This week, Highland Arts Theatre will conclude its inaugural Winter/Spring Season with the debut of a new romantic comedy by local playwright Scott Sharplin: First Time Last Time. But the adventure doesn’t end there.
The local production will run May 14 to 16 at 8pm with an additional 2pm matinee on May 16. Then in June, the team will pack into a van and head to Toronto, where the play will receive a two week run at the historic Theatre Passe Muraille, one of Toronto’s most beloved theatre venues.
Written by Cape Breton playwright Scott Sharplin, First Time Last Time received its world premiere at Edmonton’s Shadow Theatre in March 2015. Now, for its Eastern Canadian premiere, Highland Arts Theatre brings together two of the most talented and versatile performers on the island: Wesley J. Colford (Ben) and Jenna Lahey (Airlea). Colford is the Artistic Director of HAT, and recently appeared in Punch Up. Lahey, the recent winner of a Boardmore One-Act Festival award (Best Supporting Actress), last graced the HAT stage in The Lieutenant of Inishmore.
On the decision to bring the show to Toronto, Colford was adamant that it was important to show the rest of the country the great local work that has been happening this year. “What we’re doing here is for us – for Cape Breton – first and foremost. But exciting things are happening and being created and it’s exciting to be able to share that with the broader theatre scene.
“This is the perfect show to tour. It’s funny, it’s heartwarming – it really captures the essence of what it means to form a relationship in the 21st century. It may be set in the Maritimes but the themes are universal. It’s the whole package; a life story. Plus, it’s a two hour show with only two actors – we can fit everyone in the same vehicle!”
The team will use the Sydney production to help raise funds for the tour production costs, as well as promoting their online fundraising campaign through the popular “crowdsourcing” website, Indiegogo. Supporters can pledge money in exchange for “perks” including personalized souvenirs and tickets to the show in either city.
Following the Sydney production, audiences will be treated to musical performances each night: Jordan Musycsyn on May 14th, James FW Thompson, Alicia Penney and Dave Daix on May 15th,
and John-Paul and the Grassfire on May 16th.
Highland Arts Theatre is encouraging new audiences to come to the last performance of the Spring Season by offering a “First Time” promotion in the spirit of the show. If you are a “Highland Arts Theatre Virgin”, you can get two tickets for the price of one!
The Sydney production will be licensed and audiences are warned of Adult Language and some Sexual Content. Tickets can be purchased at the HAT Box Office (open 9am–5pm, Monday-Friday), over the phone at (902) 565-3637, or by visiting highlandartstheatre.com.