It’s kind of amazing to me since I’ve not been working for Mermaid Theatre very long, but the theatre has actually been around longer than I have. Next year, we’ll be celebrating 40 years of bringing theatre to children. It started out as a small operation, bringing their shows with their handcrafted puppets to schools around Nova Scotia. Note the stylish glasses they’re sporting in this 1972 photograph.
When I was just a wee lad, growing up in another place, I had no idea that kids in this province were being treated to real live theatre. I likely wouldn’t have had any idea what a theatre was, but I know I would have thought that this bird was pretty cool:
Their work continued, producing plays based on all kinds of children’s literature, fulfilling their mandate of not only introducing kids to live theatre, but also, by extension, to the joys of reading the works the shows are based on. In 1980, Margaret Atwood and Joyce Barkhouse created a new children’s book called “Anna’s Pet” . By 1982, Mermaid had adapted and performed it:
Some of these little guys are still hanging out in the office and workshops, keeping an eye on us while we continue to bring shows to life.
Of all of the talented people who have worked for Mermaid, I’m probably about the least qualified person here to talk about the history of the theatre, even though I unashamedly admit that I’ve quickly become one of their biggest fans. But, I happen to be the one updating the blog today, and my particular talent lies in knowing where the files are on the computer.
With that in mind, I’ll leave this (totally incomplete) history with one more picture for the day, from Mermaid’s 1984 production of “Peter and the Wolf”:
And I’d just like to add, that if that metallic creature could shoot fire out of it’s mouth, I would totally take it home with me. It would look great on my front lawn, and it might help to keep the raccoons away.
If you want to see more of our history, check out this page on our website.