Live theatre in Kingston and area

By Emily Coppella

Programs for a showstopping summer

Looking for a way to jazz up date night, entertain the kids, or turn a solo summer day into an adventure? Experience the magic of the performing arts in Kingston! We compiled a list of performances to put on your summer bucket list.

Various performances at Thousand Islands Playhouse

Throughout July and August

Thousand Islands Playhouse (185 South St., Gananoque)

It’s Thousand Islands Playhouse’s 40th anniversary this season, and they’re putting on five stellar shows throughout the summer to celebrate. Enjoy musicals, comedies, and drama throughout July and August. We’re excited for “Every Brilliant Thing,” an upbeat story that is both funny and heartwarming. You can view the list of performances and purchase tickets on the Thousand Islands Playhouse website.


August 4 – 13

The Domino Theatre (52 Church St.)

Blue Canoe Theatrical Productions Inc. is ready to cut loose with Footloose! this summer. This show is family-friendly, although parents should be aware there is an allusion to some mature themes. Blue Canoe is a non-profit, youth-led community theatre dedicated to offering opportunities for young people to get involved in the performing arts. The entire production team (cast, band, directors, designers, and technical crew) are Kingston youth. More information about the show will be posted to their website and tickets will be on sale soon through the Kingston Grand Theatre website.

Cost: Adults $20; seniors and youth $17

The Kick & Push Festival

August 1 – 20, various times

Various locations

There’s nothing like The Kick & Push Festival to introduce you to a variety of theatrical styles here in Kingston. This festival aims to transform audiences from passive observers to engaging participants – and we’re excited to see what their eighth season will bring. The festival runs for three weeks throughout eight venues downtown including the Kingston Grand Theatre, The Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning, and City Park.

Kick & Push aims to break the mould of traditional theatre, so prepare yourself for surprising venues, audience participation, and unconventional performances. You’ll be able to purchase tickets and view the upcoming lineup on the festival website. Tickets can be purchased in-person at the Kingston Grand Theatre box office or on their website.

Cost: adults $25; arts worker, student, and family pricing available for select performances

Domino One-Act Play Festival

July 8, 7:30 pm

The Domino Theatre (52 Church St.)

Experience a variety of theatrical performances in one night for one night only. The One-Act Play Festival showcases three plays. Time-travel back to the 1960s with “Hairball” by Harry Jordan; witness a mother who leaves her marriage for an adventure with “A Mouse No More” by Adam Fulker; and gain insight on what it means to write for the stage with “The Auditions” by Greg Duncan. This juried festival will crown one winner who will then travel to the Academy Theatre in Lindsay for the Eastern Ontario Drama League’s One Act Festival in November. You can purchase tickets on the Kingston Grand Theatre website.

Cost: Adults $20 + handling fee; children $10 + handling fee

Bard’s Bus Tour: King Henry Five

Various dates, 7:30 – 9:30 pm

Lions Civic Gardens

The Driftwood Theatre brings back its Bard’s Bus Tour to put on Shakespeare in the Park (after a three-year pause). The Driftwood team has adapted three Shakespeare plays (Henry IV parts I and II and Henry V) to create King Henry Five. The play uses a contemporary patio bar as its backdrop and combines music, puppetry, and Shakespearean poetry to weave a tale about power, corruption, and rebellion. While the cast will be travelling across Ontario to perform, they’ll be playing two previews in the Kingston area first before their official opening.

Bard’s Bus will park on Wolfe Island for a show at Hotel Wolfe Island on July 14. You can also see the show on July 15 at Lions Civic Gardens. This Kingston-specific performance is free, thanks to the support of the Eastern Workforce Innovation Board, Sherlock’s Escapes, and the Kingston Frontenac Public Library – simply reserve your seat online. The bus will return for another performance at Hotel Wolfe Island on August 12.

You can purchase tickets to the Wolfe Island performances and/or reserve your seat for the Kingston performance on their website.

Cost: Wolfe Island shows: Pay What You Can Afford’ admission. Kingston show: free.

Storefront Fringe Festival

August 4 – 14, various times

Various locations

The Storefront Fringe Festival returns this summer. A fringe festival focuses on offering opportunities to independent theatre artists to produce and perform their work. There are no limits on content, and anyone can submit a show.

Did you know that Fine Balance Brewery created a special beer to support theatre-based festivals this summer? “FestivALE” made its debut at the Kingston Grand Theatre during the Watershed Festival this past spring. You can find the ale in cans in the Fine Balance Brewery taproom or on tap downtown at The Iron Duke on Wellington, The Grad Club, and The Rustic Spud. FestivALE is an easy-drinking, smooth wheat beer with hints of clove and citrus. Grab one for a post-performance celebration!

Festival Players of Prince Edward County

Close to Kingston, the Festival Players of Prince Edward County have some fantastic new theatre offerings under the stars at the Outdoor Pavilion at the Eddie Hotel and Farm. The world premiere of The Shape of Home: Songs in Search of Al Purdy runs through to the end of July. In August, experience the Flight Festival of Contemporary Dance, which is filled with opportunities for the community to get involved through classes, workshops, and shows. The summer season wraps up with Beyond the Sea, a new romantic comedy. Learn more: