FIRST FRIDAYS by dustin harvey

First Fridays // First Loves
Hosted by Michael Lake and Dustin Harvey
Produced by XOST

The idea is really simple. 
People share true life stories about first things in their lives. 
The meetings happen the First Friday of every month.
Each month has a theme. So far we covered: First Kiss, First Album, First Brush with Death.
The theme this month is FIRST LOVES.

Michael and I curate a few ice breakers to get us started, and then the mic will be open.

Everyone is encouraged to share their story, and have a few drinks and talk further. People will get a chance to learn more about each other, and then interact. Ultimately the goal is to bring people together, and build connection within the performance community.

Stories should be about your first loves... maybe one person you will never forget, or maybe your first encounter is something altogether surprising... 

All stories are 5 minutes or less. 
Each story will be followed by a Q&A. 

Who should come? Everyone. 
This is a chance for people to meet, and get to know each other. 

XOSECRET NEEDS YOU by dustin harvey

Job Description - Jr Producer

XOSECRET (Secret Theatre, Halifax) is seeking to recruit an enthusiastic and well organized person for the position of Junior Producer. This role will provide support on upcoming presentations scheduled for October.

We work hard to develop projects that speak both to us and others about the beauty found in a shared experience. We do not merely want audiences to engage; rather, with thoughtful, playful intervention, we aim to give people a feeling they are at the heart of the experience. These projects are not ideologically constrained by a single form. As a result the work can move between diverse contexts like dance, live art, public art and theatre. our aim is to make work locally and tour globally. Over the past five years we presented work at festivals and venues in wales, Scotland, Iceland, Denmark, Ireland, as well as across Canada. At this moment in our story, we are generating enough activity a need has emerged to support our structure through building administrative capacity.

A role of Junior Producer is being created to support the project collaborators, who can be used as a sounding board for planning and delivering the project. A Junior Producer is a team member that specializes in doing the following tasks:

recruiting/organizing team members
building relationships and partnerships
event management 

To apply, please email:
All submissions should include a letter of interest, and curriculum vitae. You may be asked for names and contact information for two references.Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

xost jr producer-job description.jpg

SECRET SELFIE 16 by dustin harvey


one-week creation residency 8-15 August 2016 Halifax

Secret Theatre will commission up to 5 Nova scotia-based artists to create audio self-portraits using handheld recorders. Our purpose is to provide support for experimentation and exploration in our community. In the residency, you will work both independently and simultaneously within the group over seven days. We foster artistic growth through 1-2-1 mentorship and professional skill development workshops. We also provide access to space and equipment. You create a 5-minute audio selfie you deliver at the end of the week. We will pay you an artist fee and expose you to a national audience!

Why Selfie?

The appeal of selfies comes from their association with social networking, and how we mark particular moments or events in our lives by taking pictures of ourselves and posting them publicly online. Selfies afford us a unique opportunity to freely express and represent ourselves. They have become such a prominent part of our daily lives that the word itself has now been added to the Oxford Dictionary. However, selfies frequently trigger perceptions of self-indulgence or attention-seeking social dependence. By asking what such self representation and exchange means in a shared immersive audio environment, we intend to entice strangers deeper into the world of an other, helping us find ways to forge kinder and gentler ways of inhabiting social space.

How does it work?

Secret Selfie immerses audiences in rich sound-collages, whispered stories, instruction-based encounters and more. Artists from any and all disciplines keen to explore audio theatre are encouraged to apply. First, we will put out this call for submissions. Next, Up to 5 artists will be selected by project curators Sarah Moore and Dustin harvey. Past participants include dancer Susanne Chui (Mocean Dance), theatre artist Sue Leblanc (Zuppa Theatre Co.), performance artist Lisa Lipton, visual artist Stephanie Yee, theatre director Patrick Blenkharn, media artist Lindsay Dobbin, sound artist Veronica Simmonds, poet Andrew Patterson, choreographer Jacinte Armstrong (Kinetic Studio), and actor/academic Thea Fitz-James. You can hear samples of their selfies here: Selected artists will meet for a one-week residency August 8-15, 2016 to devise and create their audio selfies. 

We will disseminate the work two ways: We will present the selfies at a Canadian theatre platform produced by Neworld Theatre in collaboration with Praxis Theatre, The National Arts Centre, and Alberta Theatre Projects. The site has 3000+ views a month from a national and international audience. Next, we will host a public Listening Party. Audiences encounter the self-portraits on individual mp3 players in public locations like a record store, library, or coffee shops.  


To Submit


  • Email a selfie photograph incorporating whatever elements best tell us who you are. Photos should be unedited and in jpeg format.
  • Please attach a CV, and a brief 100-word artist statement telling us what you are curious about exploring with this residency.


All applicants will be notified by Wednesday, June 1st


Send to:


Farewell 2015! by dustin harvey


Hi friends!

As we say farewell to 2015 please join us in toasting the milestones. We're proud to have made quite a few and are grateful to those who made them possible:

  • 2015 we said goodbye to Commercial Drive in Vancouver as part of PuShOFF, hosted by our friends Theatre Replacement as part of the PuSh Festival industry events.
  • We animated the distance between Halifax and Dartmouth as part of Eastern Front Theatre's Stages Festival. 
  • We supported five local artists in the creation of new audio theatre works
  • We connected people across great distances in Iceland at the Lokal and Reykjavik Dance Festivals as well as the Forest Fringe as part of the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland. 
  • We engaged audiences in Aarhus' largest shopping mall as part of the Aarhus Festival in Denmark.
  • We collapsed the distance between strangers in Kitchener at the Impact Festival and in Vancouver at Boca Del Lupo's Micro Performance Series. 
  • We worked with Passage Studios and Nocturne Art At Night here in Halifax to create an Areal Cinema displaying four simultaneous live video streams into a piece of public art. There was writing about our work here. 
  • We presented two productions (Landline, and Farewell) and two public installations altogether in Europe and in Canada as well as our secret selfies audio theatre project online via our partnership with the

In 2015 Secret Theatre was:

  • Collaborators- Chad Dembski, Adrienne Wong, Sarah Moore, Dustin Harvey.  
  • Associate Artists- Shawn Bission, Greg Van Slyke.  
  • Residents- Stephanie Yee, Lisa Lipton, Sue Leblanc, Susanne Chui, Patrick Blenkharn.  
  • Residency Mentors- Jacob Zimmer, Elling Lien, Erika Hennebury, Adrienne Wong, Chad Dembski..
  • Company Coach- Jo Hunter.


In 2016 we'll be working on a new project that is a choreography for an audience... We are still near the beginning so we won't be talking too much about it yet.  We will also be back on the road both in Canada and abroad including new cities, and new communities.  Our friends have yet to announce their seasons, so you will either have to check back, or join the XOSECRET Facebook Page for updates.

P.S. Your first opportunity to catch us in the new year is in Montreal in February at Usine-C as part of Festival Des Temps.  Please join us.


letters to younger selves by dustin harvey

some time ago in 2007, joesph unrau and i encouraged local theatre makers to write a letter to their younger self with advice.  the idea was to be a mentor to yourself, if you could.  the project spoke to a personal need for experienced trusted advice and desire for a transference of knowledge within the community.  we valued people's experience from the most 'successful' to those practicing in amateur theatre.  this was very important to us.  by chance, the project found the right people namely ken cameron who was at the artistic director of the magnetic north theatre festival at the time, and has been part of the compass points programming ever since... largely by the efforts of long time conference coordinator liz truchanowicz and recent coordinators karen gross, and this past year brian postalian. they have continued to ask theatre makers from all across this country to write these letters, and they dispersed amongst the compass points participants.  below are some of those letters from this year and years past.  maybe some day we will make them into a book.  i share them with you so that you might experience a little of the same feeling i get when i read them.  thanks liz, brian, karen, ken, and all the people who took time to write them including our local practitioners here in halifax. xo

2015 Residents by dustin harvey

Sarah and I are happy to share the people selected for our 2015 Summer Residency Program "secret selfies'