Farm’s almanac

Tara Thorne rounds up the local arts scene.



The King’s Theatrical Society’s 2006 season kicks off with a bold choice in 20-year-old playwright Daniel Rosen’s Butterfly Farm, about two teens with mental illness, aided through it by their shared nurse. Herald has been “alienated by a corrupt, evil world,” while Melanie is the product of crappy parenting. Rosen’s been working on the play for over a year, finding a story in the mental instability of himself and his friends.

“I think what drives this story is that it deals with feelings that teenagers, and people in general, everywhere can relate to,” says the writer, who is also directing the show. “And I think, rather than merely expressing despair and frustration, the play will give the audience something positive that they can come away with after seeing the show. We’re even working on getting a sociologist to give a guest lecture on the issues the story addresses.”

“We are all very proud of Dan,” says KTS’s Yolana Wassersug. “He has such a huge heart, and the ideas in this play come from his sincere and caring personality.”

Butterfly Farm, starring Sidra Martin, Sam Neale, Mike Jang and Graham Bowditch, runs from November 9 to 11 in the Pit at King’s College.

Lie with D’Oliveria

If you caught the latest edition of Monday Night Movies—Clement Virgo’s controversial 2005 film Lie with Me, starring Lauren Lee Smith as a sexually adventurous Toronto woman—and wondered how they managed to get something so racy funded, shot and released, then this is your weekend.

On November 11, the Atlantic Filmmakers’ Co-operative will host Virgo’s longtime producer Damon D’Oliveira for a Producer’s Intensive Seminar, which has a $175 price tag attached ($150 for members). But on Sunday from 1 to 3pm in the CBC building’s Radio Room, D’Oliveira—who also produced Virgo’s Nova Scotia-shot Poor Boy’s Game, co-written by local Chaz Thorne (no relation)—will give a free artist’s talk using Lie with Me as a particularly interesting example of how to get features made in this country. The free session will be moderated by Halifax producer Rick Warden (Ice Men), who will also host a Q & A.

Gemini wrap-up

Last weekend’s Gemini Awards revealed a depressing state in national entertainment. There was the completely unnecessary ET Canada pre-show, featuring Rick “You’ll Always Be the Temp” Campanelli and Cheryl Hickey asking ET America-type questions like “Who are you wearing?” of people we didn’t even recognize, let alone hear of. There was the appearance of Kid Koala, scratching records on the way to commercial breaks, a blatant ripoff of the one thing (Buck 65) the Juno telecast did well. There was the embarrassing brouhaha over Lost’s Evangeline Lilly, promoed on every break, and of course she didn’t show up until the very end and then fucked up her lines (we should note her only contribution to Canadian television is Judgment Day, a video game review show of some kind, and she is credited as “JD Girl ”). There were the unfunny psychiatric sketches with that nerd from Red Green (although we do give them props for Jeff Douglas’s I Am Canadian parody, which was quite good). And there was the running time—it took just one hour to honour a year of Canadian TV. Mortifying!

But it’s not all bad—This Hour Has 22 Minutes picked up the Best Ensemble Performance (only half the cast, Shaun Majumder and Mark Critch, was in Vancouver representing), and Mary Walsh and Ed MacDonald grabbed the writing nod for Hatching, Matching and Dispatching. So kudos to local talent for keeping this country laughing, because otherwise, well, you know.

Putting the dead in deadlines

A couple arts deadlines are looming: the provincial government is looking for applications for the Nova Scotia Art Bank, which has been buying works for its permanent collection for over 30 years. The deadline is November 15 and you can download an application at And November 10 is the last call for submitting works to the Centre for Art Tapes’ Traumatic Landscape project, which deals with “the landscape of disaster.” Email for info.

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