Simply Classic. Great theatre, like all great art, has the power to make us change the way we think, feel and connect to the world around us. It shares with us in a visceral way what it means to be a human being and how our actions, dreams and desires affect everything in the world around us. And like no other playwright in history, William Shakespeare understood what it meant to be human. His plays are classic.
Driftwood Theatre is a company dedicated to sharing classic stories. We take as inspiration not only the works of William Shakespeare but also the many playwrights both past and present whose work shares the same classic quality. Our aesthetic is one of simple clarity: to tell the best stories and to tell them honestly. Everything we do, from adapting existing texts for The Bard’s Bus Tour and workshopping new plays created during Trafalgar 24, to designing the costuming, lighting and scenery, to working in rehearsals with actors, directors, musicians and choreographers focuses on clear, imaginative storytelling. It’s what we do: Simply Classic.
Guiding Principle. But great theatre is only of value if an audience has access to it. That is why our most important work, the annual Bard’s Bus Tour, will always be available for Pay-What-You-Can admission. We share our productions directly with communities that would not normally have access to professional theatre and present the summer tour in outdoor venues, completely accessible to all members of the public. Everyone who wants to be entertained, provoked, inspired or moved by theatre should be afforded the opportunity to do so.
The Driftwood Theatre Group was founded and is led by Artistic Director & General Manager D. Jeremy Smith, whose work with Driftwood has been recognized by two Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards: the first from the Oshawa and District Chamber of Commerce in 1996 and the second from the Whitby Chamber of Commerce in 2007.
As an artistic director, theatre administrator, theatre director, designer, painter and performer Jeremy passion for the theatre is represented in his varied credits with theatres including The Grand Theatre, London (Apprentice Artistic Director and Artistic Associate, 2011-2012), The Canadian Stage Company (Intern General Manager, 2002-2003), The National Ballet of Canada, Canadian Sinfonietta, The Tarragon Theatre, The Factory Theatre, and The Canadian Children’s Opera Chorus.
For Driftwood Theatre, Jeremy has directed, designed or performed in over twenty productions. His work also ventures occasionally into the world of music as a director for the live performances of two-time Juno-nominated vocal ensemble Cadence, and vocal ensemble The Satin Dolls.
Favourite directing credits include:
Macbeth, Twelfth Night, King Lear, Much Ado About Nothing, Trafalgar Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Driftwood Theatre; Memorial for Next Step Productions; Northern Lights, Eastern Fire for Canadian Sinfonietta; The Odyssey, The Hobbit (Assistant Director), Sherlock Holmes The Final Adventure (Assistant Director) for The Grand Theatre; Pélagie (Assistant Director) for The Canadian Stage Company, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged for Sansanus Productions, and an international tour and CD release concert for Cadence.
Faye Cummings (secretary/treasurer)
Sue MacLeod (president/privacy officer)
Michele Watson (vice president)
To contact Driftwood’s board of directors, email email@example.com.
What began as a summer dream to share accessible theatre with the Durham community has become a cherished, annual event shared with nearly 100,000 people across Ontario, Canada since 1995.
Driftwood Theatre was founded by Artistic & General Director D. Jeremy Smith while he was still studying theatre at Queen’s University. In 1996, Driftwood was incorporated as a non-profit, charitable organization; setting in motion the process by which Driftwood would become a professional, touring theatre company.
The company now visits over 25 communities in Ontario, many of which do not have access to professional theatre. Further to Mr. Smith’s belief that theatre should be accessible to all people, The Bard’s Bus Tour remains available to audiences for a Pay-What-You-Can admission.
Driftwood Theatre’s secondary mandate to develop new Canadian theatre was formalized in 2004, when Driftwood presented its first Trafalgar 24 Festival. Combining the popular 24-hour theatre-creation model with site-specific theatre, Trafalgar 24 is a truly unique theatre experience taking place in a 19th century castle in Whitby, Ontario. Nearly 100 short plays have been created since the festival’s creation.
In 2011, Trafalgar 24 became a juried festival, with one winning playwright each year receiving a commission to further develop their short piece into a full-length play through Driftwood’s Beyond The Castle program.
Driftwood Theatre has always been an important professional experience for artists early in their careers, bringing together emerging artists with seasoned professionals. Many of our emerging artists and technicians go on to successful careers with theatres across the country. Driftwood employs an annual seasonal company of nearly 30 professional performers, designers, technicians and directors.