Neptune Theatre goes old school for fundraiser

Comedian Bette MacDonald hosts the Fly Again Telethon to raise cash for the Halifax theatre company impacted by the pandemic

A team of telephone operators will take calls for donations during Neptune's Fly Again Telethon on September 24. Photo by Malvestida Magazine on Unsplash.
A team of telephone operators will take calls for donations during Neptune's Fly Again Telethon on September 24. Photo by Malvestida Magazine on Unsplash.

Halifax’s Neptune Theatre is going old school as it gets set to host a telethon to raise much-needed funds after being forced to postpone its 2020-2021 season due to COVID-19.

“This is challenging for both our company and the community we serve,” says Neptune’s artistic director Jeremy Webb. “This has affected the hundreds of people who work at Neptune, our community partners and our regional economy. It is vital that we continue to support our theatre community, the artists, designers and our employees through these challenging and unprecedented times.”

Like any good telethon, the virtual event will not only include the required lineup of entertainment, but a team of telephone operators will take calls for donations.

“We want to give people an unforgettable night where folks feel like they are with us at the theatre as we broadcast right to their homes,” says Webb. “We are going old-school [with] laughs, music, [and] a bank of phones to receive your calls and donations.”

The live online event will be hosted by Nova Scotia comedian Bette MacDonald.
Nova Scotia comedian Bette MacDonald will host the live online event.

Nova Scotia comedian Bette MacDonald will host the telethon. The Gemini Award-winning actor is a longtime headliner at the Ha!ifax Comedy Festival and many will recognize her for the eight seasons she played outspoken school secretary Trudy Walsh on the CBC comedy, Mr. D..

Already slated to appear are members of Nova Scotia’s music scene, including Heather Rankin, Christina Martin, Keonte Beals, T. Thomason, Ben Caplan and Reeny Smith.

From the world of theatre, MacDonald will welcome a growing list of artists who have appeared on the Neptune stage in recent years from such shows as Mamma Mia! The Color Purple, Calendar Girls and Peter Pan. Organizers say they are also expecting a few surprise visits throughout the night.

“Now more than ever, we need the community’s help so Neptune can continue to provide programs for children and youth, to engage artists and other talented people [and] to create joy, wonder and lasting memories,” says Neptune’s general manager Lisa Bugden. “This support will help us to continue to play a role in making our city and our province a wonderful and vibrant place to live.”

Neptune Theatre’s Fly Again Telethon will take place online on September 24 from 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm (Atlantic Time) with a pre-show starting at 7:00 pm. Visit neptunetheatre.com for more information. Donations can be made during the telethon by calling 902-429-7070.