About DSP

Durham Shoestring Performers
In 2023-24, 50 Years of Accessible Theatre

Oshawa’s downtown community theatre was founded in 1974 by Jeannine Butler, whose objectives are followed by her successors today – to present challenging and entertaining plays with an emphasis on innovative acting, writing, directing and design and to produce these plays keeping costs low so that live theatre can be accessible to all members of the community.

In 2022 DSP incorporated as a not-for-profit Ontario corporation. The current Board members are Carolyn Wilson (President), Laurie Scattergood (Treasurer), Joan Taylor (Secretary), Christy Chase,  Jeff Kellar, Andra Kelly and Sheri Pereira.

DSP programs many shows not often seen in community theatre and has produced several new full-length works by local writers. Canadian plays have been prominently featured over the years. DSP’s goal each season is to balance available roles across gender, age and experience lines in keeping with DSP’s accessibility mandate, ensuring that backstage workers find their niche as well.

All auditions are public and there are no monologues required to participate in the company. Adults and teenagers wanting to perform or to work backstage are always welcome. There’s no membership fee to get involved in DSP, just a desire to create a few theatrical waves and the time and commitment to make it happen.

DSP has performed all seasons from the Arts Resource Centre behind Oshawa City Hall. Because of the intimacy of the 100 seat “fishbowl”, this venue affords a powerful theatrical experience for audiences; no seat is more than 8 metres from the stage. DSP chooses plays that suit this close contact well. We strive to program many Canadian scripts.

A scroll through our Archives offers a full listing of past productions. Not your usually expected community theatre fare, but an affordable pleasure for the adventurous theatre-goer.

DSP’s next season is announced annually in mid-summer.

Scripts can be borrowed for advance reading of the plays, and people interested in backstage, design or production work are also welcome to attend any audition – no performance necessary, but to let us know you’d like to be involved.