Elephant's Graveyard, Director's Notes, Audition Notice and more... 
Dartmouth Players
March/April 2017 Newsletter

In This Issue

Elephant's Graveyard
• Director's Notes
• Audition Notice

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Dartmouth, NS
B2Y 3Y2
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Elephant's Graveyard

By George Brant, Directed by Tamara Smith

March 30th - April 15th

Thursdays to Saturdays at 8pm

*Preshow featuring Junior Atlantic Cirque starts at 7:20pm*

Sunday matinees on April 2nd and 9th at 2pm

For the first time in years, the circus is coming to sleepy town of Erwin, Tennessee. Everyone is excited, from the preacher to the youngest child. The biggest attraction of all is the fabled elephant, Mary, the “largest living land animal on earth”. Mary will lead the big parade that everyone has been so looking forward to. In anticipation of the great event, her picture is plastered on every pole, post and door. Come the day of the parade though something goes terribly wrong. The circus’ chance hiring of a stranger unfamiliar with the ways of elephants and unwilling to learn them, sets off a chain of disasters that reveals human nature at its worst.

This production explores our contradictory relationship with elephants in all its complexity, bringing out the laughter, the tears, the sheer heartbreak. We're pleased to present our own miniature version of "the greatest show on earth." Don't miss it. The play's message has never been more timely than it is today.

“. . .buzzes with truth about the consequences of misunderstanding, the invisible but enormous gap between artists and their audiences, and the infernal beauty of vaudeville.” The Stranger, Seattle

Preshow featuring Junior Atlantique Cirque starts at 7:30pm. Curtain time is 8pm


Tickets are only $14 and $17. Visit, or call 1-888-311-9090, or pay cash at the door, pending availability of seats.

** Charity Preview is Monday, March 27th at 8pm , all proceeds go to the NS Gambia Association. For tickets please contact Luke at 902-229-0343, or purchase online at, or call 1-888-311-9090.
Special needs seating requests: 

Accepted through Ticketpro at 1-888-311-9090 or Alderney Landing Theatre only until 72 hours before each performance.


Elephant's Graveyard - Notes from the Director

There’s just something about elephants.

I remember going to the circus when I was a little kid: Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey. I remember the tigers. The clowns. The cotton candy. But the best part—the thing that I remember more than anything else—was getting to ride an elephant. I must have been very young. But I remember the feel of her skin, the surprise of seeing stiff, wire-like hairs on an animal I had expected to be hairless, and the awe and excitement to be so high up, feeling her sway back and forth as a trainer led her in a circle around the parking lot with a gaggle of starry-eyed children on her back.

As a child, it was pure joy. As an adult, the memory is much more complicated. I still love elephants. But times have changed. The innocent thrill of meeting a real, live elephant now has to contend with images of circus animals chained and suffering. Animals who remember their friends, mourn their dead, and communicate over vast distances by singing in frequencies too low for us to hear, and who probably shouldn’t be spending their lives travelling from city to city in boxcars and 18 wheelers.

There is a tension inherent in this fascination. It’s love that draws us to these animals, but our attraction hurts them. It’s this contradiction that makes Elephant’s Graveyard such a powerful piece. It is a meditation on the destructiveness of desire.

I’ve been fortunate to have an amazing cast to work with on this show. They’ve been digging into the nuances, finding the joy and the heartbreak, the exhilaration and the despair -- and the moments where they all blend together uncomfortably. And so we present to you a complicated memory—our own little echo of the greatest show on earth.

While we were rehearsing, Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey’s announced they will be closing this May. In 2016, bowing to pressure from animal rights groups, they stopped using elephants in their shows. Without the elephants, the shows couldn’t draw audiences the way they once did.

There’s just something about elephants.

- Tamara Smith, director

Special Guests Perform in Elephant's Graveyard                                                

We are so pleased to offer our audiences this special feature.

Members of a Junior Troupe from Atlantic Cirque will be performing, under the direction of Vanessa Furlong, at Elephant’s Graveyard.

Atlantic Cirque Ltd. has operated in HRM since 2002 and is enjoying its fifteen year. It is the biggest circus school east of Montreal and is Atlantic Canada's first school of Circus Arts and Artist Agency. The goal of Atlantic Cirque is to introduce circus arts to anyone who is interested. The circus school offers students the opportunity to develop and hone aptitudes like coordination, strength, flexibility, concentration and creativity in a structured and safe environment under the instruction and supervision of circus professionals who trained and performed in Canada, the United States, Asia, Central America, Europe and India.



Special Thanks

Special thanks to Greg Simm, who was our music advisor for Elephant’s Graveyard.

Greg recently has been the sound designer for San Family Productions. He has performed in Neptune Theatre productions such as Foxfire (1989) and Dream A Little Dream (1997 & 1999).  Between 1987-2012 at Ships Co. Theatre in Parrsboro he worked as producer, writer, musician, and soundscape creator. The last ten years, Greg has travelled to Nunavut teaching music to Inuit Youth with “Music For The Future”.  /

Cast Photos -  Elephant's Graveyard

L-R;  Ringmaster  -  Roy Ellis; Trainer - Sharleen Kalayil; Ballet Girl - Kiera Lunn; Tour Manager - Rob McIntyre; Strongman - Brian O’Connell; Clown - Kelly Doney Morrison; Drummer - Evan Toth- Martinez; Hungry Townsperson - Des Adams; Marshal - Sean Mott; Muddy Townsperson - Nikki Timmons; Preacher - Matthew Myers; Steam Shovel Operator - Brad Morrison; Young Townsperson - Christine Georgiannis; Guitarist - Jacques Robear; Engineer - Heather MacPherson; Director - Tamara Smith

Cast photo credit: Bruce Goodick

Audition Notice

Jake's Women by Neil Simon

Directed by Ian MacDermid

Produced by Holly Irving

Have you ever wondered what the person you meet walking down the street is thinking? Have you ever had a whole conversation with someone who was not even there? Jake has. 

Neil Simon takes us inside the mind of Jake, a writer with writer's block and a failing marriage. To weigh his options, he has conversations with his therapist, his sister, his deceased wife, his daughter at age 12 and age 21, his present wife, most times without any of them being in the room. It's all going well until his imagined characters start to have a mind of their own. Neil Simon takes us on a journey through Jake's complicated life with his usual insight and humour. 

As always, Dartmouth Players is assembling a fantastic team to bring you this funny and thought provoking play about relationships and imagination. 

Auditions will be Sunday, March 19th  1-4pm and Tuesday, March 21 7-9pm. Watch our Facebook page for details.

Questions? Please contact the director at


Jake's Women

By Neil Simon
Directed by Ian MacDermid

June 8th - 24th, 2017
Wednesday to Saturdays at 8pm 
Sunday Matinee 2pm on June 11th and 18th

Jake, a novelist who is more successful with fiction that with life, faces a marital crisis by daydreaming about the women in his life. The wildly comic and sometimes moving flashbacks played in his mind are interrupted by visitations from actual females.

A Fond Farewell!

Dartmouth Players is losing two very special volunteers this month as Daniel Yule and his wife Darcy MacLeod make preparations to move to California where Daniel will put his newly minted PHD in Computer Science to good use, as he takes up a position at Google. This will be a great adventure for Daniel and Darcy and all of us at Dartmouth Players wish them well.
Daniel was the talented director who gave us the very well received Don’t Tell Mother this season, and directed the equally successful The Game’s Afoot.  Last season he stage-managed The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). In other seasons he co-directed Harvey, played Bobby in Run For Your Wife and Hennessey in Count Dracula.
Darcy is at the theatre most nights of our performances, greeting patrons, scanning their tickets and generally making all who enter our community theatre feel welcome.
Both Daniel and Darcy have contributed a great deal to Dartmouth Players and we thank them for all they have done. Daniel and Darcy, you will be missed!


For Rent

The Dartmouth Players Theatre, in central Dartmouth,  is now available as a rental venue.  Suitable for meetings and presentations during the day. The theatre seats 109.  Pricing depends  on your needs. Please contact Mike Durling for bookings at

Scent Free for You and Me!

Many of our patrons, cast and crew members have sensitivities to fragrances and scented products.  Please respect these needs as we aim to provide a safe and comfortable environment for all in our small theatre.

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