Looking for information about your favourite theatres? We’ve got you covered! Intermission’s Insider Intel articles showcase one theatre at a time to give you all the information you need before your visit.
This week: County Stage Company
What kind of theatre do they produce?
County Stage Company is a growing performing arts company which programs a full summer festival of live theatre, comedy, music, and dance in beautiful Prince Edward County. Their work is rooted in the fabric of the community, inspiring creativity, gathering, and pride of place. The company is made up of a team of passionate artists inspired by the romance of Prince Edward County, making theatre for audiences who seek innovative and imaginative work.
For 17 seasons, prominent Canadian artists have gathered to perform against the backdrop of Prince Edward County’s beautiful rural landscapes in the heart of the region’s burgeoning wine and tourist industry. Productions have taken place in a century-old barn, under a tent in an estate vineyard, in a pop-up storefront theatre — even on the shores of Lake Ontario. The festival’s current home is the Eddie Hotel & Farm, a beloved venue in Bloomfield. This year will also see the company expand into Base31, a new experience destination on the site of a former WWII airbase.
For more information on how to find County Stage Company’s venues, or tips for your next trip to Prince Edward County, visit the company’s website.
The Eddie Pavilion
Situated on the 78-acre Eddie Hotel & Farm property between Wellington and Bloomfield, the Eddie Pavilion is County Stage Company’s entirely open-air theatre. Designed with a thrust stage, the audience is invited to view the show from chairs surrounding the stage.
The festival invites patrons to arrive 30 minutes ahead of their performance time to allow for parking and check-in. Audiences should wear comfortable, sturdy shoes as they will be walking on a gravel and grass. It’s best to come prepared for all types of weather: bringing your own shade in the afternoon is particularly important, possibly a sweater/blanket for end of evening performances. County Stage advises sun hats, sunscreen, sunglasses, and raincoats, and while they have installed mosquito preventer machines around the property, bug repellant is recommended.
Outdoor washrooms are portable toilets on site near our tent. Patrons may also use the fully accessible washrooms in the Red Barn, about four minutes away from the Pavilion.
Sergeant’s Mess Hall
Located at Base 31, an evolving visitor destination on the site of a 70-acre WWII air training base in Prince Edward County, Sergeant’s Mess Hall is an intimate, indoor, cabaret-style event space that offers both preferred table seating and general seating options. All seating is first come, first served, so show up early to nab your spot!
There is free parking onsite, including accessible parking. Food trucks are available on the property near the Sergeants Mess Hall and accessible washrooms are available in the building.
For more information about County Stage Company’s weather policy and to prepare for your visit, check out their website.
COVID-19 Safety Information
County Stage’s commitment to the health and safety of their patrons, artists, and staff continues to be their main guiding principle. Masks are no longer required, but are highly recommended when attending an indoor performance for your safety and for the protection of the artists, staff, and fellow patrons.
Please continue to self-screen prior to arrival at any of County Stage’s venues, and to stay home if you are unwell.
For more information about County Stage’s COVID-19 policies, visit their website.
County Stage is committed to providing accessible services in a manner that maintains the dignity and independence of all their patrons while providing equality of access and integration. That’s why their accessibility plan meets the standards of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2005), and is designed to serve the needs of all their patrons.
Visitors requiring general accessibility assistance are invited to speak to the front of house manager, and they or one of the festival’s volunteers would be happy to help. The company recommends that those requiring assistance arrive at least 30 minutes prior to performance or contact the festival at ahead of time to pre-arrange assistance.
For more detailed information on County Stage Company’s accessibility policies at each of their venues, please visit their website.
Ticket prices for most of County Stage’s programming starts at $30, and the company offers a limited number of preferred ticket seats that go up to $55. For their 2023 season, County Stage has implemented a new 25 & Under free ticket program, which are subject to availability.
Artists You Might Recognize
- Graham Abbey – Artistic Director
- Beau Dixon – Mess Hall Sessions Curator
- Anjelica Scannura – Comedy Festival Curator
- Colin Mochrie – Comedy Festival Performer
- Gavin Crawford – Every Brilliant Thing / Comedy Festival Performer
- Hailey Gillis – Mess Hall Sessions Performer / The Shape of Home
- Andrew Penner– Mess Hall Sessions Performer / The Shape of Home
- Hawksley Workman – Mess Hall Sessions Performer
- Coutney Ch’ng Lancaster – The 39 Steps Performer
- Mark Crawford – Season 2021 Performer/Playwright/2015 SoloFest
Workshops and Classes
Flight Dance Festival offers public dance workshops, including children’s dance classes, throughout the summer. For more information, or to enroll your child, visit County Stage’s website.
Where to Eat and Drink
The Eddie Pavilion offers a variety of food and beverage options for patrons, with concessions available one hour before the performance. Audiences can try cheese boards, wine, and local beer. Throughout the summer, The Eddie also offers pre-ordered picnic dinners (vegetarian option included), which can be ordered a minimum of 48-hours before showtime.
Sergeants’ Mess Hall at Base31 has a variety of food trucks close by, for audience members looking for a light meal before their show.
For more information about where to eat and drink on your next visit to County Stage Company, visit their website.
The Shape of Home
2022 WORLD PREMIERE
The Shape of Home is a theatrical concert that investigates the life and work of Canada’s unofficial poet laureate, Al Purdy. This expansive work is not merely a tribute to a great Canadian artist, it is a musical call to action; an adamant prompt to live fully, to love deeply, to challenge actively and to seek beauty everywhere. Featuring Frank Cox-O’Connell, Beau Dixon, Hailey Gillis, Raha Javanfar, Andrew Penner, and Emily Shultz.
Image by Dahlia Katz.
Boy Falls From the Sky
PRESENTED BY COUNTY STAGE AT THE EDDIE RED BARN THEATRE BEFORE TRANSFERRING TO MIRVISH'S ROYAL ALEXANDRA THEATRE
Through a series of entertaining and soul-baring stories and songs, ranging from touring the US, to surviving Spider-Man, to withstanding steroid shots and Broadway boos, Epstein shares the rejection, stage fright and heartbreak behind a seemingly successful career in this showbiz tell-all.
Image provided by County Stage Company.
Stephen Page and the Art of Time Ensemble
AN INTIMATE EVENING OF MUSIC
Steven Page, a founder and former front man of the iconic pop band Barenaked Ladies, joins Toronto’s highly inventive Art of Time Ensemble in an evening of seminal songs by Randy Newman, Radiohead, Elvis Costello, Barenaked Ladies, Leonard Cohen, Page himself, and others. These gems are reimagined and reinvented by some of the greatest minds in classical, pop, and jazz, and delivered by a defining voice in contemporary rock.
Image provided by County Stage Company.
Every Brilliant Thing
STARRING THE HOST OF THE #1 PODCAST "LET'S NOT BE KIDDING WITH GAVIN CRAWFORD" AND CBC'S "BECAUSE NEWS"
Every Brilliant Thing is a one-of-a-kind, interactive theatrical event that engages its audience in thrilling and original ways. At once profoundly funny and deeply moving, Every Brilliant Thing chronicles a young person’s quest to unearth every magnificent thing about being alive.
Image provided by County Stage Company.