The Victoria Playhouse is a registered not-for-profit organization. Opened in 1982 with the late Erskine Smith as the creative director and Pat Stunden Smith as the GM, the intimate setting provides excellent live theatre and musical performances.
They’ve come a long way since their opening, in 1985 they had their first renovation installing some softer seats, and then in 2004 the remodeled the front entrance and added some much needed air-conditioning.
A really big breakthrough came in 2008, when the outdoor sensation “Follow the Fiddler” made it’s debut and became a staple in Victoria. Their latest milestone came when the President’s Award from The Tourism Industry Association of PEI was presented in March, 2011. The Victoria Playhouse is the “little theatre that acts BIG”!
♦ The Melville Boys by Norm Foster ♦ Classic Canadian Comedy
June 24 – July 31
“The Melville Boys effortlessly weaves the comic and tragic.” – Variety.
It is late September. Owen and Lee Melville arrive at their uncle’s lakeside cabin for a weekend of relaxation and fishing, and on Owen’s part – a unsettling disclosure. However plans go astray with the unexpected arrival of two local sisters. What unfolds is a classic and thoughtful comedy – the signature production of Canada’s most produced playwright.
“Smart, funny, energetic with moments of sentiment and real life drama. Classic Canadian comedy.” – Winchester Press
“Touches the heart in the right places.” – The Toronto Globe and Mail
The Melville Boys cast includes Becca Griffin, Jeremie Saunders, Helen Killorn and Corey Turner
♦ The (Post) Mistress by Tomson Highway ♦ The Little Musical with Big Secrets
Aug 6 – Sept 4
“So endearing, so funny, and ultimately so heartbreaking” —The Chronicle Herald.
For thirty years, feisty Marie-Louise has worked at the post office in the fictional small town of Lovely, and through the letters she intimately handles, has come to know (and is willing to share) all the juicy gossip.
The (Post) Mistress is a one-woman musical tour de force – fun and flirty, and oh so Canadian!
Playwright Tomson Highway was born in a snow bank on the Manitoba/Nunavut border to a family of nomadic caribou hunters. Today, he enjoys an international career as playwright, novelist, and pianist/songwriter. The soundtrack album of The (Post) Mistress, received a Juno Award in 2015 for Aboriginal Album of the Year.
“Irving gave an astonishing performance in this one-woman, 10-song cycle that drew shouts of bravo and standing ovations as she became the colourful French-Canadian Marie-Louise running a village post office – The Chronicle Herald
♦ Like Father, Like Son? Sorry ♦ Written & performed by Chris Gibbs
September 9 – 16
“It’s all fresh, it’s all funny, it’s presented with wit and style… Highly recommended” – Toronto Star.
Chris Gibbs opened for the sold out run of Stranger to Hard Work starring Cathy Jones last summer. Our patrons loved his stories, his clean and self-deprecating humour, and many asked to hear more from him. We listened! Chris is coming back, with his own award winning show.
Like Father, Like Son? Sorry is a stand-up comedy show that playfully explores the fears, worries and surprises of being a new father, and the absolute terror of wanting to be a good one.
Like Father, Like Son? Sorry premiered at the 2009 Toronto Fringe Festival, where it won Patron’s Pick. It then played to sell-out houses at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, the 2010 Next Stage Theatre Festival, and later in the 2010 Uno Festival and at the CBC Winnipeg Comedy Festival. Then the show sold out and was held over at the Edmonton Fringe Festival. In 2011 the show garnered more rave reviews and sold-out audiences at the Calgary and Vancouver Fringe Festivals.
“Gibbs’ observations about his first two years of fatherhood is as clever and funny a show as you’ll see at this festival. A thoroughly entertaining and hilarious show that has my highest recommendation.” – Dean Jenkinson, CBC
“goes way beyond navel-gazing to ask profound (and very funny) questions about life, death and Star Trek, all delivered in Gibbs’s genial, self-effacing manner.”– Now, Toronto
British-born comedian Chris Gibbs has toured extensively as a stand-up comedian and improviser, written and performed 5 hit, award-winning one-man shows, was a regular guest on NBC’s comedy series Howie Do It, has played at the Just For Laughs and the Winnipeg Comedy Festivals, starred in the Canadian indie feature Run Robot Run, and is even a published author.
Victoria Playhouse Concerts
Lion Bear Fox July 4 – Vancouver’s Lion Bear Fox is three huge voices joined in righteous harmony, telling the truth through compelling story, honest narrative and unbridled passion. Three men going to war onstage every night to share a message of hope, vulnerability and redemption.
Lynn Miles July 11 – There’s something to be said for experience, for taking the time to grow into your own skin. All sturdy things need time to root ﬁrmly into the ground to ﬁnd their strength. Lynn Miles is one of Canada’s most accomplished singer/songwriters. With twelve albums to her credit, the winner of multiple Canadian Folk Music awards.
Laura Smith with Kim Dunn July 18 – Laura’s distinct singing voice has been a mainstay of the Canadian music scene for many decades now. Personal accolades include two Juno nominations, a Gemini award, and an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities to honour Laura’s songwriting talent. She is probably most well-known for “My Bonny.”
The Eastern Belles July 25 – The Eastern Belles are PEI’s own Catherine MacLellan, Ashley Condon and Meaghan Blanchard. “The Island” (as it is affectionately known) is where these three award-winning songwriters have chosen to live and create while pursuing their musical careers.
Ken Whiteley August 8 – Ken Whiteley is one of Canada’s most respected ‘roots’ musicians. He’s won a Canadian Folk Music Award, a Genie Award for Best Original Song in a Canadian film, Lifetime Achievement Awards from Folk Music Ontario and from the Mariposa Folk Festival and has been nominated for 7 JUNO Awards and 15 Maple Blues Awards.
Dennis Ellsworth with Kim Dunn August 15 – The show starts with the Song. Join Dennis Ellsworth and special guest Kim Dunn as he lets the audience into the secret that is songwriting. With over two dozen international co-writes to his credit, Dennis has already written songs in an impressive variety of styles.
Bùmarang August 22 – Bùmarang is composed of three of Montreal’s finest Celtic musicians: Dave Gossage (Orealis, Land of Kush), Sarah Pagé (Barr Brothers), and Kate Bevan-Baker (Hey Rosetta!, The Dardanelles). The trio draws from their diverse musical backgrounds in jazz, classical, African, bluegrass, and traditional music to create a unique Celtic sound.
Gordie MacKeeman & his Rhythm Boys August 29 – With flashes of flair and fancy footwork, and a blatant disregard for predictable stage presence, Prince Edward Island’s Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys deliver an ultimate concert experience filled with high-energy electrifying entertainment.