The Thousand Islands Playhouse is planning a full return next year as it prepares to celebrate 40 years of existence.
The theatre company unveiled its new season's lineup on Thursday, offering eight productions at the Firehall Theatre, as well as the Springer Theatre stage, which will be finally opened after a two-year hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It's going to be wonderful to get back to producing at both of our venues and have theatres full of people," said Brett Christopher, managing artistic director.
Christopher said that throughout COVID-19 many theatres figured out alternate ways to do things, like going to virtual presentations.
"But generally I'm so excited for people to gather all together again. Virtual theatre is great but it doesn't have an audience and the audience is an integral part of what we do."
"Bringing 350 people back into the theatre with a big musical like Jersey Boys or The Music Man, it's why I got into this business," added Christopher.
The 2022 season will be sold to 100 per cent capacity, with both venues open for guests and the docks and shorelines at the Springer Theatre reconfigured and repaired in time for the new season as well.
"You have major Broadway musicals in conjunction with smaller-scale, thought-provoking pieces in the Firehall and our subscribers and audiences will come to all of those shows. They're excited (at) all of that… and I think that has become the hallmark of the Thousand Islands Playhouse over its 40 years," said Christopher.
The playhouse announced its 2022 season lineup on Thursday, which includes the return of Back in ’59, Perfect Wedding, Jersey Boys and Kim's Convenience, as well as The Music Man, Hey Viola, Every Brilliant Thing and Honor Beat.
Christopher said that with each play there is a broad scope of ideas, stories and genres.
"The experience will be different every time," he added.
June 26 marks the 40th anniversary of the theatre's first opening night performance. Christopher said they may have an anniversary celebration that weekend.
"This year I thought, considering that we really want to open up access to the productions, we really want everyone to get the chance to see the shows," he said.
With every subscription sold prior to Dec. 31, the company will be donating a 2022 season ticket to an underemployed or financially stressed family in the region so they have the opportunity to see the productions.
The tickets will be distributed in partnership with regional service organizations.
Tickets and subscriptions are now on sale for the 2022 season. The season will begin on May 26 and run until Oct. 23. The sale of single tickets will be available March 1.
(Jessica Munro is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Brockville Recorder and Times. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.)
Jessica Munro, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brockville Recorder and Times