It’s time to start the music, it’s time to light the lights!
After a tumultuous year for theatre and live events on pause, the performing arts are making a comeback. Orillia has a long history of being a premiere location for quality community and professional theatre and this part of our local arts scene has been sorely missed. Thankfully, local theatre productions are ready to lift the curtain and welcome back audiences once again!
If Music Be the Food of Love, Play On!
Last year, Mariposa Arts Theatre (MAT) was set to celebrate its 50th anniversary, but productions came to a stand still in March 2020 and MAT was forced to go back to the drawing board.
Going back to basics, considering outdoor theatre as the original performance setting, a partnership was developed with the Stephen Leacock Museum to create Bard in the Yard. The lakeside grounds of the Stephen Leacock homestead offer the perfect backdrop with blooming gardens, curated lawns and 1920s architecture. Nestled on the shores of Lake Couchiching’s “Brewery Bay”, the museum is a National Historic Site preserving the summer cottage of humourist Stephen Leacock. Stories tell of Leacock hosting friends for parties and gatherings including play readings and performances. Bard in the Yard brings the written word to life in an outdoor theatre experience.
The premiere show for this new partnership is Twelfth Night, Shakespeare’s musical comedy of unrequited love, mistaken identity, and pranks gone awry. The gender-bending comic romp follows shipwrecked brother-sister twins who find themselves entangled in the upstairs/downstairs shenanigans of the best houses in their new country!
Set in the early 1930s, the first years of the Stephen Leacock house, the production makes generous use of the restored home, to recreate the majesty and mystery of Shakespeare’s Illyria featuring a cast of local talent bursting with energy and enthusiasm.
Mariposa Arts Theatre is excited to welcome patrons back to theatre with a new and thrilling production you won’t want to miss.
Twelfth Night runs August 25 – September 5. Tickets are limited and available for purchase at orilliaoperahouse.ca or by calling 705-325-8011. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, seating capacity is limited in accordance with provincial restrictions. Audiences will be asked to bring their own lawn chairs and comply with safety precautions at the museum grounds.
Photos by Deb Halbot
Love and Laughter Returns to the Stage
Since its opening in 1895, the Orillia Opera House has been a focal point for the cultural life in Orillia. In the heart of downtown Orillia on Mississaga Street and West Street its towering architecture is a landmark of a professional quality performing arts venue.
In consideration of the past year and returning to the stage, Wendy Fairbairn, reflects to previous historical events, “the Opera House has seen this community through tough times, including two World Wars, the Great Depression and the Spanish Flu and will help the community weather the latest storm”. The OOH has strong support within the community and its patrons have been continued their support through this time. Wendy continues, “Our patrons are looking forward to return to live theatre and concerts. They know that we will always welcome our guests with safety and laughter as top priorities.”
The Orillia Opera House was one of the first professional theatres to open its doors to the public in August 2020 and are happy to once again have professional summer theatre starting back on August 18, 2021, with Norm Foster’s Old Love. It is a wonderfully spun story about the chance meetings over thirty years of Bud, a salesman, and Molly, his boss’ wife. We meet the people that populate their lives, chronicled with Norm Foster’s trademark wit, warmth, and laughter every step of the way. It leads us to wonder – can it sometimes be too late to start something new?
Directed by Jesse Collins, starring Melanie Janzen and Brian Young, this hilarious and heart-warming play is the perfect show to bring us all back together – safely, happily and with a lot of laughter.
Running August 18 – September 3, tickets available at orilliaoperahouse.ca or by calling 705-326-8011.
As the box office opens back up, keep an eye on more events at the Orillia Opera House including an evening with Lance Anderson and Matchedash Parish presented by the Mariposa Folk Festival on August 22nd.
Extend your visit by booking an overnight stay in Orillia
Extend your stay while you enjoy a show and pair it with fantastic dining, shopping and sights in Orillia. Our accommodators are ready to welcome you.LEARN MORE
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