Watch Scot Denton (Artistic Producer) interview Laurel Denning

about her experience working in

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum

Click here:   https://youtu.be/OtlmOB-nq9k


Early Stages – An Apprenticeship Theatre Program

There are only two spots left in this year’s program.  If you know of a young person who would be interested in joining our program, please contact either Scot Denton (sdenton@sympatico.ca) or Melissa Stephens (melistep@gmail.com).


We’re out of space!

Three of the five shows being presented this season are constructed “in-house” at our shop in Haliburton’s industrial park.  Our volunteer set builders and painters have run out of space to do what they do so well, while accommodating an ever increasing inventory of recycled materials from previous seasons. The solution is to acquire a storage container into which we can move our inventory of set material, thereby freeing up valuable space in the shop.

But we’re looking for a little financial help in the way of a $100 donation that will be put towards the purchase of a 40-foot storage container.  In return, in addition to our sincere appreciation for your kind financial help, for every $100 gift, the donor’s name will be entered into a draw for 1 of 2 season passes for the 2018 season. You will also receive a receipt for the amount of your donation, that can be used for tax purposes.

Make a Donation


2017 Highlands Summer Festival Season announced

Something For Everyone!

The eighteenth season of the Highlands Summer Festival has entertainment written all over it according to Artistic Director Scot Denton. The line-up of productions for the next season was announced at a Volunteer Appreciation and Season Unveiling event, Sunday November 20 at McKeck’s Tap and Grill.

The afternoon reception paid tribute to the many individuals who help make the six weeks of live theatre happen each summer at the Northern Lights Performing Arts Pavilion. But it also provided an opportunity to reveal what is ahead for the 2017 season.

“We will be opening the season with the light-hearted musical spoof, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To The Forum,” Denton said. This fast-paced comedy by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart with music by Stephen Sondheim is one of the funniest musicals ever written. This play is a nonstop laughfest in which

forumPseudolus, a crafty slave, struggles to win the hand of a beautiful, but slow-witted, courtesan named Philia, for his young master, Hero, in exchange for freedom. The plot twists and turns with cases of mistaken identity, slamming doors and a showgirl or two. An unforgettable, hysterical musical – “something for everyone, a comedy tonight!”

Ten performances July 3-7, 9 (2:30 matinee), 10-13.


The second offering of the season is a Broadway Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner for best play, Proof by David Auburn. By the eve of her 25th birthday, Catherine, a troubled young woman, has

Proofspent years caring for her brilliant but unstable father, a famous mathematician. Now, following his death, she must deal with her own volatile emotions; the arrival of her estranged sister, Claire; and the attentions of Hal, a former student of her father’s, who hopes to find valuable work in the 103 notebooks that her father left behind. Over the long weekend that follows, a burgeoning romance and the discovery of a mysterious notebook draw Catherine into the most difficult problem of all: How much of her father’s madness – or genius – will she inherit?

Eight performances July 17-21, 26-28.


Next, the Festival welcomes playwright and actor Julia Mackey to our stage for a moving one woman show called Jake’s Gift. In the

JakesGiftstory, a veteran is revisiting the shores of Juno beach for the 60th Anniversary of the D-Day landings. World War II veteran Jake encounters Isabelle, a precocious 10-year-old from the local village. Her inquisitive nature and charm challenge the old soldier to make peace with his past. A multi-award winning tour-de-force, Jake’s Gift uses the legacy of remembrance to make personal the story behind one soldier’s memories.

Three performances July 23 (2:30 matinee), 24-25.


No one makes our Highlands Summer Festival audiences laugh like playwright Norm Foster. This year, we know our patrons will not be

HildasYarddisappointed with his play, Hilda’s Yard. One ordinary family. One extraordinary day. Set in 1956, Sam and Hilda Fluck are finally on their own after their children Gary and Janey leave the nest. Then, on a September morning, their world changes when Gary loses his job, is the target of gangsters and Janey leaves her husband only to find love again. A heart-warming and hilarious look back at a not so innocent time.

Eight performances July 31, Aug 1-4, 9-11.  


Our final production of the season is the Jerome K. Jerome’s Three

3 Men in A BOATMen in a Boat, presented in association with Pea Green Theatre Group. The play is a stage adaptation of Jerome K. Jerome’s classic 1889 British travelogue. Join the three intrepid bachelors Jay, George, and Harris as they spend a disastrous weekend punting up the river Thames. Adapted for the stage by Dora award winning playwright Mark Brownell. Directed by award-winning director Sue Miner. Featuring the outstanding onstage talents of Matt Pilipiak, Scott Garland, and Victor Pokinko. Pea Green Theatre Group first produced Three Men in a Boat at the Fringe in Toronto in July of 2014. The run was entirely sold out, received stellar reviews, and was chosen as Best Production, Best Ensemble, Best Direction and Best Costume Design by NOW Magazine.

Three performances Aug 6 (2:30 matinee), 7-8.


“With a line-up like that, I am sure this is going to be another great Highlands Summer Festival season,” Denton commented. “Lots of laughs and funny situations, but we’ll also be challenging our audiences with some thoughtful pieces as well.”



TD Waterhouse Curtain Talks

Once again last year, the Highlands Summer Festival was pleased to present “Curtain Talks”, sponsored by TD Waterhouse.  After selected performances, the audience was invited to stay to talk to the cast and crew of the production. We will be offering TD Waterhouse Curtain Talks during the 2017 season. See the Calendar on the Tickets Page for the schedule.

Meanwhile, please click here to enjoy the Curtain Talks from our past seasons as recorded by Sticks and Stones Media.


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Front of Line service when you make a donation

When purchasing your tickets, please consider making a donation to the Highlands Summer Festival one of the most vibrant community theatre companies in Ontario. As a not-for-profit registered charity, we will provide you with a receipt which you can use for income tax purposes. The more than 150 artists and volunteers who make the annual Highlands Summer Festival season happen are heartened by endorsement of their efforts through the purchase of season passes. However, additional funds are needed to ensure the continued viability of the company.

Make a Donation

Your donation has additional benefits for you, including front of line ticket ordering priority, recognition on our website and in the program and the satisfaction of supporting one of Ontario’s outstanding summer theatre companies. Note: donations are receipted for the tax year in which they are received.

See you at the theatre

Jack Brezina,

Photos at the top of the pages by Lorne Campbell.



otfLogo               The Highlands Summer Festival acknowledges the support of                the Ontario Trillium Foundation