Monday, August 11, 2014


Good Gosh…Aren’t we lucky? 

Here we live in the beautiful, small-yet sprawling, city of Orillia. We have two lakes and a nice downtown where green canopies of leaves stretch cross Mississaga Street in the summer sun, creating a shady place to sit and linger for a while.

We have parks and trails for walking and biking.
We have a miniature train for the kids and Festivals along our waterfront and Downtown streets.
We have big box stores and locally run shops.
We have sports fields and a hockey rink or two. Of course, we have no major rec facility-yet, that brings all these activities together under one roof.
It’s Orillia’s curse. 

We also have “heart”- a warm, good community with heart. Orillia always has had “heart”.
Yes, we have all these things and more.
Here’s the more.

For a city of 30,000 people and an area serving 75,000, we have two summer theatre companies.
That’s right. Two!
Have you taken notice?
We have the Opera House, the historic old gal that sits quietly next to the glass façade of our new library and we have The Orillia Stage Company at the OCC on Colborne Street- the former Orillia Cinema 4.
This is quite a fantastic accomplishment for a City of our size. 

Both companies/facilities offer an assortment of “live” theatre shows.  We’re approaching mid-August but there’s still plenty of time to go to a show.
Hundreds of people from out of town take the time. 

Buses pull into Orillia throughout the week from the big city.
The occupants visit the OPP Museum and the Leacock National Historic Site.
Many stay in our local hotels, Inns and B&B’s.
They marvel at Champlain standing high atop that rough-cut boulder, hat in hand.
They have lunch at a local restaurant.
They tour Lake Couchiching and our Downtown.
Many see a “live” theatrical show and they rave about it afterwards. 

Maybe Orillians are missing something?
Real people, performing for real audiences, in real theatres?
Not many communities can offer this to visitors and locals alike.
Plus, it’s cheaper than you might think. Summer theatre always offers special prices for groups.
There are 2 for one nights and occasional coupon specials.
Call the theatres to ask what’s available and just go see a show.  

Takes the kids and let them experience the world of “live” theatre. Yes, there is a world beyond video games, hockey and soccer. People- actors we call them, standing on a stage telling a story or singing a song. Not Television or a Blu Ray DVD or a Movie.
It really happens right on stage- right in front of an audience. 

Currently, the Orillia Opera House is offering Vegas Knights. Derek Marshall serves audiences some Sammy, Dean and Frank. Cool summertime entertainment .Colin Stewart leads the band. The show runs until August 30. Call the Box Office 705.326.8011 and take in a show- in air-conditioned comfort. 

The OCC at 64 Colborne Street has Nunsense. A “bunch” of Nuns who go “bananas” and they do it all for laughs. Sherisse Laurence, Paige Tuddenham-Kitchen, Amy Moodie, Meaghan Ing and Michelle Bailey- the Sisters of Hoboken. Renee Cingolani is the Music Director with Jason Thompson (Sister Jason) handling lights and sound. Sister Mary Margaret is the “show hostess”, keeping audiences laughing and “in line”. The Orillia Stage Company Box Office number is 705.242.8011  

A friend once said- “All theatre is good for all theatre”.
In the same manner- all theatre is good for all of Orillia.
If you’ve never been to a live theatrical show before, this is your chance to see two shows right on your doorstep. 

Support summer theatre because it’s all part of the Heartbeat of Orillia.