HOW WE FIRST MET – The Valentine’s favorite that could feature your love life!


An Improvised Celebration of Love created by Jill Bourque that could feature your love life!
Join us for our much loved 8th annual performance!


Embark on a side-splitting improvised journey through meeting, dating, and mating as selected couples tell their
“how we first met” stories. Our most advanced improvisers will recreate and hiliariously magnify those pivotal story moments to create funny and touching scenes. Every year the resounding clear feedback from audience members is: “you made us fall in love all over again”.

What began as a one-time Valentine’s show in San Francisco in 2001 has played in dozens of cities in the
U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia and Norway! Since its inception, the show has featured a wide range of couples, gay, straight, conservative, liberal, married 50 years, dating three weeks or anything in between…
all sharing a kooky crazy thing we call Love!

Advance Tickets highly recommended
Tickets $15ea/$25 couple


MESSAGES FROM SPIRIT with Ursula Darby Aug 19th one show only


Messages from Spirit

Renowned psychic medium Ursula Darby will be appearing at the Staircase Theatre, 27 Dundurn St. North, in Hamilton on Wednesday, August 19th from 7:30pm to 9:30pm.

Ursula astounds audiences with her unique ability to communicate with the spirit world. As a medium she delivers messages to loved ones from those that have passed on. She reveals important accurate details about their presence, activities, characteristics, often including their name and personal connections not shared with anyone but the recipient of the message. These spirits reveal themselves to her and pass on information that brings audience members to tears of joy and amazement and often, closure.

Ursula Darby has been a psychic and medium since early childhood. She emphasizes that the sprit world is not something to fear but to embrace. It’s not about dark rooms, shady characters and crystal balls. She says it’s a very straightforward process. She does it with compassion and honesty. As a former stand up comedienne, her sharp wit, and wonderful sense of humor makes for a very compelling show.

For more information or to book an interview please contact Ursula @ 647-863-7133




The Staircase is pleased to be the largest Bring Your Own Venue  as part of The Hamilton Fringe Festival. We have 6 stellar theatrical productions on site…so grab your program from the Fringe, order your ticket and make a day of it here! See as many shows as you can under one roof, relax before, after, in between in our cafe and grab a beverage or snack….then head back in to be amazed by our productions, comedy, drama, dance, clown….and if that isn’t enough well we will have events happening after the shows to highlight our Fringe performers daily! So make a day of it! Come take in the fun that is The Fringe!






Bloom is a new piece of interdisciplinary theatre created from a series of interviews with young adults living with mental illness. Originally conceived as an undergraduate thesis of writer/director, Jill Kooymans, Bloom seeks to give an honest voice to a group of people who have yet to be accurately represented in theatre. The addition of Alyssa Nedich’s contemporary dance and R.A. Ducharme’s original music fills the void of what cannot be articulated in words. Performing from July 16-26 in the main space of The Staircase Cafe Theatre, the marrying of real words from real people with the emotional interpretive dance leads to an exciting, educational and moving piece of groundbreaking theatre.

Show times:

Thursday July 16th @ 7:00pm
Friday July 17th @ 7:00pm
Saturday July 18th @ 8:45pm
Sunday July 19th @ 3:30pm
Monday July 20th @ 5:15pm
Tuesday July 21st @ 7:30pm
Thursday July 23rd @ 7:00pm
Friday July 24th @ 8:45pm
Saturday July 25th @ 9:35pm
Sunday July 26th @ 7:30pm

Written/Directed by: Jillian Kooymans
Choreographed by: Alyssa Nedich
Music Composed by: Riley Alex Ducharme
Stage Managed/Designed by: Marianne Jette
Produced by: Hammer Entertainment


Woman 1 – Kristi Boulton
Woman 2 – Hannah Wayne
Woman 3 – Sarah Granger
Woman 4 – Lynne Sargent
Man 1 – Sam Houpt
Man 2 – Jack Quail
Female Dancer – Alyssa Nedich
Male Dancer – Cameron Buttrum


ROWING“I will not vanish.”Straight from their successful full-house run of “Here” at Theatre Aquarius in 2014, Chrysalis Workshop returns to Hamilton with a machine gun paced, brutal comeback comedy in “Rowing” at the Hamilton Fringe Festival!After losing their first race in 51 years, it’s a long night for Westdale’s community rowing team. Team captain Mark is missing, first seat Howie is going through a quiet mental breakdown and no one is coming to their charity fundraiser. Written and directed by Aaron Jan (A Language for Dogs, Antigone, Winner: best of fringe 2012 for Drafts) and filled with party games, pyromania and encounters with emerging psychopaths, Rowing is a fast paced, strangely violent, coming of age story about what it means to be a winner in Hamilton, Ontario and the monsters we become when we fail.

Chrysalis Workshop was founded in 2014 as a collaboration between Aaron Jan (Director of Drafts, Best of Fringe 2012) and Samuel Chang (Director of Nocturne, Critic’s Choice Award 2013) to produce workshop productions of original pieces that engaged a younger generation of theatre goers in the developmental process. Not a place for first or final drafts, Chrysalis Workshop seeks to create heroes onstage for young Hamiltonian audiences. Rowing features an equally emerging team of young artists from across the GTA, including Madeleine Brown (Brother Brother, InspiraTO), Courtney Keir (Fever /Dream, Seven Siblings Theatre), Jordan Laffrenier (A Little too Close to Home, Best of Venue – Hamilton Fringe 2013), Andrew Markowiak (Close Encounters, Last Seen Alive, Discovery Channel), Zach Parkhurst (The End of the Tour, A24 Films), many of whom are Fringe newcomers, eager to prove themselves to a new city.

Rowing is the story of what it means to grow up in a city with an abandoned downtown core and to dream of a better life. Don’t miss this chance to see what this exciting group of young artists can do. See who survives the night.

Chrysalis Workshop in association with The Hamilton Fringe and The Staircase Café and Theatre presents…


Featuring: Madeleine Brown, Rachel Estok, Courtney Keir, Jordan Laffrenier, Andrew Markowiak, Zach Parkhurst and Ben Siapas

Written and Directed by Aaron Jan
Dramaturg: Lucy Powis
Rehearsal Stage Manager: Shannon Hipson
Production Stage Manager: Jess Keenan
Lighting Designer: Logan Cracknell
Sound Designer: Jason Thomson
Fight Choreographer: Neil Silcox
Graphic Design: Jordan Laffrenier


Onstage: July 17-26th (Check for more information on showtimes and dates)
Venue: The Staircase Café and Theatre (27 Dundurn St North)

July 17th – 10:30 PM
July 18th – 7:00 PM
July 19th – 5:30 PM
July 20th – 8:05 PM
July 21st – 6:00 PM
July 22nd – 7:30 PM
July 23rd – 8:45 PM
July 24th – 7:00 PM
July 25th – 6:00 PM
July 26th – 5:30 PM

Please note that there is no latecomer seating
Tickets: $10 + a one time purchase of a Fringe backer button ($5)
Online: / by phone: 289-698-2234 / or at the door
TICKETS ON SALE SOON. SEATING IS EXTREMELY LIMITED. Book ahead to avoid disappointment.


COMMERCIALSCommercials-On-The-Run-Theatre, with the generous support of hammertheatre, is happy to announce their production of Sky Gilbert’s Commercials for Hamilton at the 2015 Hamilton Fringe Festival. Commercials for Hamilton, a hit last fall at Hamilton’s Staircase Café Theatre, returns with a new cast, Duncan Rowe (Roy) and Andrei Preda (Sanders) written and directed by Sky Gilbert.Commercials for Hamilton, pits two advertising execs against each other in an office near Jackson Square. Their mission: sell Hamilton to the thousands of potential condo-owners migrating to the city. The question: how should they sell this great city?Hamilton Fringe Festival July 16-26

Thursday July 16 8:45pm
Friday July 17 8:45pm
Saturday July 18 10:30pm
Sunday July 19 7:15pm
Wednesday July 22 9:15pm
Friday July 24 5:30pm
Saturday July 25 8:00pm
Sunday July 26 4:00pm

ONEMOONBefore Christel, aka Caroline Bierman embarks on her UK ONEymoon to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, your presence is requested at the wedding of Caroline at the Hamilton Fringe. Audiences join Caroline as her family & friends toast her unusual day, and get a sneak peak at her vacation and rise to fame. Your presence is gift enough.4 time Canadian Comedy Award nominee presents her brand new version of her hit Show.”The Bite of Chirstine Baranski & and the sharp tongue of Cloris Leachman” Hamilton Spectator

“Overflowing with charisma…a manically gifted actor” Vancouver Terminal Weekly

“Julie Andrews gone Wild” Montreal Gazette

“A Human Fireball” See Magazine-Edmonton

Created & Performed by Christel Bartelse
Directed by Paul Hutcheson

Thurs July 16-7pm
Fri July 17-8:30pm
Sat July 18-7pm
Sun July 19- 7:30pm
Tues July 21-8pm
Wed July 22-8pm
Thurs July 23-8:30pm
Fri July 24-8:30pm
Sat July 25-6pm

Tickets $10 ($5 backer button required) for tickets or more info.

Please visit: to help me raise money for my UK Tour.


Playwright: Peter Ormond
Director: Peter Ormond
Cast: Peter Ormond, additional cast members TBA

Show Type:


Running Time: 45 minutes

We all experience different lives. They are moulded by our starting points and choices throughout. The Greening of Life plays on that reality of our self (eco) as part of the greater whole (ego). Be the life half-full or half-empty, choices are compared on the greatest stage: real life.

Show Times:
Thur, July 16 8:30pm
Fri, July 17 7:00pm
Sat, July 18 8:30pm
Tue, July 21 7:00pm
Thur, July 23 7:00pm
Fri, July 24 7:00pm
Sat, July 25 8:15pm
Sun, July 26 7:00pm

Tickets: $10 (Fringe Backer Button required)



The Cockwhisperer-A Love Story Winnipeg Fringe 3x3 program imageFrom three-time Canadian Comedy Award – nominated Colette Kendall, creator of the Smash Hits Tippi Seagram’s Happy Hour & Who’s Afraid Of Tippi Seagram Comes…The Cockwhisperer… A Love Story
The story of one woman’s quest to find the love and the penis of her dreams. A phallic journey both humorous and dark.
***** The Edmonton Sun
“The masterful storyteller brings a laugh a line from the get go, until she masters a dramatic mood
change. Her storytelling is self-deprecating, honest, painful and hilarious all over the course of
the hour.”
4/4 The Beat
The show’s notable weakness is probably its strength; it is too short. I cannot remember a show
where an hour went by so fast and I was left with a profound disappointment like a child who sees a
treat wafted away from her. Is there not anymore of this? Why not?

****Winnipeg Sun

‘This one-woman show is honest, revealing and will have you laughing from the moment the lights dim
to the moment you leave. But don’t be fooled; it’s not all fun and games. Serious moments are
interwoven to create a well-rounded and empowered performance.

The Georgia Straight
‘The Cockwhisperer’s mix of standup and stories, she still speaks audaciously about sex… but she
also talks about the darkness of being sexually dominated. Tippi’s great, but Colette Kendall without the wig is more compelling – and funnier – because she cuts deeper.’

Allison M Jones, The View
‘The Cockwhisperer… A Love Story provides an unblushing look at love, sex, relationships, power, pain and choice…it promises bawdy humour, deft storytelling, poignant moments, and one unflinching solo performer’

Theatre In London
‘Put your delicate sensibilities aside and get past the title, because this show should not be missed.’

Brian Carroll, Apt 613
Iʼve never seen a Colette Kendall show before. Iʼve read the reviews. Kendall has personally flyered me in Winnipeg for her shows Tippi Seagramʼs Happy Hour, Whoʼs Afraid of Tippi Seagram and
The Cockwhisperer – A Love Story. Twitter buddies across the Fringe circuit have recommended The Cockwhisperer. But itʼs never risen to the top of my Fringe to-do list. So Iʼve never seen her
perform … Until now. This was a mistake. A BIG mistake… What won me over wasnʼt her humour ….No, what won me over was her honesty and courage to talk to a live audience about a very dangerous and painful time of her life.

Thursday July 16, 7pm.
Friday July 17, 8pm.

Saturday July 18, 8pm.

Sunday July 19, 7pm.

Tuesday July 21, 7pm.
Wednesday July 22, 7pm.
Thursday July 23, 8pm.

Friday July 24, 7pm.
Saturday July 25, 8pm.

Sunday July 26, 7pm.



HOW WE FIRST MET- FEB 13 and 14th

An Improvised Celebration of Love created by Jill Bourque.
Join us for our 7th annual performance!


Embark on a side-splitting improvised journey through meeting, dating, and mating as selected couples tell their
“how we first met” stories. Our most advanced improvisers will recreate and hiliariously magnify those pivotal story moments to create funny and touching scenes. Feedback we most receive is “we fell in love all over again”.

What began as a one-time Valentine’s show in San Francisco in 2001 has played in dozens of cities in the
U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia and Norway! Since its inception, the show has featured a wide range of couples, gay, straight, conservative, liberal, married 50 years, dating three weeks or anything in between…
all sharing a kooky crazy thing we call Love!

Tickets $15ea/$25 couple


Colette Kendall's photo.

Comedy, Events, Front Pager, Theatre, Workshop



A solo performance piece by






For 2 shows only, Vancouver Based Playwright extraordinaire,  TJ DAWE will be stopping by the Staircase to treat us to a performance of his newest Solo offering MARATHON.

TJ Dawe is one of those rare gems of a monologist…as a performer he is known as “a Fringe God” on the Canadian and International Fringe Festival scene… when not performing himself, his works are a mainstay of the circuit produced by multiple companies at a time in any given city. Even Hollywood has taken notice, TJ co-wrote ‘Toothpaste and Cigars’ which has just been made into the blockbuster ” The F Word” starring Daniel Radcliffe….

TJ is stopping by Hamilton to do 2 SHOWS ONLY!!!

Friday Nov 14 8pm and Saturday Nov 15 8pm….
he will also lead a CREATIVITY WORKSHOP on Sunday Nov 16th
Please contact me at 905-529-3000 to reserve a ticket for either show or to register for the workshop…honestly, you don’t want to miss out on this opportunity to catch TJ while he’s here




Sunday Nov 16 th, 10:00AM5.30pm

Cost: $100

Facilitated by Lindsay Robertson and TJ Dawe

Being creative is good for the soul. Ancient people knew this. Communities bonded as people sang together. Everyone danced. People told stories and painted and made music Nowadays, most of us are spectators instead of participants. To be creative is therapeutic and beneficial to the entire community.This one day workshop will focus on helping participants access their creative impulses, and develop a practice to regularly engage in some creative activity.To help participants better understand the inner forces that may be in their way, as well as the inner resources that can help them, they’ll be guided through an exploration of the three instincts – an aspect of the personality type system The Enneagram. Participants will leave with a practical, actionable, individual plan detailing how they can make a creative endeavour of their choice a regular part of their life. No knowledge of the Enneagram is required, nor do participants need to have any experience in the arts.TJ and Lindsay have studied the Enneagram for close to ten years, having presented at multiple conferences on the subject. They’ve taken workshops in San Francisco and New York, and will soon get their teacher certification from the Enneagram Institute.



A solo performance by Paul Hutcheson




Paul Hutcheson is one of the Staircase’s favourite performers having brought his one man shows The First time, On Second Thought, Homo and Whore coupled with Cameryn Moore, Paul’s Pride package and From The Prairies with Love….join us for the launch of his newest show STUPEFIED!

Paul Hutcheson discusses everything that stupefies him, including teaching teenagers, sex and all the unique relationships we foster in a lifetime.
“For those who like their men nervous and confessional (think David Sedaris rather than Woody Allen) get ready to propose.” X-tra West
“he demonstates a wonderful set of performing chops and comedic timing to die for.” -Calgary Herald

TICKETS $15 905-529-3000


Announcement, Comedy, Dance, Drama, Events, Music, Theatre, Uncategorized

Fringe Emergency Venue Sun 21st of July

Due to Hamilton’s Category 1/2 hurricane on Friday The L yric Theatre is closed for the weekend. It’s not too hard to carry sets a block away to The Staircase? Is it? Today only The Staircase hosts 3 wonderful Fringe events.

Asylum 2pm










Playwright: Russel Niessen, Stephen Ingram, River Guard, Emma Greve
Cast: River Guard, Russel Niessen, Rachel Estok, Kit Simmons, Camille Intson
Jennifer Francis, Nora Fenton, Jaqueline Gruba, Radu Ciobor, David Gibble, Bart Ronde
Director: Russel Niessen

Show Type: Rock Music
Audience: General
Warning: Mature Content, Strobes

Running Time: 55 Minutes

Asylum is a rock musical centering around the lives of patients and hospital staff in a 1940’s Asylum. Asylum contains historical facts about mental illness, electroconvulsive therapy, and patient treatment in that time period. Love, loss, friendships, power struggles, fear, and the importance of freedom are all examined in the lives of those within the Asylum in this fast paced, attention grabbing musical. $10 at 2pm.


Baby Redboots’ Revenge 3:40pm










Playwright: Philip-Dimitri Galas
Directors: Anne Meighan, Lynne Griffin
Cast: Sean Sullivan

Show Type: Avante-Vaudville
Audience: General
Warning: Mature Content, Language

Running Time: 65 Minutes

Baby Redboots’ Revenge tells the darkly comic tale of a former child star whose voice changed belatedly at the age of 25. All grown up and all burnt out, Baby is now trapped playing stand-up bass in a polka band for all eternity. Determined to free himself from the curse of his old partner, he goes on a show-business iconoclastic joy-rage of fantastically monstrous proportions. $10 at 3:40pm.


DanceGarbage 5pm







Playwright & Director: Paul Gordon
Cast: Paul Gordon

Show Type: Comedy
Audience: General
Warning: Language

Running Time: 90 Minutes

For 16 years, Paul Gordon’s charismatic performances have been seen by an estimated 1.5 billion TV watchers worldwide.  Fade out, fade in: Paul is home working as a garbage man, cleaning up his flooded hometown.  Filled with surrealistic stories from vantage points most of us never get – the landfill and the world’s concert stages – DanceGarbage levels the playing field for all jobs while engaging Paul’s muscles, sweat and skill in this entertaining amalgam of the weird, fun and funny. $10 at 5pm.

Announcement, Improv Comedy, Improv Workshop, Theatre

The WorkShow 9pm Tuesday







The Workshow is an improvised comedy show that is mostly show with a bit of workshop. The improv actors on stage make comedy scenes from audience suggestions. It is about half open scenes and half handles (games). Notes are given to the actors, host and tech as the show progresses. Audience is welcome to join in post show notes. The show is one hour long and costs $5. Even Less Details! Click here.

Announcement, Drama, Front Pager, Theatre, Uncategorized

The Staircase Minor Variance Application (HM-A-13:75)

Variance application was successful! Thanks to all the wonderfuliferous support from our neighbours and beyond.

Dear Staircase Supporters,

We need your help to convince the Committee of Adjustments that The Staircase is worthy of being forgiven a few parking spaces so that we can continue to operate as usual.
The Issue
We need to increase the occupancy in The Staircase building, and there is not enough on site parking (according to the city).
You can see the result of the petition below. Mr. Baldry has received more than 70 letters of support and no complaints as of last Thursday. The support has been wonderfully overwhelming! Thanks to one and all. We meet the committee of adjustment at 2:35pm on June 6th 2013 in room 192/193 at 70 Main street (city hall). You are welcome to come by and see city hall in process. However only come by if you are free or have the time. Decorum would be expected regardless of the outcome.  Each case is only scheduled for 5 minutes. Our case has been fully made, with thanks to you all.
How To Help.
Please send an email/letter. Pertinent information is at This is a time sensitive topic as the Committee of Adjustments will hear our case on June 6th. Please spread the word and send everyone you know to
Thank you
Colette Kendall, Executive Director
Hugh MacLeod and Kathy Garneau, Owners


[emailpetition id=”2″]
Announcement, Improv Comedy, Improv Workshop, Theatre

The Workshow Tuesday 8:30pm

Workshow2012_600The Workshow is a weekly improv comedy event that is part workshop, part show, and all fun. Catch Hamilton’s top comedy improvisers get put through their paces in an evening of smart challenging improv comedy. It is the funniest class you will ever watch. The Workshow happens Tuesdays at 8:30pm (doors Open at 8:20pm). Located on the mainstage at The Staircase. General admission $5, cash only. Call 905.923.3042 for info or if you can’t get in.

Announcement, Comedy, Improv Comedy, Theatre, Workshop

The Workshow Tuesday 8:30pm

The Workshow is Hamilton’s longest running theatre show! This weekly improv comedy event is part workshop, part show and all fun. Watch Hamilton’s top improvisers get put through their paces in a public display of how to learn improv comedy. Definitely the funniest class you will ever attend. The show starts at 8:30pm every Tuesday and takes place at The Staircase. General admission is pay what you think its worth, usu $4.Door Open at 8:20pm. Cash Only.