As part of the Classic Theatre Festival’s 5th anniversary celebration season, young people aged 15-29 with a passion for theatre and local history are eligible to become part of a brand new youth theatre project this summer. Perth through the Ages, a theatrical historic walking tour, will animate the town core, re-creating key characters and events in the town’s storied 200 year history.
“We are very fortunate to be able to offer paid employment to local young people for this innovative and creative endeavor this summer, thanks to the generous support of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture’s Celebrate Ontario program, along with the valuable assistance of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, and the Perth and District Community Foundation,” says Festival Artistic Producer Laurel Smith, who will be accepting applications for these positions until May 9th.
This summer, visitors to Perth will be forgiven if they feel like they are occasionally walking into a time warp. Five mornings a week from Wednesday to Sunday, beginning June 25th, the theatrical guided historic walking tour will take place, beginning at 11 am at Perth’s Matheson House Museum.
“Walking the streets of Heritage Perth is almost akin to touring the backlot of a motion picture studio,” says Smith. “These beautiful heritage facades whisper of a history peopled with remarkable characters and compelling stories. Our goal is to enliven the streets of Perth this summer with fictional theatrical re-enactments of historic moments that these buildings represent, and which has been preserved, winning the town the Prince of Wales Prize for architectural preservation.
“There have been numerous studies that show rural areas like Lanark County need to embrace the opportunity to animate their town cores, which not only provides a great tourism experience for visitors, but also supports the many small businesses that populate the downtown area, while heightening local civic pride in our unique rural communities,” Smith says. “Along with utilizing research collected from the almost 200 years of Perth’s history, this will also be a cross-generational community project, with teenagers interviewing seniors to get a sense of what the town was like 50 or 60 years ago, ensuring local authenticity of the stories presented.”
The Classic Theatre Festival is working in partnership with Perth’s Matheson House Museum, as well as with renowned historian Susan Code, whose annual Halloween Ghost Walks, along with her many heritage publications and projects, have contributed a great deal to unearthing and preserving the still often unknown parts of Perth and Lanark County history.
Those wishing to join the tour can reserve tickets by calling 1-877-283-1283. Perth through the Ages will run Wednesday-Sunday at 11 am, June 25 to August 31, meeting at the Perth Museum, 11 Gore Street East. Tickets will be $12 for general admission, $10 for ticketholders to the Classic Theatre Festival, with children 12 and under free.
Local young Perth and area residents interested in applying for the walking tour positions can submit their resumés to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than May 9, with interviews to take place the following week. More information is available at classictheatre.ca