In early 2021, longtime resident Vivienne Rayner voiced her desire to bring live theatre to the Village of Ayr. She approached our Mayor, Sue Foxton who was in total agreement.
Vivienne did a call out on social media and Michele Di Tomasso responded, suggesting that they reach out to Diana Barber. George Schmidt expressed interest and pulled in his neighbour, Dan Payne. Together, this group formed ACT. Shortly afterwards, Alison Enns joined to round out the founding members.
While deciding on ACT’s inaugural production, Musical Theatre International offered the rights to ‘All Together Now’, a musical revue featuring classic Broadway tunes celebrating the return of live theatre after a 2 year hiatus due to COVID-19. These rights would be available at no cost to any group with performances being staged all over the world on the same weekend. ACT decided that ‘All Together Now’ was the perfect opportunity to introduce themselves to Ayr and get the community involved. After many years, the stage at the Ayr Community Centre would be used once again. Within a mere six weeks, the cast and crew planned and rehearsed, sold out all shows and “Voila!” Ayr Community Theatre was born.
ACT is a not-for-profit organization bringing live theatre to Ayr while promoting the arts and incorporating local talent including the youth in our community. We will provide learning opportunities to those who have an interest in the performing arts and other aspects of theatre production. ACT will continue to bring our community together by providing new and diverse experiences in a safe and inclusive environment.
Our Vision is to:
Inspire and entertain the community and surrounding area with quality theatrical productions
Become a significant cultural asset to the Township of North Dumfries and Waterloo Region
Bring the community together by attending or participating in enriching theatrical experiences
Provide volunteer hands-on learning opportunities in many aspects of theatre production
Develop and draw from as much local talent as possible
Enhance development of youth in the theatre arts in a safe and inclusive environment
Celebrate all that is theatre
ACT is very eager to bring live theatre to our community and we are committed to doing so in the safest manner possible. This responsibility is of the utmost importance to us and we will strive to provide peace of mind to our cast, crew and audience members.
Keep checking back as we plan to launch a spring and fall show annually!
Meet the amazing Board of Directors of the Ayr Community Theatre. Each has a background in theatre and/or community involvement and they are all extremely excited to see you at their shows.
Diana Barber has been a resident of Ayr for 30 years. She has been involved with The Community Players (New Hamburg), Paris Performers’ Theatre, as well as performed with and sat on the Board for KW Musical Productions.
Photo Credit: Hilary Gauld Camilleri
Michele Di Tomasso
Michele Di Tomasso has been a resident of Ayr for 4 years. She is an award winning actress, vocalist and director with 23 years of experience in community theatres across SW Ontario.
Photo Credit: Julia Maier
Alison is a singer/accompanist from New Hamburg who has worked with several amateur and professional theatre groups in the area on-stage, behind stage, and in the pit. She is honoured to get ACT off the ground as their Board Secretary.
Altiera Essensa grew up in Northern Ontario and found her love for community theatre when she moved south in 2012. Since then, theatre has taken a leading role in Altiera’s life as she has stage managed and produced many shows for local companies.
Sophia Diebold (she/her) was born and raised in Ayr and found her love for theatre as a student as Southwood Secondary School in Cambridge. Now, she is getting a degree with a minor in Theatre and Performance from the University of Waterloo.
Photo Credit: Gaetz Photography
Vivienne Rayner pioneered the idea for a local community theatre in Ayr for a long time. She also drove the creation of our logo by engaging her son and artist, Colin Jameson.
Dan Payne is a recent resident of Ayr. He is the owner of Dan Payne Productions specializing in play direction, video production, voice overs, broadcast audio & video. Dan has numerous performance credits with Drayton Entertainment, Theatre Baddeck, Lost & Found Theatre and Pheasant Run Chicago.