Review: Monologues from 4th Line Theatre Co.

by Lynn on July 20, 2020

in The Passionate Playgoer

What: Monologues from past 4th Line Theater productions.

Where: On the phone.

When: Your chose the time and day(s) when you hear the monologue(s)

Who: A host of excellent actors act out the monologue(s)

Why: Because it’s fun. Because it gives you a taste of the quality of the shows that regularly play at 4th Line Theatre.

Cost: FREE but donations are always welcome.

To select you click the link below:

4th Line Theatre Company in Millbrook, Ont. just south of Peterborough, has been presenting original Canadian plays dealing with the history and true stories of the area since 1992. The performances usually take place on the Winslow Farm that is owned by Robert Winslow the creator and founder of 4th Line Theatre Company.

The audience sits on plastic chairs watching the action take place in the farmyard and in the distant meadows. It’s a beautiful, idyllic spot. I love going there every summer. But alas that’s not possible this summer.

To fill the gap of seeing live theatre, the always creative, inventive Kim Blackwell, 4th Line Theatre’s Managing Artistic Director, has come up with the idea of presenting a series of 27 monologues from many of the company’s past productions. The monologues are delivered by an actor through the intimacy of a telephone call. The ‘audience’ calls the box office and selects the monologue he/she/they wants to hear, when and what time is convenient. All that’s needed is for the patron to answer the phone when it rings and listen and enjoy.

I started with the first four monologues in the provided list:


By Ryan Kerr

Actor: Tom Keat

A young man talks about how the Great War changed the history of the world forever.

Tom Keat plays a man who remembers the horrors of war, the poignancy of that first marking of November 11 as Remembrance Day and the terrible effect it all had on his family etc. Keat played his character with passion, emotion and sensitivity. Quite moving.


By Ian McLachlan and Robert Winslow


Actor: Riley Tutert

Ruth is 10 years-old and talks about the challenges of being a child in an adult world. Her mother is sick and the family is struggling to survive.

Riley Tutert plays Ruth with conviction. She conveys Ruth’s consuming worry about her family and her confusion about why her mother is sick with “Infantile Paralysis.” She wonders how an adult can have a disease usually affecting children. I love the genuine urgency of this young character as beautifully played by Riley Tutert.

Crow Hill:  The Telephone Play

By Ian McLachlan and Robert Winslow

“Doc Logie”

Actor: Robert Winslow

The play is about how a local doctor, Doc Logie created a telephone system for his community to keep them and him in contact should there be an emergency. It’s a wonderful play.

In this scene Doc Logie explains how a childhood memory stayed with him and lead him to a life of service in medicine.

It was a thrill to first speak with Robert Winslow who co-wrote the play and starred in the production. He’s personable, socially concerned and responsible, a good neighbour and a welcoming host to his farm when theatre is able to be done there.

As Doc Logie, Robert Winslow conveys the character’s huge heart, his folksy attitude; his concern for his fellow man and his devotion to a life of service. The scene started with a small childhood incident involving a pet. Doc Logie remembered it to such an extent it changed his life. It was also a momentous moment and Winslow gently illuminates just how profound the moment was.

 Crow Hill: The Telephone Play

By Ian McLachlan and Robert Winslow


Actor: Chick Reid

I also chose this scene from Crow Hill: The Telephone Play, this time dealing with Alice who was a young 15 year-old who came to work for Doc Logie as his first telephone operator for his new telephone system. You get the sense of the pluck of that young woman to take on this new challenge from the writing by Ian McLachlan and Robert Winslow and from the sprightly performance of Chick Reid as Alice.

As Alice, Chick Reid is perky, goes off on tangents when telling her story but quickly gets back on track. This is a wonderfully friendly character remembering 30 years as the telephone operator. She is matter of fact and has the confidence of a person who knows everybody’s confidences that she has collected ‘connecting’ their calls. Chick Reid was buoyant, funny and so personable. A lovely performance.  

From these short scenes one gets the flavour of what the plays are like. The characters are well drawn and beautifully acted by actors full of conviction who bring the words to life. Each actor brought a lovely connection in these troubled times; listened and engaged.  And I loved that every single call came at exactly the time that I asked for it. I’ll sign up for more.

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