To enhance the artistic, cultural and economic life of the village of Port Stanley and surrounding areas.
The Port Stanley Festival Theatre is a 200 seat theatre located in the
former Town Hall building on the North Shore of beautiful Lake Erie in Port Stanley, Ontario.
Our mandate is to produce appealing summer theatre that highlights Canadian works in drama, comedy and musical-comedy,
along with other celebrated works.
Jim Schaefer was the founder and Artistic Director of the Port Stanley Summer Theatre, which provided
community entertainment in the Village Hall using local themes, actors and staff for thirteen years.
When Mr. Schaefer left the Summer Theatre in the early summer of 1991, a group of interested citizens
stepped into the void, elected a Board of Directors, hired Pat Spadini as Artistic Director, and launched
an "Emergency Season". During this period, two touring shows, each of which ran for a three
week period, filled the gap. "Pinchpenny Phantom of the Opera", a musical comedy and
"Laughing Wild", a tragicomedy, kept theatre alive in the village and the Board started to look forward to 1992.
The inaugural season of 1992 was really the beginning
of what has become known as the Port Stanley Festival Theatre. At that time a set of by-laws was prepared,
the theatre was incorporated, a charity number applied for, and an executive elected. Pat Spadini continued
as Artistic Director. The maiden season was comprised of all Canadian works beginning with "Up the
Creek", an original production written by local playwright, Mike Mulhern, "Toronto, Mississippi" (Joan
MacLeod) and "Salt Water Moon" (David French)which delighted the audiences and encouraged the new Board to prepare for another season.
Since the appointment of Simon Joynes as Artistic Director in 2005, the theatre has gone from strength to strength.
Since 2011, each summer the theatre company has presented a summer season of 5 Canadian plays in a total of over 100 performances, a community play with local volunteer actors, a youth theatre program, and a winter music series.
Port Stanley Festival Theatre also participates in the Ontario Arts Council's Theatre Creators' Reserve program,
which assists Ontario-based professional theatre creators and informal collectives of creators by
funding them to create work. Theatre creators who are interested in participating in the program are encouraged to contact
the Theatre's Artistic Director, Simon Joynes, by completing the form on the 'contact us' page.
Port Stanley Festival Theatre, a registered not-for-profit charitable organization, registered charities number 1357 73604 RR0001, is managed by a
Board of Directors, elected by the members of the organization at the Annual General Meeting.