All the world’s a stage, but in Bobcaygeon there’s a stage that’s busier than most.
Globus Theatre is celebrating its 10th season of producing professional summer theatre in the Kawarthas, having wrapped up successful productions of musicals, classic comedies, a Canadian premiere, kid’s shows, stand-up comedy, and more.
Globus is the company-in-residence at the Lakeview Arts Barn — known as the LAB — just outside Bobcaygeon. Globus Theatre’s artistic producer James Barrett explains why the LAB is the perfect venue for them.
“We wanted a space that was comfortable for audiences and intimate enough to complement our style of theatre performance,” James says.
The LAB features 150 extremely comfortable seats, along with a bar and dining area. The seats are certainly larger than in most theatres, and regulars eagerly book tickets in the front row for the unique experience of really feeling involved in the action.
The rustic building housing the theatre is steeped in local history. Originally a working cattle barn, the building was transformed into a dance hall in 1967. Since then it’s been an important focal point of the local social scene, hosting generations of weddings, dances, and family gatherings. At one time, the building had the largest hardwood dance floor in Ontario.
Although its emphasis is now on summer theatre, the LAB continues to host parties and celebrations. The theatre seating can be completely removed to reveal the original hardwood dance floor, producing up to 7,000 square feet of banquet space — perfect for weddings, corporate events, fundraisers, and similar events. What’s more, the LAB’s culinary team can provide catering for 40 to 400 people, with a range of dining options from the basic to the gourmet.
For Globus Theatre, the LAB is also the perfect venue because it offers theatre patrons the popular option of enjoying dinner in the dining room adjacent to the theatre, prior to any of the evening performances. Patrons don’t have to worry about rushing through dinner — they’re right there so it’s guaranteed they won’t be late for the show.
If patrons finish dinner early or have some time before the show begins, they can also check out the LAB’s extensive performing arts library, browsing the 1,000 play titles in the library as they sip a cocktail or glass of wine from the fully stocked bar.
Last but not least, the LAB’s location near the picturesque village of Bobcaygeon in the Kawarthas — combined with Globus Theatre’s reputation for high-quality productions — also attracts great actors to perform there.
“We have some of the best performers in Canada working with Globus,” says Sarah Quick, Globus Theatre’s artistic director.
“They’re attracted by the work that we create and our growing reputation for the quality of that work,” Sarah explains. “Of course, a gig in beautiful Bobcaygeon is certainly part of the appeal.”
That same appeal also attracts thousands of theatre patrons annually to see this unique and inviting brand of professional summer theatre. Bravo!
All photos courtesy of Lakeview Arts Barn, except where noted.