In 1966 a group from St. Peter's Anglican Church (on Brimley Avenue in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada) put on an
"Evening of Gilbert and Sullivan". Its success led to the first full production in 1967, and thus the tradition
began. Initially the church hall was used until the group and its audiences grew too big and the move was made
to a local collegiate.
In 1992 the name St. Peter's Choral Society was changed to The Scarborough Gilbert & Sullivan Society for
four reasons: (1) to reflect the distinctive repertoire, (2) to identify the home community, (3) to merit financial
consideration given to groups with Scarborough in their name, and (4) to register as a non-profit organization.
The Society has proven a source of pleasure to its members and its audiences. Most of the available G&S
operettas have been performed more than once by the Society, exceptions being obscure works not easily
marketable such as Princess Ida and Patience. Traditional style is retained with some
lyrics updated using contemporary humour.
The Society provides opportunities for real experience, with some of its members having gone on to perform on
other stage venues. Music Conservatory students have gained useful practical work. The Society has hired
collegiate media students for its technical work such as lighting. For many
years the Society has recruited trainees from Toronto makeup schools. Behind-the-scenes workers are generally volunteers from cast
friends and family members.
Cast members have come from many backgrounds, with women to date outnumbering the men. Enthusiasm,
loyalty and a friendly atmosphere is the norm. The group has seen three generations of two families on
stage! Its record-eldest on stage performed until she was ninety! G&S operettas, incidentally, were written
minus youth roles so children, if possible, are limited to walk-on parts.
There is a children's matinee for one of the Sunday shows with time out prior to the performance for the young
people to come on stage and meet first-hand some leads, etc. The afternoon matinees are a popular option
for the seniors and families who prefer daylight hours for their theatre outings.
The year 2007 will witness the Society's 42nd annual production, six shows of The Mikado over the last two weekends of April
2007. The Scarborough G&S Society is a respected and longtime community theatre group. The Society is non-denominational, and
invites new choristers and soloists at the start of its 42nd year (The Mikado), September 2006, without the need for pre-auditions. The Society is
open to anyone 16 years of age and over.