The world of live performance is returning to the stage at last—and it feels like a big exhale. Halifax’s indie theatre scene was a cultural life raft during COVID, since it had already been exploring innovations to the form that made digital theatre not only possible but actually worth watching. One of the brightest examples? Zuppa Theatre, which app-based shows to its repertoire years ago. (If you’re wondering what that means, these shows explore a story through a narrated walking tour.) Zuppa is keeping with this innovation this fall with its newest app-based show, 50Things. Co-artistic director Ben Stone explains it as “a scavenger hunt to 50 art pieces around Nova Scotia,” some of which are short films, paintings, spots by local musicians and special guests. A work that’s in support of the Ecology Action Centre, you can download 50Things from EAC’s website.
But if you’re elated at the thought of an IRL show, you’re in good company. The Bus Stop Theatre, which had a soft reopening for the Halifax Fringe Festival last month, will throw a reopening fundraiser party October 23. Since buying its building last summer, the Gottingen Street theatre has been undergoing massive renovations to create a second performance space in the basement and make the space fully accessible. “Prior to these renovations, The Bus Stop was known kind of by default as one of the most accessible venues in the city, but that's only because everywhere else is so inaccessible,” Sebastien Labelle, executive director of TBS told us in September. Making the most of the improved space? Kitbag Theatre and Page 1 Theatre, two new-to-the-scene production companies arriving in Halifax from New Brunswick and P.E.I. Both companies will be staging shows on The Bus Stop stage this fall.
Meanwhile, Eastern Front Theatre is celebrating a return to roots as it packs its bags for Dartmouth’s Alderney Landing Theatre. It’ll debut a new work there this month, directed by EFT artistic director Kat McCormack.
And let’s pour one out for the doomed work-life balance of Neptune’s Jeremy Webb: the theatre’s artistic director will also direct all the shows it stages this season—including the upcoming, must-see ghost play Woman In Black. It’s also going to be a busy fall for the multidisciplinary artist Liliona Quarmyne, who not only curates this weekend’s Nocturne Festival (which you can read more about in our Fall Arts Preview) but also kicking off a new season at Kinetic Studios, where she is artistic director. The dance stalwart’s upcoming November Open Studio Series (Nov 12-13) will be a blended IRL and online performance, featuring works by Olivia MacLean and Vanessa Furlong and April Hubbard, among others.
Also in the world of dance, The Woods, Halifax’s first professional hip hop dance company, celebrates a decade of keeping the beat this year—and we’re still trying to copy the company’s choreography from its last performance.