KILLALOE, May 4, 2020: After weeks of consideration, Stone Fence Theatre has announced the cancellation of its summer season and the postponement of its new musical about Tom Thomson until next year.
The company had planned to launch Tom Thomson & The Colours of Canada: Love, gossip and murder in Algonquin Park in July, with performances through October in Rankin, with tour stops in Barry's Bay, Bancroft and Ottawa. Now, they plan to wait until next year to premier the show, with rehearsals beginning this fall.
"We are very sorry to tell you we have to postpone production of our show this year due to the pandemic," said the company's producer Ish Theilheimer and its creative director Chantal Elie-Sernoskie in a note to staff Sunday. "We held off on the decision until now because we were considering the possibility of rehearsing in summer for fall production. There are too many unknowns, however, to consider this possible. We're especially concerned about bringing our crew together in the confined quarters of our stage and green rooms."
Although they have cancelled all summer performances and rehearsals, they hope it may be possible to entertain smaller audiences this fall with a series of nights of entertainment featuring acts that only require one or a few people and that doesn't require people close together on stage.
"We would like to put some shows on this fall, if we can do so safely," said the company's president, Chris Hinsperger. "We think it's important for company and community morale that we keep performing, if we can." The company also has three performances of Up at Fred's - Allons-y! still on its schedule for October 23-25 in Rankin. These have NOT cancelled. "We hope we can still go ahead with these shows, but we'll have to see how things look in September," he said.
"We are sad to have to make this decision, however these times challenge us to make the right decisions," he said. "We are thinking with our heads and not our hearts at this time. We will be working with all of our Ottawa Valley communities to help us all return to a safe society where we can get together, share stories and celebrate the culture that defines who were are."