New play could lead to drama festival

Jeanne Whitehead/Digby
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Plans for the Aug. 26 premiere of Hal Theriault’s play ‘Lights in the Forest’ are forging ahead but one component is lacking—funding.

At the March 23 council meeting, Bob Langland of Weymouth Waterfront Development asked the Municipality of Digby for a $1,500 grant to support the production.

The group has also applied for funding to the Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage.

Expenses include the cost of the design and creation of sets, props, costumes, promotion and advertising.

Theriault’s play tells the story of the Stehelin family’s founding of New France and the lives they created for themselves in the backwoods of Nova Scotia.

Langland told muncipal council the play will help provide the foundation for a new type of tourism.

Hal Theriault says down the road he envisions a drama festival with a full-length play performed in one community, and vignettes from other plays ongoing throughout the region.

Those other plays include Theriault’s Loyalist play ‘New Hope’ that was performed last summer during Digby’s Scallop Days. There is also an historical drama set in Bear River, and the play ‘Maud’ that focuses on the lives of folk artists Maud and Everett Lewis.

Theriault says he is also planning productions that will focus on famed circumnavigator Joshua Slocum and on Jerome, the mysterious figure of Digby Neck history.

He says the drama festival idea has always been part of the plan and he believes the concept will be realized within a year or two.

Organizations: Department of Tourism, New Hope

Geographic location: New France, Nova Scotia, Bear River

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