Highland Arts Theatre stages World Premiere by local playwright


Jan. 2, 2015. Sydney, NS.  the Highland Arts Theatre will launch the first half of its ambitious 2015 Season with Kyle Capstick’s “Sh*t Song for Some Island”. The play, featuring a cast of five local actresses, will run for four nights in Sydney before Capstick returns to Toronto to launch a second production there.


        The play is a bold, sometimes poetic, look at love of place and past, which attempts to reverse the narrative of “girl from small town goes to big city”. Fiddler wants you to believe that there’s something about this island. Jane knows she’s in love with it despite never having been there. Jane’s sister Ryann doesn’t share her love. Worried that Jane will leave the city for the island, Ryann asks Duana to convince Jane that the island isn’t worth loving. If the air on the island is music, will Jane ever play it?


Kyle Capstick is an emerging playwright/director and native of Marion Bridge. He is the managing director of the Toronto-based company, Newborn Theatre. Previous credits include: I don't want to dance with straight people (Newborn Theatre), Of Shapes Transformed by Love (Aim for the Tangent Theatre/Newborn Theatre); Clunk (Acadia Theatre Company); Uncertain (Atlantic Fringe Festival); and Something for My Grandparents (Cape Breton Stage Company).
Sh*t Song marks his first production home in Cape Breton since leaving for Toronto two years ago.


The cast features local talents: Jenn Tubrett, Diana MacKinnon-Furlong, Bonnie MacLeod, Kathleen O’Toole, and Lindsay Thompson. Following each performance, there will be a Songwriters Circle featuring local musicians Alicia Penney, John Gill, and Danny MacNeil included in the ticket price. Evening performances are 19+ and alcohol will be served. There will be a special “all-ages” performances on Saturday, Jan. 10th at 2:00.  


I love Cape Breton. I was born and raised here. I spent 5 years studying at Cape Breton University. I left the island 2 years ago to pursue theatre in Toronto. Shortly after moving, I entered Pat the Dog Playwrights’ Centre’s 24-Hour Playwriting Competition. I had 24-hours to write a full play that incorporated 3 words; the third of which was fiddle. In the subsequent 24-hours, I wrote the first draft of what would later become shit song for some island (it had a different title then); reading the draft later I realized that I’d started a Cape Breton play.


Over the next two years I would scrap and re-start draft after draft of the show. I would come back to it between other projects just to get angry at the draft all over again. There was something about Cape Breton that I wanted to write, but I hadn’t found it yet. How could I talk about this place without either idealizing it as a paradise or making fun of it? I wanted to create something that was true to my, and my peers, experiences of this place.


When I moved away, I couldn’t wait to leave the island behind. I was ready to call it names and talk about it behind its back. I needed an “it’s not you, it’s me” break up with the island because it couldn’t provide me with the things I felt I needed. I blamed the island for lacking rather than seeing it as personal growth (who needs maturity at 23-years-old?). At one point, when the island and I were back on speaking terms, I realized that in order to write this play I needed to bring it home.

I love Cape Breton, but I haven’t always loved it in the same way. I’ve resented it, I’ve cursed it, I’ve longed for it, and I’ve never stopped loving it (all of this is reflected in the show). I also know my relationship to the island is not unique in its complications. This show’s heart (and mine) has always been here; I am overjoyed to have the opportunity to bring it home.  


highland arts theatre presents



    WRITTEN & DIRECTED BY               Kyle Capstick

  FIDDLER GIRL                                 Jenn Tubrett

                       FIDDLER                                          Diana Furlong-MacKinnon

      DUANA                                           Bonnie MacLeod

      RYANN                                            Kathleen O’Toole

             JANE                                               Lindsay Thompson  


  STAGE MANAGEMENT                  Mary-Jean Doyle

                                                          Jill Taylor

  LIGHTING DESIGN                          Ken Heaton

  COSTUME DESIGN                         Lindsay Junkin

  PROMOTION DESIGN                    Hilary Scott

  “Island Theme” COMPOSED BY    Breagh MacKinnon

  PRODUCER                                     Wesley J. Colford

  EXECUTIVE PRODUCER                 Kevin Colford


Rachel Ganz, Lisa O’Connell, Carina Gaspar, Luke Brown,

Dan Greenburg, Myriam Legere, Mary-Elizabeth Willcott,

Pat the Dog Creation Centre, Bev Brett, Stephen McIsaac,

Chris Walzak, Brittany Robinson, and Thalia Leonard.



Kyle Capstick


Kyle Capstick is an emerging playwright/director and native of Marion Bridge. He is the managing director of the Toronto-based company, Newborn Theatre. Previous credits include: I don't want to dance with straight people (Newborn Theatre), Of Shapes Transformed by Love (Aim for the Tangent Theatre/Newborn Theatre); Clunk (Acadia Theatre Company); Uncertain (Atlantic Fringe Festival); and Something for My Grandparents (Cape Breton Stage Company).


Mary-Jean Doyle
Stage Manager

Mary-Jean Doyle is an artist, poet, and theatre practitioner at the heart of Sydney's theatre community. She began acting with the Dangerous Dreamers drama group in 1996, and she hasn't looked back since. Known for her effervescent personality and artistic dedication, she has acquired over two dozen acting and stage management credits with the Bandshell Players, the Cape Breton Stage Company, and the Boardmore Theatre, including her award winning performance in All My Day Jobs at the 2014 One Act Festival. Her artwork has appeared in conjunction with The Wakowski Brothers and Voices for Change: a call to action to end violence against women in Cape Breton. Most recently, she has joined the family of the Highland Arts Theatre as she pursues her Theatre Arts Certificate at Cape Breton University. 


Lindsay Junkin

Costume Design

Lindsay Junkin is a Toronto-based, costume and prop designer. While recently finishing a three year residency as an in-house designer for Unit 102 Actors Co, she was able to expand her skills on productions like, American Buffalo by David Mamet, Betty Lambert's Under the Skin, Jesus Hopped the A Train by Stephen Adly Guirgis, Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, A Behanding in Spokane by Martin McDonagh and more. Lindsay also was able to enjoy many outside opportunities, working on the Mills Entertainment touring production, The Hungry Hungry Games, Manic Productions' Asylum By The Lake and Kyle Capstick's Of Shapes Transformed By Love. Most recently she had the illuminating experience of working alongside the talented people at Talk is Free Theatre on their current show I, Claudia. With several shows in her design future to work on, she hopes to get to continue to bring her background in disability advocacy and theory into her work with the physicality that is live theatre!


Bonnie MacLeod

Performer – DUANA

Bonnie is a poet and performer, born and raised in Sydney. After several years in Halifax, NS and Kingston, ON pursuing school and work, she returned to her hometown in 2011. Since then she has established the Bandshell Players, a community theatre company responsible for bringing public theatre into public spaces, such as Wentworth Park. She is currently employed with the Fortress of Louisbourg, and is in the process of finishing her first poetry collection about living with mental illness in Cape Breton.


Lindsay Thompson

Performer – JANE

Lindsay Thompson has been a fixture on the Cape Breton theatre scene for over fifteen years. In Janurary 2014 she directed her own adaptation of Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice on the CBU boardmore stage and won an award for Best Director. As an actor she has performed as a member of the Fortress of Lousbourg's acting unit in their various dinner theaters, murder mysteries and reinactments. She also performed in as Ceceilia in As You Like (June 2013) and Gonerial in King Lear (October, 2014) with the Bandsell Players. Shit Song for Some Island in her first performance with Highland Arts Theatre.


Jenn Tubrett

Performer – FIDDLER GIRL

Jenn Tubrett has been active on the Cape Breton theatre scene since 2005 as an actor, director and playwright. Recently she's appeared on stage as Rosalind (As You Like It, June 2013), Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice, Jan 2014), Narrator 1 (The Juniper Tree, Lumiere 2014) Elizabeth Lavenza (Frankenstein, October 2014), and Olivia (The Twelfth Night, November 2014). Shit Song for Some Island marks her first performance with Highland Arts Theatre.


Diana MacKinnon-Furlong

Performer – FIDDLER

An ongoing veteran of theatre, Diana comes with a wealth of theatre experience both on and off the stage. She has participated in over 40 various productions while in Ontario and now back home here in Cape Breton. Currently active with The Mira Players ,CBU Boardmore playhouse and Paul Gatchell of Take Note as her vocal coach, She has openly embraced the Highland Arts Theatre and is looking forward to her role as Fiddler in Shit Song for some Island.


Jill Taylor

Assistant Stage Manager

Jill Taylor is excited to be involved as Assistant Stage Manager for Shit Song for Some Island. Having been inspired by various productions since returning to Cape Breton, she rediscovered her love for theatre and began studying voice under Robyn Cathcart. Jill is fresh off her debut performance in A Christmas Carol, and she will also appear in the Boardmore Theatre's February production of 'A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum'. Jill is currently a substitute teacher with the CBVRSB and teaches online mathematics sessions to students across Canada.



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