The Mariposa Arts Theatre Foundation: Celebrating 50+ Years

By Press Release

As I reflect on my own relationship with MAT it is hard to overstate the impact it has had on my life. I grew up in Severn but, with the exception of a couple years living in South Korea, lived my entire adult life in Toronto. As the pandemic continued in September of 2020 and my professional theatre career continued to be on hold we made the choice to move back home. That first year was hard. I missed the city, my community and my work. I felt 17 again and back in a place where I didn’t fit in and felt like there weren’t other people like me – and then I saw a call for directors with Mariposa Arts Theatre. When I was offered the role of director for Steel Magnolias I suddenly found myself back in my element, having amazing conversations with incredibly talented, kind and open performers. Soon, I was invited to join the board of directors. In the open arms of MAT I found a place to share my skills and talent, people I fit in with and who were a little like me. I found my community. I hope that as I lead MAT at the start of its next 50+ years that we can continue to provide that space of belonging and creative expression to anyone else out there who is looking for a place to share their ideas, creativity and talent.

The Mariposa Arts Theatre Foundation is thrilled to be celebrating 50+ years of gracing Orillia’s stages and supporting generations of our area’s many talented performers. Through musicals, classic and contemporary theatre pieces and even homegrown sketches MAT has been a cornerstone for the performing arts in Orillia.

In celebration of this milestone, we are excited to bring to you our large-scale, multi-faceted celebration this fall:

Stop by the Orillia Museum of Art and History to take in the new special exhibit 50 Years of Mariposa Arts Theatre. This unique, interactive exhibit features playbills, props, costumes and some surprises from MAT’s productions. You may even get an up-close look at some items from MAT’s 2022 smash hit production of The Rocky Horror Show!

Join us on November 11th from 1-5pm for an open house and celebration at our centre located at 12 Brammar Drive, Orillia. Get a first-hand look at our rehearsal hall and learn more about our facilities and upcoming productions from the amazing volunteers who are the heart of MAT’s productions and operations. 

Topping off our celebration is our production Try to Remember directed by Michael Clipperton, with musical direction by Blair Bailey and choreography by Sherri Nicolls. This musical celebration of our golden anniversary features over 20 performers ranging in age from 20’s to 80’s and reunites performers from across our 5 decades of work. The huge variety of musical numbers truly has something for everyone and impressive vocal talent is not to be missed! Audiences will also be treated to scenes from classic productions, information about our popular MAT film nights with some MAT history sprinkled in for good measure. Tickets are on sale now at the Orillia Opera House. 

We would like to extend our deepest thanks to our local community for not only coming out to over 50 years of shows but for also volunteering their time and sharing their talents with us. It continues to be our honour to showcase the unique, dynamic, and wonderful people of our area through the art of theatre. 

Stevie Baker
Mariposa Arts Theatre Foundation