Idyllic, rural, and quintessentially Canadian, each year the 4th Line Theatre Company presents Canadian plays – written by and about Canadians; small town stories or broad national sagas that touch a nerve in all of us.
4th Line Theatre’s mandate is to preserve and promote our Canadian cultural heritage through the development and presentation of regionally-based, environmentally-staged historical dramas.
For 30 seasons 4th Line Theatre has been bringing history to life on the barnyard stages of a rustic 5th generation farm in Millbrook Ontario, between Peterborough and Port Hope. Founded in 1992 by Robert Winslow, this outdoor theatre company is committed to preserving our Canadian cultural heritage through the development and presentation of environmentally-staged historical drama. 4th Line has developed and presented 42 original plays based on regional history and culture.
In 2014, Winslow’s long time collaborator Kim Blackwell took on the role of Managing Artistic Director as Winslow transitioned out of his position as Artistic Director. Blackwell has been instrumental in defining the 4th Line aesthetic and works tirelessly to give audiences one of the finest theatrical experiences in the country. “These productions,” says Blackwell, “celebrate the history of the area; they are stories with national echoes.”
This magical theatre presents unforgettable outdoor, epic theatrical experiences. Thousands of visitors, young and old alike fall in love with our farm experience complete with picnics, birdsong and sunsets in the country.
4th Line Theatre is a not-for-profit, cultural, charitable organization that heavily relies on monetary donations, ticket sales, government funding, advertising and sponsorship support to ensure our success year after year.
Charitable Registration Number: 13762 2866 RR0001
Photo of Dov Mickelson, The Right Road to Pontypool, 2009, by Wayne Eardley, Brookside Studio.
As a company focused on the values of imagination, integrity, collaboration, empowerment, and sustainability in all we do, 4th Line Theatre is committed to creating positive and healthy workspaces for our artists and communities.
4th Line Theatre acknowledges the complex ways in which race, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, colour, religion or creed, sex, age, ability, health status, caregiving status, marital status, class, sexual orientation and gender identity and gender presentation affect our interactions with each other.
4th Line Theatre acknowledges that historically oppressive systems and structures, such as settler colonialism, heteropatriarchy, anti-Black, anti-Indigenous racism, and white supremacy affect and act as barriers to safe and productive workspaces. We recognize the mutual responsibility of 4th Line Theatre and our workers to resist systems of oppression, interrogate our inherent biases, recognize and report instances of workplace discrimination and harassment, and actively create safe and respectful workspaces for all.
1. ACCESSIBLE Being accessible, welcoming and inclusive to all, including, but not limited to - rural and urban youth, women, and people of all races and cultural backgrounds;
2. SPACE MAKERS Making space for women and racialized Canadians in leading roles within the company;
3. ENGAGED Creating respectful community engagement and collaboration which focuses on cultural diversity, local history and Canadian legacies;
4. STEWARDS Working with Indigenous elders and communities to honour our sense of place, and being stewards of the land on which we live and work;
5. COURAGEOUS Creating art which is courageous and lacks pretension, while honouring a continuum of artistic practice.
Photo by Wayne Eardley, Brookside Studio.
1. To develop and present original Canadian works of artistic excellence that explore regional themes - with national echoes, history and heritage;
2. To present this work in a politically responsible and culturally responsive manner;
3. To innovate and experiment artistically, resulting in productions that inspire, entertain and educate.
A society that:
1. Embraces a sense of well-being for all of its citizens;
2. Understands and embraces the benefits of the arts;
3. Fearlessly explores issues of racial inequity to develop safer, more diverse communities.
We aspire to create projects where community involvement and professional commitment mutually engage and inspire one another; linking young people to the company’s professional artists and community elders.
Our method of bringing history to life makes our work distinctive on the national Canadian theatre stage. Few Canadian theatres have committed so strongly to the ongoing chronicling and exploration of a region’s culture and past.
Photo of cast members of Carmel, 2019.