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Showing posts from April, 2014

Miss Caledonia

Desperate to escape the stall-cleaning, hay-baling drudgery of 1950s life on Rural Route 2, Peggy Ann Douglas dreams of becoming a Hollywood movie star and she will start her journey to the top by winning the local pageant. Melody Johnson stars in Miss Caledonia, which runs until May 11 at the Neptune Theatre in Halifax.
When and why did you get involved with theatre? I grew up watching old films and going to theatre as a child. My mom named me Melody because she adored the musical theatre.
Are they the same reasons you do it today?  I love theatre and music and visual art. In times when so many things are digital it is refreshing and wonderful to watch and listen to performers live onstage

What inspired Miss Caledonia? My mothers' life as a young girl on the farm and her quest to be an actress via the pageant circuit like so many others (Debbie Reynolds, Lee Meriweather, Diane Sawyer - even Oprah)
What are the challenges involved with putting on this production? Performing all of the cha…

The Stillborn Lover

Until May 10, the Theatre Arts Guild in Halifax presents The Stillborn Lover, Timothy Findley’s dramatic exploration of political power, sexuality, personal conflict, and emotional turmoil. Recently, AE spoke with actor Stuart Hiseler about the production.
How did you get involved with this production? Gisela O’Brien, the director, had asked me quite some time ago to read a script she was thinking of directing. In the past, Gisela has given me the opportunity to work on wonderful roles and I know her to have a clear, insightful and personal connection to the pieces she directs. I was very happy that my schedule was open and that I had the opportunity to audition and ultimately work on The Stillborn Lover with Gisela and the wonderful cast and crew she assembled.
Tell us about your character. Harry Raymond is a foreign Ambassador for Canada. At the top of the play he had been recalled from his last posting in Moscow for reasons that are unclear. Harry personifies a diplomat, putting his du…


This weekend, Live Art Dance in Halifax closes out its 2013-2014 season with three works, including Nutshell from Halifax’s own Rhonda Baker. Recently we spoke with her about what audiences can expect.

When and why did you first become interested in dance? RB: I began taking dance lessons when I was nine; a friend of mine was in a combination class at Maritime Dance Academy (Ballet, Jazz, Tap), and I thought I would try it out too. After discovering Modern dance, I became very serious about pursuing it more intensively. What I enjoyed about dance was the physicality, self expression, and interpretive qualities within the structure of any given movement phrase. I really attribute my growing interest in dance to having passionate teachers throughout my training.
Are they the same reasons that you continue to be involved today? RB: My reasons for continuing with dance as a profession are not the same as when I began, but the seed remains. In the way that your ideal of love can evolve as it …

Body Abandoned

Mocean Dancehas been playing a leading role in the renaissance of Halifax’s contemporary dance scene, so it’s only fitting they should headline Live Art Dance Production’s season closer with two other bright lights: the stunningly talented Rhonda Baker and hip-hop sensation,The Woods! Recently AE spoke with Mocean Dance’s Sara Coffin about this weekend’s performance (April 24-26).
“…there is something for everyone. A surreal shape shifting digital culture inspired journey performed by Mocean, an insane and physically intense character performed by Baker and some smoking hot hip hop by the Woods.”
When and why did you first become interested in dance? SC: I have always been interested in dance as long as I can remember and I have been interested in choreography equally as long. I have always considered myself a choreographer even as a young dancer. Choreography, dancing making, and asking questions through physical research is how I make sense of the world.
Are they the same reasons that …

Mayworks Halifax Festival 2014

The 5th annual MayworksHalifax Festival of Working People & the Arts runs from April 23 to May 2nd. The festival stems from May 1st which around the world is recognized as International Workers’ Day or May Day. Mayworks Festivals are held in various cities and seek to bring workers and artists together; an eclectic range of events showcase art, in various forms, that explore social, environmental, economic and other justice issues.

“First of all it's a way for workers in general to recognize artists as cultural workers that share a common struggle for decent wages, healthy working conditions and a vibrant, relevant culture that reflects their lives,” says Mayworks Halifax organizer S├ębastien Labelle. “It's also a way to invite artists to produce works of art that reflect the interests of workers, equity-seeking groups and people in poverty.Works of this nature often have difficulty finding venues and support, so the festival provides a vehicle for artists to address politic…

Author Mark Sampson

Many of us aspiring novelists will often say, “If I only had time…”

Like, “If I won the lottery or when I retire, then I will sit down and write my ‘greatest life’s work’.”
It’s clear with genuine writers that lack of time is merely an excuse.  Instead the story is and must be written now. PEI native, Mark Sampson is such an example. He routinely wakes up early to write for hours before going to his day job. He returns to his writing projects during evenings and weekends. It is not just dedication. Sampson’s literary offerings have been and continue to be valued by industry professionals and readers alike. The award-winning writer has had short stories and poems published in numerous literary magazines, and in the Spring of 2015 his anthology, The Secrets Men Keep, will be released by Now or Never Publishing. This fall, Sampson’s second novel, Sad Peninsula, will be released by Dundurn Press. This ambitious piece of fiction intertwines the history of comfort women exploited by Japanese s…