About the Shows

Home/About the Shows

Come Together with the Cornwall Family

Christmas is a time for people to come together and Chemainus Theatre Festival is proud to be a part of this tradition for the past 25 years. It is the talented directors, musicians, actors, and designers who come together to create the shows that bring friends and families coming back, again and again, to settle in a darkened audience and share a special story. Theatre can bridge gaps between people from different places, cultures, generations, and backgrounds. The ‘Cornwalls’ All-Inclusive Cancun Christmas’ is a sweet way to mark the end of a great year for Chemainus Theatre Festival – a joyous tale of a family coming together, sharing traditions, starting something new, and making friends along the way.

Come spend an evening (or afternoon) at Chemainus Theatre Festival and enjoy the ‘Cornwalls’ All-Inclusive Cancun Christmas’. Time, budget, work, family won’t allow everyone to get away to Mexico this Christmas (it took Harry and Judy Cornwall 25 years to get there) but allow us to take you away on a musical journey to the mid-1980s with some of your favourite Christmas and retro tunes along with a whimsical story of a family doing their very best to create a memorable Christmas holiday vacation.

‘Cornwalls’ All-Inclusive Cancun Christmas’ Director Barbara Tomasic has this message for audiences: “My wish for you is that our show offers you a good laugh and a reminder of what I think are the good parts of the Holiday season; joy, music, peace, and love. And may you embrace change as exuberantly as the Cornwalls!”

Come to laugh and leave with a song in your heart. ‘Cornwalls’ All-Inclusive Cancun Christmas’ runs until New Year’s Eve with a fabulous buffet to rival any Mexican all-inclusive resort. Tickets go fast for our Christmas shows so book yours today.

2018 Season at the Chemainus Theatre Festival

2017 was a banner year for the Chemainus Theatre Festival. After all, it was our 25th Anniversary and we had a wonderful community celebration with music, tours, dress-up, ice cream and more! Our summer show, ‘Rock Legends’ broke a 9-year box office record and we explored classic love stories, children’s adventures, distant galaxies, and tales full of love and laughter.

It is hard to not get excited about the 2018 season; it’s easy to imagine yourself in your favourite seat of the theatre for any of these shows. To kick off our season perhaps you will enjoy a special escape to watch a young couple find love in a Dublin bar in ‘Once’, or share cross-cultural family challenges in ‘Kim’s Convenience’, or laugh with/at the delightful ‘Glorious!’ Florence Foster Jenkins. 2018 will mark the 40th anniversary of the movie ‘Grease’ and many of us have a happy memory of bopping along with the tunes, whether it was during the original movie theatre release or perhaps at a pajama-clad sleepover in high school. Theatre can take you away and we invite you to come along for the whole 2018 season – maybe back to Ireland, in a rural county this time, in ‘Outside Mullingar’ or to a familiar but distant time with ‘Little Women’. There will even be a bonus show this year – we are re-launching our hit show ‘ Million Dollar Quartet’. Are you inspired yet? Don’t forget about the little ones – the summer run of our Kidzplay ‘The Little Prince’ will plant a seed for the lifelong love of theatre for many children this summer.

We welcomed a new Executive Chef in our kitchen, Nick Caulford, in late 2017 and if you have dined in the Playbill Dining Room recently we are sure you will agree that his dishes are inspired. For our 2018 season, we are trying something new, on Friday nights only we will have a new service, Table d’Hôte. For this special service, you will enjoy a multi-course dinner with your choice of four special plated entrees inspired by the season and the show. The salad and dessert buffet will remain the same and we promise not to judge if you go back for a second piece of cake!

With tickets starting at $25 and an option to get 4, 5 or 6 show packages you can customize your season to suit your tastes, budget, and calendar. Call soon to get your choice of seats and dates and best of all, if you purchase a season ticket subscription by December 8 and you be entered to win a Theatre Extravaganza Trip for 2 to New York.

By |November 24th, 2017|Categories: About the Shows|0 Comments

A Family Christmas Classic

aboutxmasstoryThe final show of the Festival’s Season always stands apart. It’s not that the artistry and entertainment value differ from any other production; our teams are always giving you their greatest. The specialness comes from the holiday spirit and feeling of anticipation we all share.

Looking forward to what’s coming is an exciting part of coming to the end of a season. At the same time, we are comforted by the nostalgia of looking back. At the Festival, we have fond memories from nearly 25 years of holiday productions, all of which start with the same wish – to share a theatrical moment you’ll cherish with us.


This year, that wishful quality of Christmas is at the heart of our comedic play, A Christmas Story. Turning back the pages to 1938, we will see young Ralphie’s attempts to convince his parents, his teacher, and Santa that a Red Ryder B.B. gun really is the perfect Christmas gift – and hear through his older, perhaps wiser, narration, how hope can lead us in many interesting directions.

The play is an adaptation of the award winning 1983 film – derived from the short stories and semi-fictional anecdotes of author Jean Shepherd (published in his book In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash (1966). Having deep resonance in North American culture, the story is considered a holiday classic with a message: no matter how crazy the path our personal wishes lead us, in the end we find happiness from the caring of others.

Our greatest wish is to share inspiring theatre with you, and we thank you for being part of this memorable chapter in our own “Christmas Story.” Enjoy your festivities, and we hope you’ll continue to celebrate with us in 2017 as we mark 25 years of outstanding Festival performances!


Coming Up: Things Are About to Get Strange!



Elwood P. Dowd is unlike anyone you’ve ever met. He insists on introducing his friend Harvey to everyone around town – trouble is, Harvey is an invisible six-foot-tall rabbit.

Such eccentric behaviour just won’t do in the eyes of his easily embarrassed (and social-climbing) sister. Something must be done, and a trip to the sanatorium for an “cure-all” injection is planned. But things are about to get stranger yet.


See what happens when the real patient is mistaken, the doctors begin to behave oddly, and Elwood is suddenly as hard to spot as his imaginary friend.

Harvey is a Broadway comedy of errors with “unassuming charm,” (The Hollywood Reporter). The play, by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Mary Chase, promises to make you laugh as you wonder whether the world needs more “normal” people, or more “Harveys”?


On stage at The Chemainus Theatre Festival May 6 – 28, 2016.

Tickets are available now at 1.800.565.7738 or chemainustheatre.ca.



By |March 28th, 2016|Categories: 2016 Season, About the Shows|0 Comments

Ring of Fire Reignites in April 2016!

2016 Ring of Fire

Reignited by Foot-Stompin’, Crowd-Pleasin’ Demand!

Great music, memorable characters, and slice of life stories often win our favour, and hearts, at The Chemainus Theatre Festival. Imagine our thrill to discover that you, our patrons, feel the same way. Along with praise for the 2015 production of Ring of Fire, we received numerous requests and suggestions to honour the legendary Johnny Cash with a second run of the rockabilly musical about his life story.

For a show to take The Festival stage a second time it must offer a special kind of magic. It must be exquisitely performed, replete with emotion, and fondly remembered. Could this tribute to a wild, gentlemanly singer, songwriter, and rustic poet fit the playbill for a consecutive year?

It was an easy decision. One listen to the deep throttling voice of the American music legend and we knew that the acclaimed Broadway show deserved a second time in the spotlight. Now the challenge was upon us: to relight the original spark of sensation. Fortunately, the original production and artistic team also share our enthusiasm for Ring of Fire. We are excited to work with many of the cast and crew again, as well as welcome a few new talented people to the current production. Judging from their red-hot rehearsals, the best of the Man In Black is back. Thank you for joining us to relive the rowdiness, resilience, and iconic songs that punctuate the incredible life of Johnny Cash!

By |March 21st, 2016|Categories: 2016 Season, About the Shows|0 Comments