Our Friend, Terry Sutcliffe.

VOS THEATRE lost a friend last week. Terry Sutcliffe was an active member of the VOS for many years having directed Kiss Me Kate. He was our lighting and sound guy, our stage manager, our crew member and our family.

Terry made us laugh which made the work lighter. He was a consummate professional, particularly in his approach to stage management but there was always a smile or a joke to lighten things up. He simply had the best laugh.

“I remember when we were doing Kiss Me Kate and he sent me drawings to create a 4 foot x 4 foot x whatever size phone booth. I built it in my garage,” Alan Fletcher remembered. “I spoke to Terry and told him it looked pretty big to me but he was sure that was the size he wanted so I invited him out to have a look. After confirming over and over again that the size was correct he walked in and looked and said “Ohhhhhhh that’s big. That’s big isn’t it? and then he laughed and we cut it down in size. To this day we laugh and say “The director has ordered a Terry Sutcliffe sized set piece.” He was so good natured about it. It makes me smile to this day.

Liz Clark remembers Terry as a director in Kiss Me Kate.

“I was a new Mom. It was a big role but Terry was directing so I knew it would be a great process. There was vocal work at the end of Act 1 that really was beyond my capability. Ron Bermingham had done his best to whip me into shape but I was still struggling with the upper range. During one of the rehearsals Terry looked at me and smiled and gave me one of his winks that made his eyes krinkle. He looked at Ron and said “look at this – today she’s going to show herself she’s got the hard stuff down.” Seriously in that moment he really showed me that amidst the humour and casual nature of the rehearsal process he had my back. I left rehearsal knowing I had a friend. This was a gentleman who was funny and talented and open hearted too. It wasn’t about me making “his” show better. It was about me leaving feeling good about the work done. That’s my kind of human.”

Terry’s last appearance with VOS THEATRE was as the puppeteer and the Voice of God in Spamalot. To this day if we hear someone “doing God” in a film or on TV we think “na, Terry did God better”.

Terry’s timing was always impeccable and therefore, even though we wished he could stay with us longer, we trust that he knew it was his time to exit.

A celebration of Terry’s life will be held on Saturday, July 13, 2019 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. with memories shared at 2 p.m. at MacCoubrey’s Funeral Home in Cobourg.

We send our love and support to his wife Gillian Snook.


Congratulations to the 2019 Winner of the Ruth Harcort Scholarship

VOS Theatre is pleased to announce the the 2019 Ruth Harcort Scholarship Winner, Juliette Sinott

Outgoing VOS President Marlena Sculthorpe presents Juliette Sinott with the Ruth Harcort Scholarship

A graduate of St Mary’s Secondary School in Cobourg, Juliette demonstrated the key characteristics of inclusion, ingenuity, commitment and generosity of spirit that the committee sought from candidates.  Her passion for the arts was evident and her artistic experiences have had a profound impact on her life.  Her desire to share those experiences with those around her is inspiring.  She has been involved with school bands, musical theatre performances, and is a proficient harpist.  She has regularly volunteered her time playing at the Northumberland Palliative Care Clinic.

Juliette will attend the University of Ottawa to study a combined Bachelor and Music and Mathematics degree.

In addition to the $1,000 major scholarship, VOS Theatre also awards several bursaries to students from area high schools who have made significant contributions to the arts. Each bursary is worth $500.

VOS Theatre’s 30th Season

Vintage Hitchcock - A Live Radio Play

Suspenseful, fun and a little bit spooky VINTAGE HITCHCOCK will put you in the Hallowe’en spirit. A Live Radio Play by Joe Landry, the play covers all the Hitchcock trademarks; spies, murder and love. In the style of a 1940’s radio broadcast of the master of suspense’s earlier films The Lodger, Sabotage and The 39 Steps, Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play is a triple feature complete with vintage commercials, a daring train chase, a serial killer’s ominous presence, and a devastating explosion through the magic of live sound effects. This spooky, exciting piece is perfect for an October evening.

More information to come on the sumptuous food by Dalewood’s Chef and where to purchase tickets. Watch our website for ticket information and audition dates.


Members Holiday Event

For everyone – VOS Members and friends! Let’s throw a Christmas party and meet to enjoy the spirit of the season and the company of friends. More infomration to follow!


VOS Theatre 30th Anniversary Gala

Thirty years of incredible musicals and productions. Thirty years of hard work raising the bar, thirty years of glitz and glamour and music in Northumberland County. Join us as we celebrate in style. Details to follow but there will be sumptuous food by Dalewood’s Chef and team, music to dance to and some reminiscing. When we’re done looking back, we’ll look forward and announce our November 2020 musical!

Save the date, pull out your best formal wear or costume piece, and get ready for a glamorous celebration!


Shhhhhh… not quite yet.

We’ll announce of November 2020 Musical at our 30th Anniversary Gala!


Coming soon, more information at vostheatre.com

Florence Fletcher: Returning to THE MUSIC MAN after 35 Years

Florence Fletcher
Florence Fletcher

Florence Fletcher with Blair McFadden
Florence Fletcher with Blair McFadden – 1983

VOS THEATRE chatted with Florence Fletcher about her upcoming role in The Music Man and what it’s like to do the show the second time around.

VOS THEATRE: Hey there! So you’re a Pick A Little Lady. What’s fun about those ladies – the characters and the actresses.

Florence Fletcher: The Pick a Littles are a terrific group, we have so much fun whenever we are rehearsing. We have Michele McAdam who plays Eulalie, the Mayor’s wife who is, of course, the leader of our little group. Eulalie likes to think she is better than the rest of us due to her elevated position as the Mayor’s wife. She always has to be in charge. Heather Town in the role of Ethel Toffelmier, the youngster in the pack, is unmarried and by 1912 standards,is the most daring of the women. Maude Dunlop is played by Krista Sluiman, Alma Hix by Kara Milner, Lydia Amaro brings us Mrs. Squires and there’s me rounding out the ladies as Mrs. Brit.

We get some of the best, most comfortable costumes in the show.

Blair and Florence on stage in The Music Man at CDCI West – 1983

VOS: You have a history with the show don’t you?

Florence: I do. The Music Man was the first show I ever performed in Cobourg. That was back in 1983. I auditioned for Ruth Harcort, who was the director of the show, along with a man I did not know at the time, Blair MacFadden. Little did I know at the time that Ruth would cast us as Harold and Marian and that we would still be friends 35 years later!

It was a wonderful experience, I had an absolute blast doing the show and have not stopped being involved in local community theatre since.

VOS: Favourite line in the show.

Florence: But he doesn’t know the territory!

VOS: Favourite song.

Florence: My White Knight. But I also loved the Lida Rose, Will I Ever Tell You number that Marion sings with the Quartet.

VOS:  What’s your best memory of your first experience and what do you hope the VOS THEATRE production will bring.

Florence: The excitement of performing for the first time in a lead role and my father bringing roses to me at the end of the performance that Mum & Dad came to. Also the people I met while working on that show, many of whom I still see around town and are still numbered amongst my friends.

So many things have changed in community theatre in the past 35 years. Our set the first time around was not fully completed until the end of the first weekend. It was always a surprise to come out each night and see what had been added since the night before. I know that the current VOS Theatre production will be a warm, loving portrayal of a wonderfully written show that is an absolute classic. That it will be a smoother, slicker production with wonderful costumes, a terrific set, inspired direction, terrific performances and brilliant music. Community theatre has evolved in the last couple decades.

It’s the kind of show that you come out humming the songs and feeling great – a really marvelous night out.

Jill Baker – The Music Maker behind The Music Man

VOS Theatre caught up with The Music Man’s Orchestra Director Jill Baker for a chat. Here’s what we learned.

VOS THEATRE: You are such an important part of the VOS family. Actors love looking down in the pit and knowing you’ve got them covered and production teams love the fact that you have fun doing what you do and you pull it all together for us. Tell us about leading an orchestra with a group of local musicians.

Jill Baker: Musicals are like a big family pot-luck and I am so honoured to have the best seat in the house! There is so much talent involved in making this all come together from the directors vision to the seamstress’ last stitch to the tuning of the instruments. After seeing the two groups rehearse separately, the day the cast and pit get together to sing through the show is when the magic really begins for me. Everyone plays an important part, I just signal the musical changes to keep the magic alive for the audience.

VOS: Has music always been an important part of your life?

Jill: Absolutely! My family is filled with talent at the piano in bands and choirs and a huge portion of my family sings Barbershop. I’ve been to many countries because of different bands and have proudly worn 3 different military uniforms.

Jill and the Brown Family

VOS: You’re a talented musician as well as a conductor/orchestra director. What do you play? Where did you learn?

Jill: I’ve pretty much done it all except oboe and bagpipes but only dabbled in a few string instruments. I studied trumpet at the University of Western where I learned so many tricks for all the instruments. Currently I play percussion instruments, primarily the timpani. One of the joys in the arts is that you work with so many people from different experiences and are constantly learning from each other.

Jill Baker with The Concert Band of Cobourg
Jill with The Concert Band of Cobourg

VOS: You do a lot of work in the community with theatre companies and with The Concert Band of Cobourg What is it that fuels you?

Jill: People! Even in long rehearsals so many fun things happen to make us all laugh and I love reminiscing together during social times. I also love being so close with the audience with the VOS shows. It’s fun having a chat with them during intermission.

VOS: The Music Man – tell us about the score or about what drives the music in this show.

Jill: This is such a classic musical in many ways but it’s hard to find anyone who hasn’t heard the song Goodnight Ladies or 76 trombones! The amazing pairing of the melodies creates fun harmonies in Lisa Rose/ Will I everTell you and Goodnight my Someone/76 Trombones. If you don’t leave the show with a bunch of tunes in your head then … Ya got Trouble!

Melissa Baker
Melissa Baker

VOS: Your girl is in this production with the VOS! She’s such a lovely addition to the team. Fun right?

Jill: Oh my gosh yes! It’s a bit of surprise but it’s amazing to see her excitement hard work and dedication to catching up with all the choreo. I can’t wait to see her in those cute costumes!


See Jill and her orchestra at the VOS Theatre Production of The Music Man runs from April 25th to May 4th at Victoria Hall in Cobourg.

Reserve them today before they’re gone!

Get Tickets Now or call the box office:  1-855-372-2210