Cliff Cardinal in Huff; Image by Elizabeth Kantor
Monday night, Huff opened its Magnetic North Theatre Festival run to a sold out crowd. You still have a chance to see the “darkly comedic journey” set on a First Nations reserve tonight through Saturday (June 25-28). Meet the play’s designer and producer, Elizabeth Kantor, who hopes audiences “leave with sweaty palms, beating hearts and brains full of questions machinating away.”

When and why did you first become interested in theatre?
EK: I first became interested in theatre at barely four years old when my Grandmother took me to see the Nutcracker. The whole experience was magical. From then on I wanted nothing more than to be a part of it. A part of the storytelling, a part of a community, a part of the spark when the story meets the audience.

Are they the same reasons that you continue to be involved today?
EK:  Today I work to tell stories that are socially and politically relevant – current, and in need of greater exposure, deeper dialogue. I’m hungry for the opportunity to confront the public, the audience, with a greater proximity to their humanity. Inspiring empathy in others is the greatest reward, and the ultimate motivation.  

What are the challenges of the vocation?
EK:  The challenges of creating theatre are mental, emotional, physical- the business of art-making on the whole is a life path that stretches you, that pushes you right up against what you thought you were capable of and then whispers: “Really? Are you sure you can’t go just a little further?”

What are the rewards?
EK:  The fruits of the challenges.

Designer/producer Elizabeth Kantor

Is your creative process more 'inspirational' or 'perspirational'?
EK:  It’s always both. They go hand in hand. It’s the vision, the image of the destination, and the drive, the foot on the gas to get there.

What can audiences here expect to experience with Huff?
EK:  Expectations are a tricky thing. I hope the Halifax audiences have an experience with Huff. I hope they leave with sweaty palms, beating hearts and brains full of questions machinating away.

What can Canadian theatre be doing better?
EK: Everything. If we’d found the ultimate solution, method, formula –  the work wouldn’t be nearly as compelling. Of most particular note though: inclusivity and engagement. The demographic on stage and in the audience remains largely homogenous. This is something that’s changing – but needs acceleration.

What's next on your creative agenda?
EK: Create every day. A piece of writing, a photo, a pie - create, create, create. That's the agenda. 

Performed by Cliff Cardinal
Directed by Karin Randoja
Designed by Elizabeth Kantor
Cardinal/ Kantor Productions (Toronto, ON)

June 25: 9:00pm
June 26: 8:00pm
June 27: 7:00pm
June 28: 7:00pm

David Mack. Murray Studio at Dalhousie University

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