Olivia Barnes [Photo: submitted]

Keeping Busy

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When Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore played at Charlottetown’s Market Hall in 1885, nobody could have imagined that 136 years later it would be attempted with a cast who are working remotely from their homes across Canada and the United States.

PEI Director Olivia Barnes came back to Charlottetown this winter, leaving her directing, acting and singing jobs behind, when the planned production of H.M.S. Pinafore at Moyse Hall in Montreal was cancelled during the rehearsal period. Barnes went from being the stage director of H.M.S. Pinafore to creator and cinematography director for the truncated version, Pinnacles of Pinafore, currently being produced for Zoom.

The show, produced by the McGill Savoy Society, is currently being directed by Barnes from PEI with the cast rehearsing and recording online via Zoom. Not being able to collaborate in-person has been tough on all artists, but creative people adapt.

Barnes has been busy this winter with online performances. On top of directing Pinnacles of Pinafore, she is singing the role of Plaintiff in the radio show, “Trial by Jury.” She is also a regular on Sunday night improv, usually live from Thêatre Sainte-Catherine in Montreal, but now broadcasting via Twitch stream.

Pinnacles of Pinafore is set to be released in April.