While most people move to a big city to live out their dreams of becoming an artist, Kelly McAllister did the opposite. She moved to Fredericton from the Greater Toronto Area to live out her dream of acting.
McAllister is the founder and artistic director of Fredericton’s latest theatre company, Spearhead Theatre. She said moving to Fredericton was like “a breath of fresh air.”
“There were so many different artists supporting and collaborating with each other instead of fighting against each other. They were living and working in a ‘we’ mentality, instead of a ‘me’,” she said.
McAllister said she was happy to move to a province where there’s a more affordable cost of living.
“First of all it’s way cheaper to live here. Your quality of life is so much better,” said McAllister.
“If you’re going to start any business that’s a huge factor … you want to be able to live here comfortably and be able to grow and experiment.”
On the Spearhead Theatre website, McAllister said she wanted to leave behind the bad parts of the industry she was so familiar with in Ontario.
“I wanted to create a company that would pave the way for others and be a trailblazer; I wanted to take all the things that made me fall in love with theatre and lose everything about the industry that frustrated me.”
McAllister also said other organizations in the theatre community, such as Theatre New Brunswick and the Fredericton Playhouse, have been welcoming and don’t view new companies like Spearhead as competition.
McAllister brings her passion for classics to Spearhead Theatre and is driven to bring plays to life for others who enjoy them.
McAllister said Spearhead can also present educational opportunities for Fredericton’s students, by allowing those who are studying classic pieces to see them on stage.
“It’s so much better when you see it than when you just read it in class.”
Spearhead will take a break at the end of 2019 to plan their next move, with the expectation of a full season starting after winter in 2020. McAllister said that this first production was meant to let people know what to expect.
“You have to walk before you run,” said McAllister.
The company’s first production, Agnes of God, ran Sept. 4 to 8 at The Charlotte Street Arts Centre.