Elizabeth Boardmore One Act Play Festival

The Boardmore Theatre gathers yearly for the annual festival of one-act plays. The festival offers the community an opportunity to celebrate live theatre and to share the talents of actors, directors, writers and technicians. In 2004, the festival lost one of its greatest supporters and the Dramagroup one of its co-founders, Elizabeth “Liz” Boardmore.

Liz came to Cape Breton with her then husband Harry Boardmore in 1966. Together they developed a thriving live theatre culture on Cape Breton Island. Their earliest works, done under the auspices of Xavier College and produced on the Lyceum stage, won national acclaim and inspired a generation of talented artists to create classics like The Rise and Follies of Cape Breton Island and the Cape Breton Summertime Revue. From these roots the one-act festival was born in 1971; and in 1990 the CBU Theatre was formally named the Boardmore Playhouse to commemorate the contributions of Harry and Liz.

Reflecting on the work Liz did, despite its scope, and listing her accomplishments, though there were many, seems hollow tribute to the force she was. Liz was the heart of the Dramagroup. Her passion for theatre (which was boundless), her love for her family and friends (whose number remain legion) and her unfailing directness (which was the stuff of which legends are made) found fertile ground at CBU.  As her reputation grew, so to did her commitment to the university, to her colleagues and especially to her students.  As an educator, Liz had no equal. Ready with criticism, which was always well deserved, and even more ready with praise, Liz taught all who studied with her how to think critically, act morally, and live vibrantly.

Under her firm, yet loving guidance, thousands of students and Dramagroup members gained the self-confidence needed to strive for the loftiest goals imaginable while never losing faith should success prove elusive. Liz, quoting Beckett, encouraged all with, “No Matter. Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better.” Liz recognized talent but she respected hard work more. Her legacy to those who follow behind is her personal example. She continues to encourage us to reach for the stars with our feet firmly planted on the earth. The memory of her standing to lead an ovation, the echo of her “Bravo”, and the reflection of her kerchiefed profile backstage will sustain us as her work remains a shining example of everything to which we aspire.



Admission Fees

General Admission: $20
Students & Seniors: $10
CBU Students: Free

General Seating for all plays.
Evening shows begin at 7:00pm.

Box Office

The CBU Playhouse Box Office is open from 1:00pm to 5:00pm Monday to Friday and one hour before show time.
The box office will open one week prior to performances and during the week of performances.
Box Office phone no.: 902-563-1652
For more info visit cbu.ca/boardmore



You can review the Elizabeth Boardmore One Act Play Festival schedule here, or review the listings below.



The Spaceman

Written and Directed by Daniel Farrow

A small town in North America falls into chaos when its citizens are overcome with delusions of a world, not of their own. One man looks to the stars for answers seeking to avenge his fallen wife. As others fight, fall in love and show their true colours to their friends and family, few are unaffected, and even fewer can help break the mould.

I Do. You Die.

Written by Carrie McCrossen | Directed by Bryan Nash

A husband and wife attempt to answer the question, which of us would win in a fight to the death? A playful argument quickly gets ugly as husband and wife each try to prove who would win. A short play that examines the darker side of marriage.

One Man Dream

Written and Directed by Ben Walter

Someone has invited you into their humble abode, even though it may be a broken one. They promise food and games but more importantly, fun. It is a promise. Follow along and play along in these fun, family… friendly games. They are only games. Games don’t mean anything. But you, on the other hand, mean everything… to someone if not yourself. This is a story, but it is more of a dream. Maybe a nightmare and you are never the same after living a nightmare.


Don’t Be A Stranger

Written by Sarah Munro | Directed by Maverick MacDougall

Two best friends, Harold and Lucie, sit down to have dinner to talk about their lives and where they are going. However, the conversation is halted when Lucie reveals she has decided to move overseas to pursue her passion. Tensions grow as Harold tries to hold on to his fracturing friendship.


Written by Brianne MacDonnell | Directed by Holly Schaller

Dolores and Clarke, childhood neighbours, find themselves reconnecting in their late 20s because they both want one thing more than anything… Clarke wants to write the story every reporter is trying to get an exclusive on, and Dolores-well, she wants to have the right to cut off her own legs.

This is Me

Written and Directed by Maxwell Slade

A single conversation can bring about quite a bit of change. An argument can bring about even more, especially when everyone is tired and the cat can’t read social cues.



Adapted from the short story by Premchandji | Directed by Gurmit Singh

The shroud is a short story by Premchand. It is a character study of two lazy and careless people who cross the limits of humanity for self gain. This story is set in post-independence India. The reality of poverty and the Zamindari system can be seen as a backdrop of the story. The play will be performed in Hindi with English narration.

The Latest News from the Primordial Ooze

Written by Rich Orloff | Directed by Jule Ann Hardy

Barry and Marjorie find their relationship at a crossroads when one begins evolving faster than the other… literally! Can love between two primordial creatures survive when one yearns for more than their swampy existence? Even a million years ago, relationships were complicated.


Written by Michael McKeever | Directed by Jule Ann Hardy

It’s April 15, 1912, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Harland and Claire Wydner-Doyle have just been informed that the ship they’re standing on, the unsinkable Titanic, is in fact sinking. Hogwash! Even more ludicrous, Mrs. Wydner-Doyle’s lifebelt is quite odorous, and everyone’s too busy panicking to bring them a tipple of champagne. The shame of it!


Sherlock Holmes and The Hound of The Baskervilles: An Audio Play

Written by Arthur Conan Doyle | Adapted by Keith Morrison

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson find themselves in the vast moors of Devonshire investigating the sudden and mysterious death of a much-admired resident. Rumors of an ancient curse loom over the heads of the Baker Street Duo as they stare into the glowing eyes of pure evil. This production is produced as a live audio drama.

Act Without Words 2

Written by Samuel Beckett | Directed by Mike McPhee

Two sacks and a neat pile of clothes sit on a low, “violently lit” platform at the back of a stage. Both sacks contain a man; B is on the left, A on the right.



Gary Walsh

Gary Walsh taught Drama and Theatre Arts for more than thirty years in Cape Breton. He has appeared in or directed many productions at both The Lyceum and The Boardmore. Most recently, he directed Marat/Sade and acted in The Pillowman. In 2014, he appeared in CBU’s award-winning production of Krapp’s Last Tape at The Liverpool International Theatre Festival.