at Shenkman Centre in Orleans, Ontario

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about us


Then and Now


East End Theatre was born June 1998 held by Diane Barnett. From then until 2011 she had completed twelve successful seasons, including eight very successful Pantomimes that were performed in Orleans, Ontario.


"Pantomime brings a special magic to the theatre, the audience is encouraged to participate and to boo and cheer the characters as the story unfolds. The humour is for both adults and children and there is always a moral to the story" said Barnett.


Pantomime (informally panto), is a type of musical comedy stage production, designed for family entertainment. It was developed in England and is generally performed during the Christmas and New Year season. Modern pantomime includes songs, slapstick comedy and dancing, employs gender-crossing actors, and combines topical humour with a story loosely based on a well-known fairy tale. It is a participatory form of theatre, in which the audience is expected to sing along with certain parts of the music and shout out phrases to the performers.

Pantomime has a long theatrical history in Western culture dating back to classical theatre, and it developed partly from the 16th-century commedia dell'arte tradition of Italy, as well as other European and British stage traditions, such as 17th-century masques. An important part of the pantomime, until the late 19th century, was the harlequinade. The pantomime is performed today throughout Britain and, to a lesser extent, in other English-speaking countries.


After a few years hiatus East End Theatre came back in 2014, now  under the guidance of Nick ST-Francois and Janette Smith. "The Dragon of Wantley" was our first Panto and after a great show we followed up with "Rumpelstiltzkin" last year. Our goal is and will always be to bring some fun filled family entertainment. Fun for young and old. 


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