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Mary has been a fan of live theatre since her first visit to the Stratford Festival as a child, where she saw Christopher Walken and Louise Marleau in Romeo and Juliet. As a teenager, she had a summer job at the Grand Bend Tourist Information booth. Huron Country Playhouse founder James Murphy gave her free tickets to his inaugural season so she could promote it to visitors. She has a vivid memory of sitting in a tent on a folding chair, with her feet up on the seat in front of her, to avoid the rivulets of rain flowing through the mud and gravel towards the stage. Unfortunately, the productions that summer were less memorable, but improved greatly over the ensuing years.
Mary holds a B.A. in Honours English and an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Western Ontario, London. After graduation, Mary was a reporter for the Exeter Times-Advocate and reviewed shows at Huron Country Playhouse.
Mary returned to writing theatre reviews in 2004 on a freelance basis. She has supplied publications such as the Strathroy Age-Dispatch, The Focus, and Sarnia’s First Monday magazine, as well as the website www.theatreinlondon.ca. In 2013, the well-known website Broadway World started posting her reviews. Her reviews have been heard on MyFM Radio Strathroy-Caradoc 105.7 and MyFM Exeter & Grand Bend 90.5. All her reviews are on this website, either in “Now Playing” or “Archives”.
Mary and her husband, Victor, always made their home in Grand Bend or in that area of Ontario. But during the Covid-19 pandemic, they moved to beautiful, historic Port Hope. Victor is an artist who paints in oil and acrylic. As well, he does scenic photography.
Their daughter Chelsey is a social worker. She, her husband, Jonathan, and their two children, make their home in Northumberland County.
Their son Thomas is a professional actor/singer/dancer and director. Among his favourite roles are Tommy Djilas in The Music Man, and Moody Spurgeon MacPherson, Anne of Green Gables, Capitol Theatre, Port Hope; Mordred in Camelot, North American tour; Bud Frump in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and Prince Herbert in Spamalot with Drayton Entertainment; Mary Sunshine in Chicago, Globe Theatre, Regina, and swing in Kinky Boots at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto. More recently, he has moved into directing, and has was Assistant Director of White Christmas at the Shaw Festival and Assistant Director of Rent at the Stratford Festival. Next season he returns to Stratford as Assistant Director of La Cage Aux Folles.
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Eden’s love of theatre began in the audience of the Grand Theatre’s 2005 production of Annie, where she quickly realized she wanted to be on-stage. Since that moment, she has acted in both community theatre productions and professionally in television and film. More recently, she has become involved in theatre review and criticism, as well as directing. She is a recent graduate from Western University, where she received her Honours B.A. in Creative Writing and English, as well as Theatre Studies. She is currently pursuing her M.A. in English Literature at Western. When she is not engaged in whatever theatrical endeavour she is working on, she can be found sitting with a good book and a strong cup of coffee next to her cat, Luna. @edeneidt
Sookie has been writing reviews since her Gazette days at Western University, where she received her Honours English and Drama degree. An ardent theatre lover, she can be seen in the audience at as many shows as possible, scheduled around her full days of working as a technical writer, playing bass guitar in Betamaxx (an 80s cover band), reading voraciously, and taking her dog Flynn out for walks! Sookie is also a theatre producer with her company Theatre Soup, and loves to play both on and off stage.
Deb Lord has enjoyed theatre since her first experience at the Drayton Entertainment venues. Her daughter, Amber, loved being a member of the Huron Country Playhouse’s youth theatre program. Deb soon realized how fortunate she was to have captivating, live theatre close to home! As manager of the Exeter Lakeshore Times-Advance newspaper, Deb had the opportunity to see Huron Country Playhouse’s performances on a regular basis. She is now writing reviews for Entertain This Thought, covering the Blyth Festival.
Recently retired, she is enjoying coaching youth softball, volunteering at local charities and events, travel, and looking after her grandchildren. With her husband Dick, Deb has enjoyed theatre throughout Ontario. Their two grown children, Brayden and Amber plus four grandchildren live in the area which provides plenty of family time!
Holly Wenning is a WODL (Western Ontario Drama League) award winning actor, director and choreographer and loves all things theatre. Holly has worked with Theatre Sarnia and other companies in the area for over 30 years. She runs her own production company, Stars of Tomorrow, creating shows for young adults over 21 with exceptionalities.
Vicki has always been passionate about the performing arts. As a young girl, she took theatre arts classes in which the students developed a play and performed it on the McManus Stage at The Grand in London. Fortunately, she realized that her talent lies in writing as opposed to performing. Over the years, she has enjoyed theatre big and small from The King and I with Hayley Mills to Shakespeare performed by students in Waterloo Park. She is a huge fan of small town theatres and homegrown talent.
Vicki has an Honours B.A. in Psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo and has studied library tech. She was employed at Kitchener Public Library for over 13 years until making a major life change in 2017, moving back to her rural roots. Besides being an avid gardener on her beautiful two-acre property, she writes novels, short stories and non-fiction, just for pleasure.
She lives with her husband and two wonderful sons near Grand Bend, where she met Mary through the local writers’ group. She currently assists with the business and marketing end of her husband, Shaun’s, business, Aerodynamic Driving School (of Forest and Stratford). Together they own several classic vehicles and enjoy attending car shows.
What we do
By using “Search” on this website you can find reviews from these theatres and more. We review shows at various Toronto Theatres, including the Mirvish productions. Now, we cover theatres east of Toronto and across southwestern Ontario.
- Drayton Entertainment venues:
- Huron Country Playhouse & Playhouse II, Grand Bend
- St. Jacobs Country Playhouse & Schoolhouse Theatre, St. Jacobs
- Hamilton Family Theatre, Cambridge
- Drayton Festival Theatre, Drayton
- Kings Wharf Theatre, Penetanguishene
- Victoria Playhouse, Petrolia
- The Stratford Festival, Stratford
- The Shaw Festival, Niagara-on-the-Lake
- The Blyth Festival, Blyth
- The Grand Theatre, London
- The Port Stanley Festival Theatre, Port Stanley
- The Capitol Theatre, Port Hope
- Globus Theatre at the Lakeview Arts Barn, Bobcaygeon
- The County Stage Company, Prince Edward County
- The Orillia Opera House, Orillia
- Tweed and Co. Theatre, Marble Arts Centre, Actinolite
- The Village Playhouse, Bancroft
- Thousand Island Playhouse, Gananoque
A special Thank You to Matt Mullen of Red Chair for his technical expertise in the creation of this website and blog. www.redchair.ca