Live Bait Theatre celebrates twenty-fifth season

Theatre company ready for new season and new beginnings.

Change is in the air for Sackville’s Live Bait Theatre as they celebrate their twenty-fifth season since their formation in 1988. 2013 marks a period of transition and re-generation for the company as they work to connect with new audiences, create a dynamic lineup of performances, and settle into a new office space.

The past year has been full of ups and downs for the professional theatre company. After encountering financial difficulties due to a drop in show attendance, Live Bait moved out of their former theatre space at 87 Main Street, which led the company to an uncertain eight month long hiatus. 

Yet despite the logistical challenges the theatre company has encountered, Live Bait remains optimistic about its future, and is eager to begin moving forward.

“The thing about theatre is that you’re always going to slip sometimes. We just need to remember that we need to grab our footing and keep going,” Board of Directors member Tom Hearn said.

Since the loss of their former space, the company has relocated twice, and have now settled into a new main office on Main Street beneath the Sears Insurance building. 

Due to the lack of a permanent theatre, Live Bait began experimenting with new venue locations, like Tantramar Regional High School where they produced two plays this summer.

The company doesn’t view the absence of a permanent venue as a drawback. As Hearn noted, the company now has the opportunity to try out new, alternative performing spaces. Historically, this isn’t the first time Live Bait has worked in unconventional venues. 

“Not a lot of people know this, but Live Bait had only been in [its former theatre] for eight years, and we’re celebrating our twenty-fifth season this year,” Hearn stated. “We’ve done shows in tents, at the Vogue Theatre, [and] at Tantramar [Regional High School]. We’ve done shows everywhere.” 

This year, the company will continue to present shows in new venue spaces, including the Royal Canadian Legion and Marshlands Inn.

“It’s almost like now we’re going back to how Live Bait originally started. It’s like a re-generation after twenty-five years,” stated Hearn.

Live Bait plans to revive itself is by preparing a busy year of exciting shows, in what Hearn calls an effort to “rebuild audiences.” This year, Live Bait anticipates a full schedule of events, producing about one show a month.

On top of that, theatre-goers can also look forward to monthly performances at the Royal Canadian Legion on the last Thursday of the month. The first event, a night of improvisational comedy, takes place on September 26 at 7:00 pm. The theme is “Spuds and Studs,” and audience members are encouraged to dress and eat their own potatoes (the spuds) before a performance by the improv actors (the ‘studs,’ if you will).

To learn more about Live Bait theatre and its upcoming events, check out their Facebook page, and visit their website www.livebaittheatre.com. To volunteer, stop into their new office on Main Street.

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