#IAmTheCheese by Josh MacDonald
A teenage boy named Adam struggles to rediscover his own fractured memories, but, with every fresh puzzle piece, Adam is also reassembling his belief that a massive, faceless danger might threaten everything he’s ever loved.
#IAmTheCheese is a new, award-winning reimagining of the classic 1977 novel for young adults. In the play, set in present day, a badly traumatized teenager named ADAM FARMER struggles to recall deeply suppressed memories of his past, through a series of interviews with a female analyst named BRINT. Beginning with just a wisp of a children’s nursery rhyme—The Farmer in the Dell—Adam begins to reassemble his sense of self, bit by bit. Eventually, Adam remembers the social stigma of his preteen years, when his parents inexplicably banned the use of the internet: no cellphones, no computer, no wifi, etc. But Adam dares to begin a relationship with a girl from his school named AMY HERTZ, which blooms in cyberspace. The more that Adam remembers about Amy, however, and about his own parents, the closer the boy comes to recognizing that a massive, faceless danger might be surrounding him still... Robert Cormier’s suspenseful novel has been a YA staple for decades, and this all-new adaptation is the winner of a PGC Tom Hendry Prize—The Sharon Enkin Theatre for Young Audiences Award 2020.
"Josh MacDonald is really onto something exciting in this radical adaptation of Robert Cormier's novel I Am The Cheese. Intended for young people, #IAmTheCheese is utterly relatable to all, in this personal and gripping look at the wild west of Big Data. Together with a crack team of actors and a bright new digital designers we’re dreaming up digital and live ways to bring this play to local audiences. We’re looking at original ways of storytelling with digital image, using any and all possible projection surfaces - including the actor’s bodies themselves. We’re in our second phase of work together, and are striving to give a sneak peek into what we hope will be an ambitious future production for this award-winning new play." — Tessa Mendel, Halifax Theatre for Young People Artistic Director
Halifax Theatre for Young People
Halifax Theatre for Young People is HRM’s only full-time professional theatre for young audiences. Since 2009 we have aspired to create meaningful, engaging theatre experiences that stimulate the imaginations, hearts and minds of young people and their families. Some of our most popular productions include The Gravesavers, an adaptation of Sheree Fitch’s YA novel; Redfish, a comedy about depression; Hannah Moscovitch’s Where Poppies Blow; Nine Compositions:InterActions with Art (nine short plays that took place in galleries throughout the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia), and Brundibár, a children’s opera originally performed in Theresienstadt Concentration Camp during the Holocaust.
HTYP has a long history of collaborating with Eastern Front Theatre to offer programming for young audiences for their Next Stages Theatre Festival for Families. Touring throughout the Atlantic Provinces, we encourage critical thinking through the development of educational materials that explore each production’s complex and challenging themes. As we work with playwrights to develop relevant and stimulating plays for young audiences we endeavour to ignite the unlimited capacity of youth for empathy and an understanding of diverse human experience. Our upcoming production, Mi’kmaq Stories: Past and Present, created entirely by Mi’kmaq Artists, is in post-production and will be available to schools in 2022.
A New Work by Santiago Guzmán
Two immigrants have spent more years in their adopted country than their homeland, but now they have to deal with the consequences of what happens when the only person who has grounded them to their cultural identity is gone.
Join the artists for a moderated chat as they come out of a workshop process to incorporate design aspects into a new script.
TODOS Productions is a local theatre company based in St. John’s, NL, that seeks to develop, produce, support, and promote the work of Black, Indigenous, Artists of Colour, 2SLGBTQAI+ artists, landed immigrants, and artists with different abilities within Newfoundland and Labrador — a very needed company in our province.
Oy Vey, My Baby's a They by Rooks Field-Green
Oy Vey, My Baby's a They is a queer absurd traumedy that delves into the inner workings of an adult dysfunctional family while they attempt to prepare their home for a massive party. The central character, Child, is a 16-year-old closeted genderqueer oddball who really wants to be famous. Nora, Child’s older sibling, and Mother are having a profound disagreement that has been tearing the family apart. The crux of their argument centres on Transness and second-wave feminism. Nora wants to kick down the gender binary and to be loved while they do it. Mother wants to prove that women are powerful and should be proud of their power. What mentality will win in this emotionally wrought game? Father doesn’t really care as long as he can stay out of the way and get the house clean. Underlying the family drama is a house that is full to bursting and ready to crumble unless someone can fix it in time.
Listen to a full reading of this new play, with design elements worked in.
Rooks Field-Green (HE/THEY) is a white, Jewish, and trans/non-binary theatre artist settled in Kjipuktuk. Rooks has a combined-honours degree in Psychology and Theatre Studies from the University of King’s College/Dalhousie University. Rooks has been developing this play for a lifetime and has been privileged to work on this project through Tarragon Theatre’s Young Playwright’s Unit, the Bus Stop Theatre's Writer's Circle, and Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre's home delivery program and script development workshop. Rooks also produces, writes and directs queer children’s radio plays (Frog and Toad are Together: Ice Cream, A Swim, Cookies). Rooks’ writing focuses on childhood development, transgenerational trauma (with queer and Jewish lenses), and subversive depictions of gender and queerness. Rooks is also the Chair of Eastern Front Theatre’s Board of Directors and feels honoured to volunteer for EFT in their mission to support emerging artists like himself.
THE STATION by Briony Merritt
Four stories, four time periods, one location: a Trans-Atlantic cable station on the edge of Nova Scotia. A group of survivors shelter in an abandoned cable station, desperate to outrun an unnatural storm on the horizon. As they try to repair the station’s messaging system, we catch glimpses of other stories – echoes – caught within the station walls.
Inspired by the history of the Trans-Atlantic cable station in Hazel Hill, Nova Scotia, THE STATION follows a group of survivors in the not-so-distant future, and the generations of stories that still echo within the station walls.
BARE Theatre Co. will present and discuss the development process of both the lighting/projection design, and the creation/integration of music.
BARE Theatre Co.
BARE Theatre Co. is a Halifax-based collective consisting of Briony Merritt, Abby Weisbrot, Ryan Gallant, and Emma Vickers. BARE strives to reimagine the expectations of theatrical works with a focus on intimate, experimental, and folk-inspired stories.
After first working together with Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre in 2019, BARE has since continued to devise and perform community-centred stories inspired by Atlantic Canadian settings. BARE is a recent participant in the RBC Emerging Playwrights Unit with Eastern Front Theatre and Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre. Their work-in-development, THE STATION, had its first public reading at Eastern Front Theatre’s 2021 Stages Festival. This past summer, BARE also staged it’s been a while at Halifax Fringe Festival (“Hot Ticket Award”) and devised an original composition for 50 Things, an app-guided, interactive art adventure created by Zuppa Theatre Co. and the Ecology Action Centre.