A round of applause for this summer's theatre round-up

As many stages darken until fall, summer theatre comes roaring to life in spaces both traditional and out of doors.

June 1-24
Theatre Arts Guild presents Double Indemnity
The Billy Wilder version of James M. Cain's book is a film noir classic, and was turned into a radio play in the '40s. Based on a famous murder in New York in 1927, it manages to turn an insurance policy into a thrilling plot point awash in tension, danger and a little sex.
Pond Playhouse, 6 Parkhill Road $15 members/$18 non-members tagtheatre.com

June 8-24
Dartmouth Players presents Jake's Women
This Neil Simon jam is about a writer with a struggling marriage, and all the women he talks to—some real, like his wife and daughter, some less so—about it.
33 Crichton Avenue, Dartmouth, $14-$17 dartmouthplayers.ns.ca

June 22-September 17
Victoria Playhouse Summer Festival
PEI's longest-running independent theatre company has a slew of summer offerings worth driving over the bridge for, from smart comedies to Island storytelling. Every Monday through July and August, a different singer-songwriter will perform an intimate set, including Amelia Curran and Old Man Luedecke. —Morgan Mullin
July and August, victoriaplayhouse.com

June 30-July 2
KAZAN CO-OP PRESENTS The Immaculate Miss Conception
Miss Conception AKA Kevin Levesque is coming in from Toronto for a special run of performances coinciding with Canada's big bday bash. This is a live singing show with 20 costume changes.
The Waiting Room, 6040 Almon Street 7:30pm, $25, tickethalifax.com

Jess Maclean

July 1-September 3
Shakespeare By the Sea
SBTS kicks off its season with the traditional Canada Day family show—an adaptation of Peter Pan directed by Jesse MacLean with music composed by Garry Williams. Shakespeare's comedy All's Well That Ends Well gets going a week later, with a Cambridge Battery version of the big and bloody Julius Caesar opening August 4.
Park Place Theatre and Cambridge Battery, Point Pleasant Park suggested donation $20-$25 shakespearebythesea.ca

July 3-August 13
Valley Summer Theatre
Pamela Halstead helms the season's big show, I Do! I Do!, a musical about marriage based on the Tony-winning The Fourposter. From August 10 to 13 is Brooke Johnson's one-woman show Trudeau Stories, about a friendship forged with Pierre Elliott when she was a theatre student.
Al Whittle Theatre, 450 Main Street, Wolfville, $18-$30 valleysummertheatre.com

July 4-August 19
Two Planks and a Passion Theatre
Written by Ami McKay (The Birth House) with Two Planks' Ken Schwartz, the world premiere of Nothing Less! will kick off this year's Ross Creek twofer. Set during the spring of 1918, when women kept things running while their husbands were at war—yet couldn't vote—it's the story of a group of small-town suffragists. This season's fireside show is the company's most ambitious yet: A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Ross Creek Centre for the Arts, Canning, $15-$29, artscentre.ca

July 5-September 3
Ship's Company Theatre
Sixty years after a conference of leading scientists and academics gathered in the unlikely locale of Pugwash, Natasha MacLellan directs Vern Thiessen's imagining of this time—simply called Pugwash—when nuclear war was top of mind. In August, Josh MacDonald's The Mystery Play features a crime-solving nun struggling with her faith while digging into her neighbours' lives. Richie Wilcox's Mayworks favourite New Waterford Boy—"a tribute to the Cape Breton man I never was and never will be"—stops by in August, and the family show Molly and the Oak Island Treasure, a puppet piece, closes out the season.
18 Lower Main Street, Parrsboro $10-$28 ($200 season pass) shipscompanytheatre.com

July 12-August 19
Chester Playhouse
The season opens with a feat, as four actors—Allister MacDonald, Kyle Gillis, Ryanne Chisholm and Kelin Boyd—play 130 parts in Hitchcock's 39 Steps. Daniel MacIvor brings his one-man show Who Killed Spalding Gray to town for four performances beginning July 26. The summer theatre school will present a musical version of Robin Hood, originally produced by Shakespeare By The Sea in 2005.
22 Pleasant Street, Chester, $15-$29 chesterplayhouse.ca

July 12-August 26
Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre
Three actors play 17 roles in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles, a comedy spoof, in the season opener. In the feel-good Kingfisher Days, directed by Mary Vingoe, a woman communicates with a Peruvian fairy princess. Stage Kiss is a critically acclaimed play-within-a-play slash romantic comedy, while the family show Martha follows the relationship between a lone wolf lady and an actual goose.
The Bauer Theatre, 1 West Street, Antigonish, $20-$35 (mainstage pass $80), festivalantigonish.ca

July 12-16
Queer Acts Theatre Festival
The Queer Acts festival has been a marquee Pride Week event since 2009, showcasing theatrical works of all kinds from emerging, established and in-between queer playwrights, actors and musicians. It's five days of drama, music, fun and tears in support and celebration of the LGBTQ+ creative community. This year's annual Comedy Night—with appearances from comedians in residence Adam Myatt and Nolan Natasha—precedes the festival on June 22, with a full slate of local and visiting shows announced June 23.

Isabelle Chevrier

July 18-September 3
Neptune Theatre presents Stan Rogers: A Matter of Heart
Geordie Brown leads this theatrical ceilidh that takes audiences through Rogers' considerable songbook, including "Barrett's Privateers," "Northwest Passage" and "The Mary Ellen Carter."
Neptune Theatre Scotiabank Stage, 1593 Argyle Street, $32-$40 neptunetheatre.com

August 31-September 10
Halifax Fringe Festival
The 27th annual showcase of weird and wonderful theatre—note the new name!—takes over for more than 50 shows of performances of all kinds, qualities and artistic approaches, including 20 visiting productions.

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