Thought provoking theatre and music this August

Yellow Bellies 9x12 posterThe August line-up at the Village Playhouse features productions that are thought provoking and culturally relevant starting with the Theatre of the Beat’s stage show, “Yellow Bellies.” The play is an historical drama that highlights the experiences and public response to Mennonite Conscientious Objectors during WWII. This episodic tale takes audiences across Canada, featuring verbatim interviews, fictionalized scenes and live music from an often-overlooked chapter of Canadian history. Written by Johnny Wideman and Rebecca Steiner, the production has had amazing reviews.

Based in Stouffville, Ontario and founded by Johnny Wideman in 2011, the Theatre of the Beat has toured Fringe festivals and performed at theatres, in jails and in churches across the Country. Since their first shows, they have slept on floors and eaten a lot of peanut butter and jam sandwiches while earning great reviews; which helped to establish the company as a trusted grass-roots, social justice theatre troupe. As a traveling theatre troupe, this group of artists tries their darnedest to challenge and inspire the communities they find themselves in.

Hghlands Opera Studio 9x12Then, on Aug. 11 the Highland’s Opera Studio returns to the Village Playhouse to offer their popular “Pop Goes the Opera,” production. This group of musicians enchanted audiences last summer and this year they promise even more well-known hits from Broadway, opera and some pop favourites thrown in to the mix to delight the audience. The show also features some of the best members of the Studio’s young company and makes for a wonderful evening of music and camaraderie.

Tickets for all the Playhouse shows are on sale at Harvest Moon, Posie’s, the Playhouse Box Office, at Hospice House and online at Both shows are family friendly and support the Hospice North Hastings “Caring through Culture” movement that uses cultural events at the Playhouse to fund the free programs and services provided in the community by Hospice North Hastings.