KAZAN Celebrates Canada’s Birthday with Miss Conception – Three Shows Only!

Award-winning theatre company KAZAN CO-OP returns to the stage this summer with the return of Miss Conception – the beloved Toronto-based entertainer touring the world with his one-woman live singing shows.

In addition to fan-favourite The Immaculate Miss Conception, Miss Conception will also perform a new piece in tribute to The Dumbells – the legendary WWI troupe that brought drag artists to perform for Canadian soldiers on the front lines.

“I’m thrilled to come back to Halifax with a new show, and celebrate Canada Day in Nova Scotia!” says Miss Conception, aka Kevin Levesque. “I’m in the midst of developing a tribute to The Dumbells, who were an important part of the rise of drag performance in our country during the First World War and through the 1920s. It’s going to be so much fun!”

Miss Conception has had audiences across the USA, Mexico, South America, Europe, and Canada howling with laughter – and leaping to their feet with applause. He has opened for Will and Grace’s Leslie Jordan, performed with RuPaul’s Drag Race’s Courtney Act, had her own show with Second City Toronto, been featured on Queer as Folk and Degrassi, The Next Generation and won “Miss Gay Universe” and “Entertainer of the Year” and “Miss Gay Toronto.”

“I am so happy to bring this iconic Canadian artist to Halifax during a celebratory weekend” says KAZAN’s artistic director Kathryn MacLellan. “I saw Miss Conception perform this latest work in Mexico and immediately wanted to book it.

Added MacLellan: “Last July, Miss C, as his fans call him, received critical and audience acclaim. Many of our patrons returned multiple times to see the show. One woman came the first time with friends, then brought her husband the second time – they had a fantastic evening of entertainment. Miss C is hard to resist.”

When not touring, Miss Conception donates his spare time to fundraising events, including the People with Aids Foundation, Friends for Life Bike Rally, and his own charity fund with Fife House called the Miss Conception Resident Comfort Fund.

Miss Conception’s Halifax performances are supported by Louisa Adamson (lighting design), Janet MacLellan (co-producer) and Kathryn MacLellan (producer). Miss Conception designs her own costumes and creates the show.

KAZAN will present three shows coinciding with Canada Day Events. Miss Conception opens Friday, June 30 and runs to Sunday, July 2 at The Waiting Room, 6040 Almon Street. Show begins at 7:30PM (doors open at 6:45PM, cash bar). Runtime: 105 minutes with a 15-minute intermission.

For tickets: tickethalifax.com (search “KAZAN” or “Miss Conception”).

KAZAN is grateful to BMO Financial Group, Joan Craig, Halprint, and The Coast.


Kathryn MacLellan

KAZAN Heals All Troubles

Halifax’s award-winning theatre company KAZAN CO-OP returns to the stage this spring with Bryden MacDonald’s The Weekend Healer – an electrifying glimpse into the lives of an estranged family of three.

Lindalou (Stephanie MacDonald) is packing up to return to Cape Breton after visiting her mother Betina (Kathryn MacLellan) in Ontario for the first time in five years. When Lindalou’s son Curtis (Allie MacDonald) steps out for a pack of smokes and does not return, she fears the worst, and Curtis’ disappearance is the catalyst for a harrowing weekend.

“This play began with a desire to explore the ideas of babies raising babies, the definitions of family, and the nature of lies,” says two-time Governor General Nominee MacDonald. “But ultimately The Weekend Healer is about the birth of reluctant heroes in a very confused world.”

Directed by Dora-winner Dean Gabourie, who directed last season’s hit The Best Brothers, The Weekend Healer features Mayor’s Award and two-time Merritt Award winner Stephanie MacDonald, Mayor’s Award and KAZAN artistic producer Kathryn MacLellan, and Des McAnuff award-winner Allie MacDonald, making his Halifax professional debut.

The Weekend Healer is one of my absolutely favorite plays,” says MacLellan. “I’ve wanted to produce it since founding KAZAN. Bryden is one of Canada’s greatest voices: original, brilliant.”

MacLellan adds: “I was fortunate to play Lindalou in the Neptune Studio production in 1995. It is a very special role in my career. I gave it to Stephanie to read when she joined our team – I knew that she had to be the next Lindalou.”

The Weekend Healer also features work by Andrew Cull (set design), Janet MacLellan (prop and costume design), Ingrid Risk (stage management and lighting design), Louisa Adamson (production management), Heather MacLellan (marketing), and Kathryn MacLellan (producer).

The Weekend Healer opens Saturday, May 7 and runs to Sunday, May 22 at The Waiting Room, 6040 Almon Street. Pay-what-you-can preview Friday, May 6.

Show begins at 7:30PM (doors open at 6:15 PM).

Runtime: 85 minutes without intermission. Mature subject matter.

No show Mondays. For tickets: tickethalifax.com (search “Weekend Healer” or “KAZAN”)

KAZAN is grateful to BMO Financial Group, Harvey and Marie Crowell, Jack and Joan Craig, Zephyr Home, and The Coast for their support.


“If you need proof that Glace Bay’s Bryden MacDonald is one of the best playwrights in the country…The Weekend Healer is more than compelling evidence.”
Ron Foley MacDonald, The Daily News

“I believe if Tennessee Williams were from the Maritimes and writing today, he’d sound a lot like Bryden MacDonald.” Richard Ouzonian, CBC Radio

The Weekend Healer is possibly the best thing I’ve seen (Neptune do) this decade. Seriously. It’s that good.” The Coast

“First-rate: great characters…excellent dialogue, both comic and dramatic.”
The Globe and Mail

“Vibrant and pulsating with life…The Weekend Healer emerges as one of the most exciting new plays of the season.” The Toronto Sun



Kathryn MacLellan

KAZAN Doubles Up at the Waiting Room

Halifax’s award-winning theatre company KAZAN CO-OP continues its 2015 season with Stacey and Liz – an intimate evening of theatre in two acts.

Act one features New Glasgow-born, California-based soprano Stacey Fraser in the Canadian premiere of Concerto Suite from Frida by Roberto Xavier Rodriguez, tracing the life of Frida Kahlo.

Act two features Elizabeth Richardson in her show Going On, counterpointing her struggles as a young actress on tour with Peter O’Toole in the 70s with her later challenges as a Buddhist on a three-year meditation retreat.

“These are true stories, told by two talented performers, about artists who lived a century apart” says Kathryn MacLellan, artistic producer of KAZAN. “Going On is modern story, and Frida is about an eternally modern woman – someone unafraid to cross boundaries to define herself.”

Accompanied by celebrated musician Holly Arsenault on piano, Ms. Fraser’s piece follows the chronology of Kahlo`s life and loves at the turn of the century, in a contemporary style that crosses from theatre to opera. Ms. Richardson returns to Halifax to perform Going On fresh off performances in both Mexico and Stratford.

Acclaimed director Linda Moore, recent Merritt winner for best direction in KAZAN’s production of His Greatness, rejoins KAZAN to direct both solo performances in The Waiting Room.

Stacey Fraser says: “My career has taken me from theatre to opera, from La MaMa Experimental Theatre in New York to the Vancouver Symphony. Concerto Suite from Frida holds all that crazy eclecticism together – it’s modern, zany, and wonderful. I’m thrilled and grateful KAZAN has brought this to Halifax.”

Liz Richardson says: “Going On is autobiographical, filled with ups and downs. And as both an actress and a Buddhist, I’ve had my share of both. I can’t imagine a better – or more terrifying – place to perform this piece than at The Waiting Room. My thanks go to Kathryn and Janet.”

Stacey and Liz also features work by Janet MacLellan (set and costume design), Stephanie MacDonald (stage management), Leigh Ann Vardy (lighting design), Holly Arsenault (musical direction and accompaniment), Garrett Barker (projection), Louisa Adamson (production management), Heather MacLellan (marketing), and Kathryn MacLellan (production and choreography).

Stacey and Liz opens Wednesday, July 15 and runs to Sunday, July 19 at The Waiting Room, 6040 Almon Street. Pay-what-you-can preview Tuesday, July 14. Show begins at 7:30PM (doors open at 6:45PM). Runtime: 1 hour and 40 minutes, including a 15-minute intermission. Frida is English-language. For tickets: tickethalifax.com (search “Kazan”), The Coast office (2309 Maynard St), or at the door. Regular: $30, student/artist: $20. Six performances only; early bookings encouraged to avoid disappointment. Seating capacity limited to 45. For information: 902-429-1610

KAZAN is grateful to BMO Financial Group and Harvey and Marie Crowell for their support.


Heather MacLellan

Kathryn MacLellan

Griffith’s play offers an intimate conversation unfolding in real-time

A man and a woman. A hotel room. Alcohol. Drugs. Politics. Perhaps sex? A conversation they’ve been waiting to have for twenty years.

Halifax’s award-winning theatre company KAZAN CO-OP returns to the stage this fall with Heaven Above/Heaven Below.

In this intimate play written by Linda Griffiths and directed by Daniel MacIvor, an unconventional relationship is stripped bare, revealing both its heartbreak and its humour. A story for anyone who has ever wondered ‘what if?’

The 70—minute play unfolds in a single scene as She (Kathryn MacLellan) and He (Matthew Lumley) enter a hotel room after having reunited at the wedding of a mutual friend.

Ms. Griffiths, who passed away September 21, performed in the premiere of Heaven/Above Heaven Below at Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto in 2013. A celebrated actress and playwright, Griffiths’ accolades include Dora awards for her plays Maggie and Pierre, O.D. in Paradise, Jessica and Alien Creature.

Maclean’s Magazine called Griffiths “one of Canada’s originals, known not only for the quality of her work, but for the sheer range of her career.” Flags flew at half-mast at the National Arts Centre last week in her honour.

“This play always carried Linda’s spirit on the page,” says MacIvor. “It’s very sad to say goodbye to her. But I know her intelligence and warmth will be with us in the room, both during rehearsals and on stage for the audience as well.”

Added MacLellan: “Linda is a miracle: she wrote this beautiful play through her illness, and continued to work on it this summer, giving us notes from her bed in the hospital.”

Heaven Above/Heaven Below features work by Janet MacLellan (set and costume design), Francine Deschepper (stage management), Ingrid Risk (lighting design), Louisa Adamson (production management), Bob Elliott (set construction), and Heather MacLellan (marketing).

KAZAN is also pleased to announce the launch of ‘The Waiting Room,’ a new theatre space at 6040 Almon Street, Halifax (the former Acadian Lines bus station, opposite Shopper’s Drug Mart).

Heaven Above/Heaven Below opens Thursday, November 6 at and runs to Saturday, November 15 at The Waiting Room, 6040 Almon Street. Pay-what-you-can preview Wed., Nov. 5. Show begins at 7:30PM (doors open at 7:00PM, cash bar). No show Monday, November 10. For tickets: etix.com/kazan


Heather MacLellan

Kathryn MacLellan