Black tie gala will include the opening night performance of the Tony Award-winning Billy Eliot the Musical.
Black tie gala will include the opening night performance of the Tony Award-winning Billy Eliot the Musical.

Fresh off its 2020-2021 season announcement, Halifax’s Neptune Theatre turns its attention to more practical matters, paying for it all.

“Ticket sales only cover about 50 to 55% of the cost of the shows and all of the additional things that we do,” says Leslie MacDonald, Neptune Theatre’s director of development and partnerships during our interview at the company’s headquarters on Argyle Street.

"It's going to be a beautiful black-tie event." - Leslie MacDonald, Neptune Theatre's director of development and partnerships.
“It’s going to be a beautiful black-tie event.” – Leslie MacDonald, Neptune Theatre’s director of development and partnerships.

Beyond what audiences see on stage the list of “additional things” MacDonald refers to is an impressive list of activities undertaken by The Neptune Foundation. Reaching far beyond the footlights of Neptune’s two stages, the Foundation supports three theatre schools that cover kids, teens and adults, a playwrights unit, and more.

“We also have the Chrysalis Mentorship Program which brings the next level of theatre artists from choreographers to directors, to music directors and costume designers to the next level,” says MacDonald.

Add to that a discounted student matinee programs, ASL and sensory-friendly performances and it is easy to see the breadth and scope of the Foundation’s activities.

Even the contributions from Bell Aliant for Neptune’s pay-what-you-can performances and individual show sponsors cover only a portion of the costs for each production.

Enter the Billy Gala, Neptune Theatre’s red carpet fundraiser sponsored in-part by Emera and Domus Realty. While not the first time Neptune has taken to the gala format to help raise much-need cash, it will be the biggest in recent memory.

A pre-show champagne reception provided by Harvest Wines will be followed by the opening night performance of the Tony Award-winning Billy Eliot the Musical. The night wraps with a post-show party on three levels of Fountain Hall that will include a DJ, food and wine. “It’s going to be a beautiful black-tie event,” says MacDonald.

The Billy Gala takes place at Neptune Theatre’s Fountain Hall (1593 Argyle St, Halifax) on April 17. Visit neptunetheatre.com for tickets and information.