Our Story

GRAND Theatre

The Grand Theatre is known for world-class theatre created and built in London, Ontario. As southwestern Ontario’s premiere producing theatre and one of the most beautiful theatre spaces in Canada, the company has deep ties to the community and to its artists, artisans, and technicians. 

As a vibrant cultural hub and not-for-profit professional theatre, the Grand serves to gather, inspire, and entertain audiences in London and beyond. At our home in downtown London, we create productions on two stages: the Spriet Stage (839 seats) and the Auburn Developments Stage (144 seats). The Grand season of theatrical offerings runs from September to May, and we collaborate with companies and artists across the country through our co-productions that see London-made artistic and creative work travel to audiences nation-wide. Through our successful New Play Development Program, the Grand is committed to developing and premiering new, original works and supporting the growth and reach of theatre writers and creators. Our recently renovated venue offers a contemporary and welcoming environment that is also home to several successful music series’, community arts rentals, and cultural and special events. 

A cornerstone of the organization is our place as a teaching theatre, exemplified in our many mentorship programs and highlighted in our annual Grand Theatre High School Project. As the first program of its kind in the country and currently in its twenty-sixth year, the High School Project involves as many as one hundred high school participants annually from schools across the region. These students participate at no cost and take on roles both on stage and off, in a fully realized mainstage production under the direction of a professional creative team. 

The Grand Theatre is located on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak, and Attawandaron Peoples. We acknowledge with gratitude the significant historical and contemporary contributions of local and regional Indigenous Peoples and of all the Original Peoples of Turtle Island (also known as North America). We are honoured to live, work, and tell stories together on this land. 
 

Click here for the 2017-2021 Strategic Plan
 

Leadership

Rachel Peake sits in front of a neutral background. She wears a vibrant outfit with purple and orange details.

Rachel Peake
Artistic Director

Rachel Peake takes on the role of Artistic Director of the Grand Theatre in October 2023. 
Learn More »

Evan Klassen stands on the paved island in the centre of Richmond Street, by the Grand Theatre.

Evan Klassen
Executive Director

Evan Klassen arrived in London to take on the position of Executive Director of the Grand Theatre in August 2022.  Learn More »
 

The Spriet Stage - An Historic Gift

Helen and Andy Spriet stand smile as they stand on the Spriet Stage. Projected behind them is a photograph of the Stage from the balcony level, featuring an angled view of the proscenium arch.

On March 9, 2017 the Grand Theatre announced an historic donation from Helen and Andy Spriet, philanthropic leaders in London who committed $1,000,000 to support the work of the theatre. This donation marks the largest individual gift in Grand Theatre history and in the arts community in London.

In recognition of this investment, the Grand Theatre main stage was renamed the Spriet Stage.

“The Grand Theatre has always held a special place for us. Over the years we have been inspired by other London families, like the Iveys, who have shown their leadership and leveraged impact with significant gifts to local causes and organizations that matter to the community. We had planned to leave a legacy gift to the Grand but the opportunity to see our donation have an immediate and lasting impact for all Londoners was really exciting for us,” said Helen Spriet who served on the Board of Directors of the Grand Theatre from 2008 to 2015.

We celebrate Helen and Andy and their family for this remarkable gift that will help to transform the theatre, on and off the stage, over the coming years.  Learn More »

 

History

The Grand Theatre began its existence in 1901 as the Grand Opera House. The original owner and manager was theatre impresario Ambrose J. Small, who ran the theatre as a touring house for road shows, vaudeville, and other entertainments to perform in.  Learn More »
 

Former Artistic Directors

Explore six decades of the Grand through the artistic directors who helped shape its legacy.  Learn More »
 

Past Productions

Click here for a list of past productions.