How the Light Lies (On You)
New Pants Project
How the Light Lies (On You) follows the lives of Florine Stettheimer (1871-1944) and her sisters, Carrie and Ettie. The Stettheimer sisters — affectionately known as “The Stetties” — were an intensely private and close-knit group of creatives. Over the course of her life, Florine developed a body of work and aesthetic that reveled in excess, colour, and femininity. By the end of her lifetime, however, she asked Ettie to burn all of her paintings, or else to bury them with her. How the Light Lies (On You) opens with a recollection of this request, and explores the emotional avenues that may have led to Florine’s desire to obliterate her creative work.
The New Pants Project is a group of emerging artists Julia Schultz, Edie Reaney Chunn, Anna Shepard, and Kirsten Bruce. They share an interest in the non-literal, the poetic, and the innovative, and create theatre in a heightened style of lightness and radical softness.
Journey to the Zone: A Sci-Fi Musical Adventure
Friends First Productions
In the year 3020, Earth has crossed over into the DIGITAL REALM, a digital purgatory in which humanity’s online personas are trapped in an endless cycle of fear and distraction ruled by Zonasi, a virus of the Digital Realm. As humanity wanes in its new existence, Jax, an unlikely hero, must journey deep into cyberspace to unlock the secrets of the Perfect Pixel, the energy source of the Digital Realm. Alongside a social media android, Robopal, Jax must overcome their fears in order to free humanity and bring peace to the Digital Realm. A Sci-Fi Synthesizer Space Musical, Journey to the Zone examines our relationship to our online world, as well as the possibilities and limitations of our digital existence.
Friends First Productions is a newly formed multimedia production company composed of Stevey Hunter (they/them) and Peter Sarty (he/him). Most recently Friends First produced Kings & Queens, an EFT MicroDigital piece. Keep your eyes peeled for more friends in the future!
The Villains Theatre
Live digital durational performance
Shortcuts are little acts of defiance. Despite what route we are told we should follow, we use shortcuts to find our own way. Call in with your favourite shortcut and have it turned into a map created live by our team of three helpful assistants.
The Villains Theatre is dedicated to creating transformative theatrical experiences. Our work is vibrant, provocative, and full of play. We collaborate with creators who inspire us as we strive to grow artistically and share our work with new audiences. We believe that the more accessible our spaces are, the better our theatre will be. We are committed to providing opportunities for artists of all levels of experience, addressing systemic injustices, and contributing to the national theatre landscape. This will be the Villains first project with Eastern Front since our workshops of 'The Blazing World' in 2017!
Digital, Choose-Your-Own-Adventure, Physical Theatre
As life on Earth continues to grow complicated and scary, one person manages to escape the gravity well of humanity. Floating above it all, Space Girl transmits her new-found freedom back to the surface, stirring incendiary questions in her viewers: What does it mean to be living on Earth right now? And if we can leave… should we?
Space Girl is an interactive digital play that goes beyond the typical “Zoom show” in order to bring you high quality, real-time performance. Space Girl follows a “choose-your-own-adventure” format, making each audience member’s experience unique.
Hyperloop Theatre aims to create innovative and exciting performance art that embraces the ever-evolving technologies that surround us by inviting them into our creative processes. Spurred on by theatre’s migration to online platforms during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Hyperloop seeks to refine and develop new methods of creation made possible thanks to modern technology, whether virtually or within brick-and-mortar theatres.
Hyperloop also understands that the performance world has often failed to offer accessible experiences to all. It is our aim to create inclusive spaces (whether physical or virtual!) that evolve to fit the needs of our audiences.
Digital / film / theatre
"I deserve respect."
I write these words five times a day. I write them along with other affirmations like "I am brilliant" and "I love myself." I started this practice twelve years ago. I’ve written "I deserve respect" every day, five times a day, for twelve years. And somewhere along the time-line I started to believe it. And that's when the real struggle began.
Quietly is a digital theatrical experience. It is a personal account of growing up in a world rife with misogyny. It explores the subtle erosion of self-worth and value through living with the sometimes unintentional bad behaviours of guilty cis-men, and the systems we built which ensure our participation in normalizing cycles of abuse.
to The Artist's Way.
to 'Reality Bites.'
to the steadfast hope that if we share our stories, our whisper culture may become obsolete.
Following its premier at Stages, Quietly will be available on Eventbrite.
Quietly acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.
Margaret Muriel is a freelance artist. She has worked with EFT in a variety of ways over the years, most notably co-pro-ing with Forerunner Playwrights' Theatre on past 'Stages' annual event: Pitch It!
faux pas (and other things)
faux pas is a contemporary circus piece designed to be performed on the flights of stairs and lobby floor of the Alderney Theatre. Inspired by our collective experience since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, “faux pas” reminds us of what is possible when a small group of people are sequestered away from polite society for too long.
Faux Pas Coffee Project, originally created by Jayden Gigliotti and mentor juggling coach Samuel Roy, follows a character, who is perhaps a bit too caffeinated - he buzzes around in the kitchen playing with household items, constantly shifting from idle to active errands.
Dualing Roots is contemporary circus piece by Dawn Shepherd, an African-descended artist of mixed heritage living in Nova Scotia. The theme of the piece speaks to the need to centre ourselves and to embrace the wisdom imparted to us by our ancestors. Through wisdom and understanding, we are able to shine a light on oppressive forces and negative experiences to help bring about positive systemic change.
Shapes and Colours are All I Hear is a recorded interpretation of a live installation of aerial straps, cymatics, light, and sound designed by Ryan Gray. The movement, the sound, the water and the metal, the light and the sand, the colour and the shape. We aim for highs, we rise from the lows. Our vibration, our frequency, made visible.
Breaking Circus is a Nova Scotian company that produces works of professional contemporary circus. Its current company of artists, the Breaking Circus Collective, is co-directed by Dawn Shepherd and Ryan Gray, partners in circus and partners in life. Breaking Circus sets and breaks their own rules in order to create, explore and engage with the full spectrum of our human experience. The collective is excited to bring their unique blend of circus and physical theatre to EFT's 2021 Stages Theatre Festival.
Tea & Conversation: a snack-sized fishbowl chat
Tea Time Creation Co.
In the summer of 2020, in response to the BLM movement, Tea Time approached 4 BIPOC artists about having a candid conversation around the world of theatre, dance, and film and what it means to be an artist of colour living and working in Nova Scotia today. A fishbowl* format was decided on, and from there, a 90 minute conversation occurred. Here are some 1- 5 minute segments from that conversation.
*Fishbowl: A fishbowl conversation is a form of dialog that can be used when discussing topics within large groups. The audience outside the fishbowl listen in on the discussion.
Tea Time Creation Co. is a collaborative, game-based, circus trained group made up of James MacLean, Gina Thornhill, Kathleen Dorian and Ailsa Galbreath. Our aim is to generate energy, push boundaries with audiences, create new connections, and above all, create JOY.
Tea Time began as a work of promotional art for the Magnetic North Theatre Festival (2014) and has continued to live and breathe through various avenues. We have performed at events for Motion Ball (Canadian paralympic team fundraiser), Narratives in Time + Space, and Antigonish Art Fair.
Club Inclusion Theatre Company
Do you feel like Netflix has taken over? Do you miss clicking through TV channels to see where you might go? Well, let us take you back to the good old days! The days when you sat down in front of the TV, and didn’t know what you were going to get. Maybe you would get a little comedy, a little romance, or maybe even some horror!! Anything is possible with your remote! Oh, and don't you forget those amazing commercials!! Grab a seat and enjoy some classic TV Channel Surfing with Club Inclusion Theatre Company.
Club Inclusion Theatre Company is a dynamic group of talented performers. We include everyone in our productions, and encourage our members to step out of their comfort zones and really put themselves out there! This programming ethos leads to some truly unique and one of a kind performances. Productions like Pirates of Penzance Inc, a corporate twist on pirates; The Quest Fantastic, the ultimate adventure to save a bus driver; or even Ghostbusters!, the wackiest haunting you have ever seen. These professional productions were done in partnership with EFT and the Stages Theatre Festival, and we are so grateful for their continued encouragement and support. We continue to work our hardest through the ups and downs of the pandemic to make quality entertainment that speaks to all!
Hello City does Stages!
PWYC TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE
Hello City is here to bring their monthly shenanigans online for the Stages Festival! Local Guest interviews! Short form games! All 100% improvised and inspired by this city we love to live in.
Hello City is a improv troupe based out of Halifax, NS (Kjipuktuk). Hello City originally began as a monthly improv show at the Bus Stop Theatre. Each show features a local Haligonian who tells stories about their life in Halifax, which Hello City uses as inspiration for the improvisation. The troupe is comprised of eight members: Gil Anderson (she/her), Liam Fair (he/him), Henricus Gielis (he/him), Stevey Hunter (they/them), Colin McGuire (he/him), Beth Poulsen (she/her), Shahin Sanjari (he/him), and Peter Sarty (he/him). Since their inaugural show in June of 2017, Hello City has produced many shows in Halifax including The Book Club and Lords of Fogtown. The Book Club was remounted in 2019 for Dramafest and the 2019 Stages Festival. In the summer of 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic, Hello City hosted outdoor performances in conjunction with Shakespeare by the Sea. Hello City continues to navigate live performances during the pandemic by hosting online shows on their YouTube channel. Hello City’s goal is to create improv in their beloved city, to share their knowledge and to open up more improv opportunities to others.
POP-UP LOVE PARTY
Zuppa Theatre Co.
PWYC TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE
What is love?
Pop-Up Love Party reimagines Plato’s Symposium in its quest to define love with all its plagues and pleasures by employing aerobics, holding a kangaroo court, exposing audience passions, and pumping out an infectious pop ballad that will mend broken hearts around the world.
Though we still can't be together in person, we can pop online, pour ourselves our bevvie of choice, hunker down and debate about the true nature of love.
Zuppa brings you the *live*, online version of its acclaimed show. It’s a philosophical feast, a drinking party, and a theatrical experience so unique it could only come from deep within the pulsing Zuppa heart.
Pop-Up Love Party was developed in part through The Collaborations at Canada’s National Arts Centre while they were Eastern Front Theatre’s HRM Artist in Residence.
Based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, we aim to make extraordinary experiences that provoke the consideration of new perspectives and ideas. We prioritize questions over answers, and the discovery of possibility over the depiction of what is. This compels us to experiment with new forms and grapple with relevant questions of our time. We attempt to do this as generously as possible and have developed a unique collaborative process that favours the intuitive over the formulaic and thrives on the play between the imagined and the real.
With each new project we attempt to do something we don’t know how to do and work with collaborators who bring new life experiences, perspectives or skill sets to the table.
We make shows for Halifax and for places far away, with the support of The Canada Council for the Arts, Arts Nova Scotia, and The Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage, and Arts Halifax. Zuppa Theatre Co. is an affiliate member of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT).
Halifax Theatre for Young People
#IAmTheCheese is the first staged reading of a new script, and a 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, and it’s a relationship 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.
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, will tour to schools and theatres later in 2021.
Gale Force Theatre
Crypthand is a play inspired by the 19th century diaries of Anne Lister which documented her life and relationships with women. The play explores Lister’s relationship to her first girlfriend, Eliza in her early teen years. A cast of three takes on an ensemble feel playing the nuns, schoolgirls, local politicians, and characters from Greek mythology. What does it mean to live a life in code?
Gale Force Theatre was started by emerging artists, Franziska Glen and Lily Falk. Based both in Kjipuktuk/Halifax and Upper Lahave, Nova Scotia, their work spans productions for children and adults that includes new Canadian works, devised productions, and puppetry. Their first production Crypthand (2019) won the Best Original Script award at the Halifax Fringe Festival. It has continued it's development through EFT's Playwrighting Unit and PARC. In summer of 2020, they created two outdoor COVID safe shows, Late Night Radio with The North Barn Collective and A Tale on Two Wheels, a show for very young audiences delivered to parks on tandem bicycle.
David French’s Leaving Home
Matchstick Theatre Company
Leaving Home, set in the late 1950’s, tells the story of a Newfoundland family that has emigrated to Toronto and is struggling to redefine itself. The plot begins on the eve of Bill Mercer and Kathy Jackson’s wedding, a union that is the result of the teenage couple getting pregnant. When the Mercers and Jacksons get together for a drink before the rehearsal dinner, the situation quickly dissolves into a combative argument. Meanwhile, Bill’s older brother Ben plans to leave the Mercer home and move in with the newlyweds in order to gain some much desired independence. He wants to be free of his parents, particularly his father Jacob, who regularly belittles Ben for not living up to his toxic standards. More withdrawn than his younger brother and questioning his conception of masculinity, Ben is the heart of French’s drama; the character, like the play, has newfound relevance in light of contemporary understandings of self-determinism and identity. French’s personal depiction of the fraught relationship between parents and their children, caught between opposing worlds of understanding, continues to speak to what it means to be part of a family.
Matchstick Theatre is an emerging, professional, Merritt-nominated, Halifax-based theatre company made up of three core members: managing director Chelsea Dickie, artistic director Jake Planinc, and financial director Alex Mills. We revitalize classic Canadian plays and produce challenging contemporary theatre, striving to ignite, affect, and ultimately transform our audience with every production. Each member of our team assumes a role in production: Chelsea stage manages, Jake directs, and Alex produces. In 4 years, Matchstick has produced 8 Canadian plays, offering a platform that supports emerging and established local artists. We have collaborated with 7 local and nationally renowned playwrights, 15 backstage theatre artists and designers, and 23 local actors. Matchstick is a driving force in the emerging theatre scene in Halifax and we are excited to continue offering passionate and challenging productions.
Love, Peace and Hairgrease: the Musical
Charles Taylor Theatre & Media Arts Association
Lauren Johnson takes over the legacy of her grandmothers’ salon and renames it, “Love, Peace and Hairgrease” Hair studio plus; an Ebonics term meaning “bye”. This venture has come at a great cost. When they told her she couldn’t, she did anyway. How does one find Love and Peace in the midst of Hairgrease life storms? Say bye to … fear, infidelity, old habits, relaxers, wigs, weaves, and stressed HAIR!
The Charles Taylor Theatre and Media Arts Association (“Our Stories, In Our Voices”) is a not-for-profit cultural association that produces The Emerging Lens Film Festival and presents theatre productions. Our mandate is to educate, empower and inspire by honouring the influence of African Canadian and other cultural creatives bringing recognition to their work. ;To acknowledge the educational power of video, media arts and theatre that is rich in wonder, honest compassion and wisdom. ;To present the unique work of our cultural creatives and to create a larger appreciation for their cultural stories.
So Not Punk Rock
Rolling Bold Productions
When word gets back to Jane that the city’s local music legend is back in town, Jane is sent into a downward spiral as a LITERAL elephant walks into the room. Falling into old habits, Jane nearly misses the Fairafest audition and tension is in the air. On the verge of a break-up due to creative differences, it is announced that “Spicy Death Cats” will not only be playing Fairafest but also headlining it! Jane and Alex try to reconcile their differences until the festival line-up is announced and they realize who they're playing with. Inspired by their new friend Brittany, Jane tries to confront the elephant in the room. Devastated by the lack of support from their bandmate and the festival, Jane quits the band and calls out Alex onstage. Jane and Brittany decide to start a band of their own and play a show on the same day as the festival because, “fuck that festival! Right!?” About to perform onstage, Brittany finds Jane unravelling on a park bench and it appears that Jane still needs to deal with the elephant in the room.
In partnership with the EFT and PARC Playwright's unit, Rolling Bold Productions is excited to bring you a reading of Sam Horak's new play, "So Not Punk Rock" at the 2021 EFT Stages Festival
BARE Theatre Co.
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.
THE STATION is a new play-in-development by BARE Theatre Co.
BARE Theatre Co. is a Halifax-based collective consisting of Ryan Gallant, Briony Merritt, Emma Vickers and Abby Weisbrot, four emerging actors and playwrights. Our collective was first brought together in 2019 at Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre, where we enjoyed devising and performing original short plays throughout the community. Since then, BARE has continued to explore community-centred stories inspired by Atlantic Canadian settings. We are currently participating in the RBC Emerging Playwrights Unit with Eastern Front Theatre and Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre. Our play-in-development, The Station, draws inspiration from Hazel Hill’s Trans-Atlantic Cable Station (now demolished), weaving together characters from across four generations.
Workshops & Community Sessions
Skills Exchange & Community Capture Sessions
EFT Accessibility Project
The team behind the Eastern Front Theatre Accessibility Project is looking to speak to artists who have faced barriers to being welcomed in the Nova Scotia performing arts scene because of who they are. On June 4th, 9th & 10th we will host free Skills Exchange sessions led by local underrepresented artists, followed by Community Capture sessions to start the conversation about what roadblocks to access exists and to imagine how we can move forward together as a collective of artists. All sessions will be held over Zoom, with ASL Interpretation and CART provided.
We recognize that this industry has an ideal artist in mind and those who match this image face a different path to inclusion than those inside the norm. Examples of underrepresented artists we are hoping to connect with and learn from are 2SLGBTQIA+, IBPoC, newcomers to Canada, those with visible and invisible disabilities, neurodivergent, Deaf or hard of hearing, blind or partially sighted, Mad artists or artists whose gender sits outside the binary, who work and live in Nova Scotia. We also hope to hear from underrepresented artists who live rurally as we realize that most conversations center the Halifax experience.
Our team of Community Consultants is made up of underrepresented artists including Nat Chantel, Leelee Oluwatoyosi Eko Davis, Carmen Lee, Raymond Sewell, Kirsten Olivia Taylor, Maeghan Taverner, and is led by April Hubbard.
Adapting Text for Theatre
The Lakeside Players
$25 per person, limited space
Adapting plays can be an absolute joy; it's all the fun of writing a play without having to decide troublesome details like "where does this take place?" and "what are the characters' names?". In every story lies a literary puzzle ready to be taken apart and rebuilt into an exciting new piece of art. Join us and learn more about how we adapt plays to be accessible, irreverent, and most of all, FUN.
In this workshop, we will review the basics of story structure, identify crucial themes and explore how to modernize your favourite fairy tales and myths. After that, we will jump into the theatrical possibilities of your story and guide you as you begin to write and adapt your new piece for the stage. On the final day, we will read what we have created thus far and reflect on how to move forward beyond this workshop. Get ready to write, play, and get silly!
This workshop will take place over three days on Zoom.
Please click here to register.
Responsive Theatre Workshop
$10 per person, limited space
Are you a theatre maker interested in audience interaction and participation? A creative technologist or game developer who wants to experiment with the physical? A storyteller with a background in biology?! Get ready to take game design beyond 1’s and 0’s in this online workshop. Connect with other makers through group work, physical activities and story sharing!
Interactive theatre games:
- are playful spaces co-created with a participating audience
- are framed by rules (social and mechanical) that express the relationship between participants
- are built upon meaningful choices that impact the performance
Over the course of the three hour workshop we’ll play a short interactive game together, go over some tools+methods and culminate with a mini ‘game jam’ to put our ideas into practice!
If you are interested in interaction within performative and community game settings, this workshop is for you.
This workshop will take place over Zoom.
Please click here to register.
Music and Lyrics By Lunchtime: Songwriting Under Pressure
Garry Williams of DaPoPo Theatre
$10 per person
In this workshop, participants will get a glimpse into the mind of a chronically underpaid composer lyricist, writing on contract without much time. How do you find inspiration when you haven't any? How do you find just the right lyric – or at least one that will do the trick? How do you write an award-winning melody – or at least one that that works for the occasion? With practical exercises, time for discussion, and examples drawn from popular Musicals and my own work, this workshop will share some tactics, tips, trick to write functional music and lyrics (for theatre), and get it done by lunchtime.
Sign up here: https://forms.gle/hXoVRPwT5w4wHrnR6
Juggling with Jayden
A free, 15-minute workshop with Jayden Gigliotti of Breaking Circus, using whatever you happen to have on hand!
This workshop will take place over Zoom.
Register in advance here.
Queer Theatre Ensemble (QTEies): Stages of Emancipation
The members of Queer Theatre Ensemble (QTEies) speak about about their inception, their challenges and struggles, and their emancipation as an autonomous, radically queer theatre collective. Originally a DaPoPo Theatre initiative, the QTEies partnered with Shakespeare by the Sea before reorganizing as an autonomous collective. In this symposium, members discuss some of the challenges they have faced as queer artists, the strategies they have employed for creating safer spaces, and the visions they hold for the future, as well as the practical and political implications of inclusivity and representation. The symposium will conclude with a question and answer period for attendees.
The symposium will raise issues of workplace trauma, harassment, discrimination, racism, and transphobia.