Behind the Stage at the 4th Line Theatre

Artistic administrator Kelsey Powell

Artistic administrator Kelsey Powell

What you see on stage is just the tip of the iceberg, and two young men are flexing their creative and administrative muscle behind the scenes to help make magic in the barnyard.

Artistic Administrative Kelsey Powell counts his lucky stars. He and wife Lindy (General Manager) could be referred to as the “power couple” of the troupe, as two of only six full time staff members at the company. He is one of the few graduates of his Cultural Studies program at Trent University who has landed a full-time job in his field. Acting as the right hand man to Managing Artistic Director Kim Blackwell, he deals with the practical details. During the season Powell organizes rehearsals, co-ordinates lodgings and deals with the details, assuming acting roles when possible, and during the off season he helps secure funding by writing grant applications and organizing off-season activities to raise the profile of the organization. When not working at his day job, he takes on acting roles in local productions in Peterborough.

Clarke Stanley designed the costumes for the Hero of Hunter Street and is Wardrobe Manager for the Bad Luck play. Growing up on a dairy farm in Norwood, his grandmother introduced him to the art of sewing at the age of 8 to ensure he had skills beyond farming. He applied his skills to projects destined for local Agricultural Fair competitions, designing teddy bears and bags. In grade 8 he participated in the school production of “The Whiz”, where he discovered his love of theatre. He followed that love to Humber and Fanshawe colleges, where he graduated from the Technical Theatre Production and Technical Costume Studies programs. He has worked on productions at 4th line for several seasons, and during the off-season he works in the television and film industry.

In wardrobe design, there are conflicting objectives which make the job challenging. Of course the wardrobe must look authentic to support the story, and there are financial restraints which are offset these days by a collection of costumes accumulated over the company’s 25 year history which Clarke refers to as “the crypt”. There are practical issues as well, such as durability, and the ease of transition. Wardrobe changes must often happen very quickly, and Clarke explains that occasionally an actor requires many hands to help get back in position in the right attire for the next scene.

Both these young men are delighted to on the Winslow farm where they have found a place to apply their many talents in the creative and inspiring atmosphere of the 4th Line Theatre. KG

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