Queer Acts is acting up again

The queer theatre festival is under new management, revving up for Pride

Emerging Toronto artist Andre Prefontaine wrote and stars in (mE)dith Piaf, on this weekend.
Emerging Toronto artist Andre Prefontaine wrote and stars in (mE)dith Piaf, on this weekend.

There's been a big change at the Queer Acts Festival, but funnily enough, audiences aren't going to notice it.

"Queer Acts has become its own entity," explains festival director Adam Reid. "In previous years, it's been under the management of the Halifax Pride board. But with this change, we can be partners with Pride while having our own theatre-specific board."

The change means more opportunity to highlight Queer theatre and Queer artists throughout the year.  

For now, Reid is focusing on this year's jam-packed, four-day festival. "As usual, we're showcasing both established and emerging artists," he says. "They're really putting themselves out there; making themselves incredibly vulnerable with their shows this year."

This yeah's line-up includes Neither Love Letters Nor Moonlight by well-known poet and Coast contributor Shannon Webb-Campbell, which Reid describes as "exquisitely written"; an "odd and beautiful" one-man show called Ludwig&Lohengrin that has writer and performer Kyall Rakoz playing 20 different roles as he tells the story of a king whose feigned-madness allows him express his true self; Understudy, a "fascinating, hysterical and unsettling" show by Gillian Clark about a child exploring gender identity; late-night comedy by Bill Wood and Megan McDowell and two half-hour plays (The Boy in the Chrysalis and (mE)dith Piaf) by emerging artists.

 "The Emerging Queer Artists Program always offers some nice surprises. This year, there are interesting, unintentional parallels in the two pieces," says Reid. "Both feature larger-than-life characters and both use them as an outlet for personal expression. Both are very good–but that's intentional."


Queer Acts Theatre Festival
July 16-19
The Bus Stop Theatre, 2203 Gottingen Street
$12/$15

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