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Domino Theatre
Ben Okri

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"Beware of the stories you read or tell; subtly, at night, beneath the waters of consciousness, they are altering your world."

- Ben Okri


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Some Domino History

1953: Domino's first production was Jean-Paul Sartre's In Camera, staged between films at the Odeon movie theatre on Princess St. For the first 11 years Domino had no permanent home, performing at KCVI, the ballroom of the old LaSalle Hotel, Portsmouth Town Hall and other venues.

1954: Domino won its first Best Production award at an Eastern Ontario Drama League full-length play festival, for J. M. Synge's Playboy of the Western World.

1963: Domino opened its first permanent home at 8 Princess St., appropriately with another play with "camera" in the title—I Am a Camera by John van Druten (the play on which the musical Cabaret was based).

1970: The first Music Hall was performed at Domino. A popular part of Domino's season for the next decade, Music Hall eventually became so successful that it moved to the Grand Theatre as an independent operation, continuing until the 1990s.

1974: After the building at 8 Princess was sold, Domino moved into the former Eastern Ontario Area Army Headquarters (originally a brewery stable) at 370 King St. W. The building was extensively renovated, mostly by volunteers.

1985: Domino Theatre performed a one-act play, Cobbler, Stick to thy Last, by Nova Scotian playwright Kay Hill, at the Kanagawa Inernational Amateur Theatre Festival in Japan.

2004: Come Play by the Lake, Domino's one-act play festival, began. Held at the end of the regular season, the festival took place annually for the next five years, then was suspended when the 370 King St. theatre closed. It was reinstated in 2014 and continued until Covid-19 forced cancellation of the 2020 and 2021 editions. Each year the winning production is entered in the EODL One-Act Play Festival.

2007: Domino won its first Best Production award at the province-wide Theatre Ontario festival with Arthur Miller's All My Sons. Ironically, the show hadn't won Best Production at the Eastern Ontario festival—it was chosen as a substitute when the company that did win could not make the trip to the provincial festival. Since then, Domino has won Best Production at Theatre Ontario for Trying in 2011 and Outside Mullingar in 2019.

2008: After the city sold the 370 King building to Queen's University, Domino was forced to move again. While the search for new space and work on the present theatre continued, three seasons were performed in the Baby Grand Theatre downtown.

2012: Domino's present home, the Davies Foundation Auditorium at 52 Church St., opened with a production of What Mildred Did, by John Green.

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