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About Us

History

Stephenville Theatre Festival (STF) is a not-for-profit charitable organization, registered through the Canada Revenue Agency. It is run by an extremely motivated volunteer Board of Directors who are respected professionals in our community. Helmed by our passionate Artistic Director and General Manager, under the guidance of our esteemed board, and with the tireless work of theatre professionals from our province and across Canada, STF continues to provide meaningful and delightful theatrical experiences for all in attendance.

STF is the longest-running professional theatre company in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The festival was established in 1979 by Maxim Mazumdar. A well-known Canadian actor and director, Maxim toured Newfoundland and Labrador between 1976 and 1978 as an adjudicator for the Provincial Drama Festival, a showcase for amateur acting groups in the province. He returned in the spring of 1979 to once again adjudicate the festival, taking place that year in the Town of Stephenville. He was impressed by the calibre of the performers who had gathered for the festival and recognized the potential that this culturally rich area had to offer. He was also impressed with a committee that was interested in starting a summer acting school for local youth.

Mazumdar started the Provincial Drama Academy as a place to learn about theatre while working with accomplished theatre professionals. From this Academy, the Stephenville Theatre Festival was born. STF quickly became known throughout the province and beyond, for its high-quality theatre presentations with an emphasis on programming riveting music theatre productions

During its decades of operation, many of this province’s best-known actors, musicians, directors, and production personnel have received their start or honed their craft at STF. The Festival has provided training opportunities as well as a hands-on experience for hundreds of artists, many of whom are now counted among Canada’s top professionals.

Mandate

The Stephenville Theatre Festival is committed to the production of diverse professional theatre that engages, enlightens, and entertains audiences, providing residents and visitors to the Southwest region of Newfoundland and Labrador access to the pleasures and benefits of professional theatre commonly enjoyed by Canadians in our country’s larger theatre centers.

Mission

With a mission to enrich the economic, artistic, and cultural sectors of the Town of Stephenville while serving as an anchor event for tourism in the Bay St. George area, the festival’s yearly operations strive to reflect the following core values:

● Artistic Excellence and Integrity: fostering the development, production, and presentation of artistic works of a high calibre and with artistic merit while providing an inspiring process for professional artists to hone and perfect their craft.

● Commitment to Education: inspiring the next generation of artists in the community by providing training opportunities in the areas of performance, stagecraft, and production for local youth. Student placements and mentorship opportunities within our professional activities also allow company members to grow and evolve their artistic practice during their time with STF.

● Looking to the Future: continuing to become a resource for the development and presentation of new work by local and provincial artists.

● In the Community: inspiring a healthy community through the arts, by providing local employment, educational, and performing opportunities, as well as promoting the interest and inspiration of the theatre arts to the community that supports us. Participating in local events and supporting local businesses helps our community thrive as a whole.

● Access and Inclusion: encouraging the participation of individuals who are diverse in age, gender identity, race, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, ethnicity, and perspective to participate in, as well as attend and enjoy our activities.

● Ethics in Action: to conduct our activities in an ethical and transparent manner ensuring a safe and healthy workplace for staff, the board of directors, contract employees, and artists in an open relationship with audiences, donors/supporters, and the community at large.

● The Arts and our Planet: Striving for sustainability within our artistic operations we commit to the effort of acting in an environmentally sustainable manner by reusing and repurposing our production materials, as well as being mindful when purchasing materials and supplies that support our activities.