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Prince Edward County’s County Stage Company Announces 2023 Summer Season

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/By / Apr 5, 2023
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For more than 17 years, County Stage Company has been bringing the beautiful landscape of Prince Edward County to life through the summer with music, food, and plenty of theatre. With more artists and shows than ever, 2023’s summer festival promises to be the County’s most ambitious yet. 

Artistic director Graham Abbey and managing director Vikki Anderson announced the festival line-up this morning, with seemingly endless options for theatre-goers. Running from May 26 to September 9, the 2023 season (presented by BMO and Huff Estates) brings an expansive lineup of theatre, dance, comedy, and music to two different locations in Prince Edward County: The Eddie Hotel & Farm, located in Bloomfield, and Base31’s newly renovated Sergeants’ Mess Hall in Picton.

“We’re doing things a little different this year,” Abbey said in a press release. “We’re elated to announce that we have two venues in the County this season, allowing County Stage to reach a broader audience. We love being back at The Eddie [Hotel and Farm] and we’re thrilled to be a part of the new Base31 project.”

This season, County Stage is rolling out a new, inclusive ticketing program, offering lower-priced tickets and a 25 & Under Free program for shows at The Eddie Pavilion. The festival will host a series of interactive, all-ages community programs, including a summer book club presented in association with Books & Company in Picton.

“We’re proud to introduce a new ticketing initiative offering lower admission prices for all shows and free admission to anyone 25 and under at our Eddie Pavilion events,” said Anderson. “We want families to bring their kids, we want teens and young adults to make theatre a habit. With our new lower general admission price, we want to remove as many barriers to entry as possible for our entire audience.”

In addition to the 2023 season, County Stage is continuing their mandate of investing in development and outreach projects, including their annual Indigenous Theatre Creator Program in collaboration with Tsi Tyónnheht Onkwawén:na. The program awards an Indigenous creator funds and support from the County Stage team, allowing them to create and workshop a new piece of theatrical work.

This fall, County Stage is proud to launch About Face, a multidisciplinary art engagement program for Canadian military members and veterans. The program uses performing arts as a therapeutic tool to support and advance the holistic well-being of those who have, and are currently serving in Canada’s military. Held at Base31, which previously functioned as a mess hall for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) No. 31 Bombing and Gunnery School during World War II, About Face will offer free workshops with artists and therapist facilitators.

“We are presenting over 60 performances, on three different stages, showcasing 67 artists! 2023 is County Stage’s largest season ever,” Abbey continued. “Come enjoy intimate cabaret nights at Base31 featuring iconic singer-songwriters and top comedians at Base31’s Sergeants’ Mess Hall; see theatre under the stars at outdoor Eddie Pavilion including a comedy masterpiece, a world premiere and a dance festival; and enjoy a seldom performed off-Broadway hit in our new pub-theatre at The Eddie. We have more shows, more artists, more venues, and more ways to come out and enjoy live performing arts.”

Here’s what you’ll discover in County Stage’s 2023 summer season.


The Mess Hall Sessions

Presented by County Stage and Base31
May 26 – September 9, 2023 | 7:30 pm
Sergeants’ Mess Hall | Base31 | Picton, ON
$35 General Chair Seating | $55 Preferred Table Seating

Showcasing acclaimed Canadian singers and musical theatre performers in an intimate indoor cabaret space, The Mess Hall Sessions are curated by County Stage artistic associate Beau Dixon, one of the creators and performers of last season’s hit The Shape of Home.

THE VERANDAH SOCIETY | May 26 & 27


In the vein of Stuart McLean’s “The Vinyl Cafe”, The Verandah Society is a charming, humorous, and heartfelt show that takes audiences on an entertaining journey with storytelling and song writing. The Verandah Society features creators Megan Murphy and Kate Suhr with musician Leah Grandmont.

HAILEY GILLIS & ANDREW PENNER | July 21 & 22


Hailey Gillis and Andrew Penner bring you a reinvention of songs from this century’s greatest songwriters that both offer comfort and ask questions. Having worked together most recently in County Stage Company’s critically acclaimed hit The Shape of Home, these award-winning, virtuosic performers now offer you songs that reflect on every moment, big and small.

JAMES BOND: THE SONGS OF 007 | August 11 & 12

Rejoicing in each of the inimitable theme songs from the beloved 25 Bond movies, multiple award-winning solo show playwright and performer Rebecca Perry sings each and every one, from pop songs to rock numbers to romantic ballads.

HAWKSLEY WORKMAN | September 8 & 9

Boasting a catalogue of 17 solo records, Hawksley’s genre-defying style strings together folk, chart pop, and irrepressible cabaret. His show-stopping vocals on songs about weather, love, heartbreak, and tales of end-times have garnered him a league of devoted fans.


Haymaker Comedy Festival

June 29 – July 1, 2023 | 7:00 & 9:00 pm
Sergeants’ Mess Hall | Base31 | Picton, ON
$35 General Chair Seating | $55 Preferred Table Seating
Sponsored by Everly Inn

This year, County Stage’s annual Haymaker Comedy Festival features some of Canada’s top stand-up comedians performing at Base31’s newly renovated Sergeants’ Mess Hall: Colin Mochrie and Deb McGrath; Elvira Kurt; and Danny Martinello. Comedy guests include Lexa Graham, Chris Lapointe, Faraz Niafattah, Cameron Phoenix, Anjelica Scannura, and Jesse Singh.

DANNY MARTINELLO | June 29, 2023 | 7:00 pm
With special guests Faraz Niafattah, Cameron Phoenix & Anjelica Scannura
ELVIRA KURT | June 30, 2023 | 7:00 pm
With special guests Lexa Graham, Chris Lapointe, Cameron Phoenix & Anjelica Scannura
COLIN MOCHRIE & DEBRA McGRATH | July 1, 2023 | 7:00 pm & 9:00 pm
With special guests Jesse Singh, Cameron Phoenix & Anjelica Scannura

The 39 Steps

by Patrick Barlow
July 16 – August 6, 2023 | 7:00 pm
The Eddie Pavilion | Bloomfield, ON
Sponsored by The Royal Hotel

The outdoor stage will host the award-winning, smash-hit comedy The 39 Steps, directed by Monica Dottor and featuring Helen Belay, Ryan Hollyman, Courtney Ch’ng Lancaster, and Courtenay Stevens. Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python, and you’ve got The 39 Steps! This Tony Award-winning play is a fast-paced, comedic romp through the dark world of espionage and adventure. Patrick Barlow’s playful adaptation of John Buchan’s classic novel combines edge-of-your-seat thrills with delightful humour, making for a night of pure theatrical joy.


Living with Shakespeare

by Jeremy Smith and Steven Gallagher
A Driftwood Theatre Group Production
August 9 & 10, 2023 | 2:00 & 7:30 pm
The Eddie Pavilion | Bloomfield, ON

Driftwood Theatre Artistic Director Jeremy Smith reckons with his life-long relationship to the Bard of Avon. Weaving scenes, passages, and music from Shakespeare’s greatest plays with personal stories, Living With Shakespeare is an exploration of our continuing fascination with the world’s most recognizable playwright.


Flight Festival of Contemporary Dance

August 15 – 20, 2023 | 5:00 & 7:00 pm
The Eddie Pavilion | Bloomfield, ON
Sponsored by Everly Inn

County Stage will once again host the annual Flight Festival, an outdoor celebration of contemporary dance, featuring a diverse lineup of dancers, including Carol Anderson, Arwyn Carpenter, Jordana Deveau, Sophie Dow, Ralph Escamillion, Kristen Foote, Groove Tonic, Beany John, Libydo, Jera Wolfe, and Natasha Poon Woo. Flight prioritizes Indigenous artists, artists of colour, and legacy dance. Enjoy classes, workshops, site-specific Flight on Site shows performed on the grounds of the farm and the pond, and the Flight on Stage evening mainstage program all week long.


Wakey, Wakey

by Will Eno
August 23, 25 & 27, 2023 | 2:00 & 7:30 pm
Ruby’s Lounge | The Eddie Hotel | Bloomfield, ON
September 27 – October 1, 2023 | 2:00 & 8:00 pm
Lazaridis Hall | Stratford Festival | Stratford, ON


With an hour left to live, Guy is on a quest to determine what makes life worth living. Critically acclaimed Wakey, Wakey leads the audience on an irreverent and moving celebration of life. Performed by County Stage’s own, and Stratford Festival favourite, Graham Abbey, Guy is brought to life with curiosity, wonder and humour.


To purchase tickets or find out more about County Stage’s 2023 Summer Festival, visit their website here.

Jessica Watson
WRITTEN BY

Jessica Watson

Jessica is a former associate editor at Intermission, as well as a writer, classically-trained actor, and plant enthusiast. Since graduating from LAMDA in the UK with her MA in acting, you can often find her writing screenplays and short plays in the park, writing extensive lists of plant care tips, or working on stage and screen (though she uses a stage name). Jessica freelances with various companies across Canada, but her passion lies in working with theatre artists and enthusiasts.

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