Well, first of all, I am very happy to be typing this with both hands after my long recuperation from a broken wrist suffered last January (Yes, playing hockey. And the recuperation continues!)
Our bodies are fragile as it turns out.
Today, September 30th would have been my parents’ 74th wedding anniversary. Funny how there’s always something connected to them when I send in my fall letter. They’ve both been gone an awfully long time, my dad over 40 years, but their lives here made 4th Line a possibility and me a certainty!
I’m back teaching a course at Trent University with Ian McLachlan, with whom I am also currently writing the 4th in the Barnardo plays series. This latest instalment is called Eleanor and is set on the farm of Walter White in the early 1950s. Our 3rd Barnardo play, Carmel, set on the road of the same name in 1937, will hit our barnyard stage next August, horses and all, I hope. In Carmel, Walter and Billy from Doctor Barnardo’s Children are re-united after a gap of over 30 years. The play is full of original music as the family of Walter’s wife, Abigail, is very musical. I understand there were lots of musical families in the Carmel area just south of me back in the 1930s including the Gilmours and the Bristows.
In November, 4th Line is funding a new play development workshop taking place in Hochelaga (Montreal) with the aim of developing our new work about the Huron/Wendat, other First Nations Peoples and their relationship with the colonizing French in the early 17th Century. I am very excited as this will be the first get-together of a creative team including Algonquin, Mohawk and Huron/Wendat theatre artists. My collaborator Bruce Sinclair, a Métis-Cree theatre artist from Saskatchewan, and I are really looking forward to the possibilities of co-creating with these talented individuals. Yours truly has been researching the subject for the past three years and will probably play the role of a French Jesuit missionary priest.
Well, I started at 4th Line playing a priest coming to Cavan in 1854 in The Cavan Blazers, so I’m just going a couple of hundred years further back. My Latin, Greek and French are pretty lame though, I must say.
This is a busy fall also as I will be reprising my role in The Shadow Walk of Millbrook (Learn those lines, Robert!) and will be acting in our Christmas show, The Other. In this last play, I play a character reminiscent of Ebenezer Scrooge. Is this typecasting or what?! I’m really a nice guy. Didn’t you all like the kind, sensitive, hopeful Doc Logie in Crow Hill this past summer?
OK, I think I am going over my word limit, so I will sign off for now. I hope you all have a great fall, winter, spring, and I look forward to seeing you at our shows in the next couple of months and next summer!
4th Line Theatre