Submitted by Dianne Lister
“Globus was so named because it means ‘globe’ and we wanted to seek out partnerships with artists across the globe and tour to international venues. It also means ‘mass of people’ and we were optimistic about crowds when we started.” Sarah Quick, co-founder, Globus Theatre
2018 was a milestone year for Globus Theatre, with a record attendance. Co-founders Sarah Quick and James Barrett welcomed over 10,000 theatre visitors to the historic Lakeview Arts Barn (LAB) last year. Over 6,000 subscribers and visitors enjoyed the summer season productions. “Murder for Two,” directed by James Barrett and featuring founding members from Toronto’s Bad Hats Theatre, was chosen by art critic Sam Tweedle, as one of the top plays in the Kawarthas in 2018.
Pre-season, Sarah starred in “Sugar Road” at the Theatre Orangeville and performed in her play “Sunshine Express” at Theatre Collingwood. “Sunshine Express” also played at the Port Stanley Festival Theatre in late summer. Joining the ranks of international theatre groups, Globus Theatre is recognized for its leadership in promoting female playwrights. Globus Theatre is a repeat winner of the “Applause Award” presented by the International Centre for Women Playwright.
Now in its 13th year, the popular family Christmas British Pantomime presented their original production of “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves”. Two casts of over 50 young people and sold out school shows attracted over 2,000 family members and fans. Not only did James and Sarah organize the auditions, coach the young cast, direct the professional actors, they also performed.
Adding more accolades to their stellar year, a piano owned by Colm Wilkinson found its way to the Lakeview Arts Barn (LAB). Many know Colm Wilkinson, the Irish tenor and actor, in his role as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables. When he retired and returned to Ireland, he wanted the piano to go to a good, creative home, and the Lakeview Arts Barn was his choice. In 2015, Mr. Wilkinson attended the production of “Stones in His Pockets” in Toronto, directed by James for the Irish Theatre. He loved it, promoted it on radio, and then came to Bobcaygeon to see the play at the LAB. This led to genuine encouragement and support for Globus Theatre, knowing his piano was in good hands. Sales of his CDs covered the cost of this exquisite instrument.
As playwrights, producers, actors and business entrepreneurs, this creative duo are champions of culture and well-loved community supporters. Sarah was born in Manchester, and James in Fenelon Falls. They created Globus Theatre in England and came to Ontario 16 years ago. After two seasons at the Academy Theatre, they looked for a permanent home. The Lakeview Arts Barn was originally a working cattle barn and then converted to a dance hall in 1967. Sarah and James purchased the barn in 2006, and after restoration and renovations, Globus Theatre had arrived at its new home.
Their goal was to feature Canadian works or works new to Canada, and to broaden the scope of how patrons saw Ontario “summer theatre.” With her past experience in writing and touring with fringe theatre, Sarah introduced edgier theatre productions. To select the featured plays, over 40 plays are read and 12 – 15 are short-listed. Based on cost, viability, relevance and “excitement” factor, the final list goes to the Globus Theatre Board for approval. The 2019 Season will feature two world premieres – the opening play “That’s Amore” by Rose Napoli, and the final play “Kama Sutra” by Sarah Quick.
Heading into its 16th season, Globus Theatre is planning for long-term sustainability, with the hiring of Monique Renaud in a full-time position, supporting the visitor experience and community outreach. With a background as a performer, artist, and arts administrator, she brings her experience as Public Relations Manager at Playwrights Guild of Canada to Globus. Just announced, Globus has been chosen to participate in the Creative Spaces Mentoring Network administered by ArtsBuild Ontario, and will start working with their mentor in February.
Globus Theatre has been a member of Kawartha Lakes Arts Council for five years, and is a proud member of the Kawartha Lakes Arts & Heritage Trail.