I wanted to let you that for the first time in 4th Line Theatre’s 29 season history, the Board of Directors has made the decision to postpone a summer season. They made this difficult decision at a special Board meeting held on June 8th. They have decided to move both productions, originally scheduled for 2020, into the summer of 2021. This will make 2021 our 29th season (2.0 if you will). I am sure for many of you, this letter will come as no surprise. However, I am an eternal optimist and right up until a few days ago, I held out hope that we would be able to move forward with a partial season in 2020. Unfortunately, that is not going to be able to happen and the safety of our staff and audience is the paramount concern for us here at 4th Line Theatre. If everything goes well, we will see you all in 2021, when the world has righted itself, when we can once again gather together in celebration and our love of stories. All tickets and gift certificates already purchased for 2020 will be honoured in the 2021 season.
2020 will go down in history in so many ways, across the globe. So many milestones missed from people everywhere, families separated, people who live in long-term care residences put at incredible risk, the sicknesses and the deaths and the list goes on. I hope there will be positives which come out of this massive global pause and reset - people gaining an understanding of how precious our interpersonal relationships are; Mother Nature taking the opportunity to heal herself; an understanding of how we live our lives in a more mindful way. I think about all of these things for myself personally, for my family and for 4th Line Theatre.
I also want you to know that we are looking to still welcome small groups of people to the farm this summer and will be announcing several exciting initiatives in the coming days and weeks ahead. We will continue to connect with you online with our Artist Talks and script readings. We also want to connect with you in a more intimate and still distanced way and will be announcing an exciting artistic program very soon.
I want to say a huge thank you to the government supporters at both the federal and provincial levels, for their ongoing and enriched support of the theatre, in these precarious times. I also want to acknowledge our amazing corporate donors who have stuck with us. And to you our ticket buyers, THANK YOU for your patience as we make our decisions and for always being such a huge part of the success of 4th Line Theatre. We cannot do it without you. I look forward to seeing you all at the Farm again very soon, some of you in 2020 and everyone in 2021.
I also want to tell you all that I have been watching events unfold in the United States over the past few weeks. I am heart sick for the plight of black Americans and Canadians and the anti-black racism which they face on a daily basis. I feel like the world is experiencing a seismic shift with not only COVID- 19, but also with the mass protests across the globe, demanding an end to systemic anti-black racism. I have been silent on this issue over the past few weeks, choosing instead to listen to the black voices and to learn what we need to do.
Here at 4th Line Theatre, we are committed to looking at all of our artistic and administrative decision over the next few months through a lens of ending anti-black racism. We want to ensure that the theatre is doing everything necessary to address racism and that we continue to make inclusivity a priority. If you want to offer support to Black Lives Matters, you might consider donating to them at https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019
And if you are questioning why I chose to make this plea in this letter - it is because I believe all art is political in its very nature. People who make art — good art — have a responsibility to advance individuals and communities who have been historically marginalized and underrepresented by amplifying their stories; by building a culture that reflects their reality; and perhaps most powerfully, by giving them a platform to speak for themselves. That is what 4th Line Theatre has been committed to since the beginning and we will continue to work towards doing better as we move forward.
I am thinking of all of you and wishing for you health and peace in the coming months.