LunaSea Theatre presents Henrik Ibsen’s “Ghosts”
November 1 – 10 at The Local Council for Women’s House (989 Young Avenue at the corner of Inglis)
Following up on her re-imagining of Chekhov’s “The Cherry Orchard” in January’s world-premiere of Hannah Rittner’s “Estate”, director Mary-Colin Chisholm shifts Ibsen’s Scandinavian classic to Edwardian era Halifax. From the swirling colours and wild emotional abandon of Chekhov to the tormented, tightly-laced world of Ibsen, LunaSea explores these literary masterpieces from its uniquely feminist perspective. When “Ghosts” was originally published in 1881, it was greeted with horror, disgust and censure, so much so that it wasn’t produced until a year later and in Chicago of all places. It was deemed sexually licentious, morally corrupt and “one of the filthiest things ever written in Scandinavia”. Over a hundred years later, LunaSea looks to the story of Helen and Oswald, Pastor Manders, Engstrand and Regina to examine how Ibsen’s courageous tilting at the stifling constraints of social propriety continues to deliver its powerful assault on human hypocrisy
The Monument by Colleen Wagner
“If war is a crime why do we keep having them?”
A young soldier convicted of war crimes, and a rage-filled woman driven by her passionate need to know what happened to his victims are united by their desperate and savage mutual need for each other. In raw, unflinching detail, “The Monument” forces us to collectively face the pain-filled reality of human brutality, and to question our capacity to forgive. Could you?
“The graphic, disturbing two-person drama sets out and succeeds in compelling its audience to get up close and personal with war’s misery.” - Winnipeg Free Press
“It provokes and debates the quality of mercy in a war of terrible cruelty… The Monument is a play about the possibilities of the future for a world burdened with a horrific past.” - Richard Rose
Set against the colourful and, by turns, comic and heartbreaking stories of women from the past, Top Girls asks many questions and offers no answers; it explores the gains and bartered losses of women in the present. The fantastical Top Girls has been cited as one of the best plays in British theatre of the last century and is now generally regarded as a modern classic.
Successful business woman Marlene throws a raucous dinner party to which she invites Isabella Bird, intrepid Victorian world traveller, Nijo a Japanese concubine, ninth century Pope Joan, Dull Gret from a Breughel painting and Chaucerian heroine, Patient Griselda. The play catapults us into the present where Marlene’s business success and personal challenges are explored in light of an increasingly uncaring and corporate society.
“LunaSea is thrilled to be producing Top Girls ” says Mary-Colin Chisholm, co-Artistic Director of LunaSea. “This powerful work took the world stages by storm during the Thatcher era in England and has not lost its relevance.”
Directed by Sherry Smith, this production features Martha Irving, Mary-Colin Chisholm, Mauralea Austin, Rebecca Parent, Vanessa Walton-Bone, Leana Todd and Stephanie MacDonald.
“This is a tremendous showcase for seven of our most exciting actresses in Halifax,” says Director Sherry Smith. “Top Girls is wonderfully theatrical and the hard raw dialogue between characters will astonish.”
“To Capture Light” was originally produced by LunaSea Theatre for the SuperNova Festival in May 2008. Mulgrave Road Theatre in Guysborough Nova Scotia, in association with LunaSea, produced its return to the stage in October, 2010.
Chronicling a lifetime, ranging from Nova Scotia to Paris, with a cast of multitudes (played by four valiant women), mingling comedy, drama and even a skirt-swirling Can Can, “To Capture Light” is an exhilarating and free-wheeling theatrical journey.
Check out other images from “To Capture Light” on
LunaSea thanks David Crewe for his amazing photos!
This Irish work by award-winning Marina Carr has been described as “a play that creeps into your bones”.
“It is never easy becoming the past tense”
“…the struggle between life and death – the ‘thing’ in the wardrobe – is an epic one. Yet Carr’s play, crammed with wild laughter and dense with unshed tears, is not so much about dying as about how to live”
Check out other images from “Woman and Scarecrow” on
LunaSea thanks David Crewe for his amazing photos!
Hailed by many scholars to be the finest comedy ever written, Twelfth Night deals with mistaken identity, cross dressing, the bringing down of pomposity and the fashion statement of yellow stockings cross-gartered. One of Shakespeare’s funniest and most popular comedies is now filled with traditional Christmas carols and the beautiful Cathedral Church of All Saints setting turned on its ear by a dream. This Christmas fantasy promises to enthrall young and old alike.
As Morris Panych’s latest comedy opens, we hear Iris, a precocious girl of ten, saying: These are the last few days of my childhood. The death of her goldfish, Amal, she is sure, has been announced by the air-raid sirens during the day’s school drill. For Iris there remain a few more days of life in a universe that is inherently ordered, where the spirit of her departed and ritually interred goldfish can, of course, be re-incarnated in a lost and amnesiac drifter given to rhetorical questions of seemingly deep philosophical import. Iris’ terminally depressed parents, trapped within the nostalgic desires of their own lost youth, are oblivious to what and how the child’s eye view of their daughter works. They remember too well their own loss of innocence as they abandonded themselves to the existential chaos of adulthood. The middle-aged family boarder has spent years in a frustrated search for any kind of gratification, immediate or otherwise, at the Legion after a full day’s work in the fish cannery. It’s into the goldfish bowl of this dysfunctional family of lethargic piranhas, existential bottom-feeders and aggressive guppies that the audience peers with incredulity, acute recognition, hysterical laughter, and overwhelming sense of the creative healing power of the imagination.
To Capture Light
Oil on canvas tells a story. Actors on stage paint a picture. In this world premiere production, LunaSea Theatre dives into the life of 19th century Nova Scotian impressionist painter Frances Jones Bannerman, a young colonial woman finding her way in one of the most vibrant periods of Parisan history.It was a time when Art mattered: a brush stroke could ignite a revolution, and women were determinedly painting their way into a man’s world. To Capture Light is a free wheeling, time-traveling exploration of women artists at home, in the studio, on stage and out in the world.
Perfect Pie is a play about friendship. Full of suspense, humour and humanity, it’s the story of the bond between two women, of childhood comfort and cruelties, division and reunion, and ultimately, catharsis.
Award winning Irish playwright Geraldine Aron’s one-act black comedy,staged through Sunday in the space on the street, starts out as a comic portrait of three sisters gathered once again due to an ailing parent to share vodka and insults in their attic playroom. towards the end the drama shifts quickly into savage terrain completely flipping the perception of who these mundane female figures are.