Superior Theatre Festival Returns July 26

By Sidney Ulakovic

Superior Theatre Festival is gearing up for their seventh season and the premiere of the musical Alex the Artist by local playwright Alycia Novak. Starting this Wednesday July 26, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery will be hosting the festival until its closing date on Sunday July 30. The musical boasts local talent throughout its cast, and the team at the festival is looking forward to showcasing Thunder Bay’s creative community in the performing arts.

“The script has gone through multiple different drafts to get where it is now,” says Associate Producer Becca Start. The musical follows a young girl named Alex as she discovers her own magical abilities and attempts to navigate her place in the world. Novak explains that she was living in New York amidst the 2016 presidential election when she first drafted the script and drew inspiration from the political climate at the time. With the titular character Alex, Novak got to experiment with what it would look like for a 10-year-old girl to resist injustice. An earlier iteration of the musical was performed in 2017 at the Toronto Fringe KidsFest to audience and critical acclaim.

Alex the Artist has since been workshopped by the team at Superior Theatre Festival. Novak credits Donna Marie Baratta, the director, choreographer, and producer of the musical, for all her efforts in its development. “It’s super funny, super charming,” Start says, emphasizing that playgoers can expect a lot of laughs. Alex the Artist offers something to take away for every member of the family. “[The play] has some really great messages about how important it is to be imaginative and creative in the world,” Start adds.

Aside from the musical, the Superior Theatre Festival will also be hosting workshops for anyone interested in getting involved in the performance arts, such as “The Business Behind Show Business” or “How to Write a Musical.” Crafts and activities will be available for children pre and post show. In addition to that, families can feel free to take in the rest of the art gallery after the show. “The fact that we have the art gallery space is really amazing because ticket holders also have access to all of the gallery exhibits as well,” says Start.

To purchase tickets to the Superior Theatre Festival and for details about showtimes throughout its run, visit their website at Be sure to follow their Instagram @superiortheatre to look back at highlights from the festival.