Theatre Thrives at the 1000 Islands Playhouse

All photos/graphics courtesy of 1000 Islands Playhouse.

The 1000 Islands Playhouse sits where local culture and some of Ontario’s most breathtaking views meet. Right now, the Gananoque theatre is gearing up for its 35th season and 10 performances that promise love, mystery, music and unforgettable performances.

The playhouse operates out of two buildings in one of Ontario’s most beautiful settings. The Springer Theatre, the playhouse’s original home, sits right on the edge of the St. Lawrence River. The building was constructed in 1909 to house the Gananoque Canoe Club, but was then renovated into the Playhouse in 1981.

The second building, known as the Firehall Theatre, has been the Playhouse’s second stage since 2004. It sits directly above the Springer Theatre, on street level, with a wide view of the St. Lawrence and a comfortable spot on the edge of Gananoque.

This year’s seasonVioletThePilot boasts the widest variety of shows the playhouse has ever put on. The season launches with a touring production of Violet’s the Pilot, presented by The Young Company from April 25 to July 3. A fun plot paired with environmental commentary, Violet’s the Pilot tells the story of a girl on the cusp of becoming the world’s youngest pilot, at least until she’s faced with a tenacious protestor.

The action-packed season goes until October 16, and Violet’s the Pilot will be followed by nine other brilliant productions. Their variety showcases almost anything you might want to see, from one-man-plays, musicals with deep lessons, supernatural stories and emotional productions examining family and love. During this season, the 1000 Islands Playhouse will also be hosting the world premiere of In a Blue Moon by Lucia Frangione. Watch the mastery and creativity unfold while each production brings its viewers insight, laughter and joy.


The Playhouse will also be hosting a series called Studio ‘S,’ presented by Eric Friesen. Friesen is a renowned music writer and host who guides the musical journey, hosted on select Monday nights throughout the summer. In Studio ‘S,’ audience members will embark on a night of sophisticated and culture-filled music in the beautiful Springer Theatre.

The 1000 Islands Playhouse experience is always exciting and unique. From the waterside views while taking the parkway there, to the locally organized, authentic plays, there really is nothing like it.

You can find out more at, and see below for a full list of shows.

Violet’s The Pilot – Touring Show

(April 25 – July 3)

The Young Company presents a thrilling, interactive experience while delivering a strong message about young people doing big things. When a conflict strikes, it is the audience who gets to decide what the outcome will be. Join the young and talented up-and-coming stars in this wonderful production.

A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline – Springer Theatre – Musical

(May 20 – June 11)
Production in Association with the Western Canada Theatre
Directed by Daryl Cloran

Starring Alison MacDonald, this production beautifully tells Patsy Cline’s rise to the spotlight. The play explores everything from Patsy’s life in small town Virginia all the way to Carnegie Hall.


Blithe Spirit – Springer Theatre

(June 17 – July 16)
Production in Association with the Western Canada Theatre
Directed by Ashlie Corcoran.

When a novelist named Charles meets with medium Madame Arcati while researching for his upcoming book, he finds a lot more than history. His life is turned upside down when he discovers that his first wife is haunting him and his new bride. Comedy erupts throughout the whole play as Charles’ poltergeist wife tries to ruin his new relationship.


Assassinating Thomson – Firehall Theatre

(July 5 – July 17)
Created and performed by Bruce Horak, Directed by Ryan Gladstone.

With only limited vision, Bruce Horak shares the vivid images in his mind with the audience while looking deeper into the murder of the unofficial eighth member of the Group of Seven, Tom Thomson. The one-man-play is captivating and interactive as Bruce does a live painting of his audience during each production.

Beneath Springhill – Firehall Theatre – Musical

(July 19 – July 31)
Created and performed by Beau Dixon. Lyrics and music by Rob Fortin and Susan Newman. Directed by Linda Kash.

This multi-award winning show explores the emotional events of the Springhill mining disaster of 1958. The one man play, starring Beau Dixon as the African American “singing miner” Maurice Ruddick, is breathtaking as he captures the nine days that Ruddick spent underground. The play addresses the disaster’s effects on rural Canadian society, economy, community strength, hope and racism.


Into the Woods – Springer Theatre – Musical

(July 22 – August 13)
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by James Lapine. Directed by Ashlie Corcoran.

Many different fairy tales intertwined together show what happens when happily ever after doesn’t go quite as planned.


In a Blue Moon – Firehall Theatre – World Premiere

(August 12th – August 28th)
By Lucia Frangione, in Association with Western Canada Theatre and Arts Club Theatre Company. Directed by Daryl Cloran.

A story of family and love tenderly emerges from tragedy when six-year-old Frankie and her mother move in with Frankie’s Uncle Will after her father passes away. The story is steeped with emotion that will move you.


A Grand Time in the Rapids – Springer Theatre

(August 19 – September 17)
By Stewart Lemoine, Directed by Ron Pederson.

This fierce comedy unravels romantic secrets and is everything but mundane. When Thalia gets caught up in a mess, Ted and her boyfriend Boyd are there when her secrets are unleashed. 

Das Ding (The Thing) – Firehall Theatre

(September 9 – 25)
By Philipp Löhle. Translated by Birgit Schreyer Duarte, produced in association with Theatre Smash, Toronto, ON and Canadian Stage, Toronto, ON. Directed by Ashlie Corcoran.

This fast-paced comedy brings problems and characters from all over the world to get a wider view of our global economy. With five actors playing 14 characters in nine different locations, you won’t be bored for a second.

You Are Here – Springer Theatre – Musical

(September 23 – October 16)
Music and Lyrics by Neil Bartram. Book by Brian Hill, produced in association with Acting Up Stage Company, Toronto. Directed by Robert McQueen.

This gripping one-woman play surrounds self exploration when the main character walks out on her husband in search for a fuller, more exciting life. With no real problems in her past, she leaves it all behind with the anticipation of adventure.