Stage Door News

Sudbury: PlaySmelter returns to Sudbury May 11-14

Monday, May 9, 2022

For the first time in two years, PlaySmelter, Sudbury’s theatre festival, returns live next week May 11-14 at Place des Arts, N’Swakamok Friendship Centre and Sudbury Theatre Centre.

It is the festival’s 10th anniversary and its largest iteration yet, with performances, pop-ups and nightly roof-top presentations in several venues in downtown Sudbury.

PlaySmelter opens its 10th anniversary event in celebration of Northern Ontario storytellers with a Playwrights’ Cabaret at Place des Arts. Audiences will hear offerings from several new plays in development, all created by Northern Ontario playwrights.

The opening event is immediately followed by a concert and projections of visual art, all created by 10 Northern Ontario visual artists curated by the COVERT Collective, held on the roof-top of Sudbury Theatre Centre.

Both the concert and projections will run each night of the festival.

In honour of the anniversary, the festival will host 10 festival artists in residence.

These 10 have been chosen from dozens of applications received from throughout Northern Ontario and reflect a number of artistic disciplines: Tessa Balaz (Sudbury), Chandel Gambles (Temiskaming Shores), Annie King and Michael Burtch (Sault Ste. Marie), Suzanne McCrae (Sudbury), Emilio Portal (Sudbury), Elyse Portal (Sudbury), Garrett M. Ryan (North Bay), Gillian Schultze (Sudbury), Alex Tétreault (Sudbury), and Chloé Thériault (Sudbury). All ten artists will be creating new work while in residence.

Our festival artists in residences will also provide offerings to the public in the form of Pop-UP’s. These exciting events include: Interactive and immersive art installations, Closing the Gap: A presentation on women in music production, a public community clothing swap, and more. In addition, on-going during the Festival artist Emilio Portal will create multiple compositions based on field recordings of the festival itself – of conversations, noises, random soundscapes.

We honour our roots, and present an audience favourite - fresh, “first-look” readings of new theatrical works from Northern Ontario creators. We are delighted to feature Jesse Brady, Samantha Buttery, Eli Chilton, Kim Fahner and Matthew Heiti for our 10th Anniversary Festival. As always, there will be food, drink and lively discussion with the artists following each presentation.

May 12 a presentation of a very special installation and performance created by Sarah Gartshore and Zaagi’idiwin Collective. Grief Ties, will offer community members a space to reflect, send love and mark this moment as we make our way out of the trauma of the pandemic.

Visiting the festival for the second time will be publisher of Playwrights Canada Press, Annie Gibson.

Playwrights Canada Press is the preeminent publisher of Canadian plays and dramatic literature.

New titles and more will be available for viewing and sale.

Details on all events, including tickets and venues, is available at