“When something is the only something then it’s like you’re my best mom,” notes filmmaker and theatre owner Thom Fitzgerald on our choice to anoint Plutonium Playhouse with this recognition, Best New Theatre. “Faint praise is how it could be taken in context.”
Well, that’s fair. There have not been many other theatre spaces that opened this year, but there can be no doubt of the impact Plutonium has made on the Halifax theatre scene, offering a space where people can regularly see new and locally created plays.
Started with Lee-Anne Poole, who Fitzgerald says “does all the hard work,” the theatre space at Hunter and Cunard launched in the spring of 2010 with a stage version of the film Fitzgerald shot later in the year, Cloudburst
. “That was my privilege and indulgence,” says Fitzgerald. “What I write, in its earliest forms, looks like a short story. It was a very natural thing to explore the story and characters in slightly different parameters. I think it was good for the story, too.”
Coming up in November is The Sex Festival, which includes a play by Poole about S&M, called The Obedients
, inspired by Jean Genet’s The Maids,
and a piece by writer and Coast contributor Jane Kansas called The Asshole Monologues
. The festival will also include screening of homemade porn and readings of naughty correspondences from filthyemails.org.
“So, you know, slightly edgier fare, really,” says Fitzgerald.
He is able to participate in the running of the theatre at least partly because the space is also a fully functioning post-production facility where he spends his days working on editing his films. “Our picture editing, sound editing and sound mixing is there, and it’s still a state-of-the-art sound studio as well.”