Earle’s Hall is a historic theatre situated in PLACE 1870, a heritage building located right in the centre of the village of Wakefield, Quebec. Built in 1870, the building houses a busy and community centered café-bar – Kaffé 1870 – and a clothing store on the main floor. The second floor houses an office space, an artist studio, and a stunning turn of the century Theatre complete with a raised stage, three entrances, foot lights, and a projection booth which hovers on the outside of the building. This second floor theatre is only one of a handful of its kind left in North America.
STO Union Theatre Co. moved into the theatre in the spring of 2009, and uses the space for rehearsals and set construction. In 2011, STO Union partnered with the Wakefield Art Collective (WAC), Kaffé 1870 and Wakefest multi-arts festival, in the creation of the first “Earle’s Hall Live” event.
Earle’s Hall Live
Building codes forbid the use of the theatre as a public venue, so in order to use the space for performances, the members of STO Union, WAC and Wakefest came together to create “Earle’s Hall Live”, a series of performances emanating out of the Hall and simultaneously projected into Kaffé 1870’s bar downstairs. Essentially, we’ve created a portable tv studio where the audience is seated on the first floor of the building and watch, via video, the performances happening in the second floor theatre. This ongoing project raises fascinating questions around what is a ‘live’ act, the effect of using video as a mediating agent, and the audience’s relationship to the mediated performance.
Partnering companies continue to work towards full restoration of the site – a long process, but one that is gaining momentum both locally and nationally. Please contact email@example.com to get involved or donate $$.
Earle’s Hall is a beautiful old Dame, and as such, requires special care. On occasion, other companies can rent the space, but the criteria are very strict. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo from Wakefield Nude Calendar 2012, credit: Franziska Heinze, franziskaheinze.com