State of the Arts: Sudbury theatre productions finish runs this week

The Little Mermaid Jr. and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee gracing Sudbury stages

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Can you spell enchanting? Delightful?

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Those words best describe “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” This Tony Award-winning musical comedy, produced by the Sudbury Performance Group, is both enchanting and delightful and very funny.

Premiering on Broadway in 2005, “The New York Times” said the musical, “has charmed audiences … with its effortless wit and humour. Featuring a fast-paced, wildly funny and touching book by Rachel Sheinkin and a truly fresh and vibrant score by William Finn, this Bee is one unforgettable experience.”

The Sudbury production at the Ernie Checkeris Theatre at Thorneloe University runs until Jan. 21.

The musical “is a passion project for me,” writes director Mark Mannisto in the show program. “It’s a show that is fun, charming, and full of heart. The pressure of being in ‘the Bee’ is something that we all can relate to at some point whether it be at the hockey rink, at the office, or in school. We all want to do well, we all want to fit in, we all want to be accepted. The struggle is real.”

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Cast members are Kristen Gibeault, Samantha Onski, Jeff McNeil, Tara St. Pierre, Marc Taillefer, Maija McCahery, Thomas Stewart, Libby Michie, Angel Mannisto, and Tanya Saari.

Tickets are $35 for adults, $30 for students and seniors, and $25 for children, and can be purchased online at or by phoning 705-662-8518.

Little Mermaid Jr. continues

Sudbury’s Biggest Little Theatre Company, a relatively new company of young actors, presents Disney’s “The Little Mermaid Jr.,” until Jan. 22 at the Capreol Arena. General admission tickets are $15.

This production features more than 40 young people from the ages of six to 16. The show is kid-friendly and runs about 95 minutes without an intermission.

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Jeff Burton and Kelsie Carroll, veterans of the local theatre scene, are the founders of this children’s theatre group. For more information about tickets and show times, visit

Music festival opens March 25

The 2023 Sudbury Music Festival, formerly the Kiwanis Music Festival of Sudbury, will be held “live” at St. Andrew’s Centre from March 25 to April 5.

Although this will be a predominantly live festival of school choirs, bands and other large ensembles, there is an option to submit video recordings for adjudication.

“Festival co-ordinator Louis Simão and the organizing board have been working for the past several months to ensure Sudbury and area music students have a chance to perform and compete as they have over the past 76 years,” festival board chair Ralph McIntosh says in a news release.

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“After two challenging yet successful online festivals, we are all looking forward to the return of live, in-person events.”

Information, including the 2023 syllabus, is available at Registrations are open until Jan. 31.

Auditions next week

Audition time for the 2023 YES/STC theatre season is Jan. 23-29 at the Sudbury Theatre Centre.

Book an audition slot by emailing [email protected]. Include a headshot and resume if available. Candidates can also include a paragraph about themselves. When e-mailing, make the subject line: 2023 Audition, first and last name.

For complete information, go to the Sudbury Theatre Centre website.

Fringe theatre in the Sault

Members of Sudbury’s talented theatre community are invited to apply to perform at Sault Ste. Marie’s summer fringe theatre festival. The four-day annual festival will take place in August in downtown Sault Ste. Marie and includes theatre, music, dance, performance arts, storytelling and visual arts. The 2023 festival will include both live and digital presentations.

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Artists are invited to apply and will be selected on a first-come-first-served basis. Multilingual submissions are welcome.

Check out for more information or phone 705-975-0761.

Supporting emerging Francophone artists

Collège Boréal will host free workshops in April organized by La Nuit Sur L’étang for emerging Francophone artists.

”La Brunante’s workshops will take place from Friday, April 28, to Sunday, April 30, at Collège Boréal du Grand Sudbury,” says director general Pierre Paul Mongeon. ”Over the years, more than 400 artists and groups have benefited from professional training offered by mentors in the entertainment world … to train, nurture and encourage the next generation of Franco-Ontarian artists.”

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Artists are invited to complete the registration form available on La Nuit Sur L’étang website.

”Artists can also communicate with me or Pierre Paul Mongeon,” says Marcel Vaillancourt, a founding member of La Brunante in 1982.

For information or registration: Vaillancourt, communications, 647-203-744, or Mongeon 705-507-9705.

Film, TV industry training

People interested in a career in film and television may want to take advantage of free training sessions offered by Cultural Industries Ontario North (CION) and its partners from Jan. 30 to Feb. 17

Three distinct, week-long training sessions are available in Sudbury that promise to equip participants with the skills and knowledge to work as production assistants, grip and electric trainees, and art department trainees.

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CION will select 25 participants for each training session. Participants do not need prior experience working in the motion picture industry to apply for these sessions. For more information visit Ontario North, 40 Larch St., Suite 103

Seeking submissions 

“Open Minds Quarterly”, a magazine published by NISA/Northern Initiative for Social Action, is seeking submissions for its 21st Annual BrainStorm Poetry Contest. The contest is open to people with experiences of mental health challenges, mental illness or neurodivergence.

The deadline for submissions is Feb. 28.

The entry fee is $12 for up to three poems. The winning poems will be published in the Spring 2023 issue of the magazine.

Winners will receive a contributor copy and the top three winners will receive monetary awards.

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“Open Minds Quarterly” can be reached at 705-222-6472 or by email at [email protected].

David Milne show continues

The David Milne exhibit at The Art Gallery of Sudbury, 251 John St., is one not to miss. Titled “Blazes Along the Trail: Exploring David Milne’s Imaginative Vision,” it was organized and circulated by Art Windsor-Essex and curated by Christopher Finn.

The National Gallery of Canada describes his work as austere and “his pure aesthetic depended on the formulation and solution of certain formal, artistic problems and the consistent development and concentration of his inner self. In simple terms, Milne sought to reduce a painting to its essentials.”

The exhibition continues until March 19. Admission is free with a donation. The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m. For more information go to or phone 705-675-4871

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VaVa Valentine next month

Sudbury Burlesque and Jazz Sudbury will present VaVa Valentine in the lounge at the Sudbury Theatre Centre next month.

This entertaining show features performances by the showgirls of Sudbury Burlesque accompanied by a jazz trio on Feb. 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16 and 17. The evening includes party favours, light hors d’oeuvres, go-go girls, sweet treats, bubbling champagne, vendors and on-site surprises.

The show is for adults only and there is a cash bar. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased for $50 online at or for $55 (cash only) at Knowhere Public House at 130 Elm St.

State of the Arts is supplied by the Sudbury Arts Council. E-mail [email protected] with your arts event information.

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