The Blyth Festival
“Of all the regional theatres across Canada, no theatre has been as truthful and as faithful to its core audience as Blyth.”
Robert Reid, Reid Between the Lines, 2017
Nestled in the fertile heart of Huron County, in a town of only 1005 people, stands one of Canada’s premiere houses of New Plays: The Blyth Festival.
Founded in 1975, The Blyth Festival has been responsible for creating some of the most thrilling original live theatre in Canada. Plays from Blyth Festival have won Governor General’s awards, been produced in 29 countries worldwide, and been translated into dozens of languages (including American Sign Language).
The 2018 season of plays, running in repertory from May 30 to September 15, features five dynamic, professional productions.
Kicking off the season is the return of the 2017 smash hit The Pigeon King. This show tells the shocking story of one of Canada’s greatest frauds: the real life pigeon ponzi scheme of Arlan Galbraith and Pigeon King International. With show stopping performances and live original music, The Pigeon King dazzled audiences last year, and in the spring of 2019 will tour to the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.
Following The Pigeon King, Blyth will premiere The New Canadian Curling Club, the newest work by celebrated Ontario playwright Mark Crawford. A hilarious comedy about refugees and recent immigrants, who through a series of remarkable turns, find themselves in a small town competing in a high-stakes bonspiel for the local highlander cup.
Next in the season comes Judith: Memories of a Lady Pig Farmer, adapted for the stage by Heather Davies, and based on the award-winning 1978 feminist novella by Aritha Van Herk, this rural drama follows a young woman’s return from the city to the town where she was born, to start her own farm on her own terms.
Rounding out the season are Rick Salutin and Theatre Passe Muraille’s 1837: The Farmers’ Revolt and a new collective creation entitled Wing Night at the Boot.
If you’ve never been to Blyth before, it’s the perfect combination of charming country hospitality, and A-level professional theatre created and performed by some of Canada’s boldest, most enterprising artists. A multi-year finalist for the Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, there is simply no comparison.
Housed in the same remarkable, state-of-the-art-facility, is the Blyth Festival Art Gallery, a professional, community-based gallery, with three professional shows across the season.
From “Country Suppers” held by local churches and service groups, to surprising local restaurants like Part II Bistro, Queens Bakery, the Blyth Inn, and the stunning Cowbell Brewery (Canada’s first carbon-neutral brewery), Blyth has a tremendous amount to offer discerning culture lovers looking for their next artistic adventure.