Dear Johnny Deere

Dear Johnny Deere

The Fred Eaglesmith Musical

September 25 - October 18, 2015
Springer Theatre

“I’m wilder than her, what else can I say…”




Book by Ken Cameron
Based on the music and lyrics of Fred Eaglesmith
Additional music and arrangements by David Archibald

  • Often called the Bruce Springsteen of rural Ontario, Juno Award-winning Fred Eaglesmith's fun and evocative country songs have been masterfully woven into this foot-stompin’ musical.

    Lately, not much has been growing on Johnny’s farm – or in his wife’s heart. So when a man from the city comes knocking and says they’re going to put a big ol’ highway through Johnny’s land, he has some tough choices to make.

    Sing-a-long melodies and toe-tapping rhythms accompany this Canadian saga. Told with wit, energy and heart, the London Free Press got it right saying, "It will make you laugh, cry, smile and want to cheer."

    "Hauntin', heartwarmin', heartbreakin' and just plain funny..."
    - London Free Press

    "Fred Eaglesmith's songs captivate..."
    - The Guardian, Charlottetown

    "DEAR JOHNNY DEERE is a amazing new musical...think soulful melodies, driving rhythms and lyrics that mix the sugar of wit with the salt of tears."
    - Toronto Star


    Student Matinee Presented by TD Bank Group

    Thursday October 15, 2015, 11:00am

    With affordable group rates, free workshops, a curriculum-based study guide, and a post-show Q&A with the actors, your students will connect directly with some of Canada's most prominent professional artists.  < Read More

    Buy Your Tickets Online Now!

  • Springer Theatre Logo

    Playing at the Springer Theatre
    from September 25 - October 18, 2015

    Tuesday to Saturday. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8pm
    Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday. . . . . . . . . . 2:30pm
    (No Saturday matinee on opening day of shows)

    Running Time: approximately 2 hours, including intermission

  • Cast

    McAllister: Jeff Culbert
    Caroline/Auctioneer: Shannon Currie
    Johnny: Greg Gale
    Mike/Hendrik/Collector: Bruce Horak
    Fiddler: Capucine Onn


    Director: Ashlie Corcoran
    Associate Director: Rob Kempson
    Set & Costume Designer: Camellia Koo
    Associate Designer: Jung-Hye Kim
    Sound Designer: Adam Harendorf
    Lighting Designer: Michelle Ramsay
    Music Director: David Archibald
    Stage Manager: Natasha Bean-Smith
    Assistant Stage Manager: Chantal Hayman
    Fight Director: Liam Karry

    DAVID ARCHIBALD (Music Director)
    For the Playhouse: Up the River, Love & Larceny, The Perilous Pirate’s Daughter, plus many Young Company Productions.
    Elsewhere: Dear Johnny Deere (Theatre Calgary); Kitchen Radio, St. Anne’s Reel, Dear Johnny Deere, Hometown, Ballad of Stompin’ Tom, The Perilous Pirate’s Daughter (Blyth); Dear Johnny Deer (Lighthouse); Ballad of Stompin’ Tom (Confederation Centre for the Arts, Charlottetown); Ballad of Stompin’ Tom (Drayton); Dr. Magnificent’s Travelling Musical Medicine Show (YAH Theatre).
    Film/Television: Performer, songwriter for Sesame Street (NY); Mr. Dressup (CBC).
    Upcoming: A new CD of original material to be released in 2015.
    Other: David has recorded for RCA and was the producer of pop star Avril Lavigne’s first recording. He has also been commissioned by many Provincial and National Parks to compose, record and perform songs celebrating Canada’s natural and cultural history. David has been awarded the Fen Watkin Scholarship (play development) from the Confederation Centre for the Arts in Charlottetown and recently won the Betty Mitchell Award for Outstanding Musical Director for Theatre Calgary's production of Dear Johnny Deere.

    NATASHA BEAN-SMITH (Stage Manager)
    For the Playhouse: The Ugly One, Salt-Water Moon.
    Elsewhere: As Stage Manager: Durango (Theatre Smash/fu-Gen Asian Canadian Theatre Company); The Bakelite Masterpiece (Tarragon Theatre); The Ugly One (Theatre Smash 2011 & Theatre Smash/Tarragon 2014); Macbeth, Richard III, Two Gents (Shakespeare in the Ruff). As ASM: Billy Elliot the Musical (Mirvish Productions); The 39 Steps (Globe Theatre); Orpheus and Eurydice,The Magic Flute, Der Freischütz, Don Giovanni Columbus, Ohio Tour (Opera Atelier); La Tragédie de Carmen (The Banff Centre); Banana Boys (Fu-Gen).
    Upcoming: Tour Manager for Opera Atelier’s Armide returning to the Opera Royal in Versailles; Within the Glass (Tarragon Theatre).
    Other: Tour Manager for Opera Atelier’s Versailles Tour of Armide (2012) and Persée (2014). Concert Manager for Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra.

    ASHLIE CORCORAN (Director)
    For the Playhouse: Artistic Director since November 1, 2012. Director for: Bed and Breakfast, Don’t Dress For Dinner, The Pirates of Penzance, The Ugly One, Waiting for the Parade, She Loves Me, Driving Miss Daisy, Salt-Water Moon, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Third Floor.
    Elsewhere: As Director: The Gay Heritage Project (Buddies in Bad Times); The Ugly One (Theatre Smash 2011 & Theatre Smash/Tarragon 2014); The Magic Flute (Opera Philadelphia); Don Giovanni, Le Lauréat, Three Sisters Who are Not Sisters (The Glenn Gould School, RCM); The Brothers Grimm, Isis and The Seven Scorpions, Cinderella, The Bear (Canadian Opera Company); The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Western Canada Theatre). As Artistic Producer & Director: Tiny Dynamite, Tijuana Cure, A Boy Called Newfoundland, The Ugly One (Theatre Smash) and Durango (Theatre Smash and fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company).
    Upcoming: The Bremen Town Musicians, Operation Superpower (COC); The Gay Heritage Project (Buddies in Bad Times and National Tour); Mustard (Tarragon Theatre); Das Ding (The Thing) (Theatre Smash/Canadian Stage).

    JEFF CULBERT (McAllister)
    For the Playhouse: Debut.
    Elsewhere: Dear Johnny Deere (Blyth, Theatre Calgary, Lighthouse); One-man Masque (Toronto Masque Theatre); archy and mehitabel, The Donnelly Sideshow, The Shawl, Work (Ausable Theatre); The Drawer Boy, Jupiter in July, The Mousetrap (Port Stanley); The Cherry Orchard, Lady Windermere’s Fan (Theatre Soup); Hamlet (Theatre Nemesis); The Tempest (Passionfool); Purgatory in Ingleton (Storm and Stress); Outlaw (Port Mansion). Directing – Underbelly, Magic Unicorn Island, Boat Load (Stars and Hearts); PlayWrights Cabaret (Grand Theatre); Problem Child, Risk Everything, The End of Civilization, Hunting Stuart, King Phoenix (Ausable Theatre). Playwrighting – archy and mehitabel, The Donnelly Sideshow, Choose But Choose Wisely, Running Rude, There’s a Monster That Lives in My Girlfriend.
    Upcoming: Directing - To Ashes (Theatre Nemesis); PlayWrights Cabaret (Grand Theatre).
    Other: Artistic Director, Ausable Theatre.

    SHANNON CURRIE (Caroline/Auctioneer)
    For the Playhouse:  Waiting for the Parade.
    Elsewhere:  Romeo & Juliet, Comedy of Errors (St.Lawrence Shakespeare Festival); Iceland (Why Not Theatre); The Seagull (Segal Centre); Boeing Boeing, The Mousetrap (Theatre Aquarius); The Life of Jude (Summerworks Festival); Macbeth (Humber River Shakespeare Company); Doubt (Sudbury Theatre Centre); King Lear, Comedy of Errors (Driftwood Theatre); Three Sisters, Twelfth Night, Macbeth (National Theatre School).
    TV/Film: Saving Hope (CTV); Warehouse 13 (SyFy); Nostrum (Wright Productions); Falling for Caroline (Inside Out Festival).

    GREG GALE (Johnny)
    For the Playhouse: Debut.
    Elsewhere: Wilberforce Hotel (Blyth Festival); Dream a Little Dream (The Grand Theatre); The Contest of the Winds (Caravan Farm Theatre); Other Desert Cities/ The Great Gatsby (Grand Theatre); Macbeth , Taming of the Shrew (Canadian Stage); Under Wraps (Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland); The CN Tower Show (Theatre Passe Muraille); The Great Gatsby (Grand Theatre); His Greatness (Iarts/Factory); Vimy/Kitchen Radio/Stag & Doe (Blyth Fest); Ghost Stories (Mirvish); Highway 63: The Fort Mac Show - which he co-created (Architect Theatre).
    TV credits include: Covert Affairs (UNIVERSAL); Murdoch Mysteries (CBC).  
    Other: Greg is a graduate of The National Theatre School and a 2005 recipient of the Hnatyshyn Foundation's Emerging Artist Grant.

    ADAM HARENDORF (Sound Designer)
    For the Playhouse: Educating Rita, Driving Miss Daisy, Third Floor.
    Elsewhere: Cannibal! The Musical (Starvox); Alligator Pie, The Cherry Orchard (Soulpepper); Sweeney Todd, Elf – The Musical, La Cage aux Folles, The Jungle Book (Neptune); James and the Giant Peach (YPT); Lost In Yonkers, Visiting Mr. Green (HGJT); For The Pleasure Of Seeing Her Again (Festival Players of Prince Edward County); Fool For Love (Red One Theatre); The Shepard Plays (Candles are for Burning Co.).

    CHANTAL HAYMAN (Assistant Stage Manager)
    For the Playhouse: Debut.
    Elsewhere: The Wilberforce Hotel, Mary's Wedding (Blyth Festival); You Fancy Yourself (Contrary Company); This is War, The Boy in the Moon (GCTC); Midwinter's Dream Tale, Shakespeare's Dead (A Company of Fools); Arms and the Man, The Game of Love and Chance (Odyssey Theatre).
    Upcoming: Butcher (GCTC).
    Other: Chantal is very excited for her first experience at the Thousand Islands Playhouse!

    BRUCE HORAK (Mike/Hendrik/Collector)
    For the Playhouse: Blind Date.
    Elsewhere: This is CANCER, Charlotte’s Web, Legend Has It, The Wizard of Oz, Robin Hood (Alberta Theatre Projects); Assassinating Thomson, Mini Masterpieces, A Christmas Carol, No Tweed Too Tight, Freud VS His Ego, The History of the Future, The Big Rock Show, The Canada Show (Monster Theatre); The Life Game (Truth Be Told Theatre); Evil Dead: The Musical (Ground Zero/Hit and Myth Productions); Fire (Lighthouse Festival Theatre).
    Upcoming: Untitled Shakespeare Project (Stratford Festival); Legend Has It (Alberta Theatre Projects), Assassinating Thomson (Thousand Islands Playhouse, 2016)

    ROB KEMPSON (Associate Director) 
    For the Playhouse: Assistant Director/Male Ensemble for She Loves Me
    Elsewhere: Writer/Performer for The Way Back To Thursday (Theatre Passe Muraille); Performer for Hero and Leander, (Common Descent/SummerWorks); Co-creator/Director of explicit (Rhubarb Festival, Buddies), #legacy (HATCH, Harbourfront Centre); In My Own Skin (YRDSB); The HV Project(Community Project); Director for Songs for a New World (Claude Watson); Auditing Director for Shakespeare’s Nigga (Obsidian). 
    Upcoming: Writer/Director for Shannon 10:40 (Videofag), Mockingbird (Next Stage).
    Other: Rob is thrilled to be back at the Playhouse again this year, the place where he saw his first ever professional theatre. More info at or @rob_kempson on Twitter.

    CAMELLIA KOO (Set & Costume Designer)
    For the Playhouse: The Ugly One.
    Elsewhere: Lady From The SeaThe Sea (set design), Peace In Our Time (set design)(The Shaw Festival); Tom at the Farm (set design), Obaaberima (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre); Oedipus Rex (Stratford Festival); The Unplugging (set design), The Gravitational Pull of Bernince Trimble (set design) (Factory Theatre); This is War, East of Berlin (Tarragon); The Wanderers (set design), paperSeries (Cahoots); Macbeth (Minnesota Opera); Tales of Hoffmann (Edmonton Opera); The Lighthouse (Boston Lyric Opera); Maria Stuarda (Pacific Opera Victoria); Turn of the Screw (set design), Pelléas et Mélisande (set design) (Against the Grain).
    Upcoming: Wormwood (Tarragon); Sleeping Beauty (Ballet Jörgen); Carmen (sets-Edmonton Opera). 

    CAPUCINE ONN (Fiddler)
    For the Playhouse: Debut.
    Elsewhere: Dear Johnny Deere (Theatre Calgary); Dear Johnny Deere (Blyth Festival); Spirit of the Narrows, The Outdoor Donnellys.
    Other: Capucine lives in Toronto with her beautiful sons Gideon and Gulliver where she teaches Suzuki violin lessons and plays live music with her band Jellybean Blue. She is also the director of the Goderich Suzuki Violin School where she grew up in fantastic Huron County!

    MICHELLE RAMSAY (Lighting Designer)
    For the PlayhouseThe Pirates of Penzance, She Loves Me, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Night, Blood Brothers, Up The River, Poochwater.
    Elsewhere:  Other companies she has designed with include: Opera Atelier, Young People’s Theatre, Modern Times, Stand Up Dance, New Harlem, Shaw Festival, Cahoots Theatre Company, Blue Ceiling Dance, fu-GEN, The Theatre Centre, Theatre Kingston, Factory Theatre, Starvox Entertainment, Human Cargo, Theatre Rusticle, National Arts Centre, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Native Earth Performing Arts, Mirvish Productions, Gwaandak Theatre, Theatre Passe Muraille and Tarragon Theatre. 
    Other:  She has received five Dora Awards, a SATAward and the 2008 Pauline McGibbon award.  

  • DEAR JOHNNY DEERE at the Thousand Islands Playhouse
    Photos by Jay Bridges, 2015.

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    Ashlie's Inside Story

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    Toe-tapping musical focuses on farmer's plight
    Peter Hendra, The Kingston Whig-Standard, October 1, 2015

    For its final production of the year, the Thousand Islands Playhouse has gone a little bit country and a little bit rock ‘n’ roll with the musical Dear Johnny Deere. <Read More.

    Theatre Review: "Dear Johnny Deere" at the 1000 Islands Playhouse
    Connie Meng, North Country Public Radio, October 1, 2015

    What could be bad about a musical featuring Fred Eaglesmith songs? After what I saw last night in Gananoque, I can report absolutely nothing. <Read More

    Dear Johnny Deere Brings Fred Eaglesmith’s Music to Gananoque
    Lorraine Payette, A Fresh News Start, September 30, 2015

    Don’t make a mistake about it – this is definitely a musical, but there’s nothing light, fluffy or comedic going on here. A Juno Award winner, Dear Johnny Deere is serious drama, carefully crafted around the music of Fred Eaglesmith, a play that takes a hard look at love, the land and surviving the trials of running a small family farm in Canada. <Read More.



    Thousand Islands Playhouse presents musical Dear Johnny Deere
    Jan Murray, St. Lawrence News, September 29, 2015

    Dear Johnny Deere, described as a foot-stomping musical, by Juno award-winning Fred Eaglesmith, is about tough choices – choices that pull at our heartstrings and make us wonder if we are doing the right thing. <Read More.

  • Special Thanks To:

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