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With the restoration of the Opera Hall on the second floor of the Orangeville Town Hall in 1993, a dream was born. Under the leadership of Artistic Director, Jim Betts, Theatre Orangeville opened its first season in 1994.
None of this could have happened, however, without the overwhelming support of a committed and determined Board of Directors, The Town of Orangeville, the County of Dufferin, and the Founding Sponsors and Members.
From a company that began with an 8-week summer playbill to a fully regional theatre company that runs shows all year long, Theatre Orangeville has come a long way.
Some of the best theatrical artists from all over Canada have performed on the Theatre Orangeville stage, and most importantly, want to come back! One only has to name stars like Michael Burgess, Michael Therriault, Louise Pitre, Rod Beattie, Avery Saltzman, Douglas Chamberlain, Lally Cadeau, and Ted Follows to realize that this is a small town with big stars and great theatre.
Theatre Orangeville has also had the opportunity to develop and premiere a number of new Canadian works. Some recent examples include Norman Bray In The Performance Of His Life (Trevor Cole), Baco Noir (Dan Needles), The Team On The Hill (Dan Needles), Sketching Sunshine (Joe Matheson), On A First Name Basis (Norm Foster), Ned Durango (Norm Foster and Leslie Arden), Step Right Up! (Eric Woolfe), The Giant’s Garden (Peter Fenton and Scott White), to name just a few.
What a thrill it’s been! One of the most memorable achievements of this theatre, however, is the success of our young people, be it the Theatre Orangeville Youth Singers performing for the Queen’s 50th Anniversary tour, the hundreds of children who are being introduced to theatre for the first time through our many school shows or the very talented young people who participate in many of the other programs including the Theatre’s two summer young companies.
The Theatre also offers Creative Partners On Stage – a partnership drama and musical theatre program for adults with developmental difficulties, as well as Theatre Orangeville Exceptional Players Programming — a Theatre program that services children with developmental difficulties. It is always a delight to watch them develop and grow.
Under the stewardship of David Nairn, Artistic Director since 1999, Theatre Orangeville is now realizing the artistic potential first envisioned by those pioneering spirits who had a dream. His creative vision and commitment are leading this company in to a future that not only guarantees great things to come, but also ensures that our audiences can enjoy the highest standards in professional theatre performances.