The Home of Summer Theatre in Muskoka Launches 85th Season

Posted On Monday May 27, 2019
May 27, 2019
The Home of Summer Theatre in Muskoka Launches 85th Season
Come Make New Muskoka Memories at the Gravenhurst Opera House
Gravenhurst, ON - Muskoka is known for many things such as rocks, trees, water and a whole lot of memory making.  But did you know that Summer Theatre in Canada started right here in Muskoka 85 years ago?   ‘It is a little known fact but we think it’s really worth tooting our horn over,’ said Krista Storey, manager of arts and culture, ‘in 1934 an actor by the name of John Holden was visiting his sister in Bala and decided that this was the perfect place to create what is known as summer stock.’ Storey adds.  The Opera House was an important part of that foundation hosting the John Holden Players which became The Good Companions and then Actors’ Colony Theatre to the legendary Straw Hat Players and eventually became the home of the long running Muskoka Festival.  Many well-known names  performed during those years.  One you might recognize is Donald Sutherland who got his start right here during his stint with the Straw Hat Players in the late 1950’s.  So, what a legacy to celebrate and one the Opera House is very proud to carry on.

The Gravenhurst Opera House has been a community cornerstone since 1901 and probably Muskoka’s oldest entertainment tradition. Its beautiful wood interior boasts some of the best acoustics in Canada, making it a great place to see theatre and live music too.

With a full summer line-up of what promises to make you laugh, cry and even dance in the aisles, the Opera House is in full preparation mode with production design and costume creation.  Opening with Harvest (June 26-July 19), the story of a rental deal that goes ‘to pot’ or ‘up in smoke’, well, you get the idea.  This very timely and very funny play by Canadian playwright Ken Cameron is a brilliantly written two hander, based on his parents’ real life experience.  This year’s big musical takes us back to the days of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis!  This famous duo was loved around the world but their partnership didn’t last.  Dean & Jerry: What Might Have Been (July 24 - August 16) by Jesse Collins, delivers a very funny concert of old standards and old jokes.  Accompanied by a full band, stars of the show; Derek Marshall and Nicolas Arnold will make you feel as though you’ve been transported to Vegas.  The final production of the summer is Kalamazoo (September 11-27).  This lovely story by Michelle Kholos Brooks and Kelly Younger finds Peg and Irving both alone in their later years.  Encouraged by family, they turn to on-line dating.  What could possibly go wrong?  More importantly, what could go right?  Second chances filled with humourous moments, this romantic comedy promises to deliver a new lease on life for this unlikely couple.

Carefully placed in amongst these shows you will find wonderful concerts too with award winning talent such as The Jive Bombers on June 8, Woodstock: 50th Anniversary on August 24 and wrapping up the summer season, Tapestry: Carole King Songbook on September 28.

Offering a variety of daytime, evening, mid-week and weekend performances, you can take in dinner or a cruise, or just enjoy some great shopping downtown.  Find more show details and ticket information by visiting or contact the Box Office today to get your tickets at 705-687-5550 Ext. #21, Toll-Free: 1-888-495-8888.

When making your Muskoka memories this summer, be sure to include some Muskoka Summer Theatre at the Gravenhurst Opera House! 


For further information, please contact:


Krista Storey

Manager of Arts and Culture

705-687-5550 ext.27