CBU to Host Inaugural High School Theatre Festival

From May 17 – 19, Cape Breton University’s Boardmore Theatre and the Cape Breton Victoria Regional Centre for Education Fine Arts department will host the inaugural Cape Breton High School Theatre Festival at the Boardmore Playhouse. The non-competitive Festival is an exciting opportunity for students to perform, participate in workshops and to share their work with students from across the Island on a professional stage with other students, teachers and guest artists.

“Prior to this event, the only high school theatre festival has been the Nova Scotia High School Drama Festival, held in Halifax, each year,” says Drama teacher and co-organizer of the festival, Mike McPhee. “Cost and equity issues marginalized students from outside the Halifax region, so Todd Hiscock and I built a program that Cape Breton students will truly benefit from.”

Participating schools include Glace Bay High School, Highland Academy, Riverview High School and Sydney Academy. Glace Bay High School will kick off the festival with their performance of Blueberry Pancakes, written and directed by Maxwell Slade. Following their debut performance, the class will be presenting We Leave written and directed by the GBHS Semester Two Drama 12 class.

Students from Cape Breton Highlands Education Centre/Academy will perform Lighthouse by Bruce Miller, and Dear Chuck by Jonathan Dorf on May 18. The final evening will feature a performance of Brittany Fagan-Steele’s Jaded by Riverview High School students and Scott Sharplin’s The Worst in the World by the Sydney Academy High School Drama Group.

All performances begin at 7:00 p.m. and tickets are available at a “pay what you can” cost, or donation to the CBU foodbank. Todd Hiscock, co-organizer of the festival notes that the benefit to students is immeasurable, and says, “Students meet other like-minded youth, share theatrical work and develop artistic skills. Most importantly, they develop a sense of community. Audiences will see the up and coming next generation of artistic and creative youth and enjoy great shows.”

Following each evening play, nightly adjudications will take place by Gary Walsh, a former High School Drama Teacher and member of the Nova Scotia High School Drama Curriculum Development Committee.

Students will also participate in six workshops on May 18 and 19, including Acting, Directing, Stagecraft, Stage Combat, Shakespeare, Lighting Design. Professional Development for teachers will also be delivered through a series of three workshops: Drama 10, Drama 11, and Drama 12. For more information contact Todd Hiscock at todd_hiscock@cbu.ca

Workshop Schedule: Saturday, May 18 9:30am to 12:30 p.m. & 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Lighting Design – Boardmore Playhouse (morning session only) Stage Combat – Multiversity Room Acting – CC-263 Sunday, May 19 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. & 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Lighting Design – Boardmore Playhouse (morning session only) Stagecraft – Pit Lounge Directing –Multiversity Room Shakespeare – CC-263 Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. & 1:30 p.m.  to 4:30 p.m. Applied Theatre – Centre for Sound Communities Room Saturday, May 18 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Drama 10 – CC – 262 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. – Drama 11– CC -262 Sunday, May 19 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Drama 12– CC-262