An Important Update from the Classic Theatre Festival and Burning Passions Theatre

First of all, we’d like to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to you, our cherished audience members, who have enjoyed our award-winning Classic Theatre Festival productions dating back to 2010. We have truly loved staging fabulous plays, sharing the magic of good storytelling and stagecraft, and having great conversations with our wonderful audience members. We’ve weathered a lot of challenges along the way, with your loyal and enthusiastic support.

Change in Direction

Now we’ve encountered a challenge that has made it necessary to change direction. The Classic Theatre Festival’s parent company, Burning Passions Theatre, will remain operational—with an exciting new program—but we are no longer able to present our summer festival of classic Broadway and West End plays. A combination of the pandemic’s lingering effects and severe, devastating government funding cutbacks in the arts and tourism sectors have forced our staff and Board of Directors to make this difficult, painful decision.

As you likely know, professional theatre cannot survive on ticket sales alone. In the case of the Classic Theatre Festival, having key grants dry up or be severely reduced creates a situation where we will no longer be able to pay the professional fees of performers, designers, technicians, and staff essential to producing our acclaimed performances. (This year saw us garner many BroadwayWorld and Rideau Award nominations.) And so, after 10 years in Perth and two seasons in Ottawa of successful shows with growing, enthusiastic audiences, the curtain is falling on the Classic Theatre Festival.

New Voices on New Stages

This does not mean, however, that the company behind the festival will be inactive. Far from it. Since 1998, Burning Passions Theatre (BPT) has been dedicated to telling the stories of women and youth. Moving forward, BPT will strengthen its longstanding social focus through new work development, theatrical training and mentorship, and arts-based community partnerships. Specifically, our new projects will include a special play development project called Seniors Sharing Stories, and a playwriting circle geared towards bringing new works and new voices to the stage.

Again, we’d like to thank you for making the successes of the Classic Theatre Festival possible. We’ve enjoyed the years we’ve travelled this road together, and we hope you’ll stay with us for the next part of the journey.

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