THE BUS STOP THEATRE doesn’t look like much. Ask for a tour, and managing director Clare Waqué will show you the small but newly renovated lobby; the short but newly painted black box stage; the cumbersome 70-year-old safes in the back room, remnants from the venue’s former pharmacy days and her office, a small desk in an unfinished basement, with pipes hanging so low they seem tailor-made for the five-foot, four-inch manager herself. “Right now there’s no money in the business to pay anyone for the actual operations,” explains Waqué, 24, who’s helmed all the renovations herself since buying the space this past March. “There’s no operating budget. So we work contract-to-contract, and that’s when we’re able to pay ourselves.”
“I don’t want to feel like I have to go to Toronto to have a career. What I would love to see, is if there were more Haligonians who are interested in theatre who weren’t associated with theatre, and, ‘Instead of spending 12 bucks at the movie theatre, I’m gonna go spend 10 or 15 or 20 at the Bus Stop.’ That’s what I want to see happen.”
Pick up a copy of The Coast this week, and you’ll find this story on its cover.