Not Sporty Enough? You Can Still Rock the Farm Theatre


 

You like nature but prefer to stay calm and comfortable? No worries! Canada also has something for you – the farm theatre. 

I enjoy outdoor activities and nature, but I’m just not a big fan of bugs, heat or coldness at all. When an activity is physically challenging, it always takes me some time to recover from it. If you feel the same, farm theatre will be a perfect fit for you.

Each season comes a new play with a slightly different cast. Snow in winter, sunset of summer, birds twittering, wild bushes, pathways, farm houses, sunflowers, farm land, horse barns, hills in distance, change of the sky colours, and stars: The plays minimize manmade setups and make fully use of all setups in the farm as the settings, backgrounds, and stages, even including the audience. The one in winter is very popular as it is mostly tied with the Christmas theme with more interactions with the audience.

I’ve been to the theatre for two summers, and both plays were full of surprises. The farm theatre has been one of the less popular events in summer partly because it is hard to tell what exactly it is and how it works since each play they perform is very different. For example, the first play I watched was in a space they built up on the hill of the farm, but the second play was moving around the farm quit a bit. The setup completely depends on the story displayed. During the performance, taking pictures is not allowed due to the copyright concern, and that is the reason why I don’t have pictures to share with you; however, I don’t think you can ever watch such amazing live theatre play anywhere else without spending a fortune. 

People often arrive a few hours early before the play starts and have a small picnic dinner in the farm area, enjoying the mild sunshine and the gentle breeze. Children can play frisbees or balls while they’re waiting. 

 The horses are so cute!

As the time gets closer to the start of the play, the workers will secretly get into the crowd and make sure everything is ready as they have planned. After a brief introduction, the play starts. If the play needs the audience to move around the farm, the workers would guide everyone through. The farm can also provide accessibility support if needed (but communication about arrangements in advance is recommended). 

The plots of the plays are very thought-provoking. The story this summer is called the Ballad of Weedy Peetstraw. It’s about a young man who loves playing music decides to exchange his soul with a year of the life he desires. It makes you laugh; it makes you cry; it makes you think about your life. The costumes are not fancy, but the fit the performers and the storyline perfectly; they’re not replaceable. The plays are so special that you would not see anything the same anywhere else on the planet (and I even doubt the same play would look the same every time).

  Setup of 2017 Summer

Setup of 2016 summer

If you are an introvert and do not feel like talking, it’s never awkward to sit quietly. If you feel social enough to talk, there’re opportunities you can interact with the workers, performers, and other audience. In some plays, the audience even got a ride in a carriage around the farm covered in snow and had hot chocolate.

I hope my experience will help you picture in mind what the farm theatre is like and what to expect there. This is a very friendly activity in general for people with different preferences. Are you ready for the new play of this winter? I am!

 



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