Recognizing some audiences are not quite ready to step back into theatres at this time and others can’t wait to put pandemic restrictions behind them, this year’s Mayworks Kjipuktuk/Halifax has something for both.
The pandemic road hasn’t been an easy one. Take a turn to the left with us for an exploration of stories old and new that give new perspective on what lies behind, ahead, and in between. – Sébastien Labelle, festival director.
“In this current climate where many can’t stand having constrained social lives much longer, and others don’t feel safe sticking their neck out just yet, we’ve developed a slate of programming to cater to both audiences,” say organizers in a media release. “This makes this festival almost entirely accessible in person or online.”
This year’s celebration at the intersection of labour and the arts opens with The More Things Change: A Working Class Tour of Downtown Halifax, a 90-minute easy walking tour that explores the last 300 years of Halifax’s history through a lens of working people.
Mayworks’ long-standing partnership with the Animation Festival of Halifax continues this year with The Work We Do: An Animation Retrospective. Accessible online or live at the Bus Stop Theatre, animated films from across the country and decades come together to reflect on the ups and downs of working-class life.
Also at the Bus Stop and via Facebook Live on May 6 is Shortcuts, a performance piece in which audiences’ favourite shortcuts are collected by a trio of workers. Following Shortcuts over at Charlie’s Club is Is This The Way I’m Going Out, the docudrama theatre piece is 26 minutes long, one for every year co-creator Todd Matheson has worked as a bartender.
Rounding out the first week is Mayworks’ favourite, DJ Uncle Fester, bringing together an all-star lineup for All In, a two-part concert at the Bus Stop. Part one features General Khan & Ambeez, Ghettosocks, and Aquakultre, the second part is the live recording of brand new music by DJ Uncle Fester and the Superfluid Collective.
Through the festival, The Unnatural Disaster Theatre Company presents Primal, an immersive theatre experience you can order directly to your door in which audiences are confronted with the human cost of the convenience of ordering online. Ordered performances happen at your doorstep May 13-15, or the full performance can be seen at the Bus Stop Theatre on closing night on May 14.
The last week of the festival brings Intersect, a movement piece created by Liliona Quarmyne and her collaborators exploring intersectionality and how we construct identity.
Mayworks Kjipuktuk/Halifax takes place online and at various locations in Halifax from May 1-14. Visit mayworkskjipuktukhfx.ca for more information and tickets.