A voice raises as a camera zooms in on a manicured hand, glitching and switching to look at a crown being nestled into golden curls. “The time has come to completely degender the fashion and beauty industries,” the voice begins as the camera fuzzes again. “We must do this not to be politically correct, but to stop being incorrect.” Applause breaks out. The camera flits over two chins, one Black with stubble and the other white with penciled-in hair. Both carry the same ruby red lipstick swiped on their mouths.
You’re enthralled. When was the last time something like this landed in your Instagram feed?
The clip, which clocks a minute and seven seconds total time, is a bite-
sized world that feels impossibly complete given its briefness. A cross between fashion shoot, music video and performance art, it’s called Kings & Queens (created by Stevey Hunter and Peter Sarty)—and it’s part of the latest mutation of live theatre in Halifax.
During the pandemic, as the world theatre community struggled to find a way to continue creating, Halifax’s indie scene was already paving the way, launching plays that were livestreams, plays that were story-telling apps, plays that were digital performances (a pre-recorded live show, sort of like the theatre version of a concert DVD) and plays that fused karaoke and drag in a Zoom meeting.
Yup, while everyone else wondered what theatre could be if not a live retelling, feeding off a crowd seated before a stage (though god, how we miss that), ours was a city living up to its scrappiest, get-it-done energy. Now, Eastern Front Theatre has replanted the flag once again with its collection of Micro Digitials. The 20 projects—of which Kings & Queens is included—are teaspoon-sized pieces of theatre you can watch (or binge) straight from EFT’s Instagram profile, Facebook page or its website, all for free.
From the split-screen, his ‘n’ hers perspective of power couple Koumbie and Taylor Olsen (both multi-hyphenate, award winning talents, best known for their work on the TV series Sex & Violence and the movie Bone Cage, respectively) to the emotionally wrecking time lapse clip starring famed actor Mary Fay Coady (Copperhead), each of the EFT micro-clips is worth a watch: Even though Kings & Queens is the only one with a crown, they’re all royalty to us.