Fourth Coast Entertainment -

Craig Thornton 

Thousand Islands Playhouse 2016 Season


Last updated 11/2/2016 at 5:23am

The Thousand Islands Playhouse, the professional theater in the spectacular setting directly on the St. Lawrence River, in Gananoque, Ontario announced their new season a while back. I finally caught up with their Artistic Director Ashlie Corcoran and asked her three questions about next season’s plays: See the playbill for the new season below.

1. You have an exciting line-up for 2016. I see many productions that are premieres, or North American premieres, or generally aren’t in the public known cannon of plays. Can you discuss this a bit, and why you think it is important for theater goers to see new or rarely seen shows?

I love programming a wide variety of work - this is an idea that directly relates to our mandate and to our audience's taste! We have classic plays being produced at the playhouse and also world premieres and North American premieres. Developing and premiering brand new works is a very important part of our mandate - supporting playwrights as they tackle and explore contemporary themes and topics and also write about our local area and people. Additionally, bringing in contemporary international work is important to the playhouse, as I want our audience to be able to access some of the finest theatre being created worldwide.

2. I love Noel Coward and think Blithe Spirit is one of his finest plays. Can you discuss how you selected this Coward play over his other plays? And also how does the comedy of Blithe Spirit differ from your other major comedy, A Grand Time in the Rapids?


Coward is famous for his cutting dialogue, and Blithe Spirit doesn’t disappoint. The characters whizz back and forth one-liners that will have audiences reeling with laughter. What makes this play my favourite Coward is the element of the supernatural. Blithe Spirit takes aim at both society’s interest and mockery of the world of the occult. This play transcends satire – managing to become funny, spooky and silly itself.

With A GRAND TIME IN THE RAPIDS, we are responding to our audience’s love of classic door-slamming, drink-throwing, towel-wearing farce. A case of mistaken identity forms the action of the play, and sets of a series of hilarious events. However, this piece will also serve as a showcase for the performers—three actors hold down the action (contained to a single apartment), one of whom plays two characters.

3. Why is theater important to community and why is community important to theater?

Do you think theater’s importance is intensified because of the hyper tech world we live in today? How can theater help with the dissolution of the one-on-one interaction and waning of community that we are facing today?

Theatre doesn't exist without community - the community of artists on and back stage who create the work - and most importantly, the community of audience who receive and respond to it. I feel so blessed to be part of an art form that hinges upon a dialogue between what is happening on stage and off. When you sit in a dark room, surrounded by strangers, having an emotional reaction to a group of other strangers exploring an idea on stage, a community is built. Theatre can be thought provoking and political, inspiring and emotional. Importantly, theatre encourages community building, critical thinking and compassion.

The 2016 Season Announcement:

The Thousand Islands Playhouse’s second venue, the Firehall Theatre, opens with Bruce Horak’s one-man show, Assassinating Thomson, from July 5 – July 17. Next in the Firehall is another one-man show, Beneath Springhill: The Maurice Ruddick Story, created and performed by Beau Dixon. Beneath Springhill will run from July 19 – July 31.

Audiences will be enchanted by our large-scale musical, Into the Woods, in the Springer Theatre from July 22 – August 13. With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine, Into the Woods is a musical that puts a twist on popular fairytales.

In A Blue Moon, a heartwarming new play by Lucia Frangione, is produced in association with Western Canada Theatre and arts Club Theatre Company in Vancouver. In A Blue Moon will be a rolling world premiere that will make its debut in the Firehall Theatre from August 12 – August 28.

A Grand Time in the Rapids hits the Springer stage from August 19 – September 17. This fast-paced farce written by Canadian Playwright Stewart Lemoine will tickle the funny bone and have audiences rolling in the aisles with laughter!

Closing our Firehall season is Das Ding (The Thing) by German playwright Philipp Löhle, with English translation by Birgit Schreyer Duarte. Das Ding (The Thing) is a sharp-witted social comedy that is produced in association with Theatre Smash and Canadian Stage, and will run from September 9 – September 25.

The 2016 Season closes with the tour de force world premiere of You Are Here, A New Musical from September 23 – October 16 in the Springer Theatre. This one-woman musical features music and lyrics by Neil Bartram and book by Brian Hill, and is produced in association with Acting Up Stage Company in Toronto.

The Thousand Islands Playhouse Young Company will be touring Violet’s the Pilot throughout Eastern Ontario from April 25 – July 3. Following the success of 2015’s Rose’s Clothes, this season’s

Young Company show will once again be an interactive story written by playwright Jason Hall.

This season, we will continue to build on educational initiatives and outreach by providing dedicated student matinees to A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline, A Grand Time in the Rapids, Das Ding (The Thing), and You Are Here, A New Musical.

For more information on our 2016 Season, please visit Season subscriptions are on sale now at the Box Office. Call 613-382-7020 or visit 185 South Street, Gananoque, Ontario.


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