Shipwright Sessions

Ship’s Company will debut the brand new ”Shipwright Sessions” this summer. From published award-winning plays to still-in-development musicals, the Shipwright Sessions give you the opportunity to hear excerpts of these works from the playwright themselves combined with a close-up look at the writer through mini-interviews led by Ship’s artistic director Richie Wilcox. The Shipwright Sessions, which are free to the public and available through Ship’s Company social media, feature Beneath Springhill: The Maurice Ruddick Story by Beau Dixon, Mind The Light by Gabrielle Papillon, Silence: Mabel and Alexander Graham Bell by Trina Davies, and Mi’kmaq Stories: Past and Present by Catherine Martin, Trevor Gould and Shalan Joudry with a reading by Shalan Joudry.

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Beneath Springhill: The Maurice Ruddick Story by Beau Dixon

July 10, 2020/ @8pm

This one-man musical chronicles the life of Maurice Ruddick, an African Canadian who survived the historic mining disaster in Springhill, Nova Scotia in 1958.  Ruddick – an African Canadian – was awarded “Citizen of the Year” for saving the lives of his fellow workers.  The show recalls the events of seven miners trapped one mile beneath a small mining town, the effect it had on their rural Canadian community, and the racial tension that surfaced as a result. 

Beau Dixon is a multi-award winning playwright, actor, composer, and sound designer. As a playwright he has been commissioned by Arbor Theatre; Heritage Pavilion; Canadian Citizenship of Immigration and the  Prince of Wales Public School. Beneath Springhill: The Maurice Ruddick Story won him two Dora awards (Best New Play and Best Performance/ TYA Division), the Calgary Critics Award (Best Individual Performance), Calgary Critics nomination (Best Touring Play), and a Betty Mitchell nomination (Best Male Performance).   In 2016 he was a KM Hunter Award finalist and was also inducted into Peterborough’s Pathway of Fame for his leadership in the dramatic arts.

Silence: Mabel and Alexander Graham Bell by Trina Davies

July 31, 2020/ @8pm

Alexander Graham Bell connected people around the world by inventing the telephone. But it was of little use to his wife, Mabel, who was deaf. Written from Mabel’s point of view, the story begins in Nova Scotia as Mabel reflects back on her life with Bell. Together they inspired and challenged each other to become strong, original forces for good. A beautiful (and true) love story about how we communicate.

Trina Davies’ award-winning plays include Shatter, Multi User Dungeon, The AuctionThe Bone Bridge, and Waxworks. Her play The Romeo Initiative was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama 2012 and won the National Enbridge Prize for Established Artist. The Bone Bridge won the Woodward International Playwriting Prize as well as the National Uprising Prize. Shatter, which had its world premiere production at Ship’s Company in 2005, went on to a successful Off-Broadway production in NYC. Her plays have been performed across Canada and beyond including Germany, Italy, and India.

Mind The Light by Gabrielle Papillon

August 7, 2020/ @8pm

By the time Azelie is 15, she has taken over her mother’s job and has become a lighthouse keeper, performing many of the duties, including rescues. Over time, she becomes famous for her many rescues and becomes the reluctant hero among the local mainlander townspeople. Azelie falls in love under impossible circumstances yet remains devoted to the lighthouse and fights for her right to carry on minding the light and to keep her home. This tale about a family of women (and one man) who do not fit in with a conforming society, who find a way to be autonomous in a time when this was rare and unlikely, is also a love story about a love that is honest and true.

Gabrielle Papillon is a Halifax-based award-winning artist and songwriter. She has released seven albums which range from orchestral folk, to folk-pop, to art-pop with her newest release Shout (2019). She has had her songs placed in film, television, and advertisements in Canada, the United States, and Australia. She has been co-writing and collaborating with writer-producers and other writers for synch opportunities as well as co-writing with other artists for their own projects in the UK, the US, and Canada since 2016.

Mi’kmaq Stories: Past and Present by Shalan Joudry, Catherine Martin & Trevor Gould

August 21, 2020/ @8pm

Developed by Halifax Theatre for Young People and set to debut in the coming year, Mi’kmaq Stories: Past and Present weaves stories from the past with glimpses into current realities and dreams for the future. The work features writings by filmmaker Catherine Martin, dancer/drummer Trevor Gould and storyteller Shalan Joudry among others. The Shipwright Series will feature Joudry reading excerpts of her section of the script-in-progress.

Shalan Joudry is a writer, performance artist and storyteller. Her poetry has been published in literary journals and anthologies. Her first book of poetry, “Generations Re-emerging”, as well as her next collection (set to be released this fall) are published by Gaspereau Press. Her first play, “Elapultiek” was commissioned and produced twice by Two Planks and a Passion Theatre and is now in print form through Pottersfield Press. Shalan has since been writnig new theatrical pieces inspired by her work as a cultural interpreter and ecologist. She works form her home in L’sitkuk (Bear river First Nation), Nova Scotia, where she lives with her partner and two daughters.


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