The Newmarket International Festival Of One Act Plays - The Newmarket International Festival Of One Act Plays

The Newmarket International Festival of one act plays

In November 2019 the VUTC produced the Third annual ‘York Region Festival of One Act Plays,’ featuring six plays over three nights all on one stage at the Old Town Hall in historic downtown Newmarket, Canada. Once again the festival featured new plays and world premieres by established and emerging playwrights. Ron Fromstein’s dramatic play “OUT” won the best play of the festival and Fabian Levy-Hara won the best performance by an actor for his stunning performance in Fromstein’s play “Out” directed by Joan Burrows. Bruce Williamson took the Ross Award for best production in the festival for directing Norm Foster’s delightful comedy ‘Under the Bright Sun,’ featuring Colin Murphy, Kira Rosenbloom, Alison Colins and Imre Szabo.

2019 Festival of One Act Plays- vutc -

Jane Spence brought David Healey’s new dark comedy,  ‘True Love and the Precise Meaning of Miracles’ to the Old Town Hall stage with three seasoned actors, Tim Maclean, Kristina Agosti and Carmine Lucarelli. Kay Valentine directed Brooke Friendly’s charming production, ‘The Remains of Greatness,’ tenderly performed by Zara Stuart-Jones and Bruce Williamson. Making her directorial debut Patricia O’Hare directed Los Angeles playwright Jim Geoghan’s hilarious comedy ‘The Next Ivan Sharansky,’ brilliantly performed by Robert McNeely and Laurie Laing as ageing actors Carl and Ida. And Joanna Kaufman capably directed a Theatre for Young Audiences production of ‘Junie B Jones is Not a Crook’. This production starred versatile Newmarket actor twins Melissa and Samantha Morrison who skillfully performed the switchable role of Junie B Jones. This charming play by Allison Gregory also featured Leah Lapster, Sitara Sisavang, Hanna Dehesh, Chloe Chow, Danielle Braun and Arianna’s Kuhn-Norris. 

To start the new decade the fourth annual Newmarket International Festival of One Act plays at the Old Town Hall in Newmarket will feature the further adventures of seasoned actors Carl and Ida and original plays seen on stage for the first time. 

The Annual Dramatic Reading of a Christmas Carol

To kick off the Christmas season on the right foot, Kay Valentine and her daughter Kim directed the Annual reading of Charles Dickens classic ‘A Christmas Carol’ at the New Hope Methodist Church in Newmarket. The production featured five actors well known in the region Phil Dionne, Zara Stuart-Jones, Bruce Williamson, Judi Cragg and Ken Lloyd. The evening was hosted by former Newmarket-Aurora MPP Charles Beer. The readings were accompanied by the renowned popular singing group, ‘Take Note Vocal Ensemble,’ who sang traditional Christmas songs that added so much to the evening and the reading! A portion of the proceeds were donated to the Newmarket Food Pantry.


On December 9th, 2019 Darryl Erentzen spoke to the Board about revitalizing the website and making it a core component of marketing, fundraising, public relations and community engagement. To widen the festival as a centre of attention and make the town of Newmarket Canada a weekend destination the festival engaged the services of Darryl Erentzen a website developer/ consultant and social media automaton specializing in Search Engine Optimization. To revamp the web site into an interactive on line site that will attract visitors and interact with playwrights, actors, directors, volunteers and members with a call to action. Darryl brings 27 years of international internet and SEO experience to the festival 

National and International recognition

The web site that Darryl created serves the Festival of One Act Plays and the annual Christmas Carol reading that suits our needs as we move into the third decade. The festival is gaining international recognition across Canada from Halifax Nova Scotia to Victoria BC,in the United States from New York City, Des Moines Iowa to Los Angeles California and Australia and New Zealand.


The Festival is seeking volunteers to help with the production, website coordinator, stage hands, program designer, oversee the fundraising efforts governance advice and support, You don’t necessarily have to be theatre- minded – just able to give a few hours a month. For more information visit our web site

THE VERY USEFUL THEATRE COMPANY “Theatre helping community help itself”

Born and raised in Willowdale Ontario, which at the time was a small town. I completed a 5 year apprenticeship as a Steam fitter and then I enjoyed seven great years as a professional musician
and entertainer in Canada and throughout the United States. Recording artist and as a studio musician bass player before entering the Life insurance business.

Since 1989 I have specialised in Special Needs planning for families who have a child with a disability. This involves the Four Essentials of Special Needs Planning for their child’s future. Advocating on behalf of people with disabilities to the federal and provincial governments and helping families who have a child with a disability recover taxes they never should have paid.

When one government closes a door I create a new door.

I see injustice and I try and correct it, I see a wrong and I try to right it I see a need and I try and fill it.

Rod Urquhart

Rod is an award-winning journalist and author of three books, now retired. Two are humour books and the last being a well-received book of poetry. Rod took to writing plays about four years ago and has been pursuing this full-time, or whenever he isn’t sleeping or tending to his garden! Rod was the main Foley artist on ‘Ace Galaksi: Space Dick at Large’ in the Festival’s first year and was Rod’s foray into live theatre. Rod’s youngest sister and parents were heavily involved in ‘theatre’ and the performing arts and this is an area he always wanted to pursue, now mainly script writing! Gilda The Princess is his first script to be accepted and performed live on stage. Thanks also to Ole Madsen, the author of the book Gilda, which Rod turned into a play with full permission.

Donate to The Very Useful Theatre Company
[mo-optin-form id="IMJjxTVztk"]

Recent News