Community Theatre Thriving in
Province Despite Pandemic

November 23, 2020 (Gander, NL) – Despite live performances being halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, community theatre continues to thrive across Newfoundland and Labrador.

At the recent annual Fall Meeting of the Newfoundland and Labrador Drama Society (NLDS), held virtually on October 24, 2020, the NLDS welcomed two new member groups, The 'Boot' Troupe from Marystown and The Madrock Theatre Troupe from Bay Roberts. The NLDS now boasts 10 groups and approximately 300 volunteer actors, directors, and backstage personnel.

"It’s great to welcome these two new groups to our community theatre family," says NLDS Chair Brian Dove. "It’s great to see that community theatre is now being offered in almost all regions of our province." The two new groups join a membership that includes groups in St. John’s (2), Gander, Grand Falls-Windsor, Corner Brook, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, and Labrador West (2).

Due to performance restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NLDS has postponed the 2021 Provincial Drama Festival. However, plans are already in motion for the 2022 festival with The Northcliffe Drama Club in Grand Falls-Windsor set to host the festival in April 2022, at the Gordon Pinsent Centre for the Arts.

"Northcliffe is one of the Society’s oldest member groups and we’re confident that come April 2022, they’ll be ready to safely welcome the rest of our participating theatre companies to Central Newfoundland and show us the hospitality that they’re known for," says Dove. "We also anticipate being joined in 2022 by members of Madrock Theatre and The 'Boot' Troupe and we look forward to seeing everyone at the Festival again in 2022."

Covid-19 has caused an extended intermission for the annual Festival, but some groups are planning local productions. Corner Brook’s Off Broadway Players produced "Hindsight is 2020" last week and the Avion Players of Gander will offer "Black Comedy", a one-act play by Peter Shaffer in January. Check your local theatres for more information.


Newfoundland and Labrador Drama Society
Brian Dove (Chair) | 709-424-6315 |

The Boot Troupe – Marystown
Levi Curtis | 709-832-4342 |

Madrock Theatre Troupe – Bay Roberts
Lynne Strong | 709-589-7156 |

Winners of the 2018 provincial festival

Here is a list of the 2018 provincial drama festival awards:

Scholarship – DA Matthews, Ellie King, School Zone Productions of St. John’s

Thompson Trophy for best actor under 21: Ellie King, School Zone

Reg Harte for best supporting actor: James Leblanc, St. John’s Players

Oz-fm for best sound: Ann Devlin, Graham Dillabough and Scott French, School Zone

Hans Tode for best set design: St. John’s Players

Harvey Rose Bowl for best visual presentation: The Twilight Zone

Allan R. Hillier for best costumes: Mark Brady and Toshon Dawe, Off-Broadway of Corner Brook

Elizabeth Ireland for best properties: Julie Ferrero, Northcliffe Drama Club of Grand Falls-Windsor

Chrissy Andrews for best actress: Rhonda Rodgers, Northcliffe

Sarah McDonald Award for best supporting actress: Lynn Sooley, Avion Players of Gander

Hon. Chairman’s Award for best actor: Scott Simms, Northcliffe

Allan Power Memorial for best lighting: School Zone Productions

Stage Manager’s Award: Jeannie Collins, Avion

Neala F. Griffin for best direction: Mark Bradbury, Off-Broadway

Newfoundland Herald Audience Appreciation: Off-Broadway and St. John’s Players

Margaret Doyle for spirit of festival: Arts and Culture Centre technical crew

Government of NL for best play: “Dinner with Friends,” Northcliffe Drama Club

St. John’s winners from School Zone Productions and the St. John’s Players included, front, from left: Cam Stapleton, Ellie King, Frankie O’Neill, Ann Devlin; second row, Deanna Skidmore (accepting on behalf of Jamie Skidmore), James Leblanc and Graham Dillabough; back, Louise Kearley, Fabian O’Keefe and Scott French.


Mark Bradbury and Toshon Dawe were winners from Corner Brook’s Off-Broadway Players.


Gander’s Nick Mercer (accepting on behalf of Jeannie Collins) and Lynn Sooley.