WELCOME TO THE WALTER BORDEN GREENROOM
With Walter Borden’s return to Neptune with his play THE LAST EPISTLE OF TIGHTROPE TIME , we realized we had a unique opportunity to recognize a man, an artist, a part of Neptune’s family and his contribution to our theatre, our industry and our community.
Walter’s words, stories, and indeed, his very breath, is embedded in the foundation of Neptune Theatre and this greenroom is now named after him in recognition of his valued place in our ongoing story.
Walter Borden joined the Neptune Theatre company in 1972, where he played in Djanet Sears’ Harlem Duet; Michel Tremblay’s Hosanna, Angel’s in America, Driving Miss Daisy, Whale Riding Weather, and Tartuffe , among so many others.
Walter has worked at many Canadian theatres including The Stratford Festival, Tarragon Theatre, Canadian Stage, Buddies, the NAC, Obsidian, Eastern Front Theatre, Persephone, Centaur Theatre, Theatre Newfoundland, b-current, Roseneath, Theatre Aquarius, Soulpepper, and many more.
For his long and distinguished career in the arts, Walter Borden has received many awards and honours, including The Order of Canada (2006), Order of Nova Scotia (2014), Queen Elizabeth II Golden & Diamond Jubilee medals; African-Nova Scotian Music Association Heritage award; the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award and the Portia White Prize. Walter has also won a Theatre NS Robert Merritt Award and a DORA Award.
And now, this season, Walter returned to Neptune with his play The Last Epistle of Tightrope Time; a play that Walter has been creating and living for well over forty years.
As this iteration of the play premiered at Neptune Theatre, we celebrate today Dr.Borden’s impact on our company.
So, why rename the Greenroom for Walter Borden?
For many, Walter has been the reason they were pulled into the theatre industry - he has mentored so many artists.
We always imagine the green room space as a place of connection and preparation, where actors share, gather their thoughts and exist just before they bring magic to the stage. (Let’s be honest, that room becomes their home away from home – they live down there. They eat there, they nap there, they work there and the co-exist with their show family there.)
Actors will make Neptune their home away from home for years to come and will find themselves in our reimagined greenroom space.
Our greenroom is being refreshed with help from Office Interiors, with new furniture. It is being repainted. It has improved lighting. There is now an ‘inspiration board’ for artists to share messages.
The plaque that will take centre stage in The Walter Borden Greenroom was unveiled during a dedication ceremony on September 25th, 2022, immediately following the closing performance of The Last Epistle of Tightrope Time.
In attendance were many that had worked with Walter over the years, members of his family, friends, and colleagues. Two former Neptune AD’s were also in attendance: Leon Major, founding Artistic Director (1963-68) and Linda Moore (1990-2000.) Joining Walter were former Lieutenant Governor Mayann Francis, 31st Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia and Dwayne Provo Associate Deputy Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs.
Walter passes on his wisdom daily, occasionally without even knowing he is doing it. But, mostly, it is by design. Even a few days before the dedication ceremony, with Hurricane ‘Fiona’ barring down, Walter spent the afternoon at Dalhousie University – holding court in a masterclass/lecture. Sharing. Teaching.
We are all so very grateful for Walter Borden’s work, his creativity, his guidance, and his mentorship. In our 60th year, we are reminded how important it is to recognize and honour those who have led the way. It is their passion, heart and pure grit that will propel us forward for another sixty years.
Made possible with the support of:
Culture and Heritage Development Division for the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage - Arts Nova Scotia
Photos: Stoo Metz
Thank you to Christopher Shore, Executive Director of Culture and Heritage Development Division for the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage
Thanks to Jim Mills, President & CEO, Office Interiors
Thanks to Troy Adams for MC'ing
Thanks to Dwayne Provo, Associate Deputy Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs, for speaking
Thanks to The Williams' sisters (for gracing us with song to start the event off right) - Julia, Charla & Murleta
Thanks to Lisa Bugden, Leslie MacDonald, Pam Nicoll, Stoo Metz, the Box Office team, the Front Of House team, and all at Neptune, for pulling this event off in the aftermath of a hurricane.
Some of the speech delivered by Neptune's Artistic Director, Jeremy Webb (2018- )
Photo Carousel: click on the photos to scroll through them all.