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The Story of Burning Passions Theatre

We are a professional theatre company with a community feeling, producing works that employ the arts to build and transform communities in a rural setting, working at all levels to provide professional development, training, mentorship, and unique performance opportunities to a wide range of artists from at-risk youth to veteran Canadian talent, while committing to the highest standards of artistic practice.

Founded in Toronto in 1997 with a mandate to produce both professional productions and theatre projects in the community, the company moved to Perth in 2010 to expand our professional programming and to enhance our community engagement activities.

From 2010-2019, we presented the Classic Theatre Festival during the summer months, staging hits from Broadway and the London Stage while celebrating Perth’s unique heritage and history. We also presented Listen Up!, an annual Rural Youth Theatre Training Program in Lanark County that produced both a touring show with at-risk young people, as well as Perth through the Ages and The Lonely Ghosts Walk, annual theatrical historic walking plays that animated the downtown core of Perth during the summer.

In 2020, the company moved to Ottawa with a view to relaunching post-pandemic in the nation’s Capital. The Classic Theatre Festival will relaunch in the summer of 2022 at Arts Court Theatre.

Providing both artistic and economic stimulus to our community, we drew thousands of tourists to Perth every summer, while providing meaningful employment and volunteer opportunities for young people. We also raised thousands annually for charitable causes, and have provided tickets for low-income, socially and economically marginalized community members through our Save-A-Seat program.

A registered charity, Burning Passions Theatre is governed by a volunteer board of directors, and managed by Artistic Producer Laurel Smith, and Associate Producer Matthew Behrens.

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