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Neptune Theatre postpones summer shows but remains optimistic

Halifax’s largest theatre was scheduled to have two performances between now and the end of August
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Neptune Theatre (Meghan Groff/HalifaxToday.ca)

Halifax’s largest theatre was scheduled to have two performances between now and the end of August, as well as a multitude of summer camps and programming.

“This has been very difficult for everyone who’s part of the Neptune community,” says Neptune Theatre's General Manager Lisa Bugden.

But after the theatre already cancelled their March through June shows due to COVID, they are now postponing these as well.

These shows include the Rocky Horror Picture Show, which was scheduled to run July 14 to August 30.

“Rocky was already selling really well and had piqued a lot of interests from people in the local community as well as people further afield,” Bugden tells NEWS 95.7’s The Todd Veinotte Show.

The second show to be postponed this summer is Argyle Street Kitchen Party, a musical performance involving East Coast music.

“It’s a wonderful hybrid, it’s a live musical presentation but it’s really about a kitchen party and that fabulous tradition here in Nova Scotia,” Bugden says.

Neptune is offering people who have purchased tickets to either of the shows a gift card to use at any future show, but Bugden does hope these performances can be rescheduled.

“We are hopeful that we’ll be able to program those shows again in the future,” she adds.

Since March, Neptune has had to lay off 57 front-of-house and box office staff and 60 contract workers. But the impact has been even more wide-ranging than that.

“With all of the artists, lighting and set and costume designers, that comes through Neptune, there’s probably between about 320 and 400 people every year who derive their livelihood in part from working at Neptune,” says Bugden.

Thankfully, the theatre is hopeful about opening back up post-pandemic thanks to government funding.

“The province, the city and the federal government have all been in contact,” says the general manager. “And we’re working with them to make sure that we can continue to be viable and we continue to support our community and deliver on our mission.”

But for now, Neptune has no solid plan or direction from government on when they may be able to re-open, and how it will look when they do.

“Once we have clear guidance in terms of the size of gatherings that will be permitted, we will finalize that plan,” says Bugden. “And that will ultimately dictate when we can re-open, how large a gathering we can host, and what programming we can ultimately present.”


Victoria  Walton

About the Author: Victoria Walton

Victoria is HalifaxToday.ca's weekend editor and a Halifax-based freelancer. She is originally from Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley.
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