Arts and Entertainment

Theatre Orangeville announces new season of shows, subscriptions

May 11, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

The new schedule of shows for Theatre Orangeville’s 2023/24 season is published, and artistic director David Nairn is encouraging one and all to buy their subscriptions. This year’s list is geared to humour, romance and, of course, a tug or more to the heartstrings.

There is a healthy 20 per cent off ticket prices with five-show subscriptions; a 15 per cent discount comes with three-show subscriptions.

So many reasons arise for purchasing subscriptions now. Maybe number one is: then it is done! It is no longer an item on your to-do list and not something you will forget until busy September.

Most importantly, you are supporting the art form of live theatre in general and your own Theatre Orangeville specifically. When we think of the many ways in which Theatre Orangeville additionally supports the community outside the business of producing shows on stage, through its unique partnership with Community Living Dufferin, for example, it is clear that the benefits of buying our subscriptions make sense.

David Nairn put it this way: “The last three years have been difficult, yet the most pressing time is right now and for the next year. As members of PACT [Professional Association of Canadian Theatres], we are engaged in conversations with theatres across the country, including Stratford and Shaw. We have all shared the same concerns. Subscriptions are the financial back bone of any theatre and we all need to be selling them at a greater rate at this stage of the year.”

He went on to explain that early sales of subscriptions support much of the programming that takes place over the rest of the year. It has been wonderful to see a sold-out matinee, and he has “real joy in [his] heart” that the Starlight Gala was a sold-out event. He is concerned to remind us how much it means to attend a live theatre production. Some people buy extra subscriptions to treat others who have never been to a theatre or not to this theatre. 

Yes, as he mentioned, Theatre Orangeville has made a great effort with the production of online viewing via their StageTOScreen library of shows. The point of the online aspect is to expand the greater audience of Theatre Orangeville across the province, country and even overseas. It is an excellent format for people unable or still reluctant to attend the theatre in person.

Yet, there is nothing that can compare to experiencing the live shows, that connection with the actors and other people in the audience, sharing the laughter, the tension – even the romance that is being presented on the stage. Live theatre is actually a different show every time; no two performances are exactly the same.

Let us take a brief look at the shows of 2023/24 here at Theatre Orangeville, your theatre, as David Nairn insists that will make you roar with laughter and, perhaps, ponder life’s great questions.

The add-on is an initial “come to the theatre” taster, as it were, an extra ticketed entertainment meant to bring the theatre back into focus. The season kick-off this year is Whiskey Jack Presents Stompin’ Tom.

It is a review of the late, great Stompin’ Tom Connor. Memories and songs by Duncan Fremlin, who toured with him, will have audiences stompin’ and – who knows? Maybe dancin’ in the aisles too. This runs over the weekend of September 15 to 17.

For the first play of the new season, The View From Here welcomes back Jamie Williams and Melanie Janzen, married actors who have collaborated to write The View From Here.

A funny story about a couple in their 60s with 30 year’s experience in being married to each other and, as the saying goes, what could go wrong? One would think…

It runs from October 12 to 29.

For something different on the Theatre Orangeville stage: a Panto over the Holiday Season: “Cinderella – if the shoe fits…” The ages-old pantomime theatre, particularly in England, where there are always Pantos at this time of year, this show brings audiences into the hilarity. It is a musical comedy of exaggerated characters, and vigorous audience participation, based on a traditional famous folk tale, in this case, Cinderella.

Said Mr. Nairn, who is co-writing this with Debbie Collins, “This is a show for everyone, adults and children alike. It will be tremendous fun.”

Cinderella – If the Shoe Fits is on from November 30 to December 23.

Doris and Ivy In the Home is “Foster at his funniest,” says Mr. Nairn.

Once Norm Foster wrote a very funny play about two contrasting old men in a seniors’ residence and this play about two elderly ladies in a retirement home is a completely different story.

More “love, gossip and sex behind the compost pile.” Where else? One might ask. We can hardly wait to find out. This delight is running from February 8 to 25, 2024.

By the Light of a Story, by Kristen Da Silva, is a romance to maybe mend a young widow’s sad heart, but who are we to predict what only fate can decide…This play is the fourth of five fine stories. Laughing at love is fun and Ms. Da Silva loves to make that happen. It is on from March 7 to March 24.

Music, songs and dancing bring some of the best stories ever, and this is a collaboration between Cassel Miles [Josiah Henson] and Lesley McCurdy [Things my Fore-sisters Saw],

The Darktown Strutters’ Ball takes us on an undoubtedly riveting walk through the history of jazz and the black men and women who gifted it to us all. Not surprisingly, this was not an easy walk for them but a fascinating time of discovery for audiences– and bless that great music. Playing from April 25 to May 12.

Your freshly obtained subscription gives your choice of seats in the theatre that are secured; your calendar can be assigned and noted and your pick of restaurant will reserve a table for your evening or lunch, even well in advance. It might not be as easy to find a table on the night or matinee.

“Make it a date night,” David Nairn suggests. “A mark on your calendar of five nights in the season, reserved to be special.”

He added, “Some people buy two lots of subscriptions and invite friends they might not have the chance to see often to a fun evening of entertainment and a nice meal. Coming to the theatre can be as special or as low key as anyone wishes.” 

Said David Nairn, “Some people assemble at Tim Horton’s after the show. What matters is people getting together and having a good time because they saw a show that made them laugh and maybe pulled on their heart strings a little.”

For more information and to purchase your subscription, soon one hopes, go to or call the helpful, friendly folk at the Box Office – 519-942-3423. You can drop in too, at 87 Broadway, the Opera House.

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