Managing Artistic Director Kim Blackwell is thrilled to announce 4th Line Theatre’s 32nd summer season and two premiere productions. The season will begin on July 1, 2024 with Onion Skins & Peach Fuzz: The Farmerettes, written by Alison Lawrence, based on the book by Shirleyan English and Bonnie Sitter, and directed by Autumn Smith who returns after appearing in the 2023 production of The Cavan Blazers. Beginning on July 30th, the theatre will present Jim Watts: Girl Reporter, written by Beverley Cooper and directed by Blackwell. Previously for 4th Line, Cooper wrote The Other: A Strange Christmas Tale which had a sold-out run in December 2018.
Onion Skins & Peach Fuzz: The Farmerettes is a funny and enlightening exploration of the largely unknown story of the teenage girls who stepped up and worked on farms across Canada to feed the troops, and indeed all Canadians, during WWII. These ‘Farmerettes,’ all in their 90s now, tell us that the summers they worked those farms were the best of their lives, even 70 or more years later.
Jim Watts: Girl Reporter is a fascinating exploration of the experience of trailblazing youth who illegally flocked to Spain to fight fascism, attempting to stop its march across Europe, in the mid-1930s. Jean ‘Jim’ Watts was the only woman to join Canada’s regiment in Spain, the MacKenzie-Papineaus. The play takes us from Toronto to Madrid, from political rallies to the battlefields of Spain. And Peterborough’s own Jim Higgins – union organizer and hero – figures prominently in the story.
“Both of the plays focus on young people who are willing to do just about anything to do their part,” explains Blackwell. “These young people were desperate to try and make a difference in a world gone mad. They were all true heroes!” Both 2024 Season plays fit squarely into 4th Line’s mandate. They both feature all of the drama, laughter and poignancy that audiences have come to expect from Ontario’s premiere outdoor theatre.