A couple of years ago a few folks put their heads together with a mission to bring live theatre to downtown Sydney. They called themselves the Cape Breton Stage Company and they set about doing just that. Now, the group is partnering with the community’s highly recognized and longstanding Boardmore Theatre, and the creative inspire-squad otherwise known as The Coastal Arts Initiative to fill your things-to-do list for the rest of July and August. Yes, this summer there will be a run of plays right downtown as the Play This Summer Theatre and Art Festival takes over St. Andrew’s Hall (40 Bentinck Street, on the corner of Prince St., between George and Charlotte).
It kicked off July 2 with Daniel McIvor’s Marion Bridge, a story of family, memory, choice, expectation, and contemplation. It is being produced by the Boardmore Theatre, directed by Todd Hiscock, and runs Thursdays and Saturdays at 8pm until August 15.
Friday – fight night. No, not the insane scrum in the beer tent kind, but the original dramatic theatre paying tribute to boxers Rockabye Ross and Jack Munroe kind. Fridays offer a double header, with Boardmore’s presentation of Rockabye Baby, written by Paul MacDougall and directed by Todd Hiscock, and Cape Breton Stage Company’s presentation of With a Strong Hand: The Jack Munroe Story, written and performed by Wayne McKay. These plays are not only strong dramatic performances, but they explore an interesting aspect of Cape Breton’s history, and the sport of boxing. Two plays for the price of one! The evening starts at 8pm. The Friday Fight Night runs from July 3 to August 14.
Sundays = Fundays, well starting July 19 anyway. The Cape Breton Stage Company presents The Last Laugh (before we all go broke…). This comedy of sketches, and music will be a good workout for the abs. Aaron Corbett, Mike McPhee, and Lindsay Thompson take on the economic crisis. Jeanne Matthews joins the three writers to dish out this barrel of chuckles every Sunday at 8pm from July 19 to August 16.
And wrapping the summer up is the Stage Company’s Prime Minister for a Day written and directed by James FW Thompson. Running August 19 to 22 at 8pm, this tale of a slack-arse kid from the Cape who becomes a political pawn is sure to amuse.
The St. Andrew’s Hall Theatre is also home to an amazing art exhibit for the entirety of the Play This Summer Festival. The Coastal Arts Initiative, a group of young artists based out of New Waterford, are creating quite a positive buzz with their combined talents. This exhibit features photos, paintings, drawings, and mixed media pieces.
Every play is $10 for students and seniors, and $15 general. If you’re buying a general ticket anyway you may want to head to Trio beforehand for a bite to eat. If you buy dinner you get to buy your theatre tickets there for $10.
Tickets are available at the Cape Breton Curiosity Shop of Charlotte Street 902-564-4660 or the CBU Box Office 902-563-1652.