About DSP


Durham Shoestring Performers - In 2014, 40 Years of Accessible Theatre

Oshawa's younger community theatre was founded in 1974 by Jeannine Butler,whose objectives are followed by her successors today - to present challenging and entertaining plays with an emphasis on innovative acting, writing, directing and design and to produce these plays keeping costs low so that live theatre can be accessible to all members of the community.

DSP programs many shows not often seen in community theatre and has produced several new full-length works by local writers. Canadian plays have been prominently featured over the years. Current artistic director Carolyn Wilson, who took the reins in 1990, selects each season's slate from among directors who put forward a show they love. Wilson's goal is to balance available roles across gender, age and experience lines in keeping with DSP's accessibility mandate, ensuring that backstage workers find their niche as well.

All auditions are public and there are no fees to participate in the company. Adults and teenagers wanting to perform or to work backstage are always welcome. There's no membership fee to get involved in DSP, just a desire to create a few theatrical waves and the time to make it happen.

DSP has performed all seasons from the Arts Resource Centre behind Oshawa City Hall. Because of the intimacy of the 105 seat "fishbowl", this venue affords a powerful theatrical experience for audiences; no seat is more than 6 metres from the stage. DSP chooses plays that suit this close contact well. A heavy emphasis is placed on programming Canadian material. In recent seasons work by George F.Walker, Timothy Findley, Maureen Hunter, Anne Chislett, David Craig, Michel Tremblay and Daniel MacIvor have graced the stage.

As well, DSP brings to Oshawa provocative plays from the American and British theatre. Past seasons saw Caryl Churchill's Cloud Nine, an hilarious but pointed look at a century of sexual politics, Falsettos by William Finn and James Lapine, a musical about love in the age of A.I.D.S. and The Kiss of the Spider Woman, book by Terrance McNally, music by John Kander, lyrics by Fred Ebb.

Perhaps most exciting, DSP has produced premiere performances of work by local playwrights, including Brad Carson's The Undiscovered Country, Diamond Vision by Llewellyn Jones, Waltzing with Lunacy by Ken Bond and Doug Craven's Wooden Milk.

Not your usually expected community theatre fare, but an affordable pleasure for the adventurous theatre-goer. A full listing of past productions can be seen below.

DSP's next season is announced annually in mid-summer, in the local media, via printed flyer and in this space.

Scripts can be borrowed for advance reading of the plays, and people interested in backstage, design or production work are also welcome to attend any audition - no performance necessary, but to let us know you'd like to be involved.

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Show Archive

SEASONPLAY -Underlined titles link to Facebook picturesPLAYWRIGHTDATEDIRECTOR
3 Plays for $1  Williams, O'Neill, Kaufmann  1974 10 23, 24, 25, 26  Jeannine Butler 
The Red Shoes  Robin Short from HC Andersen  1974 12 22, 23  Jeannine Butler 
Two Plays Plus (Brighten Every Corner, Present Day Courtship)  G. Herman, R. Bottomley  1975 04 24,25,26 Jeannine Butler 
EVEnt (Stages,Image,The Bear) Various 1975 10 22,23,24,25 JB, Phil Knibbs
2 Bluebird's Christmas Present DSP 1975 12 Jeannine Butler
2 Dead Heat, Once Upon a Playground W.R. Chadwick, Jack Fraker 1976 04 21,22,23,24 Jeannine Butler
3 Babel Rap, Chester You Owe My John Lazarus 1976 10 21,22,23 Jeannine Butler
3 The Stolen Tarts DSP 1976 12 Jeannine Butler
3 Cabaret Various 1977 05 13 Jeannine Butler
4 Death and Life of Sneaky Fitch James Rosenberg 1977 11 3,4,5 Jeannine Butler
4 The Upstart Shoemakers DSP 1977 12 Jeannine Butler
4 2 for $2 (Rope Against,Rewrite) Al Pittman, Stanley Clarke 1978 03 2,3,4 J. Butler, Carolyn Wilson
4 Cabaret Various 1978 04 28,29 Jeannine Butler
5 The Store, Broken Pieces XXX/Michel Tremblay 1978 10 26,27,28

 C.Wilson, R. Gough

5 The Ogre Who Built A Bridge DSP 1978 12 Jeannine Butler
5 1837:The Farmers' Revolt at Oshawa ARC Rick Salutin 1979 03 8,9,10 Jeannine Butler
5 Cabaret Various 1979 04 27 Jeannine Butler
5 1837: The Farmers' Revolt at Harbourfront Rick Salutin 1979 06 14,15,16,17 Jeannine Butler
6 1 Play,2 Sketches & Bit of Fun Various 1979 10 18,19,20 JB, Randy Gough
6 The Magic Guitar DSP 1979 12 Jeannine Butler
6 The Trojan Women Gwendolyn MacEwen 1980 03 6,7,8 Carolyn Wilson
7 Three Plays,House,Valiant,Fugue Green, Hurley,
    Hall, Middlemass
1980 10 23,24,25 JB, Randy Gough
7 Willoughby's Christmas Sneeze DSP 1980 12 Carolyn Wilson
7 No,No, A Million Times No Eskel Crawford, Bud Tompkins 1981 04 24,25 Jeannine Butler
8 Hamlet in a Hurry William Shakespeare (v. Orenstein) 1981 10 23,24,25 Carolyn Wilson
8 Case of the Christmas Catastrophe DSP 1981 12 Carolyn Wilson
8 Where Were You in '62? Brian Stevenson 1982 06 4,5 Brian Stevenson
9 Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf Edward Albee 1982 11 18,19,20 Herschel Rosen
9 A Heat Wave for Christmas DSP 1982 12 Carolyn Wilson
9 Waiting for the Parade John Murrell 1983 04 14,15,16 Jeannine Butler
10 What Glorious Times They Had Diane Grant 1983 10 27,28,29 Jeannine Butler
10 Magic Pinecones for Christmas DSP 1983 12 D'Arcy Butler
10 Clarence Darrow David Rintels 1983 12 1,2,3 Jeannine Butler
10 Buried Child Sam Shepard 1984 04 12,13,14 Carolyn Wilson
11 Shylock's Treasure Munroe Scott 1984 11 15,16,17 Jeannine Butler
11 Gossip George F. Walker 1985 03 1,2,8,9 Carolyn Wilson
11 Equus Peter Schaffer 1985 05/06 31,1,7,8 David Millar
12 Court of Common Pleas Alexis Bernier 1985 10 24,25,26 Jeannine Butler
12 Broken Toys of Toyland DSP 1985 12 1985 12
13 The Last Real Summer Warren Graves 1986 10/11 24,25,31,1 Jeannine Butler
13 Tigger's First Christmas DSP 1986 12 Carolyn Wilson
13 Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead Tom Stoppard 1987 04 3,4,10,11 Carolyn Wilson
14 Gwendoline James W. Nichol 1987 10 23,24,29,30 Jeannine Butler
14 Colin's Christmas Robot DSP 1987 12 Jeannine Butler
14 Doc Sharon Pollock 1988 02/03 26,27,4,5 Carolyn Wilson
14 Love and Work Enough Peggy Sample 1988 04/05 29,30,6,7 Jeannine Butler
15 Back To Our Roots-7 plays Various 1988 10 21,22,28,29 JB,CW,DM,L.Ireland
15 The Toy-Making Machine DSP 1988 12 Jeannine Butler
15 The Shadow Box Michael Christofer 1989 03 3,4,10,11 Jeannine Butler
15 Wooster Without Wednesday Ken Bond 1989 05  5,6,7 Carolyn Wilson
16 Pinter Plays Harold Pinter 1989 10/11 27,28,3,4 David Millar
16 Albertine In Five Times Michel Tremblay 1990 02/03 23,24,2,3 Carolyn Wilson
16 Mary's Heart Pearl Lake 1990 03 08 Ann Syme
16 1837:The Farmers' Revolt Rick Salutin 1990 05 4,5,11,12 Jeannine Butler
17 Betrayal Harold Pinter 1990 11 2,3,9,10 David Millar
17 Criminals In Love George F. Walker 1991 02 1,2,8,9 Carolyn Wilson
17 Extremities William Mastrosimone 1991 04 5,6,12,13 Chris Rollo
17 Max's Will Pearl Lake 1991 05 2,3 Ann Syme
18 Boiler Room Suite Rex Deverell 1991 11 1,2,7,8,9 Tony Reines
18 Booster McCrane, P.M. David Craig 1992 01/02 24,25,30,31,2 Brad Carson
18 The Tomorrow Box Anne Chislett 1992 04 3,4,9,10,11 Ann Syme
19 Aids Plays Various 1992 10 05 Ann Syme
19 The Real World? Tom Stoppard 1992 11 13,14,19,20,21 Carolyn Wilson
19 The Road To Mecca Athol Fugard 1993 01/02 29,30,4,5,6 David Millar
19 Gusto Ken Bond 1993 04 2,3,4,9,10 Ken Bond
   C. McGrath
19 Diamond Vision Llewellyn Jones 1993 05 7,8,13,14,15 Chris Rollo
20 7 Stories Morris Panych 1993 11 5,6,11,12,13 Brad Carson
20 Fool for Love Sam Shepard 1994 01/02 28,29,3,4,5 Carolyn Wilson
20 Footprints on the Moon Maureen Hunter 1994 02/03 25,26,3,4,5 Ann Syme
20 Maids of Honor Joan Casademont 1994 04 8,9,14,15,16 Susan Lowery
21 Artfest Various 1994 09 15,24 Various
21 To The Point Various 1994 10 14,15,20,21,22 Various
21 Love Letters A.R. Gurney 1994 12 2,3,4 Joe Szekeres
21 Can You See Me Yet? Timothy Findley 1995 01/02 27,28,2,3 Carolyn Wilson
21 Of The Fields, Lately David French 1995 03/04 31,6,7,8 Ed Daigle
22 Artfest Various 1995 09 27 Various
22 'Night Mother Marsha Norman 1995 11 3,4,9,10,11 Ann Syme
22 Assassins Stephen Sondheim, John Weidman 1996 01 19,20,21,25,26,27 Tim Southwell
22 If We Are Women Joanna McClelland Glass 1996 02/03 23,24,29,1,2 Judith Edmondson
22 The Undiscovered Country Brad Carson 1996 04 19,20,25,26,27 Brad Carson
23 Cloud Nine Caryl Churchill 1996 11 1,2,7,8,9 Arlene Stinchcombe
23 Falsettos William Finn, James Lapine 1997 01/02 24-8
    (8 shows)
Tim Southwell
23 The House Among the Stars Michel Tremblay 1997 04 11,12,17,18,19 Carolyn Wilson
24 To the Point II Various 1997 10 17,18,23,24,25 Various
24 Fair Liberty's Call Sharon Pollock 1998 01 23,24,29,30,31 Carolyn Wilson
24 Kiss of the Spider Woman McNally/Kander/Ebb 1998 03/04 26,27,28,1-4 Tim Southwell
24 Waltzing with Lunacy Ken Bond 1998 05 1,2,7,8,9 Margo Rodgers
25 Sylvia A.R. Gurney 1998 11 20,21,25,26,27,28 Irene Lubovitz
25 Escape from Happiness George F. Walker 1999 01 22,23,27,28,29,30 Carolyn Wilson
25 Tempting Faith Tim Southwell 1999 03 5,6,10,11,12,13 L.Taylor,T.Southwell
25 St. Nicholas Hotel James Reaney 1999 04 9,10,14,15,16,17 Doug Craven
26 Storyteller Llewellyn Jones 1999 11 5,6,10,11,12,13 Chris Rollo
26 Orphans Lyle Kessler 2000 01 21,22,26,27,28,29 Vivian Lee
26 Sweeney Todd Stephen Sondheim 2000 02/03 24,25,26,1-4 Tim Southwell
26 Moo Sally Clark 2000 04 7,8,12,13,14,15 Margo Rodgers
27 To The Point III Various 2000 10/11 27,28,1,2,3,4 Various
27 Bag Babies Allan Stratton 2001 01 19,20,24,25,26,27 Dave Ellis
27 Gravel Sound Ken Bond 2001 02/03 23,24,28,1,2,3 Carolyn Wilson
27 Arcadia Tom Stoppard 2001 03/04 30,31,4,5,6,7 Doug Craven
28 The Triumph of Love Marivaux trans, J. Van Burek 2001 11 16,17,21,22,23,24 Catherine MacLean
28 Perfect Pie Judith Thompson 2002 01/02 25,26,30,31,1,2 Carolyn Wilson
28 Art Yasmina Reza 2002 02/03 22,23,27,28,1,2 Joe Szekeres
28 Lost in Yonkers Neil Simon 2002 04 12,13,17,18,19,20 Nancy Gleed
29 Rita Taylor Ken Bond 2002 11 8,9,13,14,15,16 Ken Bond
29 The Memory of Water Shelagh Stephenson 2003 01/02 24,25,29,
30,31,1
Carolyn Wilson
29 The Importance of Being Earnest Oscar Wilde 2003 04 4,5,9,10,11,12 Ramona Abraham
30 Patience Jason Sherman 2003 11 7,812,13,14,15 Carolyn Wilson
30 How Could You, Mrs. Dick? Douglas Rodger 2004 01 16,17,21,22,23,24 Ramona Abraham
30 Steel Spirits Ken Bond 2004 02/3 27,28,3,4,5,6 Ken Bond
30 The Cherry Orchard Anton Chekhov 2004 04 2,3,7,8,9,10 Judith Edmondson
31 Proof David Auburn 2004 11 5,6,10,11,12,13 Carolyn Wilson
31 Stop Kiss Diana Son 2005 01 21,22,26,27,28,29 Marion Reid-Clarke
31 I Hate Hamlet Paul Rudnick 2005 04 8,9,13,14,15,16 Ramona Abraham
32 Small Time Norm Foster 2005 11 4,5,9,10,11,12 Robert Calvert
32 Wooden Milk Doug Craven 2006 01 20,21,25,26,27,28 Carolyn Wilson
32 The House of Bernarda Alba Federico Garcia Lorca 2006 03/4 31,1,5,6,7,8 Judith Edmondson
33 A Number Caryl Churchill 2006 11 3,4,8,9,10,11 Murray Twist
33 Elizabeth Rex Timothy Findley 2007 01 19,20,21,24,25,26,27 Carolyn Wilson
33 Vinci Maureen Hunter 2007 03/4 30,31,4,5,6,7 Marion Reid-Clarke
34 Apple Vern Thiessen 2007 11 2,3,7,8,9,10 Jennie Ottaway
34 Half Life John Mighton 2008 01/2 25,26,27,30,31,1,2 Carolyn Wilson
34 Nothing Sacred George F. Walker 2008 04 4,5,9,10,11,12 Murray Twist
35 Departures and Arrivals Carol Shields 2008 11 7,8,12,13,14,15 Joe Szekeres
35 Kingfisher Days Susan Coyne 2009 01 23,24,25,28,29,30,31 Carolyn Wilson
35 Wit Margaret Edson 2009 03/4 27,28,1,2,3,4 David Halliday
36 You Are Here Daniel MacIvor 2009 11 6,7,11,12,13,14 Andra Kelly
36 Three Sisters Anton Chekhov (v. N. Wright) 2010 01 22,23,24,27,28,29,30 Judith Edmondson
36 Unity (1918) Kevin Kerr 2010 03/04 26,27,31,1,2,3 John Lunman
37 Rabbit Hole David Lindsay-Abaire 2010 11 5,6,10,11,12,13 Carolyn Wilson
37 Ravenscroft Don Nigro 2011 01 21,22,26,27,28,29 John Lunman
37 Zastrozzi George F. Walker 2011 03/04 25,26,30,31,1,2 Margo Rodgers
38 Doubt: A Parable John Patrick Shanley 2011 11 4,5,9,10,11,12 Joe Szekeres
38 Beautiful City George F. Walker 2012 01 20,21,22,25,26,27,28 Carolyn Wilson
38 Lucy Damien Atkins 2012 03 23,24,28,29,30,31 Andra Kelly
39 The December Man Colleen Murphy 2012 11 9,10,14,15,16,17 Carolyn Wilson
39 The Attic, The Pearls and Three Fine Girls J. Brewin, L. Cherniak, A. MacDonald, A. Palmer, M. Ross 2013 01 18,19,20,23,24,25,26 Joan Etienne
39 Forests Wajdi Mouawad 2013 03 22,23,27,28,29,30 Rick Kerr
40 The Tempest William Shakespeare 2013 11 1,2,3,6,7,8,9 John Lunman
40 Generous Michael Healey 2014 01 17,18,22,23,24,25 Carolyn Wilson
40 A Moon for the Misbegotten Eugene O'Neill 2014 03 21,22,26,27,28,29 Phil Ireland
41 The Phoenix Lottery Allan Stratton 2014 11 7,8,12,13,14,15 Mike Trites
41 Homechild Joan MacLeod 2015 01 16,17,21,22,23,24 Carolyn Wilson
41 The Komagata Maru Incident Sharon Pollock 2015 03/04 27,28,1,2,3,4 Andra Kelly
42 Picking Up Chekhov Mansel Robinson 2015 11 13,14,18,19,20,21 John Lunman
42 The Book of Esther Leanna Brodie 2016 01 22,23,27,28,29,30 Carolyn Wilson
42 The Timekeepers Dan Clancy 2016 03/04 25,26,30,31,1,2 Phil Ireland
43 Wyrd Sisters Terry Pratchett, ad. Stephen Briggs 2016 11 4,5,9,10,11,12 Douglas Craven
43 Good People David Lindsay-Abaire 2016 01 20,21,25,26,27,28 Carolyn Wilson
43 Dead Metaphor George F. Walker 2016 03/03 24,25,29,30,31,1,2 John Lunman

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