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Founding Members

About ACT
Ayr Comm
unity
Theatre

In early 2021, longtime resident, the late 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.

Our Mission:

 

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

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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!

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Founding Members

Our Team

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.

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Diana Barber

President

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

Vice President

Michele Di Tomasso has been a resident of Ayr since 2016. She is an award winning actress, vocalist and director with 23 years of  experience in community theatres across SW Ontario.

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Photo Credit: Julia Maier

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Jamie
Crothall

Board Secretary

Jamie was drawn to ACT by his interest in community theatre with a focus on the behind-the-scenes events and opportunity to contribute to this growing not for profit group. He is a Business Analyst, a writer of fiction and a carpenter specializing in swordsmithing.

Ashley Grimshaw

ACT Administration

Ashley has been a resident of Waterloo for 12 years. Most recently, Ashley has performed with RCMPI in Guelph as well as ACT’s musical review of “All Together Now”. Ashley has been involved in live theatre for over 25 years, with a particular passion for musical theatre!

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Kehlar Hillyer-Fenton

ACT Administration & Grant Coordinator

Kay was recently part of ACT's production of Steel Magnolias and enjoyed her time so much, she is now one of our Administrators! She is an athlete, actress, and personal assistant to her Newfoundland Labrador and also has 13 years of theatre experience and 10 years of administration experience to lend to our growing team.

Vivienne
Rayner

Founding Member

It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the passing of our dear friend Vivienne Rayner, the founding member of Ayr Community Theatre. 

 

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To honour Vivienne and her contribution to the performing arts, Ayr Community Theatre announces “The Viv Award ”. This honour will be presented to the most supportive cast or crew member of each production and inspire others to follow in Vivienne’s footsteps as a supportive and friendly presence in community theatre.

 

Vivienne will always be in our hearts and we were privileged to have her as a friend and part of our community.

Vivienne’s dream was to bring theatre to the Village of Ayr and we will be forever grateful for her inspiration. Vivienne served on our Board of Directors and was an integral part of creating our Not For Profit organization providing invaluable input and contributing to the success of our three productions - All Together Now, Steel Magnolias and Little Women. We will miss her hearty laugh, sense of humour and fashion flair including those snazzy red boots! 

 

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