LunaSea Theatre Company seeks to give voice to women’s stories and perspectives and to showcase the rich diversity of female theatrical artists while creating essential, world-class theatre in Nova Scotia. Projects are artist-initiated, driven by creative passion and characterised by a constant striving for excellence and innovation.
LunaSea Theatre Company started in 2006 as a co-op production of “The Donahue Sisters” by Geraldine Aron at the TNS Studio Space on Agricola, which was picked up by Festival Antigonish for their summer second stage. The members of the co-op, 4 senior members of the Nova Scotia theatre community with over a century of experience between them, decided to form a company and incorporated on March 27, 2007 as LunaSea Theatre Company.
We have gone on to produce numerous plays, and have received nominations at the Theatre Nova Scotia Merritt Awards; in 2009 receiving eight, more than any other theatre company, and winning Best Supporting Actress. LunaSea was also included in the Chronicle Herald’s “Honour Roll” at the end of 2008, “recognizing members from our arts community who took giant steps forward this year.” Our productions have been picked up by Festival Antigonish, played the SuperNova Theatre Festival and the Chester Playhouse. LunaSea Theatre’s mandate is to produce plays of artistic merit which expand the theatrical experience, highlight the contributions and talents of women to theater, and to mentor young artists.
LunaSea's Artistic Committee
Martha Irving (2007-present)
A co-founder of LunaSea Theatre, Martha directed our initial offering, The Donahue Sisters at The TNS Living Room, then just a storefront workshop space rented by Mary-Colin Chisholm and two former Jest in Time performers to create new works. Since then she has usually either directed or acted in our productions. As an actor, Martha trained in England at LAMDA and has performed on stages across the country, including recent portrayals at Theatre New Brunswick, Thousand Islands Playhouse, Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland, Ship’s Company, and the National Arts Centre as well as LunaSea. She’s also a regular on the Neptune Theatre stage. As a director, Martha regularly directs Anne and Gilbert, the Musical on PEI. She will direct the world premiere of Shelley Thompson’s Leaving Wonderland for LunaSea as well as Anne and Gilbert, the Musical for the NAC for their winter Holiday production. Martha has been nominated for and received numerous awards, including a Merritt Award for Best Actress for her performance in LunaSea’s production of Ghosts and the Mayor’s Award for Achievement in Theatre in 2011.
Ryanne Chisholm (2016-present)
Ryanne is a Halifax-based actor, director and creator, having returned to the Maritimes in 2013 after a lengthy absence spent “away”. She has lived, worked, and played in Vancouver, Toronto, Nova Scotia, and South Korea. Recent acting work includes: The Drowning Girls (Neptune/DMV), The Donohue Sisters, Half-Cracked: The Legend of Sugar Mary, Ibsen Bites (LunaSea), Opening Night (Festival Antigonish), Les and Dawn (Atlantic Fringe) and The 39 Steps (Chester Playhouse). Recent directing and choreography work includes: Half-Cracked: The Legend of Sugar Mary (Choreographer; Neptune/ EFT), Slut, a play aimed at combating rape culture and sexual violence, The Bitterest Time: the war story of Mona Parsons (LunaSea Theatre) and Generations, a theatre development project for Nova Scotia seniors (Mulgrave Road Theatre). Ryanne holds a Master’s of Fine Arts in Acting from York University.