AUGUST 17 - 27
BY CATHERINE BANKS
An intimate look at the resilience and beauty of a Nova Scotia island community in the aftermath of tragedy.
Aaron makes his living as a fisherman off the coast of Nova Scotia. When tragedy falls from the sky, his quiet island community is thrown into chaos. Aaron searches the water trying to make sense of what's happened, until he finds a silent young woman amongst the wreckage.
Inspired by the local response to the Swissair 111 disaster that struck off the coast of Peggy's Cove in 1998, Downed Hearts is a world premiere from award-winning Nova Scotian playwright Catherine Banks.
DOWNED HEARTS FIELD TRIP
Join us for an all day Field Trip to see Downed Hearts, with a few fun stops along the way!
SUNDAY, AUGUST 27
9:00 AM - Depart Alderney Landing
10:30 AM - That Dutchman's Cheese Farm Animal & Nature Park
12:00 PM - Lunch at Harbour View Restaurant
2:00 PM - Downed Hearts Closing Matinee
4:00 PM - Post-Show Chat with Playwright Catherine Banks
5:30 PM - Stop at Masstown Market
7:00 PM - Arrive Alderney Landing
“Long after the Swissair disaster, and after the stories of the victims and the victims’ families had been told, there were quieter stories about the struggles of the fishermen who went out that night to rescue people but instead spent days in a grisly recovery operation. In 2006 I started thinking about how a fisherman might heal from the trauma of that experience and suddenly a young woman, waiting on an island, came into my imagination. Writing the play has been an exploration of how healing comes to us in mysterious ways.”
— Catherine Banks, Playwright
Downed Hearts, 2023
(Photo by Stoo Metz)
CAST & CREATIVE TEAM
Zach Faye is a performer, designer, and maker based in Punamu’kwati’jk/ Dartmouth, NS. He’s thrilled to be back at Ship’s Company! His last appearance at the Ship was in Chasing Champions in 2016. Zach would like to thank the teams at the Ship, Eastern Front Theatre, and Matchstick Theatre for their hands in making this production possible. Love to the creative team, this fine cast, Meg, Oli, & the rest of the family.
Recent Theatre: S.T.O.P./ Altar (set design, Theatre New Brunswick), The Crevice (set
design, Bus Stop Theatre Writers Circle) The Rocky Horror Show (Brad Majors, Neptune Theatre), The December Man (Jean, Homefirst Theatre) Film/ TV: The Sinner (NBC), FROM (MGM)
Martha Irving (she/her) is an award-winning actor who has been performing, directing, and producing theatre for over 40 years. Her last appearance at The Ship was as the director of “Half Cracked”. Born in Moncton, NB, and trained at LAMDA in England, Martha has performed across Canada. She now makes her home in Parrsboro (Awokun, Mi’kma’ki) and is delighted to return to The Ship to work with this group of fantastically talented artists on this new work by Catherine Banks. With love and gratitude to Anthony for his unwavering support. And to The Ship, EFT, and Matchstick for making it happen. “Art can connect all of us like connecting dots.”
Sherry has worked across Canada as an actor, director, writer and producer for over thirty years. For the past 20 years, Halifax has been her home where she has been a regular on the Neptune stage, along with Festival Antigonish, Ship’s Com pany, Mulgrave Road Theatre, and TNB. In 2008, she received the Merritt as Best Actress for her role as Winnie in Beckett’s Happy Days. Sherry’s credits include six years in the acting company at the Shaw Festival of Canada, performances with GCTC, the Grand Theatre, the Royal Alex, MTC and TNW. Her play, Woman of Labrador: The Elizabeth Goudie Story, has been published in a Newfoundland and Labrador high school textbook. In 2016 she received her MFA in Theatre Voice Pedagogy from the University of Alberta and has taught at U of A, Mount Allison and Dalhousie. Sherry specializes in dialect coaching and was the dialect coach for the Netflix series, The Mist, and most recently, for Neptune’s Billy Elliot.
Ursula feels so lucky to be in such talented company working on an exciting new play at Ships this summer. Previous favourite theatre credits include touring and collaborating with Zuppa (Archive of Missing Things, tiny), Footnotes (Matchstick) Schoolhouse (Merritt Nomination) and Macbeth by Fire (Two Planks), touring North America and Singapore with Mermaid Theatre (The Rainbow FIsh). Favourite Film and TV credits include Bone Cage (ACTRA/ SNS Win) and Sugar Highs (ACTRA/SNS Nomination). Up next: Dalhousie Schulich Law School (Ahh!). Big thanks to everyone who made all these dreams come true.
Born in Halifax and raised in Ottawa, Glenda is a first-generation Indo-Canadian of Goan decent with a Specialization in Theatre Performance BFA from Concordia University. A theatre, voice, film and television actor, Glenda has performed on stages across Canada - including Don Quixote (Arts Club/Centaur), The Jungle Book (Citadel, ManitobaTYP), A Line in The Sand (Tableau D’Hôte), Jonno (Factory). Twice awarded the Montreal English Critics’ Circle Award for Best Actress, she has collaborated with established companies and acted in & produced independent theatre. Her ability to play varying styles and dedication to the positive normalization of actors of colour on stage & screen earned Glenda a wide range of roles and experience. Tv/film credits include CBC’s Murdoch Mysteries and sitcom Men With Brooms; Saving Hope (CTV), Grey’s Anatomy (ABC); as well as starring in Christmas and Lifetime suspense movies. Glenda is thrilled to be a part of this very special Nova Scotian production.
ELENA “ELM” REYES
Elena “Elm” Reyes (he/they) is a queer, Latinx, AuDHD performer, arts administrator, and spoonie. Elm was born and raised in London, Ontario (Treaty 6 territory) now residing in Tkarón:to, and is a recent graduate of the University of Windsor BFA Acting program. They are alumni to the Nightwood Innovators Program (Nightwood Theatre), Emerging Artist Roundtable (Theatre Gargantua), TENT (Toronto Fringe), and Taking on The World (Soulpepper Theatre). Recent theatre performance credits include: Sweeney Todd (Talk is Free), Trojan Girls and The Outhouse of Atreus (Factory Theatre, Outside The March).
Plays by Catherine Banks have been performed across Canada and internationally and include: Miss N' Me; It Is Solved By Walking; Bone Cage; In This Light; Three Storey, Ocean View; and Bitter Rose, which aired on Bravo! Canada. Her work is poetic, darkly humorous, courageous, and beautifully theatrical. Bone Cage premiered in 2007, and went on to win the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama in 2008. It Is Solved By Walking won the Governor General’s Literary Award in 2012, was translated into Catalan by Tant per Tant, and was one of three Canadian plays to tour Catalonia in 2012. Bone Cage was made into a film directed by Taylor Olson and has garnered many awards on the Indie Film circuit. She has recently adapted Ernest Buckler’s novel The Mountain and the Valley for the stage. Thanks CK! Love to Rilla and Simon. This is for Mary!
Samantha is thrilled to be back in Parrsboro. She directed the multi-award winning production, Dayboil, last year and in 2019 appeared as Mandy in Odd Ducks. Her work has appeared in Canada at Neptune Theatre, Kick at the Dark Theatre, 2b Theatre, Gail Force Theatre, Eastern Front Theatre, Theatre Baddeck, Magnetic North Festival, Summerworks, Push Festival, Festival Antigonish, Spark Festival, Chester Playhouse, Sudbury Arts Centre, Theatre Yes, Live Bait Theatre, Mulgrave Road Theatre; and abroad at La Mama in New York City, Fire Exit Theatre in the UK, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Spoletto Festival in South Carolina and LitLive Festival in India. Selected TV/Film Acting Credits include: Justus, Look at Me, The Third, Diggstown, Moonshine, Night Blooms, S&V, Trailer Park Boys, Haven, Queer as Folk, Legends and So Close. Samantha holds an MFA from York University and has taught and directed at Sheridan College, Mount Allison, York, Acadia and Dalhousie Universities.
KAT McCORMACK (she/they) is a theatre artist from Dartmouth/Punamu’kwati’jk with a passion for playful, devised work and collective creations. Since training at Dalhousie University, Kat has helped to create over fifteen new works with companies such as Zuppa Theatre, Shakespeare by the Sea, Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, The Villains Theatre, and others. Kat has been named "Best Theatre Actor" in The Coast's Best of Halifax issue five times, and is a four-time nominee for the Theatre Nova Scotia Merritt Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actor and Outstanding Direction. As the Artistic Director of Eastern Front Theatre, Kat aims to create a supportive and accessible environment for artists to push the boundaries of Atlantic Canadian storytelling, as well as their own artistic practice.
After twelve years working as a Stage Manager, Elsa (she/her) made the switch to Arts Administration and hasn’t looked back. She has been with Eastern Front Theatre for four years.
Set Design Assistant
Brenda has been in the show business for 14 years wearing many hats in each department. She earned a BFA in Theatre Production and Design at York University and has worked all over the GTA as a designer and technician. She currently lives and works in Nova Scotia. Her recent theatre credits: Mischief/ Colonial Park ( YPCo,Neptune Theatre), Miracle on 31st Street ( Saint John Theatre Company), Glass Menagerie( ARC), Beyond the Sea ( Victoria Playhouse), At this Hour (Zuppa Theatre), #iamthecheese (HTFYP/EFT), Fat Juliet( EFT).
MacKenzie Cornfield (she/her) is an emerging theatre and video artist based in K'jipuktuk/Halifax, with a focus in video/projection design for live performance. Since graduating from the technical theatre and stage design program at the Fountain School of Performing Arts (FSPA), MacKenzie has helped to build and tell stories in live and digital theatre, dance, live music, circus, and film. MacKenzie’s select credits as a video/projection designer include Frequencies (HEIST, 2021), Mary Stuart (FSPA, 2021), Spring Tide Circle (Ship's Company Theatre, 2021), A Northern Lights Dream (FSPA Opera, 2022), Refraction (Breaking Circus, 2022), Crypthand (Gale Force Theatre, 2022), and Memories Beyond the Grave (Independant, 2023). More of her work can be found at mackenziecornfield.com
Sound Designer/ Composer
Jackson Fairfax-Perry (he/him) is an African Nova Scotian composer, producer, multi-instrumentalist and sound designer based in Kjipuktuk, Mi’kma’ki. Since 2021, Jackson has racked up numerous sound design and composing credits with theatre companies both locally and nationally, including Eastern Front Theatre’s sold out production of Stevey Hunter’s Fat Juliet, for which he won the 2022 Robert Merritt Award for Outstanding Sound Design. Recently, Jackson was announced as 2b theatre company’s 2023-24 RBC Emerging Artist in Residence, where he will have the opportunity to collaborate on 2b related projects, while also developing his own work with guidance and support from 2b.
Krista's design career began in the early magical tent days of the MV Kipawo. Since then, her work has taken her across the Maritimes and Ontario in many facets of professional theatre. Twice she has been nominated for a Merrit Award in costume design. Favourites over the years at the Ship include The Summer of the Handley Page, Road to Mecca, The Chairmaker, Mary's Wedding, and By the Light of The Moon. Krista has also created costumes for local amateur groups, skate shows and festivals. Her most recent design was for Home First Theatre's The December Man. Krista is pleased to return to the Ship this summer to design among new and old friends. She is also a resident artist at Art Lab Studios, where she creates a vast variety of whimsical folk and critters.
Alison Crosby (she/her) is a theatre artist from Unama’ki / Cape Breton and based in Kjipuktuk / Halifax. She is thrilled to be back at the Ship this summer for her fifth season! Alison has a Theatre Studies degree from Mount Allison University and was the first lighting designer for Neptune Theatre’s Chrysalis Project, assisting on their productions of Lo (Or Dear Mr. Wells) and The Color Purple. Alison’s previous lighting design credits include Dayboil (Ship’s Company Theatre, TNS Merritt Award Winner), Myth of the Ostrich, Lauchie, Liza & Rory (Theatre Baddeck), Urn (TODOS Productions), Footnotes, Joyride, The Woodcutter, The Little Years, Peter Fechter: 59 Minutes, Bone Cage (Matchstick Theatre), The Realistic Joneses (KAZAN Co-op), YAGA, House, John & Jen, See Jane Run (Highland Arts Theatre), Love, Peace, & Hairgrease (Eastern Front Theatre), Harmonia (Painted Dance Co.), Strike Tone, Synced Systems, Don’t Wake the Lions (Votive Dance), and Steel Magnolias, Gaslight (Watermark Theatre).
Set & Props Designer
Sue is glad to make her first visit to Ship’s Company Theatre to design a new play. Previous design work in Nova Scotia includes Catherine Banks’ It Is Solved by Walking, The December Man, Some Blow Flutes, Refuge, and The Glace Bay Miners’ Museum, all with Mary Vingoe. Her designs for Anne of Green Gables the Ballet premiered in Halifax in 2019. Based in Toronto, she has designed productions for theatre, ballet and opera across the country, including The Banff Centre, Citadel, Calgary Opera, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Stratford Festival, Tarragon, Canadian Stage and Young Peoples Theatre. Sue has designed for twenty-five seasons at the Shaw Festival, where her credits include Too True to be Good, Brigadoon, Arcadia, Ragtime and Saint Joan. She has just completed the new farce Liars at a Funeral at the Blyth Festival.
Jake Planinc (he/him) is the founding Artistic Director of Matchstick Theatre, Assistant Festival Director for the Mayworks Kjipuktuk/Halifax Festival of Working People & the Arts, and Coordinator of the Nova Scotia High School Drama Festival. Selected directing credits include: Eugène Ionesco’s Rhinoceros (Timms Studio Theatre), Annie Baker’s The Aliens (Theatre in Space); Aeschylus’ Agamemnon, Annie Baker’s The Flick (Bleviss Laboratory Theatre); Daniel MacIvor’s In On It, Catherine Banks’ Bitter Rose and Bone Cage, Don Hannah’s The Woodcutter, John Mighton’s The Little Years, Michael Melski’s Joyride, Henricus Gielis’ King of the Goats, and readings of David French’s Leaving Home and Joan MacLeod’s Toronto, Mississippi (Matchstick Theatre - Halifax). Jake has also worked as an assistant director, production manager, and workshop assistant. He is a graduate of Mount Allison University, originally from St. Catharines, Ontario. In 2023, he completed an MFA in Directing at the University of Alberta.
Kevin Olson (he/ they) - Kevin has called many theatres home, including The Charlottetown Festival, Lighthouse FT, Port Stanley FT, Theatre Orangeville, Theatre Aquarius, Vancouver Playhouse, Carousel Players, Young Peoples Theatre, Canadian Rep Theatre, Black Theatre Workshop and Smile Theatre. He has also toured internationally with Mermaid Theatre and Geordie Theatre. They have most recently worked on world premieres at Gale Force Theatre and The Kitchen Party Theatre Festival, and toured a couple of shows with Neptune Theatre TourCo. Kevin is so excited to be returning to Crypthand, and working with such a talented team! As always. he will continue to pursue ways to make the theatre process accessible, inclusive and enjoyable for everyone involved.
Assistant Stage Manager
Gina Woodward is a recent grad from the Stage Design and Technical Theatre program with a focus in Stage Management from Dalhousie University. She stage managed her graduating production of Peer Gynt adapted and directed by Alistair Newton. Gina most recently worked as the rehearsal apprentice on Billy Elliot at Neptune theatre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is excited to return to Parrsboro this summer as the apprentice stage manager on Downed Hearts. Past productions include; DayBoil Ships Company 2022, Dido and Aeneas/Aeneas and Dido FSPA 2020, Beyond Windows FSPA 2021, People Places and Things FSPA 2021, and The Science of Joy FSPA 2022.
Ben (he/him) is a carpenter, cyclist, and theatre-goer from Nova Scotia. Beginning with acting roles in high school musicals, Halifax Fringe, and Dal Theatre Society, he has since shifted towards setbuilding and technical roles. Ben has worked with the scenic and stage carpentry departments at Neptune Theatre for their 2022-2023 season, as well as Zuppa Theatre Co's The Movements. Earlier this summer he worked as assistant carpenter/assistant designer for Villains Theatre's Rain on the Parade. He is excited to be in Parrsboro to serve as Carpenter for The Ships Company Theatre's production of Downed Hearts.
Mary Vingoe has directed at theatres across the country including Canada's National Arts Centre, Tarragon Theatre, The Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Prairie Theatre Exchange, Alberta Theatre Projects and Neptune Theatre. She has been Artist in Residence at the The National Theatre School, The University of Alberta, The University of British Columbia, Mount Allison and Memorial Universities.
Vingoe's play Refuge was a finalist for the Nova Scotia Masterworks Award and was short listed for the 2016 Governor General's Award for Drama. Her new play Some Blow Flutes was nominated for Best New Play at the Merritt Awards in 2019. Some Blow Flutes and Refuge are published by Scirocco Press.
Vingoe is the founding Artistic Director of the Magnetic North Theatre Festival at Canada’s National Arts Centre in Ottawa, co-founder and past Artistic Director of Toronto’s Nightwood Theatre, co-founder and past co-Artistic Director with Michael Fuller of Ship’s Co. Theatre and co-founder with Gay Hauser and Wendy Lill and past Artistic Director of The Eastern Front Theatre in Dartmouth.
Mary Vingoe is the recipient of Nova Scotia's Portia White Award for artistic excellence. In 2011, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada for her contribution to Canadian theatre.