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Theatre Baddeck is bringing back in-person theatre for their sixth season, after having to cancel their last season due to COVID-19.
“Like so many theatres, it was really tough for us to not have a season in 2020,” said Theatre Baddeck co-artistic producer Christy MacRae-Ziss. “We are so grateful to live and work in Nova Scotia where case numbers have stayed relatively low. It is the hard work of our public health officials and Nova Scotians that gives us the optimism to proceed with a season in 2021 under public health restrictions that will keep artists and audiences safe.”
But there will be changes, explained co-artistic producer Hannah Ziss. For one thing, the two-metre distancing requirement reduces Theatre Baddeck’s seating capacity by almost 70 per cent.
“With such reduced capacity, we have to project much lower earned revenue for 2021,” said Ziss. “Therefore, we couldn’t proceed with the ambitious four-show season we had programmed for 2020. However, we are delighted to be producing two shows from that lineup and hope to bring the other two to our stage in 2022 or beyond. And this is still an ambitious season. We are, for the first time, producing a holiday show in December this year. We are so excited about this project and the impact it will have on our local community.”
“Outside Mullingar” by John Patrick Shanley will run from July 15-Aug. 7. It follows Anthony and Rosemary: two middle-aged, introverted neighbours living in rural Ireland whose families are engaged in a land feud. “Outside Mullingar” is a Tony Award-nominated work about how it’s never too late to take a chance on love. This production is presented in partnership with Lost & Found Theatre.
“Where You Are” by Kristen Da Silva will run from Sept. 2-25. Its presenting sponsor is Baddeck Lobster Suppers. This new comedy by Canadian playwright Da Silva follows sisters Glenda and Suzanne, who live together in their Cape Breton home, and Suzanne’s daughter Beth. Beth has come home with a secret and the sisters have some life-altering news of their own.
“I believe Where You Are will be a lovely balm to an audience who will have been through some pretty terrible months,” said MacRae-Ziss.
“It’s a funny and touching life lesson in taking things a day at a time, appreciating all that life offers you, finding beauty and humour in every moment, and understanding the importance of being where your loved ones are. This is the perfect year to offer this show to our patrons.”
“Charles Dickens Writes A Christmas Carol” by Richard Quesnel will run from Dec. 2-11. This Canadian adaptation of the holiday classic tells the story of Scrooge and his ghostly visitors in a fresh way with Charles Dickens himself as a central character.
“It’s a celebration of the charity and benevolence of the Christmas season,” said Ziss. “And it is full of beautiful music, dance and humour. It’s a perfect family-friendly holiday show.”
This production will be a unique professional-community theatre hybrid with professional designers, directors and actors in key roles and local community volunteer actors filling in the remaining cast and crew roles.
“We are so excited about this project,” said MacRae-Ziss.
“We know that the local talent is there, and we can’t wait to work closely with them on this wonderful adaptation.”
More details will become available in the coming weeks on how to get involved, but Ziss and MacRae-Ziss are encouraging anyone who is interested to get in touch now.
“If this even sounds a little bit intriguing, send us an email at [email protected] and we would love to chat with you,” said Ziss. “You do not need to have any theatre experience to be part of this project — all that is required is interest.”
Ziss says they are grateful to those who kept their tickets and season passes and sponsorships from 2020 for use this year.
Theatre Baddeck will be in touch to clarify the specifics of how their passes/tickets will be applied to 2021.
“It’s emotional for us to announce this season ... because it represents hope, optimism and a huge leap of faith,” said Ziss. “But we believe in the importance of theatre and storytelling in our communities, which is why we are willing and excited to put in the hard work of producing a safe season of theatre under the current public health protocols and restrictions. We encourage anyone who believes in the power of art and wants to support the difficult task of making this season happen, to buy a season pass today.”
All performances will take place at 24 Queen St., Baddeck. Tickets and season passes are on sale now. More details can be found at www.theatrebaddeck.com or by calling 902-412-7122.
Presenting sponsors of the season are Seaside Communications and Seddi Canada.
Theatre Baddeck is a non-profit professional theatre company based in Baddeck. It is run by the mother-daughter artistic producer team Christy MacRae-Ziss and Hannah Ziss.
Elizabeth Patterson is a culture and health reporter at the Cape Breton Post.