Play based on Outer Bald Tusket Island at Th’YARC, May 17, 18 and 19
Published on May 15, 2012 by Carla Allen
Th’YARC manager Sandy Fevens spouts superlatives when it comes to describing The Whimsy State or the Principality of Outer Baldonia. The play takes place on May 17, 18 and 19 at Th’YARC at 7:30 p.m.
- Topics :
- Principality of Outer Baldonia , Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Long Island , Royal Palace ,Outer Bald Tusket Island , Nova Scotia , New York
“It’s 199 per cent entertaining. You giggle the whole way through it. It’s delightful,” she said.
While reading the script last year she couldn’t put it down.
“It was absolutely hilarious.”
Written by Calgarian AJ Demers, the (mostly) true, fantastical story is of three friends whose shenanigans get them into some trouble of the “international diplomatic incident” variety.
This is one of those times where truth is stranger than fiction, and it’s one of the most amazing fishing stories in Canadian history.
The Principality of Outer Baldonia is a now defunct micro-nation whose territory comprised the roughly four acres of the bleak wind-swept Outer Bald Tusket Island, not far from the southernmost corner of Nova Scotia.
Ardent fisherman Russell M. Arundel, chairman of the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Long Island, New York, stumbled across the island while fishing recreationally for tuna, which were plentiful there at the time.
In 1948 he bought the island for $750. Arundel constructed a stone building for himself and his friends to use as a fishing lodge during the sport-fishing season. He called it the Royal Palace, although it was anything but.
Legend has it that it was, in fact, while he and his friends were engaged in a long night of rum drinking that they conceived, wrote and approved the Declaration of Independence of Outer Baldonia. The original text of the declaration is preserved today in the Yarmouth County Museum.
The gist of it is in the following excerpt:
“Fishermen are endowed with the following inalienable rights: the right to lie and be believed.
The right of freedom from questioning, nagging, shaving, interruption, women, taxes,
politics, war, monologues, cant and inhibition. The right to applause, vanity, flattery, praise and self-inflation. The right to swear, lie, drink, gamble and be silent. The right to be noisy, boisterous, quiet, pensive, expansive and hilarious.”
Presented by the Lunchbox Theatre of Calgary and directed by Pamela Halstead, the production recently opened its national tour in Calgary, where it received rave reviews.
Demers is excited to have the play come to Yarmouth and says he first heard about the island’s story several years ago when a friend handed him a magazine article about micro-nations and Baldonia was among the list.
“I was immediately drawn to the story. As a boy, like many others, I loved building forts and places of my own and the idea of having your own island would have blown my mind. On top of the initial boyhood-need-for-a-fort what I saw was a real Canadian story that very few people knew about.
“It was about individuals who did something small that affected the world and it questioned the idea of separation. In Alberta the idea of western separation comes up every once in a while and I am opposed to it.
“I think we need to find a way to approach our differences and live together as Canadians, as humans. After all we all live on one planet that we can’t separate from. Plus this is a great tall tale of a fishing story.”
Tickets for the show are $16 for the general public, $15 for YARC members and $12 for students (12 and under). Call the box office at 902-742-8150.
Read More: http://www.thevanguard.ca/Arts/2012-05-14/article-2978758/Play-based-on-Outer-Bald-Tusket-Island-at-Th%26rsquoYARC,-May-17,-18-and-19/1