Cape Breton Stage Company co-founder Wayne McKay is pleased with how far the group has come since its 2007 inception. Now in their fourth summer season, The Cape Breton Stage Company is kicking off their 2010 summer theatre festival with weekly plays staged in downtown Sydney’s historic St. Patrick’s church.
True to its mandate, the downtown theatre co-operative has provided the CBRM’s urban spaces with theatrical productions and activities. “We’ve come a long way since our beginnings,” reflected McKay. “We have a great season established for the summer and we’ll hopefully grow our audience more this summer. From starting off with nothing and just doing plays wherever we could find space…we’ve really built a presence to the point where we have much more to work with.”
The stage company’s productions are usually carried out to make the best use of few resources. “It challenges people as theatre artists to really focus on the stories and acting…it’s kind of a neat challenge in a way, when you don’t have the money to pay for reams of lights and all sorts of technical things,” said Wayne, a fan of simplicity. “We would, of course, like to be in the position of having enough resources that if we wanted to do a bigger production and lots of technical stuff we could do that too.” he added.
For the 2010 Summer Night Theatre Fesitval, plays will run weekly on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.The Thursday show will feature James F W Thompson’s Live From the End of the World a sketch comedy of how various characters react to an encroaching apocalypse planned courtesy of the Devil. Audiences who enjoyed Thompon’s Prime Minister for a Day last year can get another fix of his unique sense of humor.
Friday nights will feature Pizza Passion, a romantic comedy by Wesley Colford. With young love, first summer jobs, parental expectations, and choosing one’s own path in life, Colford’s play promises “just the right amount of cheese.”
Saturday nights offer a pair of one person productions. In Pipe Dreams, playwright and piper Jana Gillis presents tourism culture in Cape Breton through the eyes and thoughts of a bagpiper as she performs outside the island’s gift shops and visitor attractions. McKay follows with his award-winning Echos from Dawn Fraser crafted around the works of labour poet and historian Dawn Fraser. The title is a tributary reworking of the title of Fraser’s Echos from Labor’s Wars, published in 1926 and rooted firmly in Cape Breton’s historical struggles between labour and capital.
Showtime each night is 8:00pm, in St Patrick’s Museum at 87 Esplanade, Sydney. Tickets are $10 and are available for purchase at the door or in advance at the Cape Breton Curiosity Shop. For more information about the Cape Breton Stage Company, visit capestage.ca