The first stumbling steps in the life of Sudbury Theatre Centre were the direct result of The Awkward Stage, a book that reported the findings of a 1967 theatre study funded by the Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts. The publication recommended Sudbury as the most likely site for a permanent professional theatre. Despite initial resistance, five local individuals were eager to support the trial. Each knew that the establishment of a resident professional organization was the next step in the flourishing theatrical activities being conducted by amateur and school groups. Those five champions – Sonja Dunn, Carolyn Fouriezos, Bill Hart, Bob Remnant and Peg Roberts – undertook the daunting task of raising enough money for a production of Neil Simon’s Come Blow Your Horn.
Encouraged by this success, the committee decided to move further down the path of establishing a professional theatre. Letters patent incorporating Sudbury Theatre Centre were granted on September 14, 1971. By the mid 1970s, season subscriptions had tripled, and an increasing number of performances were sold out. Now was the time to lay plans for a home! In July 1981, the sod was turned. Season subscriptions rose to 3,000 with sell-out houses for every performance. The curtain finally rose on the 1982 season in a brand new facility – not just a fine building where plays are performed, but a living entity brought to life with dedication, determination and dreams.
The work on stage and through the rich education department delighted audiences young and old. As is with most of the regional theatres in Canada, there were certainly challenges; ups and downs in the success of the organization. In the early to mid 2000’s financial difficulties began to take centre stage. The Sudbury Theatre Centre was facing what appeared to be insurmountable challenges; a drastic shift in audience patterns, new forms of media, and a cultural shift that seemed to make theatre, as a community event, more peripheral. STC needed a drastic change in order to remain open. In 2021, in the wake of the global pandemic, the board of Directors approached YES Theatre with an innovative offer to amalgamate the two companies. With this drastic and groundbreaking move, the organization cemented its legacy for the next generation.