Arts and Entertainment

Theatre Orangeville’s 2023 Arts Fest at Mount Alverno successful

August 24, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

“It was fabulous!” said David Nairn of Theatre Orangeville’s second annual Arts Fest. “It was joyful at the Mount Alverno Luxury Resort. Everything was well received; it was a different creative vibe.” 

He was very pleased with the event’s attendance and that the two shows from Toronto Fringe sold out.

“They were 180 degrees different from each other,” he told us. “This was the best ever from Fringe. Reps from Toronto Fringe came to the festival and they were knocked out by the community.”

Mr. Nairn noted, “Quite a number of people came up from the city to catch the Best of Toronto Fringe plays. A great number of them left saying they would be returning to come to the theatre or just to come back to Orangeville.”

“The goal here is for us to create a show that goes to Fringe,” Mr. Nairn said.

A star of the festival was the Kids’ Fest, free entertainment, for which a large number of Theatre Orangeville’s Young Company participants volunteered to assist.

Eric Woolfe was stupendous with Buster Canfield’s Circus of Industrious Fleas, David Nairn was enthusiastic to say. He also confided he now has his own flea that he is able to train.

Well-known drag duo and children entertainers Fay and Fluffy were an exciting feature for the youngsters. Everyone was enchanted, Nairn declared.

Certainly, the Drag Music Bingo is one of the main attractions for adults. This is regular Bingo with cards, but instead of numbers, the cards have song titles, and one has to recognize the music to punch their winning space. This is “super interactive,” we were told. “Fluffy Souffles had everyone up and dancing.”

What Mr. Nairn finds important about this festival and other shows they have brought to Orangeville is that they take it out of the theatre, and that changes the feeling of a show. Some of the highlights for him were dancing with Rachael Temptation and singing along with Cherry Chapstick. There was also the one “little kid” who got up to read with Fay and Fluffy.

“She might have been only three,” he said, “But she was so funny and all smiles.”

Plans for Theatre Orangeville’s Arts Fest next year are already underway; now, it is established as a tradition coming into its third year.

Overall, what matters is that every creative participant said they cannot wait to come back here. Artists are always knocked out by the audiences, and they want to return.

“They work all over but still want to come because of the staff – it’s a team sport, so welcoming and positive; standing ovations from the audiences,” he commented.

When it comes to beginning the planning again, Lisa Lahue’s name is in the forefront, for it is she who coordinates for Fringe, the artists, loading in the show.

“Lisa has been the lead on this,” Mr. Nairn was clear, adding that the people at Mount Alverno Luxury Resort have bent over backwards to support and facilitate the festival. 

Sounds like a success – here’s to next year!

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