50 Years of Theatre You Never Outgrow!
Carousel Players is one of Canada’s oldest and most respected professional theatre for young audience companies. Founded in 1972, Carousel has performed 214 productions to more than 2.8 million children, youth and families predominantly in Ontario.
Carousel Players was founded in 1972 by the late Desmond Davis, a Professor of Drama at Brock University in St. Catharines. Des and his wife Faye came to Canada from Australia and created a theatre to serve youth in Niagara. The name for the company is inspired by one of Canada’s oldest carousels in nearby Port Dalhousie, where you can still enjoy a ride for just a nickel.
Carousel has had six other Artistic Directors since its inception: Duncan McGregor, Pierre Tetrault, Kim Selody, Pablo Felices-Luna, Jessica Carmichael, and Monica Dufault.
We regularly perform in schools, community venues, and performing arts centres across Southern Ontario. We have also toured nationally to theatres and festivals in Ottawa, Montreal, Winnipeg, Calgary, Saskatoon, and Vancouver. Our award-winning plays have toured as far away as England and Japan.
Our plays have been nominated for 14 Dora Awards in the Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) category. We received Dora Awards for Dinosaurs & All the Rubbish in 1993 and Patty’s Cake in 2003. Carousel Players received the 2003 Canada Council for the Arts for Theatre for Young Audiences Prize for Patty’s Cake, the Great Grants Award from Ontario Trillium Foundation in 2005, the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for the Arts in 1997, the Innovation in the Arts Award from the City of St. Catharines in 2009 for our Niagara Artists in the Classroom program and the inaugural Arts in Education Award from the City of St. Catharines.
”Since Carousel Players’ inception, the company has…
- travelled 575,000 km…that’s to the moon and halfway back!
- performed for over 2.8 m students
- produced over 200 shows
- presented over 12,000 performances
Recent/Notable Press (click to read):
- ‘Accessibility, acoustics top priority for Carousel Players’ downtown St. Catharines renovation’
- ‘Songs and puppets help outcast kids cope in Tomson Highway’s The Incredible Adventures of Mary Jane Mosquito’
- ‘Culture Days celebration comes with strings attached’
- ‘Carousel Players prep for 50th anniversary
“I wanted to sincerely thank you and your team for the wonderful play that our students were able to watch last week. The students were very engaged and the feedback was extremely positive. It was a great story and the actors were both skilled and friendly.” – Principal
“It was wonderful to watch the play through my students’ eyes. Their looks of awe and amazement and hearing them laugh or interact with the actors as well as watching them dance along were obvious cues they thoroughly enjoyed the performance.” – Educator, ELKP
“Love the curriculum connections to science and the theme of patience and getting along. For the musical aspect: kids loved it. – Educator, Grade 1
“I must say that when I was invited to see Hare & Tortoise. I didn’t know what to expect. Being my first time to a live show I was quite taken by the performance, how it caught my attention right off the bat and how I thoroughly enjoyed it to the finish. My grandkids and family had such a great time. I would like to thank the performers for putting on such a captivating show. For young and old alike. I’m looking forward to another chance to see fun entertainment in the near future. – Community Audience Member