Category: News and Updates

New dates announced for our festival in 2021, and 2022!

The parade of flags on opening night of the 2018 Liverpool International Theatre Festival. Photo by David Dobson

Theatre lovers will be able to catch some of the best plays in the world in Liverpool next October, and the October after that.

The Liverpool International Theatre Festival has announced new dates, after organizers postponed this year’s event to 2021 because of COVID-19 concerns.

The new dates are Oct. 14-17, 2021.

And in a break with tradition for the biennial festival, troupes will be invited to the festival the next year, from Oct. 13-16, 2022.

“We are optimistic that the troupes we invited to our now-cancelled 2020 festival will be able to join us in 2021,” LITF chairperson Jean Robinson-Dexter said.

“And we are very excited to keep the momentum going into 2022.”

LITF organizers have been meeting this spring to plan fundraisers and other events to prepare for the 2021 and 2022 festivals.

“We are making the extra time count and preparing for back-to-back festivals that will captivate our audiences,” said co-artistic director Vic Mills.

Theatre groups from Algeria, Belgium, Virginia, Maryland, Greece, Uganda, Italy, Malawi, Egypt, Morocco, Ontario and the country of Georgia will now be invited to perform at Liverpool’s historic Astor Theatre in October 2021.

The only theatre festival of its kind in eastern Canada, the Liverpool International Theatre Festival was founded to showcase compelling amateur theatre from around the globe.

Since its debut in 1992, LITF has brought thousands of artists and theatre lovers to Nova Scotia. Audiences have unique opportunities to offer feedback directly to the performers in morning-after critiques, and to participate in workshops led by industry-leading theatre educators.

Reminder: Apply to LITF 2020 today!

iata nepal, the white butterfly, litf 2018
A scene from The White Butterfly by IATA Nepal at the 2018 Liverpool International Theatre Festival. (Photo by David Dobson)

Time is running out to apply for our 2020 festival.

Here’s a quick guide to important dates and other application information.

Download the application form here: https://litf.ca/wp/wp-content/uploads/LITF2020ApplicationandRules.pdf

Application deadline: February 10, 2020

  • Plays must have been performed for the public in advance of the festival
  • Each company will present a complete theatrical performance, an original work or one from the national or international repertory, experimental or traditional, classic or modern, not longer than 50 minutes and not less than 30 minutes duration.
  • A complete dossier on the proposed play must reach the Artistic Directors no later than February 10, 2020 by electronic mail
  • All forms should be completed using the fillable PDF form, if possible, or in clear block printing with black ink.
  • A nonrefundable application fee of $100 Canadian must accompany your application.
  • The Artistic Directors will notify successful applicants by February 14, 2020

For more information, email: ad@litf.ca

Applications now open for LITF 2020!

We are now accepting applications from amateur theatre groups from around the world for the Liverpool International Theatre Festival, Oct. 15-18, 2020, in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Canada.

If you work with a community or amateur theatre company and you have already performed a one-act play which has been recognized as excellent or if it has won awards, then no matter where in the world you are, you should consider applying to bring it to our wonderful festival.

We welcome troupes from all around the globe, representing all cultures through the universal language of theatre. If you can perform in English, all the better, but if you believe that your work can communicate its power and transcend language barriers, then apply to bring your play to the gorgeous shores of Nova Scotia.

You can apply here by downloading our fillable PDF. Please make sure to read all rules and requirements. After you’ve completed it, please save and download it and email the completed application to ad@litf.ca.

We look forward to seeing you in Liverpool from Oct. 15-18, 2020!

Liverpool International Theatre Festival announces artistic directors for 2020 festival

An award-winning playwright and director are the co-artistic directors of the 2020 Liverpool International Theatre Festival, chairperson Jean Robinson-Dexter announced today.

Vic Mills and Neil Maidman, with Blackwood Little Theatre in Wales, will share the duties for the 15th biennial festival, which is set for the historic Astor Theatre in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, from Oct. 15-18, 2020.

Mills was honoured with the outstanding original script award at the 2018 festival, while Maidman was nominated as best director for their stirring production The Ruins of Talgarth. The play also won the people’s choice award.

Mills and Maidman have more than 50 years’ combined experience in international, professional and community productions, theatre education and administration.

“We are so proud to have been given the privilege of this role,” Maidman says. “We love this event and this place. We’ll help make this a feast of theatre.”

Mills and Maidman have been to LITF many times, with Blackwood Little in 2008, 2012 and 2018. Maidman also directed a production by Liverpool’s Winds of Change Dramatic Society at the 2010 festival.

“We are driven by the challenge of garnering top practitioners from around the world to the South Shore of Nova Scotia for this wonderful, wonderful festival,” Mills says.

The Liverpool International Theatre Festival welcomes amateur theatre productions from around the world every two years. The 2018 festival was its most successful yet, featuring troupes from Egypt, Iran, Peru, Wales, Nepal, Mexico, Bangladesh and Liverpool, N.S. Attendance in 2018 also broke records.

Chairperson Jean Robinson-Dexter says LITF 2020 promises to bring more compelling international theatre to Liverpool that audiences will love.

“The LITF executive were very excited to receive an application from Neil and Vic and were impressed with their thoughtful vision for the 2020 festival. We’re all excited to be working with them over the next year. Our team is looking forward to welcoming the world back to Liverpool.”

For more information, please contact:

Jean Robinson-Dexter, chairperson, LITF 2020 – 902-354-2397; admin@litf.ca

Bio information for Neil Maidman and Vic Mills available here

LITF wraps up another successful festival with awards ceremony

Amaranta Getino from Mexico’s En Movimiento accepts her outstanding supporting actress award from Kristopher Snarby; Azizur Rahman Suzan of Bangladesh waves to the crowd after winning outstanding supporting actor; Eslam Awad ElNagdy of East-Voice Group for Arts from Egypt receives the outstanding international production award from South Shore-St. Margarets MP Bernadette Jordan. (Photos by David Dobson)

Thank you to everybody for making our 14th festival such a success!

Hundreds of people saw some amazing theatre over four days at the Astor Theatre. The nine troupes from Canada, Bangladesh, Mexico, Peru, Iran, Wales, Nepal and Egypt gave us compelling, thought-provoking and just plain fun performances.

We were honoured to have Lieut.-Gov. Arthur LeBlanc and his wife Patsy attend our closing and award ceremonies on Sunday night, along with South Shore-St. Margarets MP Bernadette Jordan. 

Richard Finch, our workshop leader, oversaw a very fun performance by students from around Queens County, which had the audience on their feet and participating.

Chairperson Jean Robinson-Dexter presented the Harlequin Award to longtime LITF volunteer Cathy Raddall, for her many years of service with the festival.

Adjudicator Annette Procunier announced our award winners, who were lucky enough to go home with our beautiful stained-glass Jester Fish awards crafted by Queens County artist Sarah Webber.

Here is a list of the main award winners, announced Sunday night: 

Outstanding international production – The Seven Days, East-Voice Group for Arts, Egypt

  • Other plays considered: Oliver’s Bench, Liverpool; The Ruins of Talgarth, Wales

Outstanding director – Eslam Awad ElNagdy, The Seven Days, East-Voice Group for Arts, Egypt

  • Other plays considered: Greg Tutty, Oliver’s Bench, Liverpool, NS, Canada; Neil Maidman, The Ruins of Talgarth, Wales

Outstanding male actor – Vic Mills, The Ruins of Talgarth, Blackwood Little Theatre, Wales

  • Other performances considered: Al Steele, Oliver’s Bench, Canada; Sawdesh Ranjan das Gupta, The Miser, Bangladesh

Outstanding female actor – Peta Maidman, The Ruins of Talgarth, Blackwood Little Theatre, Wales

  • Other performances considered: Shiva Makinian, The Seven Days, Iran; Annette Burke, Oliver’s Bench, Canada

Outstanding supporting actor – Azizur Rahman Suzan, Kanjosh (The Miser), Loko Natyadal, National Centre of IATA/AITA, Bangladesh

  • Other performances considered: Luis Edgardo Aguilar Cuellor, Moronitas (Debris in our Hearts), Mexico; Chaklader Mustafa al Mashad, The Miser, Bangladesh

Outstanding supporting actress – Amaranta Getino, AmandoNOs, En Movimiento, Mexico

  • Other performances considered: Emma Hickey, The Ruins of Talgarth, Wales; Teresa Clarke, Oliver’s Bench, Canada

Best original script – Vic Mills, The Ruins of Talgarth, Blackwood Little Theatre, Wales

  • Other plays considered: Greg Tutty, Oliver’s Bench, Canada; Moronitas (Debris in our Hearts), Ricardo Castro Mendoza, Mexico

Outstanding visual presentation – Kanjosh (The Miser), Loko Natyadal, National Centre of IATA/AITA, Bangladesh

  • Other plays considered: The White Butterfly, IATA Nepal, Nepal; Moronitas, Compania de Teatro Itinerante, Mexico

People’s choice award – The Ruins of Talgarth, Blackwood Little Theatre, Wales

Special adjudicator awards

Outstanding ensemble production – Oliver’s Bench, Winds of Change Dramatic Society, Liverpool, N.S., Canada

Outstanding ensemble production – The Seven Days, East-Voice Group for Arts, Egypt

Outstanding musical score — Shyam Nepali, The White Butterfly, IATA Nepal

Curtain call Sunday: Two performances, two critiques, awards ceremony

Ricardo Castro Mendoza from the troupe Compania de Teatro Itinerante from Mexico.

The last day of our festival promises to be another full one, with two final performances, two coffee critiques and our closing ceremonies.

Here’s the Sunday rundown:

9:30 a.m. – Coffee Critique at the Liverpool Curling Club, led by our adjudicator Annette Procunier. We’ll be discussing the plays from Saturday, with troupes from Iran, Nepal, Mexico (En Movimiento) and Bangladesh. Free for delegates and Stage & Beyond pass holders, $5 for the general public.

11 a.m. – Theatre workshop with Richard Finch, at the Town Hall Arts and Cultural Centre (Astor Theatre). Open to LITF delegates and Stage & Beyond pass holders. Members of the public are welcome, on a space-available basis, for $10 each. 

2:30 p.m.Moronitas (Debris in our Hearts), by Mexico City’s Compania de Teatro Itinerante, focuses on the earthquake in Mexico on Sept. 19, 2017, and the humanitarian work and acts of kindness or greed that followed. Buy tickets now or call the Astor box office at 902-354-5250.

3:45 p.m. – Coffee Critique (our last one!) at the Liverpool Curling Club to discuss Moronitas. Free for delegates and Stage & Beyond pass holders, $5 for the general public.

6 p.m. – Lieutenant governor’s reception. Invitation only.

7 p.m. – Showcase performance by the Chinese Culture and Art Club of Nova Scotia, including Chinese classical dance, Chinese ethnic and folk dance, Chinese folk music with traditional Chinese instruments, and Chinese opera. This is a replacement show for the Yue Diao Opera Troupe, whose members were denied entry into Canada. If you have tickets for the Yue Diao troupe, those will be honoured for this show. 

8:30 p.m. – Closing ceremonies at the Astor Theatre. We will be handing out our festival awards, created by local artist Sarah Webber, and will be treated to a performance by our youth workshop participants. 

10 p.m. – International Night closing celebration at the Liverpool Curling Club. Sponsored by Sobeys, this will be our last time together with our wonderful troupes and other delegates. Snacks and cash bar. Free for delegates and Stage & Beyond pass holders. $10 for the general public.

Four plays in a day: Saturday’s schedule features Iran, Nepal, Mexico and Bangladesh

iran saye theatre

The Silent House by Iran Saye Theatre

Saturday’s schedule at the Liverpool International Theatre Festival is jam-packed, with plays from Iran, Nepal, Mexico and Bangladesh. We also have Coffee Critiques this morning at 9:30 of three plays from Friday — from Wales, Peru and Egypt. Richard Finch will be leading a workshop at 11 a.m. And we have more social events to keep you hopping around Liverpool.

Here’s our lineup for Sat., Oct. 20 (all plays are at the Astor Theatre on Main Street in Liverpool):

9:30 a.m.: Coffee Critique with adjudicator Annette Procunier, at the Liverpool Curling Club, discussing Friday’s plays from Egypt, Wales and Peru. Admission is free to delegates and Stage & Beyond pass holders. $5 for the general public.

11 a.m.: Theatre workshop with Richard Finch, at the Town Hall Arts and Cultural Centre (Astor Theatre). Open to LITF delegates and Stage & Beyond pass holders. Members of the public are welcome, on a space-available basis, for $10 each. 

2:30 p.m.: The Silent House, by Iran Saye Theatre, from Tehran, tackles immigration and the idea of home. Buy tickets here or call the Astor Theatre box office 902-354-5250.

4 p.m.: Seto Putalli, or The White Butterfly, from IATA Nepal, focuses on a man trying to pay for his dauther’s education by working as a cremator in his village. Buy tickets here or call the Astor Theatre box office at 902-354-5250.

7 p.m.: AmandoNOs, from Mexico City’s En Movimiento, is a comedy about marriage and focuses on two couples from two different worlds. Inspired by the works of William Shakespeare and Ecuadorian writer José Martínez Queirolo. Buy tickets here or call the Astor Theatre box office at 902-354-5250.

8:30 p.m.: Kanjosh (The Miser), from Loko Natyadal, National Centre of IATA/AITA, in Bangladesh is a retelling of Moliere’s classic farce The Miser, fast-paced and full of twists. Buy tickets here or call the Astor Theatre box office at 902-354-5250.

9:30 p.m.: Karaoke! Come out and sing at the Liverpool Curling Club. Unleash your inner Simon LeBon, show us your vocal Reflex(es) and dance on the Valentine with us. Only $5 admission. Free to festival delegates and those with Stage & Beyond passes.

Other events around Liverpool

Privateer Farmers Market – 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Liverpool waterfront, next to the Visitor Information Centre. Local artists, craftspeople and farmers will be selling Nova Scotia-grown and made goodies.

Historical Walking Tours – 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. – Join Brittany Wentzell and Kathy Stitt and learn about the history of Liverpool on an entertaining and educational walk. Meet at the Astor Theatre/Town Hall Arts & Cultural Centre. $10 per person.

Fort Point Lighthouse – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Go to the top of Liverpool’s historic lighthouse and toot the foghorn. 21 Fort Lane (at the end of Main Street).

Beer tastings at Hell Bay Brewery – All day. Taste some of the best beer in Nova Scotia at our hometown craft brewery. Sample their award-winning beers. Only $5 for a flight of three.

 

 

Friday at the festival: Plays from Egypt, Wales and Peru

Resiliencia Fragmentada by Peru’s Cuerpos y Alma theatre company.

 

Our lineup for Friday, Oct. 19 is a full one, with our coffee critique today at the Liverpool Curling Club at 10 a.m., to discuss our amazing opening-night play, Oliver’s Bench, from Liverpool, Nova Scotia’s Winds of Change Dramatic Society. (Coffee critiques are free for troupe members and Stage and Beyond pass holders. General admission is $5 at the door. Coffee and treats are provided.)

At 2:30, East-Voice Group for Arts from Egypt performs its black comedy The Seven Days, about colonialism and oppression. (Buy tickets here or call the Astor Theatre box office at 902-354-5250.)

At 7 p.m., The Blackwood Little Theatre from Wales opens The Ruins of Talgarth, the award-winning play about gender abuse and misuse of power set around a large “lunatic asylum” in Wales in the 1970s. (Buy tickets here or call the Astor Theatre box office at 902-354-5250.)

At 8:30 p.m., LITF 2016 favourites Cuerpos y Alma from Peru perform Resiliencia Fragmentada, exploring issues facing the younger generation in Peru. (Buy tickets here or call the Astor Theatre box office at 902-354-5250.)

At 9:30 p.m., come party with us and Tony Quinn at the Liverpool Curling Club for an old-fashioned Nova Scotia kitchen party! Entry is free for troupe members and Stage and Beyond package holders. Public admission is only $5 at the door.

LITF 2018: Things to see and do in and around Liverpool

 

While you’re in town for the festival, there are many things to see and do in between shows. And many businesses and attractions have extended their hours to accommodate festivalgoers.

Here is a small sampling of what you can see and do while you’re here. Here are some other ideas too.

 

Downtown Liverpool

Historical Walking Tours – Sat., Oct. 20 at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Join Brittany Wentzell and Kathy Stitt and learn about the history of Liverpool on an entertaining and educational walk. Meet at the Astor Theatre/Town Hall Arts & Cultural Centre. $10/pp.

Posted by Privateer Farmers Market on Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Privateer Farmers Market – Sat., Oct. 20, 9 am – 1 p.m., on the Liverpool waterfront, beside the Visitor Information Centre

A flight of beers at Hell Bay Brewing Company.

 

Hell Bay Brewery Tastings – Check out Liverpool’s own craft brewery. Sample their award-winning beers, only $5 for 3 samples.

Sipuke’l Gallery – Acadia First Nation’s gallery of indigenous art and artifacts, at the Town Hall Arts & Cultural Centre, will be open during LITF.

Fort Point Lighthouse – 21 Fort Lane, Oct. 20 and 21, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Climb to the top and toot the foghorn.

 

Outside downtown Liverpool

SEA’spired at White Point Beach Resort — An outdoor sculpture installation, featuring 35 pieces by 19 Nova Scotia artists, placed throughout White Point’s sprawling property.

Beaches! — We are blessed with many silver-sand beaches in this area of the South Shore. From the smaller, lesser-known spots in West Berlin, Ragged Harbour and Eagle Head to the larger Beach Meadows Beach, and very popular Carters Beach. It’s definitely worth your time to venture out to one of these or the other beaches in our area to soak in some salt-air therapy. Before you go, you should take a light lunch with you from one of our amazing local restaurants and make a picnic out of it — Lane’s Privateer Inn in Liverpool, The Port Grocer in Port Medway, the Riverbank General Store and Cafe in Mill Village, Memories Cafe and Eatery in Liverpool, Oscar’s in Liverpool, A-1 Pizza or Liverpool Pizzeria, Dixie Lee Family Restaurant in Liverpool, White Point Beach Resort or the Quarterdeck Beachside Villas and Grill.

Drama, comedy, puppets: Our 2018 lineup has something for everyone

UPDATE (Wed., Oct. 17): We are sorry to report that troupes from two countries have been denied travel documents to enter Canada. The groups from China and the Central African Republic will not be participating in this year’s festival. We have scheduled a replacement show on Sun., Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. for the Chinese troupe. If you have tickets for that show, you can hold on to your tickets and use them for the new show. Or you can exchange those tickets for another show.

We have no replacement for the play from the Central African Republic. If you have tickets for that show, you may exchange them for another performance. Or, you can use your tickets to the China or Central African Republic shows to attend all of our coffee critiques or our social events on Friday or Saturday night at the Liverpool Curling Club. Please contact the Astor Theatre box office at 902-354-5250 or visit the box office to make the change. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we deal with these last-minute developments. (Because of the international nature of our festival, the schedule and lineup are subject to change, depending on individual troupe visa applications and travel issues.)

The 2018 Liverpool International Theatre Festival will still feature many compelling plays from around the world, including a Mexican play featuring puppets with a political message, a Bengali retelling of the Moliere classic The Miser and a sweet, affecting non-verbal play from Liverpool’s own Winds of Change. 

Opening night is Thurs., Oct. 18. The festival runs to Sun., Oct. 21. All plays are at the Astor Theatre in Liverpool, Nova Scotia.

Here is a quick look at each of the plays we are pleased to bring you this year. For tickets and all-access passes, visit the Ticketpro link here, or call the Astor Theatre box office at 902-354-5250.

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