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Theatre group saves historic building slated for demolition

An old historic building in Stratford that was slated for demolition will now instead house a burgeoning local theatre group.

The Here For Now Theatre has announced they will be taking over and renovating the old Perth County Registry Office into a micro black box theatre space, which will house the theatre for the next 15 seasons. Artistic Director, Fiona Mongillo, says the fit in the old building for the theatre was perfect.

"It was a natural step in our evolution, we need a space. So we had been on the lookout for something and when I found out that this building had been slated for demolition, I decided to take a quick little look, and when we walked into it, it just felt like a theatre, like it was meant to be a little micro theatre venue. So then I started applying for funding and putting some wheels in motion," Mongillo said excitedly.

Mongillo notes that the current theatre operates out of a large tent in Stratford. She says the old registry office will be a perfect fit because it provides lots of opportunity for growth.

"We're planning to move to a four season model. So instead of having to operate under a tent in the summer for two months and jam pack our schedule, we're hoping to be able to do a show every couple of months throughout the entire year, which will enable us to expand our workshops and development of the plays that we're producing, which will support the quality of the work," Mongillo said. "Also, it will support the tourism economy in Stratford, because it's great to have offseason events that are still drawing people into Stratford."

For those who don't know, the Here For Now Theatre offers a look at up-and-coming plays and talent in the theatre industry.

"We see ourselves as an 'Off Broadway' type of company. So we are a smaller company that focuses on new works. So these are plays that have recently been written or plays that we've even commissioned," explained Mongillo. "And our plays tend to be one act, so that means that they're shorter format plays, they're an hour to an hour-and-a-half, typically. So people who aren't necessarily used to going to the theatre, or theatre isn't really their thing, sometimes they find our work really accessible and exciting."

Renovations are set to begin at the old registry office in the immediate future with a plan to have the doors open in June of 2025.

The Here For Now Theatre is entering its fifth season this year. You can find out more about the upcoming plays and details on the new theatre space at

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