to start a Circus school.
AE: Describe Atlantic Cirque’s role as a school and performance company. AG: We provide lessons to children and adults of all ages, birthday parties, corporate entertainment, Summer/Winter/March camps, workshops, private classes, professional programs and entertainment services…

Style & Substance!

Halifax-based model and actress Sarah Ainsley Harrison is more than just another pretty face. A sure blend of style and substance, Sarah is pursuing her life-long dream of becoming Miss Universe Canada. Recently she took time from her busy schedule to take our Proust Questionnaire.
AE: What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? SAH: To have no companionship. If you think about all the things we work for in this life – be it money, power, possessions, or otherwise – the end goal almost always comes around to having loved ones. With the love and support of friends and family, we can endure almost anything and enjoy more of everything.
AE: Where would you like to live? SAH: I love living in here and will always come back to a home base in Canada. I appreciate the quality of life and cultural mosaic here. Sure the winter weather can be cold but we have beautiful spring, summer and fall, and we can’t have it all. A perfect example of that is that in warmer weather there are more arachni…

The Lion!

Bruce Cockburn The Playhouse, Fredericton February 17, 2012 By Mark Loggie
There’s really no better way to start your Friday night than by having your mind blown by folk music icon Bruce Cockburn. Playing to a sold out Fredericton Playhouse, the Canadian Music Hall of Famer put on a one man show that seamlessly mixed jazz, folk, rock and well-aged hippy wisdom.
Despite the tired cynical attitude heard in his curt anecdotes, there’s a passion in his songs that bring his low gruff voice alive. Age has done nothing to stop classic hits like Lovers in a Dangerous Time from sounding just as powerful as they did back in the day. His poetry is a torrent of imagery and metaphor, delivered deliberately as he stands there dressed in combat boots and a black duster like some long retired gunslinger. His guitar ability deserves to be called virtuosic. The man really is a living legend. Seeing him once has made me a fan, and I’d urge anyone with even a slight appreciation for acoustic guitar music to s…