30th anniversary of the outdoor theatre
Article and image by Bill Hornbostel
Above image: (L-R) Bethany Heemskerk and Lindy Finlan
4th Line Theatre, the outdoor theatre at the Winslow Farm in Millbrook, is back open this year for its thirtieth anniversary!
Lindy Finlan, General Manager of 4th Line, says, “Like everyone else in the live performance industry, especially since March 2020, we sort of shuttered the, in our case, barn doors and haven’t had many audience members in seats at outdoor live performances since 2019. We’ve been lucky enough to actually do a couple of shows because we’re well poised to do so outdoors, but they were much smaller audiences.”
“This summer, we’re welcoming people back to the Winslow farm to see live, epic theater,” says Finlan. “You have to imagine the backdrop is actual century barns, and a gigantic field, barn swallows swooping through a big red barn in the background as the backdrop and actually the whole field itself, and what we call our barnyard stage is where you’ll see the action.”
“You might see upwards of forty actors in a show of all ages,” continues Finlan. “We have professionals as well as community volunteer actors; our youngest volunteer actor actually has been three months old, and our oldest has been in their 90s, so we have sort of a community feel. And you might see a horse gallop through the field toward you in a scene or a classic car drive around the corner of a barn for a scene.”
Finlan talks about the history of 4th Line. “It was founded in 1992 by Robert Winslow, who actually still lives on the farm. It’s his family’s 170-year old farm now it’s been in his family,” she states. “He founded that with a group of ragtag theatre artists back in ’92; several of them are still actually involved.”
“Ever since we’ve been putting on two shows a summer, we’ve done some Halloween shows, some Christmas shows, things like that, mainly out at the Winslow farm in Millbrook,” adds Finlan.
Finlan talks about the location and experience of going to 4th Line Theatre. “It’s actually a really beautiful, picturesque spot. You can come out you can have a picnic, we have a barbecue every night. You can pre-purchase a charcuterie snack box or bring your own picnic. We have concessions where you can buy hard or soft drinks and snacks. And people come out picnic and then get to see a show.”
This summer, Alex Poch-Goldin’s The Great Shadow will be playing through July, a comedy about a man’s dream to make Trenton, ON into Hollywood North. In August, Maja Ardal’s Wishful Seeing will be playing, a thriller about a murder on Rice Lake.
4th Line Theatre is located at 779 Zion Line in Millbrook. For more information on 4th Line Theatre, visit 4thlinetheatre.on.ca.
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