4 WAYS TO LOVE SUMMER THEATRE IN ONTARIO

From curtain time to curtain call, theatre transforms the art of storytelling into an enchanting, collective experience. In Ontario, the thespian’s spell extends well beyond the traditional stage with unique and magical venues sure to appeal to both the novice theatre-goer and the veteran culture vulture.

Much like Sam-I-am with his green eggs and ham, we invite you to fall in love with Ontario’s summer theatre scene, in its many forms.

SummerTheatre_Park

YOU’LL LOVE SUMMER THEATRE
ON WARM SUMMER NIGHTS

Warm summer evenings were made to spend outdoors. Bring a blanket and a picnic to the High Park Amphitheatre in Toronto for the Shakespeare in High Park series (ultimate date night), performing Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream this season. Driftwood Theatre Group’s Bard’s Bus Tour performs in non-traditional settings like parks, fields, estates and even parking lots to bring accessible, live theatre to all audiences.

YOU’LL LOVE SUMMER THEATRE
WITH BIG CITY LIGHTS

Ontario’s urban theatre scene is thriving. Be swept away with classics like Annie and Wicked playing this season at the stately Ed Mirvish Theatre or catch Come From Away at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, one of the oldest continuously operating legitimate theatres in North America. Tour the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre on Yonge Street before your show. It’s the world’s last remaining stacked Edwardian venue and is rumoured to be haunted. Also reported to host ghostly apparitions, London’s gorgeous Grand Theatre, built in 1901, and still boasting its original proscenium arch (for the theatre and architecture junkies).

SummerTheatre_Westben

YOU’LL LOVE SUMMER THEATRE
BY QUAINT RURAL SPACES

Embrace the Canadian narrative in a historic barn at 4th Line Theatre near Peterborough. Westben Arts Festival also showcases world class performances within a magnificent timber-frame barn with views over the rolling farm hills outside Campbellford. Once a working cattle barn, the Globus Theatre at the Lakeview Arts Barn now serves as a rustic venue near Bobcaygeon.

SummerTheatre_Capital

YOU’LL LOVE SUMMER THEATRE
IN CHARMING SMALL TOWN PLACES

Across Ontario, audiences are treated to quality theatre in heritage venues and small-town playhouses, each with a fascinating history. Port Hope’s Capitol Theatre is the last remaining ‘atmospheric’ theatre in Canada, an intimate design style made popular in the late 1920s. It was designated as a National Historic Site in 2016. The Regent Theatre in Picton is a rare Edwardian style opera house opened in 1922 while the St. Jacobs Schoolhouse Theatre is set in an intimate, 100-seat 1867 village schoolhouse. Go with classics like The Tempest and Julius Caesar or a modern cult favourite like The Rocky Horror Show at the Stratford Festival, North America’s largest Shakespearean repertory theatre company on the banks of the Avon River (from Christopher Plummer to Megan Follows, many household names have tread the boards here).

DYK: The Shaw Festival (dedicated to the works of George Bernard Shaw and his contemporaries in Niagara-on-the-Lake) has a ‘secret theatre’ program, with surprise performances in unexpected places. Join the Secret Theatre Club for advance alerts.

Yes, you’ll love summer theatre in Ontario.

Photo Credits:
Westben Arts Festival @westbenconcerts Gary Mulcahey
Shakespeare In High Park @sihpTO