The Bard's Bus
Ontario's most accessible theatre company needs a new set of wheels.
The Driftwood Theatre Group has been touring Pay-What-You-Can theatre to communities across Ontario with its summer Bard's Bus Tour for almost 20 years. Since 2006 we've been making our way to communities big and small with little or no access to professional theatre using our 1987 Ford E350 bus. We've affectionately named the vehicle Charlene, or 'Charlie'.
Since 2006, Charlie has successfully transported over 70 actors, stage managers, and company members along with props, wardrobe and concessions' stock to over 200 performances in nearly 30 communities in Ontario.
But Charlie is beginning to show her years. Unfortunately, it won't be long before she's unreliable and unsafe to drive. We want to allow her to retire gracefully, without stranding a company of performers in a far and away location.
**"I think that is so wonderful that they produce theatre for people who might not necessarily see it. You have to love tenacity and dedication like that."** _--- Lynn Slotkin, CIUT Radio_
Our proposal to the Aviva Community Fund is simple, to provide the funding necessary to purchase a new 2012 Ford Aerolite bus of similar size to Charlie in order to ensure that our company members reach their destinations safely, securely and in comfort. This would enable us to retire Charlie in a safe and honourable manner befitting her fine years of service to audiences in Ontario.
**“FANTASTIC!!! My daughter and I saw your Macbeth in Bowmanville last Thursday. We both loved it!!!! As always your Driftwood Theatre group was outstanding... Bravo to all of you and we cannot wait to see what you perform next year!!!!”** ---Lorna and Jennie Hughes, Bowmanville
Purchasing a new bus would allow Driftwood to customize the vehicle for its specific needs, allowing for room to transport up to nine passengers in greater safety and comfort while also providing storage space for our wardrobe and concession stock in addition to serving as a change room while on site.
New Ford Aerolite Features Include:
- 3-point seat belt, front-facing seats (Charlie uses two-point belts and not all seats face forward)
- Overhead luggage racks for personal storage (items are currently place on the loosely floor)
- degree heat)
- Dedicated wardrobe compartment separate from passenger area (wardrobe is currently stored in a make-shift storage area next to seating
- Lockbox behind driver's seat (there is currently no lockable storage solution for valuables)
The Bard's Bus is an ideal vehicle not only for its use as transport, but as a rolling sign-board for Driftwood Theatre and its many partners and supporters. It is an invaluable marketing and promotional tool.
**"Our two nephews (ages 11 and 8) enjoyed their first Shakespearean performance and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you for an enjoyable evening."** --- Jo & Gord Hayes. BOBCAYGEON, ON.
With our new bus, Driftwood will continue to reach out to existing and new communities across Ontario with accessible, classical theatre every summer - sharing the bard with over 6,000 people per summer. The Aviva Community Fund's support will help to keep Driftwood Theatre on the road and accessible to audiences everywhere who've come to expect the very best outdoor theatre experience in their communities.
**"[Driftwood] could teach most of this province’s summer Shakespearian theatres (yes, even that one in Stratford) a thing or two about simplicity and clarity. In the hands of Driftwood Theatre, less is definitely more."** ---Richard Ouzounian, The Toronto Star