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What’s The Buzz? Live Theatre Returns!

Hello Live Theatre Lovers!

As I write this newsletter the sun is shining and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! Summer is coming and with it brings the promise that we will soon be able to gather again and to experience live theatre with friends. I cannot wait to see all of you once again!

At Theatre Collingwood we have been working very hard. Somehow it seems we are working more now than when we are actually producing shows. I would like to take this time to thank our team, including Anne, Valerie, Mary Beth, Linda, Ginny, Monica, and all our Board Members, for their dedication to keeping Theatre Collingwood going and for continuing to envision our bright future.

I have said this before but although this pandemic has been really tough it has given us the gift of time. Time to look at who we are as a company and what our priorities will be going into the future. We have some terrific plans for TC and I am once again feeling a great sense of excitement.
Thom Vincent is a dear friend and supporter of Theatre Collingwood, and I have had the pleasure of working with him on the CACE Group (Collingwood Arts Culture & Entertainment Group) throughout this past year. His list of accomplishments are way too many to list. Thom and his wife, Kari Payne, are not only delightful people, they are visionaries. When the pandemic hit Thom started thinking ahead to the day when we would all be getting our vaccines. With the help of his friend Jeff Shearer, he developed a concept in which they would distribute a pin that people could wear when they have been vaccinated, to not only show they have done this but to encourage others to get vaccinated, too. This pin could generate conversations and perhaps most of all assist in helping people to feel confident and safe when they see the person next to them also wearing the pin. Thom enlisted Holger Meiche, who lives and works in Collingwood and owns a creative company called Surface Design, to design these beautiful pins which depict the red maple leaf with a stylized “V” for vaccine and victory over the pandemic. Truly on point, the pins are also being manufactured in Canada (even though they could have been made for much less off shore). This story gets better, because Thom has offered Theatre Collingwood the opportunity to distribute the pins and to create a fundraising opportunity for our company. These funds will go directly towards our post-pandemic redevelopment of our Youth and Senior Drama Education Program. We could not be more thrilled or appreciative of this opportunity! With Canada Day coming up very soon, and vaccinations ramping up, what better time to order your “V for Victory Through Vaccination” Pin. Pins will be $10 each and will be available on line at www.theatrecollingwood.ca or by calling our office at 705-445-2200. What a great Canada Day gift for your family and friends! Thank you Thom!

And now for the most exciting news!!!! I am absolutely thrilled to announce that we will be presenting live theatre once again this July!
The Theatre Collingwood PORCHSIDE FESTIVAL began as just one concert that we were going to try to do in a backyard during September of 2020, simply as a way to gather people safely outside during the pandemic. Just before the concert preparation the protocols changed and, although we technically could have presented the show, we felt the public was nervous and the event could be poorly perceived. As a company we “pivoted” and instead presented 3 productions online before the end of the year.

The thought of presenting an outdoor, small audience, performance did not leave my mind. I had experienced a delightful small series of outdoor shows put on by Talk Is Free Theatre in Barrie, and I was inspired by the positive reception The Musical Stage Company received from its Porchside Songs concerts in 2020.

My vision has always been that this festival could be a wonderful way for people to dip their toes back into the live performance experience, in a safe manner, and then to continue to grow the festival year after year.
The pandemic has taken much, but it has given us time to further explore who we are as a company. Two years ago we made the decision to stop using a facility in town that was not accessible to all. We took a stand regarding accessibility. Now is the time to focus on the priorities of our company. Theatre Collingwood will move forward with a strong, caring philosophy. We want to provide an accessible and inclusive environment where all of our audience members can see themselves reflected on our stages.
For Summer 2021 we present THE THEATRE COLLINGWOOD PORCHSIDE FESTIVAL, a totally inclusive & accessible series of short plays or concerts highlighting the beautiful historic porches of Collingwood and our diverse and extremely talented tapestry of Canadian artists. Each performance will have 25 socially distanced audience members on their own lawn chairs, enjoying the performances from the lawns of home owners or local businesses. Each performance will have a TC “ambassador” in attendance to ensure that public health protocols are adhered to. This festival will be a litter free event. It will fulfill our intention to dip our toes into live performance and forge ahead with creative, appreciative and inclusive hearts!

Tickets are $25 (plus HST) each and go on sale Tuesday, June 1st at 10am.

Monday, July 5th at 7pm
Tuesday, July 6th at 2pm and 7pm
Location: 243 Birch Street, Collingwood

Ode to My Inheritance
– by Claudia Ferraro

This spoken word event features Collingwood’s Poet Laureate, Claudia Ferraro, accompanied by guest poet Susan Wismer and Claudia’s mother, Diane Ferraro. We are delighted to have Collingwood’s poet laureate share her work with us.The poems Claudia has selected come together to form a narrative that looks at all the things we inherit while our parents are still alive. It’s a sort of coming-of-age story that explores familial and generational trauma, the breaking and healing of it, and invites a conversation. This isn’t a dark piece. It touches on serious issues, but remains hopeful, even a little funny!

Porch Generously Sponsored by Collingwood Celebrancy
Thursday, July 8th at 7pm
Friday, July 9th at 2pm and 7pm
Location: 263 Beech Street (back porch)

The Cure for Everything
Written and performed by Maja Ardel
Stage Direction by Jeff Braunstein

We are thrilled to have the very talented Maja Ardel joining our festival. She is an Iceland-born Canadian and was schooled in Scotland. Maja is an accomplished playwright, performer, theatre instructor, director, and the former artistic director of Young People’s Theatre. In her one-woman show she plays Elsa, a typical fifteen-year-old growing up in the early 1960s. Her world revolves around independence, boys, and being popular at school, despite growing concerns surrounding the Cuban missile crisis. In fact, this is Elsa’s opportunity to let loose before the world blows up!

Porch Generously Sponsored by Collingwood Toyota & Lockhart’s Collingwood Nissan
Saturday, July 10th at 7pm
Sunday, July 11th at 2pm and 7pm
Location: 57 St. Lawrence Street, Collingwood

Bruce Dow in Concert
with accompanist Greg Gibson

Born in Seattle, WA, Bruce Dow is an American/Canadian actor, best known for his 5 featured roles on Broadway, 12 seasons in leading roles at the Stratford Festival, and his Dora Awardwinning performances at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, the world’s largest and longest running LGBTQ2IA+ theatre. He is the voice of Max in Total Drama Pahkitew Island and he has many appearances on Rick Mercer Reports and Murdoch Mysteries. This multi-award winning actor, singer, teacher and story teller is also a wonderful cabaret performer. We are thrilled to have him singing for us in the festival!

Porch generously sponsored by Mr. Kerry Mader & Dr. Brian McCrindle
Wednesday, July 14th at 7pm
Thursday, July 15th at 2pm and 7pm
Location: 443 Ste. Marie St., Collingwood


Join Beau Dixon, a multi award winning instrumentalist, playwright and songwriter as he shares an hour of entertaining and introspective music that celebrates the legacy of African American artists such as Sam Cooke, Harry Belafonte, Bill Withers, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and many more!…

Porch generously sponsored by Heather Stitt – RE/MAX at Blue Realty Inc.
Saturday, July 17th at 7pm
Sunday, July 18th at 2pm and 7pm
Location: 231 Ontario Street, Collingwood

Laughton Common
Written and performed by Scott Hurst

When Scott was told he looked a lot like British stage and film actor Charles Laughton he set out to find out if that was true. What he found was that they not only looked alike but they also had a lot-in-common! Scott is an accomplished actor, singer, director and educator and he will be presenting his one-man play that is sure to entertain and enlighten.

Porch Generously Sponsored by Collingwood Hyundai
Tuesday, July 20th at 7pm
Wednesday, July 21st at 2pm and 7pm
Location: The VanderMarck Hotel – 64 Third Street, Collingwood

The Soul of Summer

A multi genre outdoor cabaret featuring Collingwood faves Chris Tsujiuchi and Leah Allyce Canali accompanied by Mike Meusel. This show mixes soul, R&B, jazz and Broadway classic standards and modern faves with soulful vocals and signature arrangements. Guaranteed to have you dancing in your lawn chairs!

Porch generously sponsored by The VanderMarck Boutique Hotel
Friday, July 23rd at 7pm
Saturday, July 24th at 2pm and 7pm
Location: 288 Beech. Street, Collingwood (backyard)


Multi-award winning, chart-topping Indigenous artists Twin Flames build bridges across cultures, continents, and styles. The husband and wife duo of Chelsey June, métis (Algonquin Cree) from Ottawa, and Jaaji, Inuk and Mohawk from Nunavik, are long celebrated for honouring their ancestors through song in English, Inuttitut and French. Two-time Canadian Folk Music Award recipients for Aboriginal Songwriters of the year and three-time Native American Music Award winners, this powerhouse couple have 24 music award Nnominations. They have played more than 1000+ shows throughout Canada, Greenland, the US, Australia and France and are well on their way to becoming a Canadian household name.

Porch Generously Sponsored by Hearn Beaumont Group – Royal LePage Locations North
Sunday, July 25th at 7pm
Monday, July 26th at 2pm and 7pm
Location: 423 Minnesota Street, Collingwood

Love Letters

Written by A.R. Gurney
Featuring Jake McArthur and Leslie Worts
Directed by Erica Angus

This wonderful play is a collection of letters written between two friends throughout their lives. Andrew Makepeace Ladd III and Melissa Gardner were both born to wealth and position and their lifelong correspondence documents life’s ups and downs and just how very much they meant, and gave, to each other.

Porch Generously Sponsored by Heather Stitt – RE/MAX at Blue Realty Inc.
24 Live Preformances,
8 Historic Porches,
1 Amazing Festival!

Join Theatre Collingwood as we celebrate & support community, Canadian talent, health, happiness, diversity, inclusion……and some beautiful porches!

This July in Collingwood
Stay tuned for more exciting Theatre Collingwood news coming soon! We also encourage you to check out other arts “happenings” and support our talented artistic community. Theatre Collingwood is a member of the Institute of Southern Georgian Bay, and supports the Regional Arts & Culture Strategy for Southern Georgian Bay. Check out:

Thank you. Have a wonderful week! Stay happy and healthy!


Erica Angus
Executive Director, Theatre Collingwood
Please send your comments to erica@theatrecollingwood.ca