Based on London’s 1599 Globe Theatre, the open-air playhouse was constructed at the Fortress of Louisbourg by Walt Disney Studios for the motion picture Squanto: A Warrior’s Tale. After filming wrapped up, the structure was donated to Louisbourg and relocated to our site just off the main street of the Town.
Since opening to the public in 1994, the Louisbourg Playhouse has presented hundreds of performers to thousands of visitors during our Island’s busy tourist season. We try to provide something for everyone, from our local residents to our welcomed visitors.
The idea of a performing arts centre on the site of the Louisbourg Playhouse originated in 1990 when the Town of Louisbourg developed a plan for revitalizing its downtown area. The plan noted the lack of evening entertainment for visitors to the town and recommended erecting an outdoor amphitheatre for the purpose now occupied by the Playhouse on Aberdeen Street.
In 1993, Louisbourg played host to a Walt Disney film production, Squanto: A Warrior’s Tale. Based on a true story, the movie chronicles the adventures of Squanto, a Native American captured by English slavers in 1615 near what is now Cape Cod and taken to Plymouth, England. In the film, the Fortress of Louisbourg was standing in for Plymouth and, as part of the movie set, a 17th century style theatre was constructed at the Fortress. The theatre was based on Shakespeare’s original Globe Theatre in London and was opened to the sky in the center. The theatre was featured prominently in several scenes of the movie.
After filming, Don Carmody Productions donated the theatre to the community on the condition that it be removed from the Fortress. In the fall of 1993, the Louisbourg Planning Commission, with the assistance of the local labour pool, dismantled and moved the theatre to its present location on Aberdeen Street. It was the first step in creating a much needed venue for performing arts in the town of Louisbourg.