In The Dumps

Shauntay Grant
Kjipuktuk/Halifax, Canada
June 14, 2023

About the Story

A father takes his eleven-year-old son on a road trip to protest decades of environmental racism in their rural Black Nova Scotian community. They shift between playful and serious as they discuss ways of bringing about meaningful change, in the wake of the Africville apology.

Get to Know the Writer

Shauntay is a playwright, poet and children’s book author whose award-winning work is grounded in African Nova Scotian and African diasporic experiences.

Here is our mini Q&A!

Q: If you were a sound effect, what would you sound like?
A: Like waves: crashing, calming, rippling, rolling.

Q: Why did you write about this topic?
A: I wanted to shine a light on a local issue. In recent years I've heard (and been moved by) conversations about the effects of climate change and environmental racism in historically Black and Indigenous communities, particularly in my home province of Nova Scotia which is situated in Mi'kma'ki—the unceeded and ancestral homeland of the Mi'kmaq people. There is a 400+ year history of communities of African descent in this region, and as an artist with ancestral ties to the arrival of Black Loyalists, Jamaican Maroons, and Black Refugees to Nova Scotia in the late 1700s and early 1800s, creating art that illuminates African diasporic histories and experiences is a vital part of my research and creative work.

Q: How does climate change affect your community?
A: Living near the Atlantic ocean, I've noticed an increase in coastal storms in recent years. Also warmer weather overall—hotter summers, and winters with increasingly less snow.

Q: What was your most memorable podcast-writing moment?
A: Hearing the cast read the script for the first time. It's always helpful for me to hear a work read aloud, hear its rhythms. It inspires and informs the writing process.

Q: What is your favourite place in nature?
A: I'm partial to wood and water—old forests with rivers, brooks, streams.

More about the playwright

Episode Producers

Lead Producer

Zuppa is a performing arts group from Kjipuktuk/Halifax, Canada. This is what they say about their work:

'We aim to make extraordinary experiences that provoke the consideration of new perspectives and ideas. With each project we attempt to do something we don’t know how to do and work with collaborators who bring new life experiences or skill sets to the table. We make shows for Halifax and for places far away.'

Supporting Producer

Soulpepper is Canada's leading artist-driven theatre company and is based in Tkatonro/Toronto. We'll let them introduce themselves in their own words:

'We believe that stories can connect us, that they are vital to our understanding, compassion and knowledge, and that they can motivate us toward social change.'

Sunny's inventive and award-winning theatre works have been presented in over 60 cities across the world and translated into 4 languages. His wide range of audiences have spanned international arts festivals goers, queers in underground warehouses, seniors in regional theatres and young people in drop-in centres.

Episode Supporters

No items found.

Take a Deep Dive into the Themes!

Our Impact Producer, Chaprece Henry, unpacks the climate themes
in this episode in our Discussion Guide

Discussion Guide



Directed by MIKE PAYETTE *






BEN STONE as the Security Guard *

Sound design, music and audio mixing by JACKSON FAIRFAX-PERRY


Episode Produced by ZUPPA and with support from SUNNY DRAKE PRODUCTIONS

Episode Producer & Production Manager BEN STONE

Recording engineers:

- Nate, Dad and The Security Guard were recorded at VILLAGE SOUND, by Sound Engineer BEN CREELMAN

- Radio Announcer and Mom were recorded at JACKSON FAIRFAX-PERRY’s home studio


* Jacob Sampson and Ben Stone are members of ACTRA Maritimes and were engaged under Music Code 2011

* Mike Payette is a member of The Canadian Actors’ Equity Association and was engaged under the D.O.T. Agreement

Special thanks to Arts Nova Scotia, Halifax Culture and Events, ACTRA Maritimes, and the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association.

In the Dumps was produced in Kjipuktuk (Halifax), Mi’kma'ki (Nova Scotia), the territory of the Mi’kmaq.

Find the transcript here.

Take Action

A dump
Photo by Marcelo Perez del Carpio | Climate Visuals Countdown

In Nova Scotia, Black and Indigenous groups have been fighting environmental racism for decades. Landfills continue to be located within these communities—an issue that has persisted since the 1960s.  These dumps emit methane contributing to the climate crisis and pose health risks to nearby communities. The industries that invade these neighborhoods are the same industries responsible for the climate crisis.  Acting in solidarity with these communities means we stand for climate justice. Urge the Canadian government to keep its promises by enabling a just transition for ALL.

Get More Action Ideas