‘The shows will go on:’ Shakespeare By The Sea moving forward despite playhouse fire

Metro Halifax
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HALIFAX - The popular catchphrase ‘the show must go on’ is being taken literally by Halifax playgroup Shakespeare By The Sea.

Despite losing its playhouse to a suspicious fire Sunday, rehearsals for this season’s shows commenced on schedule Tuesday.

“One thing we know for sure, the shows will go on,” said co-artistic director Jesse MacLean during a rehearsal break.

The company is currently borrowing space at Neptune Theatre while the city assesses the damage at Park Place Theatre in Point Pleasant Park.

“There’s some significant damage to the exterior and the attic of the building,” said MacLean.

Aside from the building, the seats, curtains and lights will need to be replaced. The company is waiting to hear whether the building is structurally sound so it can possibly move rehearsals into the damaged space.

“This is a limbo day for us,” said co-artistic director Elizabeth Murphy on Tuesday. “We’re positive we are doing the season. Nothing’s going to stop us. It will just be more difficult if we don’t have our headquarters.”

In an effort to restore its only indoor stage, the company launched an IndieGoGo fundraiser Monday night, with a $20,000 target. Within 10 hours the web campaign had raised $6,000.

This is in addition to its annual Sneak Peak & Picnic Auction event, during which ticketholders will not only get to see some of this season’s songs and scenes, they will bid on picnics assembled by a local chefs.

But MacLean said the best way people can support the company is through attendance.

“It might be one of those years, where it’s a little extra special, where we’ve had this happen to us,” he said.

As the nature of SBTS is to enjoy theatre outdoors, he points out, a show is never sold out.

Organizations: Neptune Theatre, Park Place Theatre

Geographic location: Point Pleasant Park

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