Stage Kiss

Two actors with a “history” are cast together as romantic leads in a forgotten 1930’s melodrama. They quickly lose touch with reality as the story onstage follows them offstage. 

Stage Kiss is a charming tale about what happens when lovers share a stage kiss or when actors share a real one. A romantic comedy and backstage farce by one of the most awarded contemporary writers.

Stage Kiss is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French Inc., a Concord Theatricals Company.

October 18 - November 3, 2019

8:00 PM (6:00pm Dinner) – Oct 18, 19, 25, 26; Nov 1, 2
7:00 PM (5:00 Dinner) – Oct 20, 27; Nov 3

$56, all included

Best Western Plus Cobourg Inn & Convention Centre
930 Burnham St., Cobourg

Buy Tickets

Call 905-372-2105 to reserve your seat, or stop by the Best Western front desk.

Ask about group discounts.

Director's Notes

Sarah Ruhl has one of the most distinctive voices in American Contemporary Theatre. She has described her writing as ‘three dimensional poetry’. Stage Kiss is a curious blending of frothy and contemplative. A deep study into the differences between real love and romantic love, set in a poorly written 1930’s melodrama - it explores the universe of artifice vs. reality. Is life imitating art, or is it the other way around? And is a kiss ever JUST a kiss?

What I love so much about this play is that each character plays multiple roles and these roles begin to blend with one another until we are not sure who is who and what is real… this is a true challenge for all the actors and I think they’ve pulled it off brilliantly.

Stage Kiss employs the devices of a ‘theatre production’ and not one but two ‘plays within a play’ to tell the story of He and She. The set is a charming combination of on stage, backstage, and off stage with very little physical distinction between what is real and what is ‘staged’. The audience may even begin to question…

It’s been such a pleasure to work with a cast full of dedicated and very talented actors. Real life couple Kate Shuker and Matt Blundell have made the awkwardness of a passionate STAGE KISS a non-issue, although they’ve had to really work at making some kisses seem awkward!  Art imitating life imitating art imitating life…?

Thank you to everyone at The Northumberland Players - on and off stage, and behind the scenes who worked so hard to help pull my vision together. As you will soon see, it’s not easy to describe this play, but everyone was so patient with me while I worked through the creative process. Thanks for making my first time directing for the stage so much fun.

I hope that you will enjoy Stage Kiss as much as I have!

- Kim Brouwer, Director

Cast & Creative Team



Simply Hilarious from Start to Finish

You are about to read a review that will be so full of over-the-top superlatives you will start to wonder what has happened to my command of the language.

I am totally, 100 per cent, completely, without a shadow of a doubt, crazy in love with the Northumberland Players’ latest production at the Best Western Dinner Theatre.

Stage Kiss, which I had never heard of, written by Sarah Ruhl, whom I had never heard of, is simply the funniest show I have ever seen or heard. And I’m talking theatre, radio, TV, cinema, school auditorium, church hall or my living room. It is simply hilarious from start to finish.

At first, I was embarrassed about my inability to stop laughing — out loud and really loud. That was until I realized that everyone in the theatre was behaving the same way.

What an evening. I was delightedly exhausted when I left.

Ruhl’s work is revered in theatre. Not surprising. And this play gets rave reviews everywhere.

I’ll try to explain it. Stage Kiss is basically a three-for-all: onstage, offstage and backstage.

Two actors are married in real life. They start rehearsals for a really dreadful 1930s play in which She plays the wife of He (they are not named, and in the program are called She and He), a man played by an ex-lover of hers in real life. Stay with me.

The shenanigans start when She has to kiss her onstage husband He, the offstage ex-lover. (Is it a stage kiss or a real kiss?) Her offstage husband plays another part in the play and is oblivious to what the Stage Kiss turns into. Still with me?

Trust me, you will understand when you see it, and see it you must.

Just to make it even more interesting, the actors who play He and She are a couple in real life: Kate Shuker and Matt Blundell. They are brilliant, as is every single actor in the play. She’s offstage husband Harrison is Neil Torrie; the play’s director is Bill Walker; and Justine Benteau, Diana Carr and Christopher Sharp play a bunch of parts; and Christine Sharp accompanies He and She when they break into song. All are superb actors and truly hilarious.

And all of this is put together by first-time director Kim Brouwer. It is a tour de force. Some very clever touches. You should be very proud, Kim.

Of course, there are dozens of NP volunteers who make it all work, and I wish I could name them all, but you’ll find out when you get there and read your program. Please make absolutely certain you get there. You will not be disappointed.

Call 905-372-2105 for $56 tickets. The play runs until Nov. 3.

Originally published in the Northumberland News

Selena Forsyth, play reviewer

My face was sore from laughing!
Andrew K., patron

The Best Western Plus Cobourg


The Best Western Plus Cobourg Inn & Convention Centre is located at the corner of Burnham/William St. and Elgin St.


930 Burnham St.
Cobourg, ON
K9A 2X9


Dinner is served 2 hours prior to the start of the performance (6pm for 8pm shows; 5pm for 7pm shows). Enjoy a full carvery buffet, delicious desserts, and a bar!