With the trees gradually changing colour, Artistic Producer Laurel Smith is looking back on another successful summer season at the Classic Theatre Festival.
“It’s been a terrific summer, with thousands of tourists coming from all over Ontario, Quebec, and various U.S. states to enjoy our professional theatre here in Perth,” says Smith. “We’ve heard great things from our restaurant and accommodation partners about lots of people staying overnight and taking in lunch and dinner before and after our mainstage shows.”
The Festival’s mainstage shows, which opened with the comedy Barefoot in the Park and continued with Wait Until Dark, have garnered very strong praise from some of Canada’s top theatre critics. In addition, as part of Perth through the Ages, our youth theatre training program, The Maid and the Merchant and The Lonely Ghosts Walk have attracted the attention of some half dozen travel writers who have enjoyed these celebrations of town heritage as Perth prepares for its 200th anniversary.
Throughout the summer, the Festival also distributed hundreds of free theatre seats through its Save-a-Seat program, which opens up spaces for socially and economically marginalized community members in partnership with local social service agencies. Benefits and contributions to local and regional community organizations, including Lanark County Community Justice Program, Friends of the Perth & District Union Library, the Lanark County Grannies, and the Family and Friends Council of Lanark Lodge, have raised almost $10,000 as well.
This summer also featured the professional debut of two young performers – Perth’s Madison Miernik and Smiths Falls’ Samantha Salter – in Wait Until Dark, taking on the role of 9-year-old Gloria in the nail-biter of a show that kept audiences on the edge of their seats.
As many of the Festival’s performers and crew headed back to their hometowns, Perth residents Laurel Smith and Associate Producer Matthew Behrens are now working on an expanded 2016 summer season, whose three mainstage shows have just been announced.
Tickets for the 2016 Festival are available online at classictheatre.ca or 1-877-283-1283.