Espanola Little Theatre’s grand dame is 90 years young

Sharon Sproule turns 90 this Friday, July 10. She was born and raised in Delhi, Ontario, a small tobacco town not far from Simcoe and Tillsonburg.

Sharon showed a talent for dance and performance very early in life. She and her high school best friend Faye often challenged the principal to explain why they couldn’t do things that the boys could do. And that’s how Sharon wound up leading the high school band as the drum major.

Sharon met Bob Sproule when they were training as teachers in London, Ontario. They married, moved to Nairn Centre in 1952 and fell in love with the area and Northern Ontario.  Bob was hired the following year by Andy Ellis, the principal of what was then called Espanola Public School, later re-named AB Ellis Public School. Sharon, Red McCarthy and Margaret Best founded The Espanola Little Theatre not long afterwards in 1958.

Having played a wide variety of characters over the years, Sharon says her favourite has got to be Lucy from Charlie Brown because she is such a rebel. She has acted on stage and on film too, including Summer Flame, Winter Ashes made for television production.

Her wide range of talent has garnered her many awards over the last 70 years of acting it up in over 40 productions. She was also the director of more than 15 productions, served as past president of the QUONTA Drama Region was a publicist for the troupe and won so many awards, there are too many to count. She is also acknowledged for her contributions on Espanola’s Wall of Fame at the Espanola Regional Recreation Centre and received the Ministry of Citizenship Volunteer Service Award in 1988, the Governor General’s Canada 125 Medal, the inaugural recipient of the prestigious Micheal Spencer Award for contributions to community theatre and was named one of Chatelaine’s most Remarkable Women of 100 across Canada.  And also worked on the radio on our predecessor, CKNS, for many years.

These days, due to her arthritis, she is no longer on stage, but Sharon is happily retired and living in the house at Tudhope and Spruce that she and Bob bought in the mid-50s.  She stays in touch with friends and family via Facebook and email, enjoys her daily crossword puzzle and watching vintage television shows when she’s not watching the Food Network.  Sharon is an enthusiastic and adventurous gourmand.  She is always available to offer advice, for both on and off stage.

Sharon brings a sense of fun and adventure to everything, including during her years teaching everything from kindergarten to high school theatre arts. If you were in her kindergarten class, you might recall her colourful kaftans and multi-hued toenails.

Sharon has mentored many aspiring actors who have gone on to professional lives in theatre.

A COVID-19 friendly gathering will be held on Sunday, July 12th at Sunset Estates hosted by her children and extended family. Friends are invited to extend birthday wishes via Facebook!

HAPPY 90TH BIRTHDAY SHARON … we wish you many more!

Photos provided by the Sproule Family


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4 Responses to Espanola Little Theatre’s grand dame is 90 years young

  1. Ted Mahoney says:

    Happy Birthday Sharon,
    You were always a really good friend of my mother’s and she and my father loved working with you on many ELT productions. We always loved Bob’s music class all the way through school.

    My mum lives in Toronto now. She’s at a retirement living place, The Grenadier on Bloor street, and she still gets out for walks in High Park with friends. Alison and Susan live very close by, and both see her almost every day. 2100 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario M6S 1M7.

  2. Whitney (Hipel) Burton says:

    Happy Birthday Mrs Sproule. You look fabulous. I remember when u were a teacher at EB Ellis . I loved your dresses and your bangles. Think it was 5th grade that you taught me. Best wishes to you❤️

  3. mary Mahoney now in Toronto says:

    cONGRATULtions Sharon!!!!

    i’m thrilled to see you on the internet
    Remembering how much fun we had in the Espanola Little Theatre

    All my very best wishes –

  4. Sharon Sproule says:

    Thank you all for being in touch. It warms the cockles of my heart 😉

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