The Valley and the Swinging Sixties collide as Stone Fence Theatre presents Miss Pringle’s Mini-Skirt

Take thirty children, ten  grades, a brand new teacher, a one room schoolhouse in rural Ontario and add a little twist and shout as the Swinging Sixties meet SS #7 in Stone Fence Theatre’s new musical comedy, Miss Pringle’s Mini-Skirt.
Written by Johanna Zomers with Ish Theilheimer and Kathy Eisner, the two-act play casts a fond look back at the final days of rural schoolhouses as the Ottawa Valley discovered the Beatles, the Cold War and Hockey Night in Canada. Above: Some of the kids in the class of Miss Pringle (Kate MacGregor) include (from top left) Indy Baker,  Ruby Kubisewsky, Mira Frolander, (middle) Lora Bennett, Ezra MacDonald Mellish, Miles Frolander, (front) Willa Irwin-MacDonald, Isabelle Green and Avery Wright. Ryan Webster plays Lambert van Asseldonk. (Photo: Doug De LaMatter)
Inspired by Ms. Zomers’ nostalgic weekly columns in The Eganville Leader, the musical comedy sees a young, inexperienced first time teacher “from away” learning to cope with her first teaching job in a schoolhouse on the Opeongo Line, the historic settlement road that winds through the hills of Renfrew County. From threshing to chicken killing, from chimney fires to putting on the Christmas concert, Miss Pringle and her students get an education in rural life, love, family and friendship. 
Miss Pringle, the  rambunctious “big boys,” the dreaded school inspector, deaf old Father Crabby, rebellious teenager Loretta and her exhausted mother tell the story in the songs and dances of the era – from Mac Beatty to the Beatles, from a polka to the Mashed Potato. Whether it’s the warnings of missile attacks on the NORAD Pine Tree Line,  or the rapidly changing role of women, Miss Pringle’s Mini-Skirt promises a lively fast-paced look into a time when everything was changing all at once.

Above: Local farmer Lambert van Asseldonk (Ryan Webster) offers a flower to Miss Pringle (Kate MacGregor). (Photo Doug De LaMatter)
Above: Parish priest “Father Crabby” (Ambrose Mullin) offers advice to Mrs. Cavan (Tabitha Green) and the School Inspector, Will March. (Photo Doug De LaMatter)

The show is directed by Shirley Hill and Sarah Wright and produced by musical director Ish Theilheimer, who wrote most of the music, with the help of Clint Degarie, Kirk Harber and Dexter Sernoskie.
There will be seven dessert-theatre performances in summer, beginning July 24 and five performances in fall, all at the Rankin Culture and Recreation Centre. This year, for the first time, the company is featuring three Sunday matinees. All shows offer dessert and hot beverages except for a big season-end roast beef dinner-show gala on Friday, October 4. Dinner and desserts are provided by Schmidt’s Catering, with tea and fresh-roasted coffee from Madawaska Coffee.

To get tickets, go online to or phone 613-401-1497 or, toll-free, 1-866-310-1004.  All seats this season are reserve seats, so this means that you can pick your choice of seats. If you phone, you’ll be speaking with someone from the company’s new ticketing partner, TicketsPlease, of Almonte, and if you purchase online, you’ll be on the TicketsPlease site.

Theilheimer,I.(2024,June26)  Stone Fence Theatre shakes up the Opeongo Line in new musical [media release]

One comment

  1. Eve-Marie Chamot

    You should also make a video of at least one of the performances and keep it in reserve until your season is over and then post it on YouTube to participate in their “monetization” program. YouTube runs ads on these video postings and it will pay you 1 to 3 cents per ad view so you could make a lot of residual income on a YouTube video of this theatrical production to help finance the Stonehouse Theatre program. There’s a big interest among Gen-Z young people in the Counterculture era and “hippies” so you might get a lot of views and a good residual income plus it would boost tourism interest in poor little Killaloe (which is long overdue for a good “break”!) and its relic Sixties “Back to the Land” community with a nice American flavour:- yeah, we need a few more “Muricans” visiting here, eh!?

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