Meet the Artistic Director

Natalie Robitaille, Artistic Director

A word from the Artistic Director:

My name is Natalie Robitaille and on June 24th, 2011, my life got turned upside down for two reasons. One – I had just given birth to an 8lb, 4oz baby girl (which, in my opinion, is enough to throw anyone for a loop!), and two – quickly realizing that touring the world would be quite difficult with a newborn baby, my husband got a job working at the Bruce Power Generating Station. Suddenly, I found myself moving with him and renting a house in Saugeen Shores.

Before that my husband and I lived in Toronto as professional actors. Even though we lived in Toronto and performed in many local and provincial productions, we spent most of our time travelling across Canada, the United States and Southeast Asia performing classic stories and fairy-tales with the internationally acclaimed touring theatre company DuffleBag Theatre.

Now leaving a job and moving to a new town with a young baby can be daunting and I have to admit that the first few months were pretty difficult for me, but the people in this area were so inviting that it was hard to stay hidden in my house for very long! They were also incredibly active! I soon found myself being invited to play on volleyball and baseball teams. I joined the A Cappella Choir and started cross-country skiing! I met many wonderful people, and I came to realize what a great area this was. This made me start thinking about how I could contribute to this community. Then, one day, I met one of the members of the Performing Artists of Saugeen Shores, (the local community theatre group), and was asked to direct their production of Table Manners by Alan Ayckbourn.

It was during this production that I met and got to know some of the local talent and realized how much they loved theatre. That’s when I realized how I wanted to contribute to this community. I realized that I wanted to create a professional theatre company that produced excellent theatre but that also gave local talent the opportunity to sharpen their skills by working with professionals. That is how the idea of Bruce County Playhouse took root and after a year of planning, we are preparing for our first summer season.

I chose the play The Kitchen Witches by Canadian playwright Caroline Smith for our first production not only because it has great comedic potential but also because a lot of our community can be injected into the show. The story revolves around two women who host local cable-access cooking shows. The play contains audience interaction, jingles, ads and even a space for a local celebrity cameo and the author encourages producers to change certain parts of the script to include local businesses etc., which I think is fantastic. I truly believe that this production will be something that people will thoroughly enjoy!

We are also introducing our Bruce County Playhouse Young Company Summer Program. A four week program designed to give local young talent aged 10-16 the opportunity to experience what it is like to be part of a full length production. This summer, we will be producing a lovely adaptation of Cinderella by Marcus Lundgren.

I am greatly looking forward to this summer’s upcoming productions and hope that in finding a place for Bruce County Playhouse to thrive, I am finding my own place within this community.

Thank you and I hope to see you at the theatre!

Natalie Robitaille
Artistic Director
Bruce County Playhouse
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