“OutFest was launched seven years ago in Kitchener. And it really was in response to [how] our community hadn't had a gay bar in 10 years. And those gay bars have always acted as a multipurpose space: Where we can hold comedy shows and just gatherings; drag shows and things like that,” explains Mulè, saying the decision to relocate OutFest to Halifax was a straightforward one: “When I moved here, I started to see some similarities. I was doing a lot of research before moving, and I noticed that some of the queer bars here were closing—and other businesses as well. I noticed that [the 2SLGTBQ+ theatre festival] Queer Acts had not been active for a number of years. And I thought: We'll have this festival and the wheels are kind of turning, as a way to relaunch it here. And everything just kind of fell into place.”
The event, which includes film screenings and original plays created by members of Halifax’s 2SLGBTQ+ community, runs from April 26 to May 1. The juried theatre pieces on offer includes Halifax indie theatre linchpin Colleen MacIsaac's newest play, the grief-and-astronomy-streaked A Beginner's Guide to the Night Sky. Can You Remember How We Got Here, a play about queer love and embodiment by emerging playwright Katie Clarke—who is making quick work of establishing herself as a name in the realm of feminist-lensed theatre—is among the other exciting offerings.
“I think that there's just such a variety that I hope when people are leaving, they're just sort of, 'There's someone that I don't see on stage' or 'There's a story that I was hoping someone would talk about' and then they can see that represented,” Mulè says.
Get the full OutFest schedule online via Page 1 Theatre's website.