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Showing posts from September, 2012

Live-In Festival

DaPoPo Theatre is thrilled to announce an incredible line-up of events for its upcoming Live-In festival, September 30 - October 31st!
The fourth annual edition of this unique cultural event promises to blow the roof off of the TNS Living Room, with a diverse and inspiring array of local theatre makers sharing their passion and skill in creating personal, beautiful and profoundly moving events that are not to be missed!
The Live-In is a month-long festival of performances, play readings, skill-share workshops and special events aimed at bringing community members and artists together. The focus of this year's work is "Telling (Our) Stories" and asks: how do we find stories, how do we shape them, and how do we share them?
The Live-In programming has something for everyone, from workshops in Found Object Puppetry, a Songwriting Circle, and a Kids Creation Lab for children aged 5 to 9; to a diverse and fascinating series of play readings by local and national playwrights, incl…

Culture Days!

Nearly 7,000 free activities will take place in some 800 communities across Canada for the third annual Culture Days on September 28-30, 2012 including over 70 activities that are planned to take place in Nova Scotia.
“Culture is an integral part of what makes our community so vibrant and we are very proud and excited to be participating again in Culture Days. This annual event is an opportunity to publicly showcase the enormous talent and creativity that exists right here in Nova Scotia. I encourage everyone to express their love of culture by participating in some of the fantastic free activities on offer.Get out and discover our wonderfully talented local artists, roll up your sleeves and get creative yourself!” said Nancy Morgan of Strategic Arts Management in Halifax.
The third annual Culture Days will be celebrated in hundreds of cities and towns from coast to coast to coast, with thousands of free activities from a wide range of disciplines including: visual arts, music, dance,…

Canadian Surf Film Festival

Film festival fever continues in Halifax, Nova Scotia with the third annual Canadian Surf Film Festival. It kicks off today in the midst of hurricane season when the province’s swells begin to show their mighty roar.
The four-day festival consists of evening films preceded and followed by parties and events, including surfer’s yoga, a Garrison Brewery tour, a surfing-themed art show and an “ass shaking good time” with the Mellotones. On Thursday, Saturday and Sunday nights, attendees have the choice between two films. The Short Film Challenge takes place on Friday. (Last year, musician Matt Mays’ short ‘Surfer Road’ was awarded the top prize among the cross-Canadian submissions).
The festival’s marketing manager, Jessica Flynn says people might be reluctant to come if they’re not surfers, but they shouldn’t be. “What’s most important about our festival is it’s not just about surfing,” Flynn explains. “This year for example, we have films about marine wildlife conservation, anti-nuclear …

The Power of Song

The Power of Song, Rallying for Ron takes place tonight at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium in Halifax at 7:30pm.

The concert will celebrate the man and the music of well-known and much-loved Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Hynes, who has recently been diagnosed and begun treatment for throat cancer. Under the guidance of producer Troy Greencorn (Stanfest) and hosted by actress - comedienne Cathy Jones (This Hour Has 22 Minutes), The Power of Song, Rallying For Ron will feature a who’s who of Nova Scotia-based artists including Bruce Guthro, Charlie A’Court, Cory Tetford, Dave Gunning, JP Cormier, Laura Smith, Lennie Gallant, Rhapsody Quintet and Stephen Fearing, all backed by a house band featuring pianist Kim Dunn, drummer/percussionist Keith Mullins and bassist Allie Bennett. The evening will also include a recitation by PEI broadcaster/poet Eric MacEwen, and a reading by NL author Donna Morrissey.
Ron Hynes’ career as a singer-songwriter spans 40 years. The recipient of the Socan Nationa…

Sweeney Todd!

Sweeney Todd Neptune Theatre, Halifax Friday, September 21, 2012
Neptune Theatre’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street opened September 11thand runs until October 7th.
Sweeney Todd is rife with dark themes of romantic adversity, bitter vengeance, and cruel irony. The score is challenging. The strong ensemble delivers Sondheim’s terse melodies with confidence, vocal dexterity, and cutting precision. The characters are dark, and the bleak light at the end of the tunnel is a “City on fire!” In the same way that Shakespeare uses comedy, cheek by jowl, with tragedy to release and reset the tension of the plot, Sondheim has written moments into this relentlessly bleak storyline and score that are bitingly funny . . .potentially.
The beggar woman, played by Laura Caswell, breathes her depraved humanity into Sondheim’s wickedly funny lyrics. Her desperate pleas are a frail and pitiful rouse, followed by the uproarious cries of a desperate strum…

God of Carnage

Nova Scotia’s Theatre Arts Guild kicks-off its 2012/2013 season with God of Carnage, Yasmina Reza clever and witty story about two couples trying to resolve a problem in a civilized fashion. The play runs until October 6 at the Pond Playhouse in Halifax, and is directed by Michele Moore.

How long have you been involved with theatre and in what capacity? I found the Pond Playhouse about 18 years ago when I saw a couple of their productions.I fell in love with the intimacy and ambience of the small theatre and admired their “professionalism”. I plucked up courage to audition for a production about 17 years ago.I have acted in approximately 18 productions since then, as well as being involved as a producer and recently as director. I also served on the Board of Directors at Theatre Arts Guild as secretary and then as publicity person.

Why the decision to produce God of Carnage? A play by Yasmina Reza, an international award winning French playwright, has never been staged by Theatre Arts Gui…

AFF ~ Winners Announced!

The Atlantic Film Festival wraps up its highly successful 32nd year by announcing its award-winners for the event, Sept. 13-20 in Halifax.

Award winners, include:

Best Atlantic Feature
$8,000 in services, sponsored by The Postman
Winner: Blackbird - Jason Buxton
Honourable Mention: The Disappeared - Shandi Mitchell
***Buxton donated his award to the recipient of the Telefilm/Film Nova Scotia First Feature Project

Best Atlantic Short
$500 cash, $1,000 services, sponsored by 902 Post
Winner: Better People - Mark O'Brien

Best Atlantic Director
$10,000 in services, sponsored by Panavision Canada
Winner: Jason Buxton - Blackbird
***Buxton donated his award to the recipient of the Telefilm/Film Nova Scotia First Feature Project

Best Atlantic Emerging Director
$500 cash, sponsored by OUTeast Film Festival
Winner: Ashley McKenzie - When You Sleep

Best Atlantic Cinematographer
$5,000 in services, sponsored by SIM Digital
Winner: Jeff Wheaton - Gravity and Grace
***Wheaton donated his award to t…


Blackbird – Atlantic Film Festival
September 16, 2012

Director/writer Jason Buxton stood in front of a packed theatre last Sunday night and shared the good news. Just hours earlier, it was announced that his film, Blackbird, won Best Canadian First Feature Film at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Chester NS-based Buxton, joined by his adorable young daughter Sadie and producers Marc Almon and David Miller, revealed it took him four years to write the film’s script. The finished product, filmed in Halifax and Windsor, reveals the quality that comes from allowing a story of alienation, misperception and justice (or lack thereof) brew over time.

Blackbird tells the story of teenager Sean (Connor Jessup), garbed in spikes and pentacles, who becomes the target of bullying after moving from the big city to a small town. As an outlet for his anger, he writes a fictional tale of committing a mass shooting. Sean’s story is blown out of proportion so much so that he is left to deal with …

AFF – The Disappeared

The Oxford Theatre in Halifax was abuzz Friday night with the world premiere screening of The Disappeared, produced by Nova Scotia’s own Two Dories Film Inc. Director/writer, Shandi Mitchell, producers Ralph Holt and Walter Forsyth and the entire cast strolled down the red carpet for the film’s debut.

Mitchell was inspired to pen the script after meeting a 92-year old fisherman who told her he was only afraid once during his career – when he was lost at sea.

The Disappeared was entirely shot off the coast of Lunenburg. Crew spent 12 hours a day filming from a 16 by 24 foot floating platform just a foot and a half off the water’s surface. The results are cinematographic beauty showcasing the sea in many forms, from sparkling splendour to the ephemeral.

If you manage to get your hands on a ticket for the Friday night or Saturday afternoon screenings, you’ll enter the world of six men floating in the middle of the North Atlantic after the sinking of their fishing boat. Their captain Gera…

AFF ~ The Angels’ Share

Of the more than 1,700 film submissions from across the globe, the Atlantic Film Festival has selected The Angels’ Share for its Opening Gala. The Scottish comedy, directed by Ken Loach, is a superb selection to kick-off the film fest as it elicits universal appeal.
In a unique rags-to-riches tale, Robbie has barely avoided being sent back to prison just ten days before the birth of his son. Instead he is ordered to complete a community payback order. While he cleans up cemeteries and paints community centres, he bonds with several fellow offenders along with the program’s supervisor over whiskey. Robbie realizes his nasal passages are especially adept at deciphering between different malts and blends. He and his fellow “dregs” manage to use this skill to outsmart affluent connoisseurs for life-altering financial gain.

The Angels’ Share is a light-hearted film with glimpses of both unsettling violence and belly-laughter hilarity. Performances by Paul Brannigan (Robbie), Siobhan Reilly (…

Sweeney Todd!

Neptune Theatre in Halifax kicks-off its 50th season this week with the timeless Victorian-era melodrama Sweeney Todd. Artistic Director George Pothitos takes us behind the scenes.

Why the decision to start the season with Sweeney Todd? We have patrons who love musicals and patrons who love drama, so what better way to embrace both by starting the season with a work of art that not only is on the top 100 list of musicals but a work that is highly theatrical and embodies drama, comedy and music.Simply put, it represents all that is Theatre.

Are there any particular challenges with this production? Yes, musically it is incredibly challenging for the actor/singers and musicians. Stephen Sondheim’s music is known for its complexity and sophistication and this score in particular gives the cast a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate their considerable talent.

What can audiences expect to experience during the run? A wonderful production that is visually and aurally exciting.

How did this year…

The Stanfields!

Can-Celt rockers The Standfields are release their sophomore recording, Death & Taxes on September 18. The band will be on tour this fall, including a stop this weekend as part of Summersonic 2012 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Recently we spoke with vocalist Jon Landry.

Are the reasons that you do what you do the same today as they were when you started? Yes. It's a love of music that drives us. Our focus is more refined, but the drive still comes from the same place.

How have you grown as songwriters and performers since the last recording (Vanguard of the Young & Reckless)? I think subtleties have become more important to us as writers and players, even though one might not initially pick that up after listening through Death & Taxes once.

What was the recording process like for Death and Taxes? It was a huge learning experience. It was the first time we had ever worked with a bonafide producer. Mike (Fraser) really put us through our paces. I think we came out of the process …

Say It With Me

Grand Theft Bus Say It With Me Released August 28, 2012
Do you ever notice that acquired tastes (like red wine, olives or even a particular human being) end up being more delicious than flavours immediately enjoyed? Such is the case with Grand Theft Bus’ fourth album. Say It With Me becomes more bracing with each additional listen.The Fredericton-based band’s intricacies – an individual riff, a powerful bass-line, a rich blend of vocals, a powerful lyric– are continuously revealed with each rotation. Additionally, every song is distinguishable - a different soundtrack for each of life’s scenes.“Gold Mine’s” goosebump-stirring vocal harmonies, for example, accompany the classic underdog’s comeback. The alternative warm embrace of “Shadow Sleep” may play in the foreground of a reflective walk at night. Which song will relate to your current being? Acquire the taste of Say It With Me and soon you will become addicted. ~ Michelle Brunet


After excommunication, divorce, prostitution, and drugs, a sixth-generation Utah Mormon reclaims his kids and Donny Osmond smile. Confessions of a Mormon Boy - running until September 9 as part of the Atlantic Fringe Festival in Halifax - is an inspiring true story told with humor, song, and The Book of Mormon. Recently we spoke with wirter and performer Steven Fales about his triumphant solo show.

How long have you been involved with theatre and in what capacity? I’ve been involved in theatre since I was a senior in high school. So that’s getting to be a long time. I’ve done everything from Shakespeare to musicals. I have a Master of Fine Arts in acting from the University of Connecticut. But I never knew life and the arts would land me in the world of solo performance. I seem to specialize in one-man plays now. I love it.

What are the challenges of the profession/vocation? What’s great about solo performance is that the show travels well and I can play just about any space you give me. …

Cross Your Heart

Most in Atlantic Canada’s theatre community are likely familiar with Amanda Campbell. As the voice of TWISI (The Way I See It), the young Haligonian has covered and reviewed performances both across the region and in Toronto. Her latest creative effort, Cross Your Heart, debuts Monday night at the Pier 21 Museum Railside Theatre, as part of the 22nd Atlantic Fringe Festival.
How long have you been involved with theatre, and in what capacity? I started acting in school musicals when I was eight and began taking classes at the Neptune Theatre School when I was eleven. The first time I participated in the Atlantic Fringe Festival was actually with the theatre school in a collective creation called Two Planets in 1998. I went to Dalhousie University and the University of Toronto and got a BA and MA in Theatre Studies, which is where I started playwriting. I wrote a 30 minute musical called Waiting For Bernadette for the Dal Playwrights' Cabaret in 2006 and have since written two very s…