OCTOBER 21 - 30
LOVE, PEACE & HAIRGREASE
Book + Lyrics - Tara L. Taylor
Music - Tara L . Taylor, Charity Stairs, Mark Flowerdew & Ross Unger
Illustrations - Carmahn McCalla
Eastern Front Theatre and Charles Taylor Theatre & Media Arts Association are thrilled to present the world premiere of LOVE, PEACE & HAIRGREASE: THE MUSICAL from local playwright Tara Taylor.
LOVE, PEACE & HAIRGREASE is a play about love and transformation that celebrates afro-textured hair, old and new thoughts and techniques. When Lauren Johnson takes over the legacy of her grandmothers’ salon and renames it Love, Piece and Hairgrease (an Ebonics term meaning “bye”) the venture comes at a great personal cost. When they told her she couldn’t, she did it anyway. How does one find love and peace in the midst of hairgrease life storms? Say bye to fear, old habits, wigs, weaves, and stressed HAIR!
"Easily one of the most joyful, cheeks-hurt-from-smiling theatre experiences I've ever had!"
Deryl Amenya (he/him)
Graduate of the Breaking Through the Screens
or African Canadians film crew training program, Deryl has a background in sound design, audio mixing and production. He was a Sound Collaborator on the production of “The Mountain Top”, Neptune theatre (2019); Black Stop Theatre and “Hood Habits”(2022) for the Charles Taylor Theatre & Media Arts.
Wes Babcock (he/him)
SET DESIGN MENTOR
Wes is a queer set and lighting designer, production manager, and technical director based in Halifax, NS. If it lights up, bears weight, or needs a schedule, he’s your guy. The list of companies who’ve discovered this includes the likes of Crow’s Theatre, Talk is Free Theatre, Neptune Theatre, and Tapestry Opera. Favourite credits include The Woodcutter (Matchstick, Halifax - Set, Merritt Nominee), as well as the world premieres of Pleasureville (Neptune Theatre, Halifax - Set), Scavenger’s Daughter and Four Sisters (Paradigm, Toronto - TD), and The Little Prince Reimagined (Puzzle Piece, Toronto - Lights). Wes is currently studying Architecture at Dalhousie University in Halifax. Wes is a founding member of whatbywhen (WxW) where, with Crystal Lee, he is building models for sustainable production management and technical direction through praxis. He is the founding co-curator of Dark Day Monday, a Toronto-based monthly performance series featuring artists who break boundaries and defy expectation
Mark Bachynski (he/him)
DRUMMER / SET BUILDER
Mark is a professional drummer from Halifax/Kjiptuktuk, having worked with acts like Classified, The Caravan, Black Rook, D’ambrosia, Wayne Bedecki and many others. Mark runs Nightowls Studio, as a producer and sound engineer, and he devotes his spare time to his true passion: lamps, with Lighten Up Lamp Repair.
Martina “Teena Mariee” Brooks (she/her)
Martina Brooks aka Teena Mariee is known as a Fashion and Costume Designer, she is also the owner and founder of Hologram Designs. Martina is a major shareholder and co-director of ACE TV. Martina has worked on shows in the film and television series, one well known as “Diggstown” season 3. She also had the pleasure of working on the “Hood Habits” production in late August of this year. There’s a lot to this creative designer and her many talents, stay tooned.
Louis Anthony Bryan (he/him)
Louis Anthony Bryan is a theatre artist and educator from Trinidad and Tobago. He is currently based in Fredericton, New Brunswick, working primarily as a writer, dramaturge, and stand-up comedian.
He has taught with TNB since 2019, developing The Young Playwrights: an afterschool program for younger, emerging artists dedicated to the fundamentals of scriptwriting and storytelling.
An active and contributing member of his arts scene, Anthony has been affiliated with several theatre and film companies including Notable Acts, TNB Young Company, Rebel Femme Productions and Strike Pictures. As a stand-up comedian he hosts rooms and mics throughout the province, while performing at many of the annual arts festivals including Flourish and Shivering Songs.
This is his first musical and he would like to thank everyone for making this space possible. He’d like to dedicate all 8 of these shows to the family he’s found in New Brunswick. Thank you, Neomi, and Raine and Madigan, for the art you share, for all your love and support every step of the way, and for all the driving that had to be done to share this week.
Alison Crosby (she/her)
Alison is a theatre artist from Unama’ki (Cape Breton) and currently based in Kjipuktuk (Halifax). She was the lighting designer for Neptune Theatre’s inaugural RBC Chrysalis Project, through which she was the assistant lighting designer for Lo (Or Dear Mr. Wells) and The Color Purple. Other lighting designs include Dayboil (Ship’s Company Theatre), 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), Harmonia (Painted Dance Co.), Strike Tone, Synced Systems, Don’t Wake the Lions (Votive Dance).
Brenda Duran (she/her)
Brenda has been in the show business for 13 years wearing many hats in each department. She earned a BFA in Theatre Production and Design at York University and has worked all over within the GTA as a designer and technician. She currently lives and works in Nova Scotia. Her recent theatre credits: Glass Menagerie ( SJTC) Beyond the Sea ( VP), Fat Juliet( EFT), At this Hour (Zuppa Theatre), #iamthecheese (HTFYP/EFT).
Tracy Fanous (she/her)
Choreography credits: The Rocky Horror Show, Alice In Pantoland (Neptune Theatre) Miss N Me (Eastern Front Theatre); RENT, The Wedding Singer, Footloose, Newsies, Little Shop of Horrors (Edalene Theatre); Awards: 2020 Robert Merritt Award Winner- Outstanding Choreography (Miss N Me) Tracy is a choreographer, instructor and fitness coach living in Halifax. She is honoured to be part of this beautiful production and also proud to represent her Mi’Kmaq community. Special thanks to Tara for bringing me on and the cast and crew for making this journey such a blast! Special love to her husband Suey and family.
Mark Amadeus Flowerdew (he/him)
MUSIC DIRECTOR / COMPOSER
Raised in Dartmouth, Mark grew up in a house that always had a piano around, and thank goodness for that. He learned piano by ear from age 7 and gradually learned plenty more instruments, but his favourite hobby was composing. Mark has written for film & choir and leads music full-time at a LTC home. As a gospel songwriter, Mark has two solo albums: Lenten Carols (‘16) — eclectic songs inspired by Lent, and Let’s Go (‘21) — whimsical, old-timey, and ECMA-nominated. Mark loves being creative with a team. It’s his first time writing & directing music for theatre, and what a joy it’s been.
Kailin Glasgow (he/him)
Kailin is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and upcoming independent artist based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Kailin’s sound infuses smooth R&B vocals and sweet gospel melodies into crowd-engaging contemporary music and entertainment. Kailin’s first upcoming single “Turn This Maybe” is a contribution and love letter to his R&B and gospel roots.
Starting as a Gospel singer at his local church, Kailin is currently a full-time student at the NSCC Ivany Campus, focusing on Music Arts and Performance. After Kailin’s first year of school, he has secured shows all over Halifax such as Gus’ pub, and Serpent Brewery. Kailin is currently working on a Tiny Desk concert that will be hosted by the Halifax Central Library.
Kailin is a big fan of Madea, a series of live musicals directed by Tyler Perry. Kailin’s music and vocals have grabbed the attention of Canadian producer and director, Tara Taylor, and was cast as Coach in the upcoming musical, Hood Habits which will debut in 2022.
Sara Graham (she/they)
Sara (she/they) is a deaf and disabled accessibility consultant, comedian,
activist, improviser, actor, workshop educator, and executive director of the
Halifax Fringe Festival. Sara uses her work to advocate for wholeness in
accessibility. Sara’s goal is to create art and spaces that acknowledge and
address the need for inclusivity and accessibility for all. Sara graduated from
Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and minor in
Gender and Women’s studies. Through their work Sara hopes to create
theatre, art, and creative spaces that are radically accessible. They are
excited to be working with Eastern Front Theatre in creating accessible works
in the artistic community.
Notable Projects Include:
Pride Festival (Halifax Pride 2021 and 2022), MicroDigital project (Eastern
Front Theatre 2021), Stages Festival Online (Eastern Front Theatre 2021),
Observatory Mansions (Villains Theatre 2021), Adventures (Keep Good
Theatre 2021), Toronto Mississippi (Matchstick Theatre 2021), Fat Juliet
(Eastern Front Theatre 2021), Early Stages Festival (Eastern Front Theatre
2022), Mayworks Festival (Mayworks 2022), Global Toronto: Creating
Accessible Art Panel, Moderator (Small World Music 2022), Macrodigitals
Connections (Eastern Front Theatre 2022), Stages Festival (Eastern Front
Thaydra Gray (she/her)
Thaydra, also known as JupiterReign, grew up the youngest of four children. From the beginning of her life, she has been surrounded by music. She began singing in her fathers church children’s choir in Montreal, Quebec, directed by her mother, even before she could put together full sentences. Because of her special musical gifts and confidence, she was singing solos and leading many of the songs before she was ten years old. She has sung (as a soloist and choir member) with such accomplished choirs in Montreal, to include Imani Children of Light (directed by her mother), VOICES of Imani and Perpetual Praise. Each of these choirs were highly sought out throughout the Canadian Gospel Music scene. Because of her exceptional vocal gifts, commitment to her craft, and charming stage presence She also got the opportunity to sing background vocals with the legendary Pink Floyd; and was honoured to perform a special song with gospel icon, Donny McClurkin. She has also participated in various national talent showcases throughout the city. Her talents have not been restricted to the gospel genre, while a student a Royal Vale High School, in Montreal, She participated in the school’s GLEE CLUB, which under her leadership garnered 1st Place in City-wide Competition. She studied Musical Theatre training at the MSOPA (Montreal School of Performing Arts) under the guidance of some of this country’s leading actors and directors. She is currently enrolled at the Nova Scotia Community College, seeking a degree in Music Arts, in order to pursue a career in Musical Theatre.
She just released her first single “Don’t Wanna” and is currently working on her first EP, Intergalactic. With vibes centered around RnB and Neo-Soul music.
Christian Ludwig Hansen (he/him)
Christian is a Theatre Creator and Performer with special focus in Collaboration, Puppetry, Stage Combat, and Projection Design. He is from Northern Friesland by the German-Danish border and now lives in Kjipuktuk/Halifax. He is a recent graduate from the Acting program at Dalhousie.
Design Credits: FAT JULIET (EFT & SBTS), #IAmTheCheese (HTYP & EFT), The Proletariat (HAT), Glass Menagerie (ARC), Digidamara (B&B), At this Hour (Zuppa).
Tonya “Sam’Gwan” Paris (she/her)
Tonya "Sam'Gwan" Paris (she/her) is indigenous Black, Mi’kmaw and Cree. Her style is a mixture of who she is: feminine, Native and Indigenous Black. She puts herself in each piece. She is a traditional beader, quiller, and regalia designer, raised with her traditional Cree and Mi’kmaq cultures where she thrived and grew into who she is today ...learning her Cree language, the traditional teachings and background, sitting with elders, listening to stories, drumming, singing, beading and dancing. Fully immersed in her Black culture, with her exposure to Black activists like Rocky and Joan Jones gave her a strong sense of self and who she was a woman. After picking up a paint brush for the first time in 2015 her paintings have sold quickly all over the country. Tonya was the first artist to ever have and art show in the Paul O’regan Hall in the Halifax Public Library in Halifax in 2022. She a co-facilitator for The Proclaiming Our Roots program through York University and CHIR Teaching and digitizing Black and First Nations stories. You can see her work in such places as: "Hoopd Habitz" Set Design, 2021 Artist in Residence for NSCAD University - The Institute is of Slavery in Canada, Dalhousie University Architectural Engineering building, Dalhousie University Dentistry building, QEII Mental Health Unit, Dalhousie Legal Aid, Mi’kmaq Friendship Center, Spring Garden Rd., Cornwallis St., Agricola St., Halifax Regional Library, Alderney Landing Public Library, and many homes, offices, clothing and accessories across both Canada and the USA. With having her first solo art show in 2018, to winning Halifax’s Visual Artist of the Year (Bronze) 2017-2018, and now having sold over 300 pieces of her art, she knows sky’s the limit. @samgwan_the_artist
Tara L. Taylor (she/her)
DIRECTOR / PLAYWRIGHT / COMPOSER
East Preston, NS born; Manager of Light House GO streaming service; CBC Information Morning Cultural Columnist; Partner / Playwright/ Screenwriter / Director; Festival Director - Emerging Lens Cultural Film Festival; 2021; Recipient of the African Nova Scotian Music Awards Industry Development Award sponsored by the Black Business Initiative for her body of work in presenting musical theatre and film; a playwright, filmmaker, actress, Co-Chair - Women in Film & Television; Visual Arts Nova Scotia member, Owner/Stylist of The Braiding Lounge Salon. Tara is thrilled to finally be bringing Love, Peace & Hairgrease to the stage.
Madeleine Tench (they/she)
ANGEL (RADIO HOST)
Mahia’s passion for performance began in childhood; performing for family and friends. Over the years, Mahia dedicated countless hours to singing, musical theory, choir, drama classes and more in preparation for university and the artistic industry. Today, thanks to the Peace and Friendship treaties written in 1725, they continue to perform, live and work as a multidisciplinary artist near Kjipuktuk in Mi’kma’ki: the traditional, unceded and unsurrendered territory of the Mi’kmaq. A radically compassionate Queer Black, Indigenous, Nonbinary/Trans Woman of Colour, she is dedicated to equity, diversity, inclusion, decolonization and reindigenizing. They volunteer with the Villains Theatre, the Bus Stop Theatre Cooperative and the Queer Theatre Ensemble Collective (QTEs).
Natasha Thomas (she/her)
Natasha Thomas is an African Nova Scotian of more than 10 generations ascent. Natasha was the 2020 Shipwright Theater Company artist in residence where she developed the script “In The Eyes Of The Fire”. Commissioned by Eastern Front Theater In 2020 and launched in 2021, Natasha created and produced the micro digital short film “The Eyes of Nature”. Combining her love of puppetry, music, acting, and scriptwriting Natasha establish “The Beyond Imagination Puppet Crew” and curated the Puppet cantata “Freedom Runs”. Natasha performed at Pier 21, in the Jerry Brown production “Winter Solstice: Souls of Sirens”, performed in; “Beyond the Veil of the Sorrow Songs” at the Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts Stage in New York, as Addaperle in the Broadway In the Hood production of, “The Wiz” at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium and in various productions with the Charles Taylor Theatre Company. Natasha is a graduate of the Nova Scotia Community College Music Arts Program and current Artistic Director of “The Beyond Imagination Puppet Crew”.
Patricia Vinluan (she/her)
Patricia is a stage and production manager based out of Kjipuktuk. She has enjoyed many roles in live event production, having held positions in arts admin, festival coordination, production design, and technical direction. In her career, Patricia has been involved in the development of over a dozen world premieres, has collaborated on projects presented across Canada, and has toured internationally. In her work, Patricia is dedicated to implementing sustainable and ethical production practices and is motivated by a desire to establish safe and socially responsible work spaces for all community members. In art, she is most energized by projects that aim to transcend barriers both real and imagined. Patricia was raised on the west coast but has happily called Nova Scotia home for the past nine years.
Julia Williams (she/her)
Julia is thrilled to be performing again on the Alderney Landing stage with Eastern Front Theatre and Charles Taylor Theatre. Selected acting credits include King & Pawn (FibeTV), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Miracle Worker. (Neptune Theatre), Observatory Mansions (The Villians Theatre), The Mystery of Maddie Heisler, Bump, Hook Line and Sinner (Ship’s Company Theatre), The San Family, The Green Book (San Family Productions), and The Reversal of Peter Dawson (Stepping Stone).
Julia is fulfilling a bucket list item to work professionally with Kat McCormack.
I Love you Mom, Lily and Iylah.
Oh yeah… and the rest of my family who shall remain nameless.
Garry Williams (he/him)
Garry is a Halifax/Kjipuktuk based theatre artist, musician, and Artistic Director of DaPoPo Theatre. Recent acting credits include Polonius/Gravedigger in Hamlet (Shakespeare by the Sea), Andrzej in Skylark Song (Page 1), and Rue in 333 (Theatre Outré). He has appeared in Musicals such as The Last Five Years (About Time Productions); Mimi, or A Poisoner’s Comedy (Theatre Speak); A Little Night Music (Halifax Summer Opera Workshop); The Roaring Girl (Villains); and So… What About Love? (DaPoPo). He has been nominated for his performances in The Miracle Man (Two Planks and A Passion), King Lear (SBTS), and Tournament of Lies (Us vs Them). He composed original, Merritt-nominated scores for Pinocchio; Peter Pan; Twelfth Night; The Wizard of Oz (SBTS); The Jew of Malta (Villains); and KAMP (EFT/Neptune). Most recently, he composed music for Crypthand (Gale Force Theatre); Troubling Joy (North Barn Collective); and Play Building (Ship’s Company). He collaborates regularly with Alderney on their year-round programming such as the Christkindl-Market and Kiwanis Festival.