Board of Directors


Andrew Marre moved from the UK to Canada in 2007 and to Stirling in 2008. He has been a member of the SFT Board since 2010. Before his retirement he worked in Communications in the UK, both in the private and public sectors, including a period as Deputy Press Secretary to then, the UK Prime Minister, John Major and another as Director of Communications of the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

During the latter period, his Department organized the State Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales. Andrew and his team were responsible for managing the entire media coverage of this event, watched live by an estimated 40% of the world’s population.

Bob Barlas, is a founding member of the Stirling Festival Theatre Board.

Professionally, he joined Search Associates in 1994 after an overseas career in education beginning in 1971 that led him to counseling, teaching and administering in Singapore, China, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and the UK. Also an author, Bob has written the Teaching Overseas Handbook that has sold more than five hundred copies per year to overseas teaching candidates since 1991 as well as twelve cross-cultural travel books. He has specialized in working with children and adults in cross-cultural situations, particularly with those who are living, or wish to live, outside their home countries. Bob re-joined the SFT Board in 2010, served as an ad-hoc member on the Executive Committee and has been recently elected Vice-Chair.

Tammatha Denyes is the owner of TD Accounting Services, a cloud-based accounting practice physically located in Stirling, Ontario. She has had the honour to service clients for the last 25 years not only in her local area, but across Canada. With the advent and evolution of cloud accounting, she has re-structured her practice to embrace the new technology and this has allowed her and her team to help small to medium businesses focus on building and growing by offering solutions to problems they encounter.

In her spare time she loves to golf, spend time with her family and expand her knowledge on the ever-changing landscape of cloud accounting.


Debbie Ackers, newly appointed to Stirling Festival Theatre’s Board of Directors, has lived in Stirling since 1982. A long time supporting member of the SFT, she has frequently billeted actors over the years and attended countless shows. Debbie recognizes the importance of our theatre in supporting the local economy and offering exposure to the Arts for Stirling and area residents, children and our many visitors.

Dean Graff was born in Portage la Prairie and moved to Stirling in 1962 with his parents who were in the Canadian Armed Forces. He attended public school in Stirling, secondary school in Belleville and College in London, ON. Dean worked in Toronto for 6 years before returning to Stirling and starting his own business in Trenton, OSI Industrial Sales, now in its 28th successful year. In 2014 he was elected as a Councillor for the Municipality of Stirling-Rawdon.

John Rock is the Stirling-Rawdon Councillor appointed to the Stirling Festival Theatre board since November 2018. More bio information to follow.


Ken MacDougall  I was very excited to be appointed the Artistic Director of the Stirling Festival Theatre in September 2017 and the momentum has built throughout my first three years. The SFT, and the town of Stirling, have been a second home to me for over twenty years.

In my professional career outside of the SFT, I have been lucky enough to perform on stages across Ontario – Port Hope Festival, Gaiety Theatre in Collingwood and Georgian Theatre in Barrie to name a few. For twenty years, I performed regularly with the Mysteriously Yours Dinner Theatre in Toronto. I have had roles in over two dozen commercials and on TV shows such as Murdoch Mysteries, Degrassi: Next Generation, Mayday and King.

Here in Stirling, I performed in five Pantos, including the first ever Naughty Panto in 2000. I am still stopped on the streets of Stirling and reminded of my character Woody by hearing … “Chop, chop, Woody!”  I also appeared in numerous summer shows including Kitchen Witches, Anne of Green Gables and Mini Putt. Since 2010, I have been the Writer and Director of our annual Pantos and have written and performed in the Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre events in the upper Eugene Burrell Hall since 2003.

My mantra for SFT, moving forward, is “Making new friends and reconnecting with old.”

Come check us out. It’s always going to be a heck of a ride.

Marilyn Lawrie, or ‘Mare’ as all of her live entertainment colleges know her, has industry experience as an arts administrator, educator and consultant for Sheridan College, Loyalist College, the Living Arts Centre and many Ontario community theatres. She has held senior executive positions with the Quinte Ballet School of Canada, Belleville’s BDIA, Stirling Festival Theatre, Quinte Symphony, Quinte Arts Council and Opera Lyra Ottawa.

Professional stage management opportunities in opera have taken her across Canada and to Vermont. In theatre/musical theatre/special event stage management, she has worked for: our SFT (from the first fundraiser in Dec 1996, to the opening show Top Hat, White Tie & Tails in July 2007 and over 20 shows beyond…), the National Capital Commission, National Arts Centre, Theatre Collingwood and Drayton Entertainment.

The Stirling Festival Theatre Board of Directors is responsible for the governance and oversight of the Stirling Festival Theatre and meets in Stirling 9-10 times per year. The Annual General Meeting is usually held every March.

Individuals must become SFT Members to serve on the Board.

To inquire about joining the SFT Board or serving on a Board committee, please email Chair, Andrew Marre or call 613-395-2100 / 1-877-312-1162, ext 205 for more information.