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For the love of the theatre


COURTNEY McCLURE The Standard


SCUGOG: Theatre on the Ridge, a not-for-profit organization, has been a part of the Scugog and North Durham community since 2013.

It was founded by two women who share a mutual love for theatre, Joan Etienne and Carey Nicholson.

At the time, Ms. Etienne was working in the drama department of a high school, and was living in Whitby. Ms. Nicholson was an independent practitioner and educator, located in Port Perry.

Joan has since moved on from Theatre on the Ridge, while Carey is currently the artistic director and general manager of the theatre.

According to Ms. Nicholson, the Theatre on the Ridge had a “humble” beginning; four rented lights, a few costumes from Ms. Etienne’s attic and $5 thousand dollars as a starting fund.

“We believe in the power of theatre, as a universal language and medium of entertainment, self-expression and communication, to broaden understanding and empathy between individuals and communities,” explained Ms. Nicholson.

Theatre on the Ridge now hosts an assortment of plays and productions throughout the year.

It has “mounted” three regional community and school touring productions, commissioned about three original works, and facilitated several plays of their own.

Some of the performances have taken place at the Town Hall 1873 Theatre, libraries, churches and many more locations. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the group performed in backyards and parking lots.

According to Ms. Nicholson, staff at the theatre didn’t want to stop performing, even during the pandemic. “With the support of the Township, we have an adaptable, beautiful, rural heritage space which our audiences love, and one which inspires us with new creative and programming ideas,” she added.

The current “home” of the company is the Scugog Shores Museum Village, located on Scugog Island.

The Theatre on the Ridge has many partners and collaborators, whom they would like to thank. Such as, the numerous artists, directors and other creators they have worked with throughout the years.

Over the past decade, the Theatre on the Ridge has presented over 70 productions, throughout Scugog Township, Durham Region and elsewhere. They also have some productions coming this summer.

For example, Punch Up, by Kat Sandler, will be coming to life on June 13th to the 29th.


Other upcoming productions include:

Musical of Musicals: The Musical by Joanne Bogart and Eric Rockwell, on July 11th to 27th.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (Revised) (Again) by Daniel Singer, Adam Long, and Jess Winfield, on August 8th to the 24th.

Ms. Nicholson stated, one of her favourite parts about working with Theatre on the Ridge is working with a variety of young artists every year. “It’s nice to be a part of someone’s journey,” she said, “[working with them] towards their own vision of what they want to do.”

In 2023, Theatre on the Ridge won the Scugog Chamber Business Excellence Award for Resiliency. They were also nominated for the 2024 Scugog Chamber Not-For-Profit of the Year Award.

Ms. Nicholson encourages everyone who is interested to purchase a ticket, for any upcoming shows. It’s the best way to support Theatre on the Ridge.

You can also support Theatre on the Ridge by volunteering your time with them, or you can donate on their website. To learn more, please visit theatreontheridge.ca.

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