For over four decades, Rising Tide Theatre in Trinity has been producing works that speak to the history, heritage and culture of Newfoundland and Labrador, while welcoming thousands of visitors annually from all over the province and beyond. And featuring plays, concerts, a dinner theatre, and new and innovative works by some of the province’s best writers, there’s lots to choose from to help quench your thirst for great, live theatre.
Last summer, the cast and crew experienced a somewhat different season due to the ongoing pandemic. But even through all of the stress, anxiety and uncertainty that COVID-19 has brought, the team found a way to make it work with smaller audiences, socially-distanced seating and working with government to ensure public health and safety measures were met.
“It impacted us quite severely, but we did find that quite a few people travelled and came to the shows, and I think there was just a real excitement and appreciation that we were putting something on, that we’re really trying. And they came in good numbers and they really enjoyed the product,” says Donna Butt, Founder and Artistic Director of Rising Tide Theatre.
Keeping the lines of communication open, Butt says, has also been critical.
“We all had to figure it out as we went along…how could everybody feel comfortable and safe, and get the work done. We spent a lot of time talking to each other and I also talked to the audience every night so if there were any concerns or anything, they could express them.”
For Trinity, a place that relies so much on tourism, navigating a pandemic has been challenging, as it has been for so many other communities around the province. But Butt says the whole area, including local businesses such as B&Bs and restaurants, has pulled together to ensure a safe and comfortable experience for visitors.
“We’re all kind of, as a team, trying to make sure that we provide a great place to come to, and we did that last summer as well, so we got a little bit of a step up in that we worked out some of the wrinkles.”
This year, with the same public health and safety guidelines in place, Rising Tide was once again able to offer a whole roster of shows – and it’s not over yet. With a cast and crew of approximately 30, Butt says Rising Tide has been offering up “a bit of everything” this season (which opened in mid June). They’ve featured eight productions including new local work; a variety show with the music of Rum Ragged, recitations, and comedic skits and songs; as well as the popular Trinity Pageant – an outdoor theatre experience (fitting for the current climate ) that takes guests on a walking tour of Trinity, and includes music and a whole cast of colourful characters who bring the town’s rich history to life.
If you haven’t had a chance to check out a play in Trinity this summer, there’s still time. Rising Tide’s current season wraps on September 25 and until then, will feature two productions – the funny and moving “Salt Water Moon,” as well as “Terese’s Creed,” which plays tribute to the women of Newfoundland and Labrador, starring Butt in the title role (click here to see showtimes).
Also this fall, Butt says, Rising Tide is looking forward to getting to work on their popular annual “Revue” show, which turns a comedic lens on milestone moments from the past year.
“We’re going to be travelling that around through the month of October and ending with the performances in St John’s the first week of November. So we’re going to be pretty busy.”
To purchase tickets to Rising Tide’s current productions, click here or call the box office at 1-888-464-3377 (toll-free) or 709-464-3232 (local).