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Shut up and drive-in

Get a double dose of escapism this socially distant summer thanks to these four drive-in theatres.


The North Barn Theatre Collective's drive-in puppet theatre melds stories of the land and humanity. - SUBMITTED
  • The North Barn Theatre Collective's drive-in puppet theatre melds stories of the land and humanity.

Late Night Radio
North Barn Theatre Co.
July 10-12 8:30pm; July 17-19 8:30pm for directions and tickets; Ohio Valley, Antigonish County; $25/PWYC

At a particular point on a particular field in Antigonish County's Ohio Valley, Laura Stinson and Ian McFarlane are hosting a drive-in like no other.

Late Night Radio is the first full-length show the duo has put on as part of their new project, North Barn Theatre Collective—and it's all done with puppets. The show's story charts a late-night radio host and a radical poet chatting through the end of the world. Along the way, it tackles some of the thoughts spinning in our collective consciousness.

"It has a lot of puppet ridiculousness, as good puppet shows do, but what is fun is the tension between that and the serious content," says McFarlane. "I think the show can't really be described as serious or ridiculous, I think it is in this playful interplay between the two."

The duo had been touring America with Vermont-based company Bread & Puppet Theatre when COVID-19 forced them back home to Nova Scotia. Out of creative necessity, they repurposed an old barn on Stinson's family property and got back to puppeteering.

Late Night Radio, however, is set outside of the barn: "A big part of the show is actually the landscape," says Stinson. "We've picked a special spot in this field, framed it and it's a part of the composition of the piece."

With current physical distancing practices, only five cars are allowed at one time—and there are currently waitlists for some nights. But Stinson and McFarlane encourage people to get on the waitlist, grab a blanket to sit on and bring their own FM transmitter to watch at a distance.

Check out the enterprising theatre group's website, for tickets and exact location information.

Valley Drive-In

A Valley summer tradition, this screening spot is planning a mix of recent releases (Doolittle) and vintage favourites (Grease, Jurassic Park) 5934 Highway 1, Cambridge, $28/carload

Cape Breton Drive-In
Syndey’s retro-y movie experience is the perfect after-dark activity on your next Cape Breton itinerary. 865 Grand Lake Road, Sydney, $20/carload

Highland Drive-In
This Pictou County silver screen closed in 2013, but the need for safe entertainment in the age of COVID has brought it back to life. Catch horror flicks, classics and occasional live shows. 159 Truro Road, Westville, $30/carload

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