Orillia Opera House Announces New Season Of Summer Theatre Comedies


Orillia’s professional summer theatre is back with an exciting new season of shows. Last year’s season completely sold out nearly every performance, and this year promises to bring even more laughter and fun.

Kicking off the season is the hilarious comedy The Long Weekend, running from July 3 to 19. Set in 1994, the play follows two couples as they navigate a weekend at a new vacation home. Directed by Emmy-nominated Jesse Collins, it stars actor/playwrights Kristen Da Silva (Where You Are) and Stephen Sparks (Buying the Farm), local comedic favourite, Viviana Zarrillo, and a stalwart actor in his first turn at the OOH, Matthew Olver. Widely regarded as a Norm Foster classic, it is a story told with lacerating wit where secrets are revealed as every character gets exactly what they deserve.

Next, from July 24 to Aug. 9, is Every Brilliant Thing by Duncan Macmillan and Jonny Donahoe. This uplifting play tells the story of a young boy who creates a list of everything that brings joy to our lives, all to help his mother combat despair. As the list grows, the audience is taken on a heartwarming journey through life’s highs and lows and is inspired to celebrate simple pleasures in everyday moments. Funny and poignant, it stars Matt Pilipiak from last season’s hit Bed & Breakfast. It also marks the return of multiple Dora award-winner Fiona Sauder, one of the most sought-after directors in the country. Notably, this show will be the first theatre-in-the-round experience in the Studio Theatre at the OOH.

Closing the season from Aug. 14 to 30 is one of Norm Foster’s newest comedies, Those Movies. The story follows Harry, who asks his friend Patrick to accompany his co-worker Millie and her visiting cousin Chelsea on a blind date. Misunderstandings and comical mishaps ensue, as Foster’s spot-on dialogue and impeccable comic timing skewers the tried-and-true romantic comedy formula that movie fans know so well. A powerhouse cast includes Caitlin Driscoll, last seen in the OOH’s production of Where You Are, Ephraim Ellis (from tv’s Degrassi: The Next Generation), and popular Toronto actors Brittany Kay and Justin Otto.

“The number one comment we received after doing two Norm Foster’s last year was, ‘do it again!’. So this year we’re offering a twist: start the season with a classic play Norm wrote early in his career—that many say is his funniest of all—and finish with a brand new one that shows his comedy evolving. In between, we’re thrilled to have Fiona (Sauder) and Matt (Pilipiak) back. They wowed us last year and I know they’ll do it again, but in an entirely new way,” said Jesse Collins, Artistic Director.

A Flex Pac to see all three shows, or individual tickets, can be booked in-person at the Box Office, by calling 705-326-8011, or by visiting orilliaoperahouse.ca.


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