New Play Development Program

COMPASS New Play Development Program is dedicated to creating and premiering new work on our stages. We are world curious and London proud and this program reflects our belief that in order to be a relevant theatre company, we must develop and premiere our stories on our stages.

The Grand will commission, write, produce, and premiere original plays that are relevant to our city, our province, and our country. And while these homegrown plays will begin here, our stories will be shared with theatres and stages around the world.

COMPASS is dedicated to igniting imaginations by bringing a modern, unconventional, and brand new sense of theatre engagement to London.

Stay tuned for invitations to free public readings of plays in development. Your feedback can have a dramatic effect on the creative direction of the plays as they grow and evolve.

Plays in Development

The inaugural COMPASS play to premiere on the Spriet Stage is Silence written by Trina Davies and directed by Peter Hinton. Originally commissioned and developed through FUSE: The Enbridge New Play Development Program at Theatre Calgary, Silence will premiere in January 2018 as part of the 2017/18 Season. Silence traces the true love story of Alexander Graham Bell and his wife, Mabel, who was deaf.


GUY LOMBARDO’S NEW YEAR’S EVE, with orchestrations and original music by Dave Pierce, book and direction by Dennis Garnhum. This musical celebration of a local hero will celebrate Lombardo and his orchestra, The Royal Canadians, in a sweeping spectacle that traces his legendary rise to “Mr. New Year’s Eve.”

Development Sponsored by
Tourism London

STARLIGHT TOURS is a musical drama with music and lyrics by Leslie Arden and based on the book by the late Cathy Elliot. The story is centred on events reported in Saskatchewan in the early 2000s that trace back to the 1970s. A series of investigations revealed a practice by the Saskatoon police of taking First Nations people to the city limits and abandoning them at the side of the road in the dead of winter. The practice became known as “starlight tours.”

Development Sponsored by
Carlyle Peterson

LONDON BRIDGES is a contemporary comedy in two acts: Act One in London, England, Act Two in London, Ontario, each written by a playwright of that region. The play tells the story of two worlds colliding during one unforgettable visit. Please see London Bridges Call for Playwrights for more details.

Development Sponsored by
Tourism London

AMBROSE SMALL: AN EXTRAVAGANTLY MUSICAL, MYSTERIOUSLY GRAND GHOST STORY, will have its World Premiere Halloween 2020 in celebration of the Grand’s 50th Anniversary Season.

Canadian theatre tycoon Ambrose Small built London’s Grand Theatre in 1901.  On December 2, 1919 he vanished, never to be found.  Set against the wildly scandalous vaudeville era, Ambrose Small will invite audiences to explore the Grand as an interactive, site-specific musical adventure.

Development Sponsored by
Tourism London


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Header Photo Credit: Adam Lau

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