Artistic Director

//Artistic Director
Artistic Director 2017-05-11T17:08:29+00:00

Artistic Director: Derek Ritschel

artistic_director_derek_ritschelDerek Ritschel’s success was predicted by none other than Canada’s most-produced playwright, Norm Foster, who has called him the “future of theatre in this country.”

Prior to taking over as the new Artistic Director of Showboat Festival Theatre in 2013, Derek Ritschel spent the previous 15 years as an actor, writer, director and Artistic Director for Lighthouse Festival Theatre in Port Dover, Ontario. In total, he has directly participated in 505 Lighthouse Theatre performances in some way.

Since his appointment at Showboat Festival Theatre, Derek has been dedicated to presenting high quality professional theatre with a focus on Canadian artists for the Niagara region, building a stronger subscription base, developing relationships with sponsors and donors and investing back into the artistic community.

Apart from his success at Lighthouse and Showboat, Ritschel has performed in theatres across Canada, and in several television programs and films. He served as the Chair of the Ontario Summer Theatre Association from 2013 to 2015, and is a recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts Professional Development Grant. One of his favourite achievements as a Canadian theatre artist is merging Showboat Festival Theatre and Lighthouse Festival Theatre into one family.


Derek will direct the 2017 Showboat production of Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery and 2017 Lighthouse production of Five Alarm.

Showboat Festival Theatre credits:

Actor: The Foursome
Director: Knickers, Trying, Corpse!, Perfect Wedding

Lighthouse Festival Theatre credits:

Actor: Heatwave, The Drawer Boy, Mary’s Wedding, Bedtime Stories, Mending Fences, A Christmas Carol, Stranger In Our House, Between Friends, Outlaw, The Foursome
Playwright: Perfect Pitch, Rum Runners
Director: When The Reaper Calls, Knickers, Melville Boys, Harvest, Rum Runners, Self Help,Trying, Corpse!, The Ghost Island Light, Perfect Wedding, Jonas and Barry in the Home

Select Canadian Theatre Acting Credits:

A Gift to Last, A Christmas Carol (Theatre Orangeville); Mending Fences (Griffin Theatre, Theatre In Port, Theatre Aquarius); Strawberries In January (Theatre Aquarius); Waiting For Godot (Kytes Theatre); Crackwalker (Spadina Theatre)


Traders, Prince Street, Glitter, True Crime Scenes, Queer as Folk, Traders, Men With Guns, Silent Hill, Doc.

Visit our sister theatre!


Port Dover