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Thorold Community Theatre loses venue, cancels all shows

The future of Trinity United Church on Pine St. S has become uncertain so they've asked the theatre group to look for a new permanent home; 'We’re hoping to stay in Thorold'

The curtain is suddenly falling for Thorold Community Theatre, as they’ve been asked to vacate their venue at Trinity United Church on Pine St. S — but the theatre troupe is adamant that this is not the end.

“We have decided that we want to stay together so we’re in the process of looking for a new home and seeing what’s out there,” group member Mary Ann O’Neill-Park tells ThoroldToday.

For the past few months, O’Neill-Park has been hard at work on the company’s upcoming cabaret nights which are now all cancelled.

“I’m disappointed,” she says. “These actors have been working so hard to do this. I just feel bad. It’s kind of heartbreaking but there’s not a lot else we can do.”

A representative of Trinity United Church tells ThoroldToday that — in spite of what the rumour mill says — the church has no intention of closing.

“We don’t want to close but we are looking at what our options are,” they said.

Trinity United Church has been a part of the Thorold community for almost a century.

For the last 30 years the building has also doubled as the rehearsal and performance space of the Thorold Community Theatre. 

What's next for the theatre troupe remains to be seen.

“We are probably going to recreate ourselves and be Thorold Community Theatre 2.0,” O’Neill-Park says. “We’re all very heartbroken and sad but by the same token it’s very exciting because this can be a whole new chapter.”

That sentiment is echoed by the president of the theatre group’s board of directors: Theresa Chubak.

“We have big plans,” she tells ThoroldToday. “We just feel like we need to do more in the community itself. A lot of the people don’t even know we’re there.”

The board was told they were losing their venue back in February so they’ve already been scouting new locations.

“We’ve gone to a number of venues,” says Chubak. “We’re still looking around. We have nothing firm at all but we’re hoping to stay in Thorold.”

One thing’s for certain: in spite of the setback, Thorold Community Theatre is here to stay.

“A lot of people in Thorold don’t want to see us close,” Chubak says. “I just want people to know that we’re not gone for good. We’re pulling back and regrouping and then we’ll come out with a bang at some point.”

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Bernard Lansbergen

About the Author: Bernard Lansbergen

Bernard was born and raised in Belgium but moved to Canada in 2012 and has lived in Niagara since 2020. Bernard loves telling people’s stories and wants to get to know those that make Thorold into the great place it is
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