by Sara Rodriguez
photos by Jody Burkholder
So much has happened since the last entry! We closed our show at the DANSpace and moved into the beautiful Neptune Theatre for another tech and two more shows. Despite our “less than ideal” final show times (Wednesday 10:00pm and Saturday 12:30pm), we managed to get increasingly good crowds, standing ovations and all. Who thought anyone would go to a show at 12:30pm?
On our days off we decided to road trip to Prospect and Peggy’s Cove, eat some more lobster and stuff our faces with fudge. We spent some time in these picturesque villages contemplating the massive waves crashing against granite rocks and trading stories with other fellow travelers. A few days ago we also went to Lunenberg and met a retired NHL referee who introduced himself as Pat but upon researching his work we discovered he was known as “Red” back in the day. In anticipation of Paul’s next show Haunted, written/directed by him and produced by Hudson Village Theatre, we went to Amherst hoping to catch a glance of Esther Cox. Instead of her original home, there is a photo shop and a Canadian Tire. Because we are such suckers for ghost stories, we took some pictures in front of the shop and then wondered around town (taking more pictures). I should have also mentioned that some of us are very old school (or perhaps just old) and still own a film camera. The obvious thing to do was to develop our pictures at the creepy photo shop where Esther used to live. When we went through the envelope of freshly developed pictures, we noticed that the pictures taken in front of Miss Cox’s home were not developed. It was as if they did not exist, the pictures taken before and after were there and beautiful. Where did the haunted pictures go?
All of our travels never got in the way of seeing other shows. Among the highlights we include How do You Feel (Toronto, Ontario), Halifax’s own poet laureate Tanya Davis’ Hello Change, Rainer Hersch’s Victor Borge, and Short Skirt Butch, which was directed by Bryden MacDonald. Hooray, another familiar face!
On Friday, I was lucky to spend some time with Thom Fitzgerald and ask him about his experience taking over this festival. As stressful and crazy as the job is, he has done an incredible job. Attendance has gone up 108% and box office has beyond doubled! Total ticket sales went from around 20 000 to 43 000. Let’s hope he continues his work for the Atlantic Fringe, there is nowhere to go but up now.
The final night of the festival, we headed to the Bus Stop Theatre for a karaoke theme closing party and award ceremony. Everyone who won an award had to do a karaoke number for the audience. Lucky for Beyond the Mountain, Paradise Lost won two awards. That’s right! Sold out award in our venue and best of the festival once again! You what that means though…Paul had to grace us with two numbers. For privacy purposes, the identity of those numbers will not be disclosed. Ever.
What’s next? New York City this winter! For those who would like to contribute to our next adventure, our Indiegogo campaign is still running and accessible through our website. Spread the word!