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Refettorio outdoor theatre still set to open this summer

The downtown Sudbury outdoor theatre is still on track to open this summer, in time for Shania Twain tribute shows and a staging of Romeo and Juliet, both to debut in August

The Refettorio outdoor theatre is still slated to open in downtown Sudbury this summer, with a performance of Romeo and Juliet slated to signal its grand opening.

“It’s very exciting,” YES Theatre founder Alessandro Costantini told 

“I can’t wait to see the community here and to celebrate the work we’ve done and contribute to making our city a glorious cultural hub.”

Those behind the effort used “‘no’ as a speed boost,” he added.

“There were a lot of hurdles here ... and we were just sort of relentless in our dream.”

Ground broke on the project in November 2022, when it was projected to cost $2.7 million.

As with many other infrastructure projects in recent years, Costantini noted its costs have increased, with the outdoor theatre facility now anticipated to cost approximately $3 million.

Having built in enough wiggle room in the project’s finances, Costantini said they’ll be able to absorb the added cost without affecting the build.

During construction, however, a few minor changes did take place.

A large tree they’d initially planned on retaining was chopped down after an arborist determined it wasn’t salvageable, and Costanitini said it’s going to be repurposed as Christmas ornaments.

Bleacher seating will now be movable chairs to accommodate different activities, the kitchen remains a work in progress and some other minor alterations have taken place.

“We’ve maintained everything that we set out to originally do,” Costantini said, adding that they’ve retained the original vision, with minor modifications as more information came forward about certain practical things like technology.

Walking through the site this week, a crew was seen working on the two-storey structure at the north side of the formerly vacant lot on Durham Street the outdoor theatre is being constructed on.

The first floor contains a universal washroom, kitchen and gelateria (Italian-style ice cream bar). The second floor includes additional washrooms and a Juliet-style balcony. 

There’s also room in the building for technical equipment and storage.

The outdoor stage is on the south side of the property, with the original brick siding of existing buildings to the south and west sides partially enclosing the space.

“The space is intentionally designed to be a minimalist jungle gym,” Costantini said. “This isn’t the place where we’re going to be doing large sets, intricate lighting, it’s mostly going to be a place where artists can come and try things.

“It’s a very unique piece of infrastructure that’s specifically looking to support the more .. indie scene in the city; something that is highly accessible to emerging artists or emerging ideas.”

The Refettorio’s grand opening date is Aug. 8, when a month-long run of Romeo and Juliet is slated to begin. A run of Forever and for Always: The Music of Shania Twain will kick off the following evening.

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for


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Tyler Clarke

About the Author: Tyler Clarke

Tyler Clarke covers city hall and political affairs for
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