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New in 2021: How are Ya Now?

Stone Fence Theatre goes outdoors in 2021

Stone Fence Theatre is returning in 2021 and we're taking our act outdoors, both for maximum health safety and for the sheer fun of it. A six-person group of Stone Fence veterans will be putting on its new show How are Ya Now? outdoors on a beautiful hillside beside the Bonnechere River at Bonnechere Caves, near Eganville.

We'll be serving "box supper theatre," with box suppers provided by Schmidt's Catering in Pembroke. And, of course, we'll be following all health protocols required. We are hoping that by the time we open on July 14, we can have 100 people, safely-distanced, at our outdoors gatherings, as was the case earlier this spring.

If you live in the Ottawa Valley, the phrase "How are Ya Now?" has special significance. It is a frequent greeting among friends, often delivered with a mischievous grin.

The show How are Ya Now? is about our Ottawa Valley community and culture. It is a musical comedy variety show that celebrates our sense of fun and the things we love about the Valley and the values getting us through hard times. It includes classic songs from past Stone Fence Theatre shows and some timely new material. The performers are Fran Pinkerton, Ambrose Mullin, Peter Brown, Derek Tolhurst, director and choreographer Chantal Elie-Sernoskie, and musical director and writer Ish Theilheimer. And every show will include special guest stars from the company. This year and last, we had to shelve plans for a much larger show, Tom Thomson and the Colours of Canada, due to health concerns, but we are more than ready to have some fun and hope you are too.

The shows start at 6 p.m. and end before dark - and before the bugs come out. There will be eight performances (see below for planning purposes*) plus a rain date in case one has to be rescheduled. Once tickets go on sale, we will begin taking reservations.

There will be shade tents and plenty of room for excellent seating. If it rains a little, the show will go on. If it looks like really bad weather, we'll cancel by noon, let ticket-holders know, and enable ticket-holders to attend a different performance.

Seating will be general admission, but numbers will be limited, so please order in advance. We will have safely distanced seating on folding chairs. if you wish to bring your own chair we will accommodate you.

All ticket purchases include a box lunch prepared by Schmidt's Catering of Pembroke, featuring smoked brisket on a bun. Veggie and gluten-free options will also be available. Theatre volunteers will provide a licenced bar offering alcoholic and soft drinks, as well as water.

Tickets go on sale as soon as the Province gives us the go-ahead and lets us know how many people we are allowed to have. Tickets will cost $42 or $20 for youth, plus tax.

Stone Fence Theatre has many to thank for making this season possible. Local sponsors and donors generously supported us and got us through 2020. And in 2021, we are receiving generous support from two Ontario government programs that are helping businesses recover from the pandemic - the Tourism Relief and Investment Program (T.R.I.P.) and the Ontario Small Business Support program.

*Show dates

Wednesday, July 14

Thursday, July 15

Wednesday, July 21

Thursday, July 22

Wednesday, July 28

Thursday, July 29

Wednesday, August 4

Thursday, August 5