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The Gift: Original play exploring destiny, chance to debut in Halifax

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Nova Scotia-based performer Robert Lamar is the inspiration behind “The Gift” — a new original play about to hit the stage in Halifax.

Lamar, who stars in the play, says it began with a “wacky idea” he had back in the spring of 2019.

“The Gift” dares to challenge the age-old question: are we here by chance or destiny?

“When Robert said this project that we’re doing will allow us to demonstrate definitively what guides us, destiny or chance, (I) have to be part of it,” says the play’s director Ron Ulrich.

Ulrich, a long-time Canadian theatre veteran, wrote the one-man play based on Lamar’s concept.

“The idea that Robert came up was that it should be in an attic that belonged to his grandfather, that he discovered the secrets that would reveal truth of destiny vs. chance,” Ulrich says.

The play is produced by Halifax-based Brookes Diamond Productions.

Local promoter Brookes Diamond says he is always looking to champion local talent and admits “The Gift” was an easy sell for him.

“Robert had this project on the go and Ron jumped aboard immediately,” Diamond says. “Then he came to us and how could we possibly say no?”

Diamond adds the show is somewhat of a passion project for him and a way to connect with his own past.

“My dear mother was a big believer in destiny,” he says. “I happen to believe strongly that fate was the big boss and she spent her lifetime basically trying to convince me that simply wasn’t correct.”

The production’s crew has been working on the show for months. The basement of St. Andrew’s Church was transformed into a performance venue and the set was built completely from scratch.

“A lot of work, a lot of work, and I’ve had an incredible, incredible team,” Lamar says.

That team says they’re counting down the days until they can share their “transformative” theatrical experience with the public.

“If anybody’s got any kind of curiously at all about what the heck their lives are about, they’ll find that here in the show,” Ulrich says.

The audience will also have a chance to influence the show’s outcome.

“Decisions that audience members will make and actions they take will actually determine how the play will end,” says Lamar.

“I hope that as soon as the curtain comes down it’ll be a combination of ‘what just happened?’, some amazement, and just start talking about it and just create a buzz.”

Performances begin at Halifax’s St. Andrew’s Church hall starting Jan. 26 and will run through until mid-February.

Tickets are on sale now.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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