Sudbury Theatre Centre celebrates 50 years

The Sudbury Theatre Centre is celebrating a big milestone Sept. 14: its 50th birthday.

Over the years, there have been hundreds of plays and performances and officials said the future looks bright.

On Monday morning, Pandora Topp a Sudbury actress and singer, practised for a performance at the celebration. The doors open at 6:30 Tuesday evening for the free event.

"For any theatre company to reach 50 years is a milestone because so many theatre companies come and go in the blink of a hat," said John McHenry, the artistic director at the STC.

"But to be around for 50 years just shows that the dedication and support that the people of Sudbury have had for STC over the years, it's just fantastic."

The event will also include a slideshow and booking signing of a new book celebrating 50 years of the STC.

"The book that Vicki Gilhula and I have written – 'A Theatre in Five Acts: 50 years of Sudbury Theatre Centre' -- has been both a voyage of discovery and love," said Judi Straughan, a co-author of the book.

"We have uncovered so many great stories we have all of the facts in the book."

Straughan has been involved with the STC since it was incorporated in 1971.

"In our wonderful little mining town of 1971, where no one thought there would culturally be a professional theatre, a brave group of people put together a theatre and it has lasted for 50 years and that is such a milestone," said Straughan.

Officials at the STC said there have been ups and downs over the past half century, and said the No. 1 challenge is ensuring sufficient financial resources are available. But even through the pandemic, they said the STC is on solid ground.

"We are in OK shape," said McHenry.

"Our year end is June the 30 and we are expecting a small surplus from last year. And we have a balanced budget moving forward for this season coming up. So hopefully we are on the right track."

In mid October, the STC will announce its 50th season lineup including four shows. McHenry said they are also working on some special events, including music concerts.