Theatre company founded in Halifax Nova Scotia in 1999 by Christian Barry, Anthony Black, Andrea Dymond, Zach Fraser, and Angela Gasparetto. The company was incorporated in May 2000 under the name Bunnies in the Headlights Theatre and received status as a registered charity later that year. In 2004 Barry and Black took over as artistic co-directors and reinvented the company as 2b Theatre.
2b Theatre develops innovative new works, often in collaboration with other companies, which have travelled to theatre festivals across Canada, the US, in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Productions include: Eye Spy (On the Waterfront Festival with Eastern Front Theatre, 2001); Our Boy Ben or Breathing Problems (York University, Toronto, 2001); Tough! by George F. Walker (2001); Etiquette (A Clown Show) (Atlantic Fringe Festival, Halifax, 2001); Manners of Dying (National Theatre School of Canada 2002); Cherry Docs (2002, Eastern Canadian tour, 2003); Manners of Dying ( Neptune Theatre 2004); Invisible Atom (2005, Edinburgh Fringe 2010); Revisited (Free Fall Festival, The Theatre Centre, Toronto, 2006, Hanover Germany 2007); The Russian Play and Mexico City by Hannah Moscovitch (Chester Playhouse and Festival Antigonish, 2008); East of Berlin by Moscovitch (Bus Stop Theatre, 2009); Homage (Alderney Landing Theatre, 2009); When It Rains (2011, SummerWorks 2012); The Story of Mr. Wright(co-produced with Globe Theatre, premiered Neptune Studio Theatre, 2012).
In 2009, 2b Theatre was a “company in residence” at Theatre Passe Muraille, and workshopped Moscovitch’s work, What a Young Wife Ought to Know. The play is based on a compilation of letters women sent to famous birth control advocate Dr. Marie Stopes in the 1920s, and examines the physical and mental dilemma of a young woman without access to birth control in the 1920s. It premiered in a co-production with Neptune Theatre in 2015 (dir. Christian Barry).
Christian Barry collaborated with rock star Hawksley Workman in the conception and production of The God That Comes (PlayRites 2012), based on Euripides' The Bacchae, which won two Betty Mitchell Awards for Outstanding Production of a Musical, and Outstanding Sound Design. In this one-man cabaret, Workman interprets a rock n' roll Bacchus and various other characters through music.
In 2014, the Company premiered When It Rains at the Magnetic North Theatre Festival in Halifax. Written and directed by Anthony Black, it was billed as "a live-action existential graphic novel." For the 2016 Magnetic North Festival in Whitehorse, 2b mounted We Are Not Alone with Damien Atkins (dir. Chris Abraham and Christian Barry). It has since travelled across Canada.
For Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story, written by Christian Barry and Hannah Moscovitch, (dir. Barry), 2b Theatre Company collaborated with klezmer-folk artist Ben Caplan to tell a Canadian refugee story inspired by the immigration of Moscovitch's great-grandparents, both Romanian Jews. Although about the great loss inflicted by horrific pogroms in Romania, and anti-immigration sentiment in Canada, it also celebrates the strength and resilience which enabled Moscovitch's family to flourish in their new home. The show takes the form of a humorously dark folktale performed as a high-energy concert. It opened Off-Broadway in March 2018, and then toured across Canada.
In January 2019, 2b produced the world premiere of Shauntay Grant’s The Bridge with Neptune Theatre in association with Obsidian Theatre Company. "Set in a rural Black Nova Scotian community, The Bridge explores the complex relationship between two brothers strained over 20 years of secrecy, sin and shame. Secrets are revealed one by one from the brothers themselves, as well as a trio of community gossips who provide the musical backdrop for this gospel-infused tale" (website).
The premiere of Softly, now, a musical memoir by and about co-founders Christian Barry and Anthony Black, which relives their 20-year friendship together and contends with an uncertain future, was slated for March 2020 at BusStop Theatre, but delayed because of the Corona crisis.
In 2012, 2b Theatre introduced a Youth Production Mentorship Program, to provide assistance to independent theatre productions driven by youth 18-25.
Since 2004, 2b Theatre's productions have been nominated for forty-two Theatre Nova Scotia Merritt Awards, including five nominations for Outstanding Production. In 2008, 2b took home three Merritt Awards (Outstanding Director, Outstanding Lighting Design, and Outstanding Actor). In 2010, the Company was awarded the Scotland Herald Angel Award for its production of Invisible Atom at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Profile by Anne Nothof, Athabasca University
Last updated 2020-03-20