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Lucky Stiff will kick off MAT's ambitious new season

'It's a classic farce and hysterically funny,' director says; Auditions planned for Diary of Anne Frank
2018-09-16 MAT.jpg
Peter Merkle (The Solicitor) & James Fairbairn (Vinnie) rehearse for Lucky Stiff. The Mariposa Arts Theatre production will kick off the group's new season in November. Contributed photo


Mariposa Arts Theatre (MAT) opens its new season with the zany musical Lucky Stiff in the Orillia Opera House in November. 

In the meantime, auditions are already coming up for MAT’s next production, the inspirational classic Diary of Anne Frank.

Lucky Stiff is an offbeat, hilarious murder mystery farce, complete with mistaken identities, six million bucks in diamonds and a corpse in a wheelchair.

The story revolves around an unassuming English shoe salesman who is forced to take the embalmed body of his recently murdered uncle on a vacation to Monte Carlo. Should he succeed in passing his uncle off as alive, Harry Witherspoon stands to inherit $6,000,000. If not, the money goes to the Universal Dog Home of Brooklyn... or else his uncle's gun-toting ex!

Director Michael Clipperton, no stranger to Orillia as a former high school drama teacher  and for the much-praised Spamalot, says, “It’s classic farce and hysterically funny. The audience will be really surprised, not least by the creativeness of the costumes.”

Lucky Stiff plays at the Studio Theatre for a two-week run starting Nov.1. Tickets are $25 ($20 for groups of 10 or more) available from or the box office 705-326-8011.

MAT will be auditioning for The Diary of Anne Frank, looking for three young people and 10 adults to play characters with a wide range of ages. The play marks the return of director Ron Payne to Orillia two years after his sold-out production of The War Show

“This is an opportunity for newcomers to community theatre to join with experienced actors,” says producer John Caryl. “And it’s such a moving story.”

Auditions will be Sept. 28-29 and Oct. 1 at the MAT Centre, 12 Brammer Drive. Details available from Caryl at or 705-327-9759.

Visitors may be able to sneak a peek at the audition process when the MAT Centre welcomes the public as part of Open Doors Orillia on Sept. 29, as well as viewing the scenery workshop, costumes, props and rehearsal space.

MAT has also announced the fall program for MAT Film Nights at Orillia Galaxy Cinemas. 

With screenings at 4 and 7 p.m., usually on the first and third Wednesday of each month, Film Nights present Orillia with movies from the Toronto International Film Festival, often films that would not otherwise be shown in town.

The season opened with Three Identical Strangers and continues with Leave No Trace (Sept. 19), The Miseducation of Cameron Post (Oct. 3), The Wife (Oct. 17), The Children Act (Nov 7) and, finally, Colette (Nov 14).

Details about MAT Film Nights and the rest of MAT’s program can be found at