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Friday, September 30, 2016

Review of the Play, A Ghostly Encounter, inspired by the HelenCreighton Collection.

Helen Creighton and Doreen Senior were 'visiting' the community of Memory Lane in Lake Charlotte last night for A Ghostly Encounter. It was a delightful visit and a successful theatre production of Eastern Shore Players. The play was in five acts and the audience moved from location to location for each act, much of which, was outside.

Helen Creighton, played by Ginny Mendl, and Doreen Senior,played by Thea Wilson Hammond seemed to fit the parts in both look and manner. Helen's looks of disbelief and Doreen's looks of puzzlement were priceless. Even their 1930ish costumes were believable from Helen's red ensemble to Doreen's outfit including warm coat and sensible shoes. Their arrival by car was one of the memorable scenes.

It was nice to see a mix of actors of all ages. The younger actors were enthusiastic with challenging contradictory parts and emotional dialogue such as Lloyd, the minister, played by Clarice Bowser and Mary, played by Jessica Coffin. A couple of the younger actors had logistically challenging feats such as the river scene in the final act. Kudos to Niko Wilson-Henkelmann who played Abbie, and to Emma Saunders, who played young Grace, for their incredible boat scene. Supporting actors of all ages were challenged to keep the dialogue flowing with vocal interjections and body language indicative of their characters such as the Bootlegger played by Tim Lambert or Sam, the Garageman/booted spirit played by Joan Monk. Many, if not all, of the actors used words in their dialogue or actions indicative of a different time and place; particularly Jack, the Fisherman played by Gordon Hammond. The changing settings also reflected the era as the audience moved from the United Church, Village Garage, Fishermans Storehouse, Little Harbour Schoolhouse, The Webber House to Dufferin pond.

The entire cast and crew, including the tech and staging teams, dealt with logistically challenging scenes to create memorable snapshot moments such as a view of a house from the outside in. The script highlighted the importance of oral history to communities by including songs, lore, superstition and stories throughout the play. These were the things that Helen went looking for in her travels all over the Maritimes, and as in the play, she sometimes had to be picky about what she recorded. Much depended on what organisation she was collecting for, why she was collecting, or even many supplies she had left for recording the material.

The great number of stories, songs and lore that Helen amassed are part of our collective culture in Nova Scotia. It is so nice to see the oral tradition being honoured in this delightful community production by a small, dedicated theatre company. As a museum, Memory Lane continues to engage audience with interesting events highlighting a particular era. This play, A Ghostly Encounter, is one of the gems.

NOTE: This play, A Ghostly Encounter, was partially funded by the Grant-In Aid program of the Helen Creighton Folklore Society.

PHOTOS: Helen ( in red) and Doreen (dark coat, white collar) arrive by car, and are introduced to the villagers. 

Helen collecting stories with her recording machine, Doreen sitting and taking notes.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

WTF! Starts September 23rd!

Our 2016-2017 season starts on the fourth Friday, September 23rd!  At every WTF!, we try to have a theme for performer songs, stories, music...but if you don't have anything for the theme, that's okay, just do what Don Burke does and perform anyway!
The theme for the 23rd is FOOD.
Listeners and performers, see details below:

WTF! What the Folk! 
Folk Songs, Folk Tales, 
Folk Craft, Folk Lore

Every second and fourth Friday of the month (Sept- June ) from 7-9pm. Seating at 6:30.

Open Mic format (unplugged). 
All welcome: listeners; singers, storytellers, musicians (see below for performers notes).

Spencer House
5596 Morris Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Cost: Free Will Donation towards the programs of the Helen Creighton Folklore Society. Creighton collection materials such as books and CDs are available for purchase. Also, visit our website.

Refreshments and baked goods for sale; proceeds from the treats go to Spencer House.

Parking is behind Spencer House after 6pm or on the side streets.

WTF! Celebrates the folk and oral traditions as well as the work of Dr. Helen Creighton.
WTF! Recognizes the value of oral history and tradition by honouring tradition bearers of the past and present, as well as, new creative works and performers.

As Helen might say: Come All Ye!

Hosted by Margo Carruthers and Cindy Campbell-Stone of the Helen Creighton Folklore Society.

WTF! Performers please note:
Sign up upon arrival - see the Host. Please sign up by 6:45 at the latest to guarantee a spot.
Instruments go in the green (purple) room.
Please respect other performers and keep your performance no longer than 5 minutes including intros and conclusions. 
Longer performances may be possible but must be cleared with the Host before event starts.
You are pretty much guaranteed one 5 minute set but may be asked to do another 5 minute performance so come prepared.
The Host has the final say on the flow of the evening.
There is a house guitar to use, if you like, as well as, a music stand and stool.
It's a friendly listening crowd so don't worry, just have fun!

Ann and Leo doing a duet

Jon playing the shortest song ever!

Cindy getting ready to tell a story

James and June doing a funny tune with actions!