The founding meeting for Vagabond Theatre took place in the spring of 1983 in the cafeteria of Cornwall Collegiate and Vocational School where Bill Roddy, one of the founders, was the principal. Cornwall Little Theatre had folded several years earlier and there was a void for theatre lovers who did not want to (or could not!) perform in musical productions. And so, a small enthusiastic group undertook to perform non-musical productions focusing mainly on a range of plays, with the special mandate to present Canadian plays as well.
The first production for Vagabond Theatre took place in the small auditorium at St Joseph’s Villa in the fall of 1983. Two one-act plays were presented and to the surprise of many, the production was sold out on the final evening. And so, Vagabond Theatre began. Over the years, Vagabond Theatre has presented comedies, mysteries, whodunits, and dramas.
The name “Vagabond Theatre” was selected and is apt because over the years the theatre company has wandered from venue to venue in Cornwall looking for a home of some permanence (and still does!). Vagabonders have performed at Cornwall Collegiate and Vocational School, at St. Lawrence High School, at General Vanier Secondary School, at the Weave Shed, at Aultsville Theatre, and currently, at Dreambuilder Studios on Second Street West.
Since its inception, Vagabond has participated at various times in the Eastern Ontario Drama League play festivals and has received awards: Michael deWolfe received a best actor award for his performance in the one-act play Ruby of Elsinore in the EODL One Act Play Festival of 2009; the play was also nominated in the best costumes category. At the 2013 EODL Full Length Play Festival, the cast of Sex Please, We’re Sixty received an award for the best use of speech (an adjudicator’s choice award). That same production received other nominations: Jean Leger was nominated in the best male actor category and Laurie McRae-Bingley was nominated in the newcomer category.
Each year, Vagabond Theatre mounts at least two productions: one in the fall (late October or early November) and one in the spring (late March or April), works hard to enhance theatre knowledge through participation in workshops and other theatre opportunities, and – last but not least – offers bursaries to students who are pursuing their education in the performing arts.
Anyone who is interested in performing or working with Vagabond Theatre is invited to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .