Chasing Champions Sails to the National Arts Centre

Chasing Champions Sails to the National Arts Centre

NAC English Theatre Presentation

A Ship’s Company (Parrsboro, NS) Production in association with Eastern Front Theatre (Halifax, NS)

Nova Scotia’s Sam Langford is considered by many boxing historians to be the greatest fighter who ever lived. So why have so few people heard of him? Chasing Champions is the moving story of Langford’s battles against a hostile culture and the machinations of a sport that repeatedly denied him a shot at the title of world champion.

A man of grace and fortitude, the 5’7” Langford fought from lightweight to heavyweight, beating legendary fighters in each class. He died blind and penniless in Harlem in 1956. Chasing Champions examines the life of this unsung hero – perhaps the greatest athlete never known.

Chasing Champions was created by Ship’s Company Theatre in 2016 and went on to win six Theatre Nova Scotia Merritt Awards, including Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Production.

Jacob Sampson and a small ensemble cast brought to life the boxing world of 1910s and 20s; the danger and reward of surviving by your fists, and breaking the mold society has set for you. Chasing Champions takes you on the journey of Sam Langford’s boxing career. It also uses flashback and a flexible timeline to explore the fighter’s life as a child growing up in Nova Scotia and what forged him into one of the greatest fighters who ever lived.

Champions won 6 of 9 Merritt Awards it was nominated for:

  • Outstanding Lead Actor Male – Jacob Sampson
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor Male – Marty Burt
  • Outstanding Lighting Design – Leigh Ann Vardy
  • Outstanding New Play (NS) – Jacob Sampson
  • Outstanding Scenic Design – Garrett Barker (Set)
  • & Corwin Ferguson (Projections)
  • Outstanding Production – Ship’s Company Theatre

Congratulation to the entire Ship’s team!

Playwright: Jacob Sampson
Director: Ron Jenkins
Performed by Marty Burt, Micha Cromwell, Zach Faye And Jacob Sampson

Set Designer: Garrett G. Barker | Costume Designer: Cathleen Mccormack | Lighting Designer: Leigh Ann Vardy | Sound Designer: Joe Micallef | Stage Manager: Ingrid Risk | Head Technician / Stage Crew: Jess Preece | Technician: Skyler Diotte

Ship’s Company Theatre Announces New Artistic Producer

Ship’s Company Theatre Announces New Artistic Producer

Ship’s Company Theatre Announces New Artistic Producer

(Parrsboro) The Ship’s Company Theatre is thrilled to announce Jack Paterson as the company’s new Artistic Producer. An acclaimed director, producer, theatre maker, dramaturge and translator, Jack has pursued a variety of experiences across Canada and internationally, exploring theatre production and partnerships in both bustling centers and smaller, more remote locations.

“All communities, regardless of size or location, deserve an inclusive theatre with the same dedication and passion for innovation and excellence as major national festivals,” said Paterson. “Creativity and imagination are everywhere, and it is our job to shine a light on these voices.” 

Having spent considerable time in Vancouver, Paterson has worked on critically acclaimed shows both large and small, including award nominated and winning New Works, Classical and Theatre for Young People. Jack has received nominations and awards on several occasions, including receiving the “John Moffat and Larry Lillo Award for Outstanding West Coast Artist” this past season.

“The Board of the Ship is eager to have Jack join us in Parrsboro as we start a new chapter in the Theatre’s journey and look forward to our 35thseason,” said Mary McPhee, Chair of the Ship’s Company Theatre Board of Directors. “Jack’s passion for bringing people together in harmony to explore their stories is a great fit for the company, and we can’t wait for our community to experience the magic that will grow with Jack’s leadership.”

Jack’s experiences vary from founding theatre initiatives such as Vancouver’s Mad Duck Theatre Collective, and more recently BoucheWHACKED!, as well as residencies across the country with companies such as The Shaw Festival and Canada’s Magnetic North Theatre Festival. Jack strives for excellence and continuous learning, having achieved an MFA in Direction from Joan Littlewood’s East 15 Acting School through the University of Essex, and studying across Europe, Russia, Indonesia and Canada. Over the past few years, Jack has worked primarily throughout the UK and Canada, honing production and creative skills at companies such as Theatre Northwest (Prince George, BC), Theatre503 (London, UK), and collaborating with artists from across Canada, Europe and the UK.

Michael Fuller, co-founder of Ship’s Company Theatre shared his excitement for this announcement: “The tide is changing, coming back in and with it a new energy, a rebirth, a new opportunity and a fresh vision. It’s a very exciting time for the Ship and for the community. What magic will be revealed on the stage in the coming years? I’m excited and wish Jack warm welcome to the helm of the Ship’s Co. and the town of Parrsboro. I look forward to meeting him.”

Jack will begin working from Parrsboro in December, developing the 2019 season and learning the ropes at the Ship. “I am thrilled to take the helm of a company with such rich history of bringing the Atlantic voice to the nation,” said Paterson. “I look forward to collaborating with the artists, organizations and communities of these new waters.”

The Ship’s Company Theatre Board of Directors will host a Welcome Reception for Jack at the Fundy Geological Museum on Wednesday 19 December 2018 from 12-2pm.  All are welcome to join in welcoming Jack and celebrating the next step in the rich history of Ship’s Company Theatre.


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