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Love From Afar. Image: A Company of Fools.

Theatre Preview: Love From Afar tours long-term care facilities at a distance

By Samara Caplan and Laura Gauthier on September 21, 2020

Laura and Samara spend their days as non-profit unicorns and fill every spare minute exploring the world of musical theatre as BFFs (that’s Broadway Friends Forever). Follow @bffs613 on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Normally at this time of year, a Company of Fools would be wrapping up their Torchlight Shakespeare in the Park summer tour of local and rural parks throughout the capital and Eastern Ontario, having brought their craft to thousands of people up close and personal.

However, this is 2020. So when they had to postpone this year, and brought us a brilliant live reading and behind-the-scenes of The Tempest for Shakespeare’s birthday instead, we took what we could get. We should have known the Fools had more up their sleeves!

Cue the Fools’ 2020 “window tour” of their new production Love From Afar, created by the Fools’ very own Nicholas Leno and Sarah Finn. The piece delves into famous scenes from the Bard that show “how we can express our love for one another, even in these physically distant times.”

Let’s back up for a second, though. What’s a “window tour”? The innovative Fools will perform physically distanced from the audience, but in areas facing local senior living facilities, so that residents can watch safely through their windows. No John Cusack standing outside holding up a boombox, though — this will be a full-fledged show performed for a week at various facilities across the city, using FM radio to broadcast the sound.

Well, that sounds like the fantastic and bright ray of sunlight we all so desperately need during these quickly shortening days as we approach fall… so what to do if you are not staff or a resident of a seniors’ facility? Don’t worry — they’ve thought of you too! A Company of Fools has a wonderful partnership with the Ottawa Public Library and they’ve teamed up to present a digitized animated comic that will be accompanied by the audio and original score. It will be available online in October through OPL’s website. Oh, and did we mention it’s free?

We can’t wait to check out the comic and get a big dose of Love from Afar from our favourite Fools.

Follow a Company of Fools on social media for more on the comic. The Love from Afar window tour will run at select senior living facilities from September 21–26. If you’d like to support this effort and others like it, you can also make a donation to the theatre company – they’re a registered nonprofit.