Music of the Night to Celebrate Eleanor Mutimer

Music of the Night to Celebrate Eleanor Mutimer
Posted on 11/23/2023
Eleanor Mutimer

Music of the Night to Celebrate Eleanor Mutimer

Gala, Fundraising to Recognize Former Teacher’s Contributions to the Arts

ANTIGONISH, NS – In recognition of her impact as a teacher, theatre director, and inspiration to countless students, Music of the Night will honour Eleanor Mutimer during its upcoming production of School of Rock November 23-26 and November 29 - December 1.

The celebration will include a gala event following the Friday, November 24 performance in the newly rechristened Eleanor Mutimer Theatre at Dr. JH Gillis Regional High School.

Prior to all performances of the musical, former students and colleagues will share with the audience their memories of Mrs. Mutimer. There will also be a display of photos, programs, and memorabilia from the numerous shows Mrs. Mutimer directed over the years.

“When we approached Eleanor about naming the theatre after her, she was not surprisingly reluctant,” said Brent Bannerman, Music of the Night’s musical director and Mrs. Mutimer’s former colleague. “She felt (rightly so) that theatre at the Regional was the result of a team of people. But there is no escaping that Eleanor was the driving force and that her love of theatre and her attention to her students had a deep impact. Many of those students have gone on to have careers in the performing arts.”

Eleanor Mutimer came to the regional high school in 1972 to teach French and Latin, soon adding Grade 11 and 12 English to her duties. Drama as an extracurricular option soon followed, with Mrs. Mutimer directing Twelfth Night in 1975-76. Over the next 25 years, she would oversee a team of teachers and students in producing one major production per year, including 14 full-length Shakespeare plays and four Gilbert & Sullivan operas under the musical direction of Brent Bannerman.

In addition, she organized and supervised an annual play festival, with senior students directing one-act plays in each grade.

Mrs. Mutimer’s final production was Jean Anouilh’s The Lark in 1998, her retirement year.

Mrs. Mutimer returned to her native United Kingdom in 2000 where she and her husband Brian, a former StFX professor, spent 10 years enjoying countless theatre performances across Great Britain and Europe. Sadly, Brian died of Parkinson’s disease in December of 2013. Mrs. Mutimer remains an active correspondence with friends, past colleagues and former students.

In addition to attending the upcoming performances of School of Rock, those who would like to recognize the legacy of Eleanor Mutimer can do so by making a tax-deductible donation to help update and improve the Regional’s theatre facility and equipment. Cheques can be made to Dr JH Gillis Regional High School with “Eleanor Mutimer Theatre” on the envelope or cheque memo, and mailed to 105 Braemore Avenue, Antigonish, NS, B2G 1L3.

Tickets for School of Rock are available at Antigonish 5c to $1.00 Store or Happenstance and are one sale now. Adults are $20, Students/Senior are $18.

For more information, contact Ross Murray at 819-578-6589 or [email protected]