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Theatre Orangeville announces its new 2024-25 season

March 14, 2024   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

This year’s Starlight Gala, an important early spring fundraiser for Theatre Orangeville, was such a tremendous event that its artistic director David Nairn could hardly contain his enthusiasm. The event’s format was dinner at one of four local restaurants and tickets to “By the Light of a Story,” the newest production in the theatre. Between the dinner and the play, patrons were treated to the annual announcement of the theatre company’s upcoming season of shows for 2024-25 made by the artistic director himself, while standing on a chair, as is tradition.

He opened our FaceTime interview by saying, “The restaurants went off the charts. Over the top. The level of support from those businesses for what we do is fantastic.

“The clientele came out for dinner and then to the show for a cost of $150 each. One of them came up to me and said, ‘Imagine what it would have cost me to go to Toronto, pay for a meal in a terrific restaurant and see a show,” Nairn enthused.

Craft Pizza Bar & Italian Kitchen, Bluebird Café and Grill, Rustik Local Bistro and Revival 1863, were the participating restaurants.

“Fantastic value!” the gentleman declared. 

The highlight for Mr. Nairn in the first moments on his chair was to publicly introduce Sharyn Ayliffe as Theatre Orangeville’s new executive director.

He told us that, standing on his chair with Sharyn beside him, up in the gallery with all the staff cheering her. 

Mr. Nairn said, “The artistic director and the executive director act as partners. In the industry, this is the true value to the company. She is deserving of that recognition and that was a delight.

“I honestly don’t know if we would have survived the last four years if she weren’t here; also, we do have a really great team of very talented people.”

As Theatre Orangeville tradition demanded, the staff unrolled the banners from the gallery, one at a time, each showing the title of the new season’s shows, with their poster illustrations.

First up is the add-on, just to remind everyone when summer is over and it’s time to return to the theatre. Derek Marshall is back with his “Vegas Knights” and a five-piece band to play him through it. A tribute to the Rat Pack era of the ’50s to the ’70s, Derek Marshall’s charm and his great love for the songs and the stories brings them to life as only he can. It runs from Sept. 19 to 22. A fun way to start.

“This season is about having fun in the joy of comedy in the theatre,” Mr. Nairn said.

Tip of the Iceberg by Chris Rait, Mark William and Jeannine Bouw takes place in a dory. With a cast of three, of whom one is a musician, who carries the tale along with the beloved Celtic music of the Maritimes. Two elderly Newfies in a dory, are seeking the most healing waters – that of an iceberg! This play runs from Oct. 17 to Nov. 3.

“Stories with heart is my wheelhouse,” Mr. Nairn admitted.

With the sparkling success of last season’s Panto, Collins and Nairn are back again for this year’s Panto, “Sleeping Beauty…A Fairy’s Tale,” which takes us over the Holiday Season, from Nov. 28 to Dec. 21.

Said co-author Nairn, “There were audience feedback like we’ve never seen before.

“Debbie [Collins] assured everyone this year’s panto would [have] ’30 per cent more shenanigans!’ This will be a Theatre Orangeville tradition for a very long time.”

The Beaver Club takes us gleefully back to Newfoundland, in a “riotous road trip.” Four different and remarkable women friends adventure to Newfoundland. There’s beef jerky and skinny dipping…by Barb Scheffler. This play runs from Feb. 6 to Feb. 23, 2025.

“One of the funniest plays I’ve ever read,” Mr. Nairn lauded.

“Bed and Breakfast” by Mark Crawford tells the story of Brett and Drew having the chance to leave their small city apartment to a house in a rural town. As they decide to open a bed and breakfast business, there is plenty to learn for them and their new neighbours.

“This is very inventive, a charming story,” Mr. Nairn informed us. “A comedy about preconceptions and when you open up, you learn.”

It’s running from March 13 to March 30, 2025.

It could be said that Theatre Orangeville saved the best for last. From Norm Foster is a “story of a man who can’t make up his mind,” was Mr. Nairn’s light summary. 

This Norm Foster’s World Premiere, “I’m in Love with Your Sister,” is on from May 1 to May 18, 2025.

Mr. Foster never disappoints, so this play will make us laugh and wonder too how we might handle the conundrums he presents. 

Single ticket sales open April 7.

“People are excited about the season and the plays,” said Nairn.

For all the details and to order your five or three play subscription, single tickets, or gift certificates, go to You can also call the lovely people at the Box Office at 519-942-3423 or visit them at the Opera House during business hours, 87 Broadway.

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