This year marks the 44th season of Theatre Antigonish featuring an assortment of new plays and unique ways the St. F.X. and Antigonish communities can collaborate in the spirit of dramatic creativity onstage.
According to Andrea Boyd, artistic director of Theatre Antigonish, 2018 will entail “a very ambitious season with very large-cast shows.”
Theatre Antigonish, located at the Bauer Theatre on the St. F.X. campus, will be hosting a number of plays this year, some of which are still open for auditions.
“It’s a season where anyone who wants to be involved can be,” Boyd said. “We need huge casts and lots of people backstage and in costumes, so it’s a really good time for someone new to get involved.”
Boyd noted the combination of younger and older, experienced and fresh, is what keeps things interesting with Theatre Antigonish.
“It’s really lovely watching the generations of people that interact onstage, and see the friendships that are formed,” Boyd said. “It’s a great chance for students to get to know people in the community here, so they’re not completely isolated only as students – they’re part of the community, and vice-versa.”
This year’s acts will include Metamorphoses, a play written by Mary Zimmerman, based on a series of original mythical poems by Ovid.
“It will be a large cast, and a beautiful play,” Boyd said, adding one of the most interesting parts of this play is, “it will entail a pool onstage, with actual water as part of the performance.”
Metamorphoses will be running from Nov. 7 to 18.
Later this season, closer to Christmas, Theatre Antigonish will collaborate with the Antigonish Choral Ensemble to bring to life a Christmas classic, with the performance of It’s a Wonderful Life, Dec. 8 and 9. The melodic Christmas production will be a Theatre Antigonish rendition will be based on the radio play version.
The first performance of 2019 will be The Shoe Project, on Feb. 8 and 9. It will feature a writing and performance workshop for local immigrant women who tell stories of their arrival in Canada through a pair of shoes.
The Shoe Project is the product of a collaboration between Arts Health Antigonish and the Antigonish County Adult Learning Association (ACALA).
In March, Theatre Antigonish will host Sunshine in Leith, a play that features the music of the Proclaimers. Sunshine on Leith is the story of a pair of Scottish men returning from military duty in Afghanistan, trying to reintegrate into life in Leith, Scotland.
“It’s a beautiful story of two young men returning home. It’s about family, identity, loss, love and finding your way,” Boyd said. “The scenes are interwoven between 18 songs by the Proclaimers. I really think Antigonish is going to love it – who doesn’t love The Proclaimers?”
Later in March, the stage will open up to an assortment of performances with the One-Act Play Festival. A variety of entertainment will be on display, from aspiring artists and theatre groups alike.
The festival entails people from the community and university creating their own one-act play and performing it at the Bauer Theatre. They can use already available works, or they can come up with their own.
“It can be dance, music, but it’s really their project, and we support it,” Boyd said. “People have done adaptations of famous works, written things from an original perspective, found short scripts and put those on. There’s been dance, there’s been some music – I think someone even did a magic show once.”
Another attraction Boyd hopes will bring people to the theatre are the monthly Saturday night cabarets in the Green Room bar; “a really warm, welcoming place for students and community to perform and come watch,” she said. “The bar is open, so you can come have a drink and listen to some fabulous music.”
Boyd said, “it was lovely to see the young people come in who have never been in the building before, coming in and asking, ‘is this the theatre and the right place?’ It’s wonderful to welcome new faces into the theatre.”
And for those who look to the stage longingly, looking for an opportunity to improve their confidence onstage, look no further than the improv classes to be offered at the Bauer Theatre.
These classes, led by Laura Teasdale and Justin Gregg, will help people overcome the awkwardness barrier through spontaneous, improvisational thinking and acting. The lessons will take place Thursday evenings, from 6 to 8 p.m., Oct 4 to Nov. 22, at Immaculata Hall on the St. F.X campus.
Tickets to the plays this year are $15 for regular tickets, $12 for senior tickets and $10 for student tickets. There is also the option to purchase a pay-what-you-can preview for each play.
Tickets are available at theatreantigonish.com, and at 902 867 3333. Season passes are also on sale. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out more about auditions or volunteering opportunities with Theatre Antigonish, refer to the email address or phone number listed above.