2b theatre company strives to stimulate the mind and awaken the spirit by producing theatre that is innovative and challenging. We create, produce, present, and tour original work nationally and internationally. Our work is part of the evolution of contemporary theatre aesthetics.

We are also an incubator, central to a thriving national theatre community, that offers a range of creation, performance, and production opportunities for arts professionals from Halifax and beyond.

Artistic Co-Directors’ Statement

by Christian Barry and Anthony Black

2b creates works that explore the world around us, and our experience of what it means to be. We examine complex themes and are driven to render them in novel ways that engage both new and artistically seasoned audiences

History

2b was founded in 1999 by Christian Barry, Anthony Black, Andrea Dymond, Zach Fraser, and Angela Gasparetto, and incorporated in May 2000 as Bunnies in the Headlights Theatre. In 2004 Barry and Black became artistic co-directors, refined the company’s artistic and operational vision with increased emphasis on touring, and renamed the company 2b.

The Dream Team

Christian Barry

artistic co-director

Christian Barry is a multi-award winning director and theatre-maker from Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Christian is a co-founder and artistic co-director of 2b theatre company. He has directed shows at prestigious festivals and theatres around the world.

Christian was nominated for four individual Drama Desk Awards in 2018, including Best Director, and received a nomination for Best Produciton. He won a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Production, and was nominated for an Outstanding Director Dora. Other select awards: Three Theatre NS Merritt Awards for Outstanding Direction (nine nominations), Two for Outstanding New Play, and two for Outstanding Lighting Design. Christian received the 2008 Halifax Mayor’s award for an Emerging Artist, and the 2006-7 Urjo Kareda residency grant at the Tarragon Theatre.

Directing credits for 2b theatre company: Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story, The God that Comes, Homage, Revisited, The Russian Play, The Story of Mr. Wright, East of Berlin, Manners of Dying, and Cherry Docs. His productions have played at renowned venues and festivals including Bristol Old Vic, Edinburgh Fringe, Sydney Festival, Tarragon Theatre, Citadel Theatre, Magnetic North Festival, PuSh, Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts, Noorderzon, Aarhus Festival, Theaterformen Hanover, Luminato, World Stage, and 59E59 (Off-Broadway in New York City).

Anthony Black

artistic co-director

Anthony Black is a writer, director, actor, designer, and producer. Selected directing credits include Half Life (Theatre Aquarius), Geometry in Venice, Heroes (Festival Antigonish) Masked, Fathers & Sons, Soul Alone, The Marilyn Tapes (Neptune); King Ubu (Dal Theatre), Marion Bridge (Metamorphic Theatre), and Manners of Dying (2b, co-directed with Christian Barry). He has performed his solo show Invisible Atom in more than 100 presentations across Canada and internationally, including stops in Victoria, Halifax, Toronto, New York City (at the Public Theater), Cork, Sydney, Melbourne, and Edinburgh, where he won a Herald Angel Award. Anthony’s play Homage sold out it’s world premiere run in Halifax, and toured to Luminato and Magnetic North Festival (both in Canada). Anthony’s newest play, When it Rains, premiered in Halifax in April 2011 to full houses and rave reviews. Other scripts include Soul Alone (with Conor Green), and The Story of Mr. Wright (with Christian Barry and Globe Theatre Young Company). As a performer, Anthony has worked with 2b, Festival Antigonish, Neptune, Ship’s Company, TNB, Shakespeare by the Sea, and DMV Co-op. Anthony has received Theatre Nova Scotia Merritt Award nominations as a writer, director, set and sound designer. Anthony is a graduate of York University and the National Theatre School’s Directing Program.

Colleen MacIsaac

managing director

Colleen MacIsaac is a multidisciplinary artist based in K'jipuktuk/Halifax, working as a performer, graphic designer, playwright, producer, and illustrator.

The winner of the 2016 Halifax Mayor’s Award for Emerging Theatre Artist, she is also the artistic producer of The Villain’s Theatre and the development committee head at the Bus Stop Theatre Cooperative. As an performer, she has worked with Zuppa Theatre (This is Nowhere), Matchstick Theatre (The Little Years), Workshirt Opera (Orlando), Xara Choral Theatre (Fatty Legs), Us Vs Them (A Tournament of Lies), as well as with The Villain's Theatre (Fox, Arden). Recent plays include Cartography, The Blazing World, and dark matter. Her minicomics have been nominated for national awards, and her animated short films have screened on four continents.

Colleen received her Bachelor of Media Arts from Emily Carr University. She does a drawing every day and posts it online at http://instagram.com/quietprocess.

Karen Gross

managing producer

Karen Gross is a Halifax based producer. She spends most of her time with 2b. Karen is also an artistic co-director of Keep Good (Theatre) Company (Let’s Try This Standing, Constellations) and the resident producer for the Accidental Mechanics Group (Let’s Not Beat Each Other To Death, The Unfamiliar Everything). She occasionally works as a consultant with Strategic Arts Management. Karen has previously worked with Zuppa Theatre, Live Art Dance, HomeFirst Theatre, and the Magnetic North Theatre Festival. She is the co-founder of the StART Festival, an interdisciplinary festival of art by emerging artists at the Bus Stop Theatre. She graduated from the University of King’s College in 2014 with a combined honours degree in theatre and contemporary philosophy.

Rebecca Desmarais

tour producer

Prior to 2b, Rebecca worked as the General Manager and Artistic Programmer for the Classic Theatre Cobalt, and as Artistic Associate for the Sudbury Theatre Centre. Also a teacher, she taught in secondary schools in the UK, with child actors in film and television, and also worked within the education department of theatre companies such as Tarragon Theatre, Mixed Company Theatre, and Sudbury Theatre Centre. She has a Specialized Honours Degree in Theatre, a Double Minor in Philosophy and Sociology from York University, a BEd from the University of Toronto, as well as a Certificate in Arts and Cultural Management from Grant E. MacEwan University. With deep pride, Rebecca originally hails from Northeastern Ontario.

Louisa Adamson

director of production

Louisa is a production manager and technical director, event producer and designer, stage manager, collaborator and technician. A Graduate of the Technical Scenography Program at Dalhousie University and recipient of the prestigious Scotland Herald ‘little devil’ award at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe. Merritt Award Recipient: Outstanding Lighting Design (Five Easy Steps, Zuppa Theatre Co. 2011), Outstanding Set Design (Poor Boy, Zuppa Theatre Co.2010) and Outstanding Stage Manager- Technician (2007). Louisa is the General Manager of the Spatz Theatre in Halifax N.S. and Resident Stage Manager / Director of Production for 2b theatre company Past work includes: Collaborator with Misery Loves (theatre) Company, Secret Theatre, Designer for Zuppa Theatre Co., Production Manager for Eastern Front Theatre and Super Nova Theatre Festival, Special Events Producer for The Atlantic Film Festival. Co-Founder of The New Science and Board Member of the Legacy Centre. Louisa is based in Halifax N.S, Canada and often tours to theatres and festivals across North America and Europe.

Chelsea Dickie

administrator

Chelsea is one of the founding members and the Company Manager of Matchstick Theatre, the Chair of the board of directors for the Bus Stop Theatre Co-op, and the new Nova Scotia High School DramaFest Coordinator.

She’s spent the last few years as both a Drama educator with the HRSB, and working as a freelance Stage Manager around the province; having managed many in-house shows with many different wonderful companies such as The Doppler Effect, Villain’s Theatre, Workshirt Opera, Festival Antigonish, TAG, Side-by-Side productions, TNTS, and Terra Novella Theatre.

With Matchstick she has produced and stage managed Don Hannah’s The Woodcutter, Jordan Tannahill’s Peter Fechter: 59 Minutes, and Catherine Banks’ Bitter Rose and Bone Cage in 2017.

Lianne Perry

development coordinator

Lianne Perry is an entrepreneur with a background in online technology. Her previous work has included administering employment programs for youth, and business coaching in social media, mobile technology and online marketing. In 2017, Lianne was the recipient of the Power IT Up: Next Generation Leadership Award, presented by Digital Nova Scotia in celebration of an emerging female leader whose contributions to career advancement and diversity in Nova Scotia’s ICT sector are significant. In addition to her business pursuits, Lianne is an award-winning freelance writer and performer, with a particular love for comedy and puppetry. She currently works as an independent business consultant, choosing projects that allow her to share her passion for business and the arts.

David Gagnon Walker

2019 RBC emerging artist-in-residence

David Gagnon Walker is a playwright, dramaturg, and performer with roots in Edmonton, AB and Chicoutimi, QC. His plays prioritize formal experimentation, integrating text-based drama with other modes of contemporary performance. They include: The Big Ship (winner of the 2018 Playwrights Guild of Canada RBC Emerging Playwright Award), Premium Content (Major Matt Mason Collective, 2018), and Pink Moon (winner of the 2017 Wildfire National Playwriting Competition). Dramaturgy includes The Observed Flight of Birds (2b Theatre/NTS, 2017), Trying to Listen While not Giving a Fuck (Surreal SoReal/Zone Homa, 2018), and the contemporary circus show Particle # B (Grenoble, France, 2018; 2019 tour to Australia and Finland). David also works as an actor, translator (French-to-English), and educator. He is in the final year of the playwriting program at the National Theatre School of Canada, and is Co-Artistic Director of The General Radio Service, a newly-formed pan-Canadian company dedicated to making and touring innovative new work.

2b theatre company engages consultants from Strategic Arts Management. 2b is represented by Menno Plukker Theatre Agent Inc.

Board of Directors

Catherine Woodman (chair), Margaret Chapman (past chair), Andrew Black (vice-chair), Sean Joudry (secretary), Scott Hanko (treasurer).
Directors  –  Jeannine Bakeeff, Daniela Bassan, Denise MacDonnell, Lisa Merrithew, Jeremy Moore, Sarah Simpson, Denise Smith, Charla Williams.

Professional Artist Development

Each year, 2b hosts one RBC Emerging Artist-in-Residence. They are mentored by 2b’s staff and integrated into the company’s projects and processes. Past RBC Emerging Artists-in-Residence have assistant directed and designed 2b shows and co-produced their own work with 2b’s support. 

2b welcomes applications from writers, directors, performers, designers, and production personnel/ technicians. Candidates will have completed specialized training in their art form (not necessarily in academic institutions) and have less than five years professional experience in theatre. This is a paid position. The open call for the 2020 RBC Emerging Artist-in-Residence will be posted here when it is available.

Past RBC Emerging Artists-in-Residence Anna Shepard and Laura Vingoe-Cram credit: Stoo Metz

This year’s RBC Emerging Artist-in-Residence is David Walker.

Past Emerging Artists

  • Anna Shepard (2017-18)

  • Laura Vingoe-Cram (2016-17)

  • Gillian Clark (2015-16)

  • Daniel Oulton (2014-15)

  • Katie Dorian (2013-14)

  • Kristin Slaney (2012-13)

  • Griffin McInnes (2011-12)

  • Simon Bloom (2010-11)

  • Nick Bottomley (2009-10)

2b shares an office space and an espresso machine with Live Art Dance and Secret Theatre. It was important to us that it become something more. We named the boardroom the Colloquium and began to host public conversations about art-making.

Guidelines

The purpose of the Colloquium is to foster better conversations about art-making. Colloquia can be proposed by anybody in the community but must be hosted by a resident company at 6068 Quinpool Rd.

Values

Respect for other points of view, passion, insatiable curiosity about artistic practice and purpose, and desire for continued artistic evolution.

Propose a Colloquium?

Past Events

  • “So what do we make of that?” – a debrief following the 2014 Magnetic North Theatre Festival
  • Colloquium No.1 – “Overlapping Disciplines” – hosted by Paul Caskey from Live Art with guest artists Peter Trosztmer and Lois Brown
  • Colloquium No.2 -“How did they arrive at that?”- hosted by Anthony Black from 2b theatre company and investigated Thomas Ostermeier’s production of Hamlet 
  • Colloquium No. 3 – “Show and Tell” – hosted by Dustin Harvey from Secret Theatre
  • Colloquium No. 4 – “Theatricality and Directorial Interpretation” – convened by Tessa Mendel from Halifax Theatre for Young People and hosted by 2b
  • Colloquium No. 5 – “There Are No Secrets” – hosted by Dustin Harvey from Secret Theatre with guest artist Adrienne Wong
  • Colloquium No. 6 -“The Kids Are Alright”  – hosted by Gillian Clark from 2b
  • Colloquium No. 7 – “How Do You Say Goodbye?” – hosted by Dustin Harvey from Secret Theatre with guest artist Chad Dembski
  • Colloquium #8 – “The Art of a Digital Encounter” – hosted by Anthony Black from 2b

  • Colloquium  #9 – “Performing and Presenting Psychological Health” – hosted by Lara Lewis from 2b

  • Colloquium #10 – “Chargin’ From the Margins” – convened by DaPoPo Theatre and hosted by 2b

  • Colloquium #11 – “Science and Dance” – convened by Lisa Phinney Langley and Jacinte Armstrong and hosted by Live Art Dance
  • Colloquium #12 – “Memory in Play” – hosted by Laura Vingoe-Cram from 2b

  • Colloquium #13 – “Theatre in the Apocalyptic Age” – convened by Mark Foster and hosted by 2b

  • Colloquium #14 – “Theatre of Escape” – hosted by Julia Schultz from 2b

  • Colloquium #15 – “Artists and the Academy” – hosted by Shauntay Grant from 2b

  • Colloquium #16 – “What is good acting?” – hosted by Anthony Black from 2b

  • Colloquium #17 – “What’s Allowed? Exploring Intimacy in One-to-One Theatre” – hosted by Miranda Bowron from 2b

  • Colloquium #18 – “Triggered: Ethics Surrounding Trauma Onstage” – hosted by Anna Shepard from 2b

  • Colloquium #19 – “Who decides what is good writing?” – convened by Lara Lewis and hosted by 2b

  • Colloquium #20 – “Are we responsible to the truth”? – convened by Annie Valentina and hosted by 2b

Student reps are a vital liaison between 2b and the Halifax university community. Responsibilities include coordinating student communications and events, facilitating talkbacks and workshops with professional artists, and promoting 2b and its events and productions on and off campus. Past student reps have gone on to work in theatre professionally, both with 2b and elsewhere.
A call for new student reps goes out in the spring every year.

This season’s student reps are Andrew Chen, Rooks Field-Green, Logan Robins, Jack Smith, and Qing Wang.

Past Student Reps

  • 2017-18: Miranda Bowron, Ursula Calder, and Jack Smith
  • 2016-17: Kayla Gunn, Lara Lewis, and Julia Schultz
  • 2015-16: Ivy Charles, Lara Lewis, and Julia Schultz
  • 2014-15: Henricus Gielis, Jonathan Brown Gilbert, and Morgan Melnyk
  • 2013-14: Henricus Gielis, Alanna Griffin & Morgan Melnyk, Youth Outreach Coordinator: Karen Gross
  • 2012-13: Gillian Clark, Karen Gross & Laura Vingoe-Cram
  • 2011-12: Kari Bell, Patrick Blenkarn & Bethany Hindmarsh
  • 2010-11: Griffin McInnes & Kari Bell
  • 2009-10: Emily Turner & Simon Bloom
Past Student Reps Ivy Charles, Miranda Bowron, and Lara Lewis. Photo: Stoo Metz

2b presents professional development workshops for the professional artistic community to promote the development of artists in the region.

Recent workshops include:

2018

  • Beyond the Comfort Zone workshops:
    • The Hard Stuff: Playwriting with Juanita Peters
    • Acting on Impulse with Ann-Marie Kerr
    • Fight Combat and Sex Onstage with Richie Wilcox, Karen Bassett, and Lee-Anne Poole

2017

  • Crafting Worlds: A Sounds and Video Design Workshop with Aaron Collier
  • Viewpoints Masterclass with Thomas Morgan-Jones
  • Women’s Work Workshops:
    • Starting from Where We Are: Playwriting with Catherine Banks
    • The Devising Process with Laura Vingoe-Cram
    • Directing with Ann-Marie Kerr

2016

  • Projection Design with Daniel Oulton
  • Open Doors Workshops:
    • Directing with Ann-Marie Kerr and Anthony Black
    • Playwriting with Hannah Moscovitch and Gillian Clark
    • Lighting Design with Johnny Cann

Watch this page or 2b’s social media for upcoming workshops.

2b theatre company would like to acknowledge the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture, & Heritage – Cultural & Youth Activities Program for funding past workshops.

Upcoming Workshops

Workshops
February 18, 2019

Theatre Workshop Convention

A day-long workshop on Sunday March 10 2019 convention focusing on the development of new performance work. TheatreCon is a project of this year's 2b…

Highlights and Production History

1999

Our Boy Ben and Etiquette play at the Atlantic Fringe Festival

2003

Cherry Docs tours to 7 cities across Eastern Canada

2007

Revisited heads to Germany for 2b’s first international tour

2010

Invisible Atom wins the Herald Angel Award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

2015

When it Rains plays in India, 2b’s first tour to Asia

2018

Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story plays off-Broadway, nominated for 6 Drama Desk awards