2023 at the Capitol Theatre, Port Hope

News about the 2023 Season from Artistic Director Rob Kempson

“Our new Strategic Plan places an emphasis on Artistic Excellence and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. I’m very proud of how the 2023 season showcases those values,” said Kempson. “In a very short time, we’ve been able to grow our staff resources, increase the quality of our productions, and chart a new course for sustainability in all its forms. Capitol Theatre 2023: For Everyone! is a great reflection of that growth and change.”

In addition to an expanded four-show “Summer Stage Subscription”, the 2023 season also includes four concerts in a new “Music Lovers’ Subscription.” Both subscriptions are now on sale to the general public, with special pricing for those under 30.

“For us, the past year has been about more than simply putting on great shows. We’ve worked hard to upgrade outdated systems and make improvements to our venue,” remarked Managing Director Erin Peirce. “We are investing in our organization to better serve our community..”

Kempson also took the opportunity to announce the inaugural Creators’ Unit–a group of local and regional creators who will meet bi-monthly throughout the year, receive dramaturgical feedback, and work towards readings, workshops, and public presentations in the fall of 2023, under the direction of Artistic Director Rob Kempson. The first unit features Cale Crowe (Alderville First Nation), Genevieve Adam (Cobourg), Marc Ludwig (Peterborough), and Alexandra Montagnese (Toronto/Kingston). An additional project will be selected from a public Call for Submissions, now available online.

The 2023 season announcement also showcased numerous opportunities for local artists, community members, and young people to get involved at the Capitol. Audition Notices have been posted for General Auditions, “Tommy” in The Ballad of Stompin’ Tom, and the ensemble of Notes of Northumberland.


Shirley Valentine
By Willy Russell
Directed by Karen Ancheta
May 12 – 28
Production Sponsor – Atelier on John

A timeless and touching story about finding yourself.

Feeling like she’s in a rut, middle-aged Shirley has taken to talking to the wall while preparing dinner for her emotionally distant husband. When her best friend wins a competition for two to Greece, she packs her bags, leaves a note on the cupboard door in the kitchen, and heads for a holiday that will alter the course of her life.

This classic story, and a hit 1989 film, will touch your heart, tickle your funny bone, and make you think about living in the here and now.  

The Ballad of Stompin’ Tom
By David Scott
Songs & Lyrics by Stompin’ Tom Connors
Directed by Rob Kempson
June 9 – July 2
Lead Supporter – Allan & Robin Dines of Ganaraska Brewing Company

The songs and stories that celebrate a Canadian icon.

Canadian Legend Stompin’ Tom grew up in an orphanage, travelled throughout Northern Ontario playing the bar circuit, faced naysayers of all sorts, but he eventually found his success in telling the stories of our country. His captivating story is told through this unique tribute to “The Man of the Land” and a true icon in Canadian music.

Featuring his greatest hits, such as Bud the Spud, Tillsonburg, Sudbury Saturday Night, and of course, The Hockey Song.

Prairie Nurse
By Marie Beath Badian
Directed by Megan Watson
July 14 – 30

A laugh-a-minute comedy of confusion based on a real-life story!

In the late 1960s, two Filipino nurses come to work at a small-town Saskatchewan hospital. Cultural clashes, personality differences, homesickness, and the amorous but dim-witted goalie from the local hockey team complicate the women’s lives and create chaos at the hospital. Add a doctor who is more concerned with fishing than his patients, and an overly romantic candy striper, and you’ve got the makings of a story that will have you rolling in the aisles.

Based on the true story of her mother’s immigration to Canada, Badian’s play is part romantic comedy, part farce, and all fun!

Little Shop of Horrors
Book & Lyrics by Howard Ashman
Music by Alan Menken
Directed by Rob Kempson
August 11 – September 3
Production Sponsor – Bosley Real Estate (Lee Caswell & Tina Hubicki)

A hilarious sci-fi smash about a man-eating plant.

Seymour, a hapless florist, is looking for love on Skid Row and he finds it in the beautiful Audrey—but she fails to notice him. At the same time, he has managed to grow a strange new plant, lovingly named Audrey II, which eventually helps capture her attention and that of his whole community. But Audrey II has some pretty particular eating habits, setting Seymour on a course that will change his life and the whole of Skid Row.

Based on the 1960 cult classic film, this Motown-infused musical is sure to make you laugh—and fear the words “Feed Me!”

Written and Directed by Rebecca Northan
November 24 – December 23
Production Sponsor – Part Time CFO Services

A tangled-up panto featuring an inquisitive young man named Jack.

Our annual panto returns for another magical holiday season at the Capitol Theatre! Magic, murder, and mayhem lead the way in this world premiere re-telling of the classic fairytale. Featuring a hilarious harp, gregarious goose, and a whole lot of gold, this musical version of Jack won’t be like anything you’ve seen before.

Created exclusively for Capitol audiences, this world premiere production is written and directed by award-winning star of stage and screen, Rebecca Northan.

Rumour Has It: The Songbook of Adele
Conceived and Created by Kelly Holiff and Jeremy Webb
Musical Arrangements by Sarah Richardson
Directed by Jeremy Webb
January 27 & 28

A powerful night of music showcasing one of Canada’s best!

Bringing this contemporary songbook to life, beloved performer Kelly Holiff (who played Doralee in 2022’s 9 to 5: The Musical) performs Adele’s most iconic songs. With her powerful voice, huge heart, and hilarious stories—and backed by a world-class band—Kelly brings her own interpretation of Adele’s music in one unforgettable performance.

Mickey and Judy
By Michael Hughes
July 27 – August 6

For some of us, life is a musical.

The overture for Michael Hughes’ life story began when he was a child and watched the Judy Garland classic “The Wizard of Oz” with his family. How that musical and Garland herself ended up guiding his life is the subject of this utterly engaging, and beautifully heartfelt, solo show.

Playing to sold out audiences around the world, Mickey and Judy promises a night of music in our intimate Sculthorpe Theatre that celebrates the impact of one of the greatest stars of all time.

Billboard in Concert
Conceived by Jeff Newberry and Rob Kempson
April 15 & October 14
Production Sponsor – The Beamish House

A nostalgic remix of your favourite tunes!

Created by local and regional artists, these unique evenings celebrate the top billboard hits of a given year. These concerts feature hits you know and love, performed in brand new arrangements. We’re celebrating the arts community in Northumberland County and beyond!

On April 15, we’ll be showcasing the top hits from 1994 such as Mariah Carey’s “Hero” and Aerosmith’s “Crazy.” On October 7, you can hear all the music you love from 1969 like “Build Me Up Buttercup” by The Foundations and “Heard It Through The Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye.

Notes of Northumberland
Conceived by Rob Kempson and the Ensemble
April 18 – 29

Local legends telling local tales.

Featuring community members in onstage roles, Notes of Northumberland will investigate the stories, songs, and legends of this community. Created by the ensemble under the direction of Rob Kempson, this production offers an opportunity for folks of all ages to create new work at the Capitol. Auditions will be held in Fall 2022.


More Music at the Capitol: including both the Kitchen Party and Cabaret series, holiday concerts, an more.

Opportunities for Youth and Community Participation: Camp Capitol, March Break Songwriters’ Program, Listen Up, and partnerships with numerous local organizations.

Twitter: @capitolporthope

Instagram: @capitoltheatreporthope

Facebook: Capitol Theatre Port Hope


The Capitol Theatre is dedicated to producing and presenting a balanced schedule of high-quality professional theatre, live music, film, and other special events in historic Port Hope, while also providing a home for the local arts community. We are committed to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive future, where all individuals, groups, and organizations are welcome to create, collaborate, and connect. We strive to provide memorable experiences for our guests through artistic excellence, a wide variety of programming, and the historic venue itself. For more information, check out capitoltheatre.com.

While the Capitol Theatre no longer requires masks to be worn in the venue, they are strongly recommended and will continue to be worn by all staff, artists, and volunteers. Read our full COVID-19 Policy here.

LISTING INFORMATIONCapitol Theatre 2023: For Everyone!
Dates & Times:January 27, 2023 – December 23, 2023 Specific Performance Dates listed above
Venue:  Cameco Capitol Arts Centre 20 Queen Street, Port Hope
Ticket Information:Two Subscription Packages now ON SALE Summer Stage Subscription (4 productions) – $160 Music Lovers’ Subscription (4 concerts) – $170 https://capitoltheatre.com/subscriptions/
Website:   capitoltheatre.com  


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