ontario’s oldest summer theatre closes down
A group of Toronto actors rented a 19th-century wooden barn near the Hunan Bank of Simcoe in northern New York state, and everyone made up money to build the set, and the actors had to knock on the door at the Hamlet Jackson was referring, use furniture and other household items as props.
\"When you perform on stage, the audience will say \'Wow!
\"Because the bat will fly overhead,\" recalls Norney Griffin, who performed in the red barn for the first time in his 16-year-old next season.
\"This is a beautiful place.
The Red Barn will be the longest barn in Ontario
Run the summer theater and start a career with some of Canada\'s largest stage actors and directors.
Now, more than 60 years after it was founded, more than a year after a devastating fire destroyed much of the theater, the red barn has been folded.
\"The Red Barn has been in vogue for 60 years --
\"It\'s been a good time and a tough time,\" said Jordan merkour, the company\'s last art director . \".
\"I\'m sorry that its legacy is over.
The fire began later in April 18, 2009 and burned the building.
There are only two stone walls and silos left.
Ontario fire chief spokesman Doug Horn said officials were still trying to identify the cause of the fire and would not comment until they made it.
Last year, the company staged a season at the nearby Keswick rented theater, but the theater\'s audience and art funding were less than usual.
In April, the Red Barn folded.
\"It\'s hard for us to get people to sit in seats.
The loss of income is huge, \"said Andrew Byrd, whose family owns the land occupied by the barn.
The barn itself is big by West Boulder-great-
Uncle Frank in 1883.
In 1949, the Toronto actor Alfred Mullock transformed it into a theater.
Griffin has been performing there throughout her career and she has arrived there very quickly and has good memories of the first summer.
She stayed in a nearby hotel and became good friends with another young actress roommate.
\"We didn\'t eat until 4. m.
Because we have no money.
We made a circle. in-
Swim in the lake, \"she said.
On another occasion after several seasons, actors piled up in a haycar and rode around town looking for locals to watch the show.
When I was young, Sibbald remembered that every summer, the actors would come to town and meet at the parents\' house on the opening night.
\"My bedroom is at the top of the stairs and the sound of 50 to 100 people at the bottom will echo.
The actors are very lively.
\"It will take them a few hours to calm down after the show,\" he said . \".
At that time, the theater in Southern Ontario was still in its infancy, and the Red Barn soon became a test ground for young actors.
Many of its alumni will continue their careers at the Strafford Shakespeare Festival, on the Toronto stage or on film and television.
Over the years, Martha Henry, Jackie balles and Barbara Hamilton have all appeared in the red barn.
In the same year, Griffin made his debut in the red barn, which was produced this season by lawyer Brian Doherty, who later discovered the Shaw Festival.
In his 1970 s, Bill Glassco was at the helm, and later became famous by opening the Taragon theater in Toronto.
The broadcaster Peter Gzowski held an annual literacy fundraising event in Ontario, attracting leading Canadian writers including Alice Munro, Timothy finderley and Stewart McLean.
When Doug Betty, co-
The writer of the Winfield series drama, who took over in 1989, is already a legend.
\"You have a feeling that this is a magnificent, old, slightly shabby lady that everyone wants to maintain,\" he said . \".
\"Of course, you have heard of kind people who have been there in the past and sometimes feel like they have all been there.
Although the company is important, it retains a lot of rural feelings.
Beattie recalled that at the beginning of the new season, the barn had to be cleaned up and the lighting was reinstalled, and Merkur said the locals made the place feel like part of the community.
\"I love the opening night where people can see great theaters and then we can have a corn BBQ after that,\" he said . \".
\"You are in this farmer\'s field, you open the door and there is a huge stage.
\"Sibbald hopes to finally revive the barn.
He will see if students at a nearby trading School will repair the walls and enough structures to be able to be covered by tents and used as theaters.
Once the company is back on its feet, he hopes it will raise enough money to build a more permanent space.
Jackson\'s views are now quieter than usual, with no actors in town for the summer, and no crowds of cotton, tourists and other locals gathering in the theater.
Merkur said: \"I will meet people who have been in this area for 40 years and now bring grandparents with my grandchildren . \" He first went to the barn as a 6-year-old. year-old.
\"After a while, things have passed for 60 years.