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Festival Volunteers


Interested in Theatre but not as an actor, playwright, or director? The Very Useful Theatre Company is seeking Volunteers to support the third annual One-Act Play Festival.  Let us know how much time you have, we are seeking all levels of support, a few hours once or a full Festival support position.

No experience necessary!

We support High School Volunteer hours as well.


 “We would like acknowledge that the Town of Newmarket is located over lands originally used and occupied by the First Peoples of the Williams Treaties First Nations and other Indigenous Peoples and thank them for sharing this land. We would also like to acknowledge the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation as our close neighbour and friend, one that we strive to build a co-operative and respectful relationship with”.

Kick off the Hoilday Season on the right foot with 'A Christmas Carol'

It won’t be long before homes are made Christmas cozy with the scent of pine, the sound of carols and the warmth of family. Newmarket-Aurora-East Gwillimbury residents are invited to celebrate this festive time with The Very Useful Theatre Company and Charles Dickens. Now a Christmas tradition across the country, a dramatic reading of Dicken’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ will be presented at New Hope Methodist Church on Sunday, Dec. 8, starting at 7 p.m. A portion of the proceeds raised will go to the Newmarket Food Pantry – in true Dickens’ fashion. Lots of free parking.
The production of A Christmas Carol features well-known dramatic personalities – the talented Readers include (in order of appearance) Phil Dionne of Newmarket; Zara Stuart-Jones of Aurora; Bruce Williamson of Aurora; Judi Cragg of Newmarket and wrapping up this festive delight is Aurora’s Ken Lloyd.
The Master of Ceremonies is none other than the well-known and well-loved Charles Beer of Newmarket. It is sure to be an evening not to be missed.
The music, which is such an important part of the dramatic reading of ‘A Christmas Carol’ the well-known and popular singing group, ‘Take Note Vocal Ensemble’. This singing of traditional Christmas music adds so much to the evening and the reading!
For more information on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol in Newmarket, please call the ticket hotline and talk to the friendly Joanne at 905-727-3290. Tickets are only $20 for adults and $15 for seniors and children over 12. Mark this date on your calendar and don’t hesitate to order your tickets and start the season off on the right foot!

This Years Presenters & Readers


As Master of Ceremonies, Charles Beer brings a lot to this festive evening. Charles really needs no introduction. He is a Minister, CEO, Chief of Staff, Commissioner, Executive Director – with over 40 years of leadership experience in government and not-for-profit organizations, Charles brings extraordinary skills and experience in public policy and issues advocacy to your service. Charles spent 23 years in the Ontario government, in politics and public service. He was Minister of Community and Social Services and Minister responsible for Francophone Affairs, MPP for York North for nine years, Executive Director of the Office of the Leader of the Opposition and a senior public servant in the Intergovernmental Affairs, Finance and Citizenship portfolios. Charles and his wife, Mary Anna, a retired teacher, live in Newmarket.

Master of Ceremonies



Phil Dionne has been an actor on the community stage in York Region for more than 30 years. You may have seen him in any number of productions at The Curtain Club, Theatre Aurora, Newmarket Stage Company and Old Town Hall Players, but he always had a special place in his heart for Theatre on Main run by Ross and Jacquie Bayley. It is in their memory that he is happy to perform this reading of ‘A Christmas Carol’. "God bless us, everyone.”


Phil Dionne 


Zara has been involved in Community Theatre in York Region for over 35 years having performed on the stages of a number of local theatres. Recent credits include: ‘Annie in The Heart as it Lived’, (Theatre Aurora); Queenie in ‘Opal's Million Dollar Duck’ (N.S.C.) and several roles for The Silver Stars Drama Group at The Aurora Seniors' Centre.


Zara Stuart-Jones


Bruce is excited to be a part of the Christmas Carol Reading this year. He has written, directed, and performed in theatres in Toronto, and throughout York and Durham region. Bruce’s directorial debut was ‘Crimes of The Heart’, 25 years ago, right here with The Old Town Hall Players, and most recently he directed ‘It Takes A Village’, with InspiraTO Festival at the Alumnae Theatre in Toronto.


Bruce Williamson


In Ottawa, Judi Cragg performed with the Orpheus Musical Theatre and in a cabaret group for several years. After moving to the GTA, she was on stage with the Scarborough Players and Scarborough Music Theatre, as well as performing in An Evening on Broadway at Herongate Barn Dinner Theatre. After many years away, she has recently directed ‘Stepping Out’ for Theatre Aurora, ‘Fade to Black’ for South Simcoe Theatre (Four Play Festival) and ‘Hilda’s Yard’ for Markham Little Theatre. In November, she appeared as Judge Heath in ‘The Night of January 16th’ (MLT). At present, Judi is producing the upcoming ‘Les Liaisons Dangereuses’ for Theatre Aurora and is on their board of directors (Sales).


Judi Cragg


Ken is a long time resident of Aurora.  Retired teacher and later principal, Ken enjoyed acting, as well as directing and working backstage.  He is a three-time winner of a best actor Thea award, as well as being nominated several other times. A few years ago he appeared as Scrooge on stage in the Newmarket Theatre, in Marquee’s production of  “A Christmas Carol”, for which he was nominated as best leading actor.  He has directed several musicals, including “My Fair Lady”, “ Jesus Christ Superstar”,  “Blood Brothers” and “Pirates of Penzance”, all with Theatre Aurora.  He also directed “Oliver” for Queensville Players, for which he was nominated for a Thea as Best Director of a Musical. 


Kenneth Lloyd

The Very Useful Theatre Company

Annual General Meeting

Mon. Dec. 9th 2019

The Buttery 6:30pm

17565 Yonge St.

Everyone Welcome!

2018 Financial Review, 2020 Plans,

’20 Board Election

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