art and entertainment

Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre prepares to open 32nd season

Arts & Entertainment Online First

Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre is preparing to open its 32nd season, and audiences are invited to join along and Dream Big.

With four diverse shows on the Main Stage, an award-winning children’s story on the Family Stage, and a dynamic new initiative that will bring theatre out into the community, organizers are excited to once again push the theatre’s creative boundaries and present an entertaining program for all.

The 2019 program is filled with zany hilarity and poignant reality, brilliant fiction and heartwarming true stories, hopes and fears, and of course, music and comedy.

“Our season this year is filled with strong plays that dream big” says artistic director Andrea Boyd. “Original scripts, plays with music, plays with dozens of costumes changes and locations, and plays with challenging content are all part of the mix. Audiences will have an eclectic menu to choose from, and theatre artists will have a variety of challenges to delve into. All this, while presenting plays that are entertaining, engaging, sometimes risky, and sometimes just plain fun.”

The 2019 Main Stage opens on July 11 with the Canadian debut of Ben Hur by Patrick Barlow, a hilarious stage adaptation of the Hollywood epic, where four brave actors decide to take on the might of the Roman Empire. What could possibly go wrong?

Next in the lineup is A Brimful of Asha, a charming comedy by Ravi and Asha Jain, based on a true (and very Canadian) story of cultural and generational clash. This is a story about a match made in mom’s kitchen and – as a bonus for some lucky audience members – it is served with a side of samosas!

The third production for the Main Stage is The Goodnight Bird. This play is a dark comedy about old love and new courage, written by Governor General’s Award winner Colleen Murphy, who will travel to Antigonish for the opening show and a special Meet the Playwright event.

As a special presentation, Festival Antigonish has once again partnered with Path Productions and Laura Teasdale to bring the country music show Honky Tonk Blue: The Night Patsy met Hank. This play is a prequel to last year’s musical hit Being Hank & Patsy and will have a limited run of just six performances in August.

On the Family Stage, Festival Antigonish is excited to bring a play that is bigger (in scope and in heart) than any show that has been presented for our young audiences in recent years. If You Could Wear My Sneakers is a beautiful musical, based on the award-winning book by Nova Scotian author Sheree Fitch. It explores the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and is brilliantly told through the eyes of animals. This stage adaptation of the book is created by artistic director Andrea Boyd. The show will be directed by Laura Teasdale, with musical direction by Emery van de Wiel.

New this year is a dynamic community initiative, Theatre-on-the-Town. This will include a series of short original plays created by emerging artists from our Young Company, and presented in various locations around town throughout the summer at no cost. This experiment in devised theatre will allow a broader audience to experience the art of live theatre, and will add to the rich cultural vibrancy of Antigonish. We are also pleased to continue our Beyond the Stage series – including three play readings and two Meet the Playwright events – Relaxed Performances, and Pay-What-You-Can shows.

Tickets and season passes are on sale now, including a new PICK3 option for flexible subscriptions. The show schedule is available online at www.festivalantigonish.com and in the season brochure that is available at various locations in downtown Antigonish. The box office can be contacted by calling (902) 867-3333 or emailing boxoffice@festivalantigonish.com.