Western Ontario Drama League

Newsletter April 2024

In this Issue:

  • What the Prez Sez
  • WODL General Meeting - 14 April 2024 - Woodstock - 1:00 pm
  • Adjudications Schedule
  • WODL Festival 2024
  • 2024 Life Members
  • Adjudicator for 2024/2025 Season - Trevor Smith Diggins
  • Community Theatre in the WODL Region
  • What's on this Month in the Waterloo-Wellington Region
  • What's Happening in the Brant-Haldimand-Norfolk-Oxford Region
  • Off the Wall - Summer Courses
  • Horizon Solution Seminars in April
  • Playwrights Canada Press
  • Playwrights Guild of Canada - Canadian Play Outlet
  • Concord Theatricals New Plays
  • If you are Producing Canadian Plays this Season - Check This Out
  • Is your WODL Membership Information Up-to-date?
  • Dates for your Diary
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What the Prez Sez

By Linda Lloyd McKenzie, WODL President, president@wodl.on.ca

Spring has sprung, the days are getting longer, milder temperatures prevail (finally!) and the birds are chirping and going crazy at our bird feeders... which means our cats are going crazy at our window overlooking said feeders. Joy is in the air!

I am looking forward to those April showers because it means that my little corner of the world will soon be awash in colourful flowers and budding trees. It also means that our General Meeting in Woodstock is quickly approaching - April 14th. 

Our travelling adjudicator, Alex Galant, will be present to announce the award nominations for the WODL Festival and Gala and there will be a short presentation by Sarah Hodgkinson of Theatre Woodstock. We hope that you can join us in Woodstock that day, as every opportunity to meet fellow thespians and discuss community theatre is not only a very fun experience, but it encourages valuable knowledge exchange. Find out first hand what other like-minded groups are doing that has been successful for them in growing their abilities and their audiences. Members that are time/distance-challenged will be able to attend virtually, as we will be providing a Zoom link for the meeting.

For those of you who participated in an adjudication this season, I hope you found it helpful and that it provided you with new/improved tools and knowledge to elevate your theatrical abilities. Nominations are just the cherry on top of an already fruitful experience.

Happy Spring!

WODL General Meeting - 14 April 2024 - Woodstock - 1:00 pm

All members welcome


When: Sunday April 14, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Where: Theatre Woodstock, 22 Reeve Street, Woodstock, Ontario

Attendance at the General Meeting is in person or via Zoom.

During this meeting the travelling adjudicator, Alexander Galant, will announce the special award winners. He will also announce his nominations for the other awards (e.g. Best Director). The winners of these awards will be announced at the Gala in London on Saturday May 18. All the awards will be presented at this Gala.

Also  Theatre Woodstock co-hosts, Sarah Hodgkinson and Joanna Kennedy will hold a workshop A Small Theatre at Large outlining the incredible inroads they have made at introducing Theatre Woodstock to the Community of Woodstock, as well as to surrounding Communities. All this with the purpose of gaining recognition for Theatre Woodstock, for theatre’s valuable contribution to all communities at large, and to attract new audience members. 

Invitations will be sent to all the presidents, and delegates, of member groups, that we have on record. 

All members in good standing with a WODL member group are entitled to attend this meeting and to vote at this General Meeting.

If you want to attend this meeting via Zoom, and you have not received an invitation, contact the secretary to the WODL board at secretary@wodl.on.ca.

In your email please include your full name and member group affiliation (no acronyms) and whether you are a group delegate, group member, or other.


You will receive instructions on joining the meeting and copies of the meeting materials, a

few days before the General Meeting.

If you have any questions about this General Meeting:


Contact Pam Niesiobedzki-Curtis, secretary@wodl.on.ca.


We look forward to having you join us!

Adjudications Schedule

For the latest revision of the adjudications schedule go to www.wodl.on.ca.

WODL Festival 2024

By Mona Brennan-Coles, WODL Past President, mona@wodl.on.ca



May 17 - 18, 2024

Delta London Armouries Hotel

The WODL Festival 2024 Committee is very excited to invite you to attend the WODL Festival 2024.


  • Thank you to London Community Players (LCP) for hosting our Gala Ticket Sales.
  • You cannot use any Interac/Debit payment options.
  • LCP recommends that you create an account when you order your tickets so that you can always retrieve them.
  • After you order your ticket(s), please send an email to Renata Solski (renata@wodl.on.ca) letting her know what WODL Member Group you are with and who will be using the tickets you purchased so that Renata can manage the seating plan for tables of 8.
  • $75 per ticket - available at WODL 2024 Awards Gala Tickets.
  • Includes a delicious plated dinner followed by Travelling Festival awards presentation.


  • Salad:  Spinach salad: baby spinach, raspberry honey vinaigrette, orange segments, strawberry, red onion.
  • Main:  Supreme of chicken with white balsamic pan drippings, roasted new potatoes and asparagus spears.
  • Dessert: Lemon Yogurt Torte: – vanilla sponge cake, lemon, yogurt, fresh crème.


  •  If you have dietary restrictions, please arrange with Renata Solski via email at renata@wodl.on.ca.


  • We can and will accommodate those who only wish to attend the Awards presentation.



  • $162 - $182 per night plus applicable taxes and fees.
  • Rate available until Friday, May 3, 3024.
  • Cancellation with no penalty – 48 hours ahead of arrival.
  • Breakfast is not included – there are lots of options within easy walking distance of the hotel.
  • Book your room at WODL Festival 2024 Hotel Room Booking.
  • Questions? Please contact Renata Solski at renata@wodl.on.ca.


  • Hosted by Tom and Kathy Fahey in the Premier Suite at the hotel.
  • Kathy and Tom will have hotel maps, menus of nearby restaurants and other local information.
  • Thank you to an anonymous donor, we’ll enjoy Chocolate Martinis before the Gala.


  • Laurel Gillespie (Workshops) and Kathy and Tom Fahey (Hospitality) have worked together to provide us with lots of opportunities to learn, play and visit with some opportunities for restorative “happy nappies”. See schedule below for details.


  • Playwrights Canada Press are continuing to support our Festival with sponsorship of a Festival playwright and providing discounted plays and theatre books for Anne Mooney and Mona Brennan-Coles to sell during the Festival on their behalf.


The Hospitality Suite will be open throughout the Festival.

Thursday 16 May

6:00 pm onwards

Hospitality Suite Opens

  • You may be asked to help finish the setup as you visit

Premier Suite

Friday 17 May:

10:30 am

Intimacy Workshop

  • Siobhan Richardson

Playwrights Canada Press – books for sale

Gunnery Room

3:00 pm

·  Marketing and Audience Development

  • Michael Adams, Senior Director of Marketing and Audience Development, Stratford Festival

Playwrights Canada Press – books for sale

Gunnery Room

Saturday 18 May:

9:00 am

Cereal and Cartoons in the Hospitality Suite

Premier Suite

10:00 am

Canadian Playwright – sponsored by Playwrights Canada Press

Playwrights Canada Press – books for sale

Gunnery Room


Paradigm Spirits Co. – Distillers & Blenders

  • Tour and tasting 

100 Kellog Lane, London, ON

5:00 pm

Chocolate Martinis in the Hospitality Suite

Premier Suite

6:00 pm

Festival Awards Gala

Armouries Ballroom

10:00 pm onwards

Hospitality Suite

Premier Suite

WODL Festival and Reunion Gala 2023 Committee:

  • Mona Brennan-Coles, Chair
  • Peter Busby, Treasurer
  • Bev Dietrich, Hotel/Gala
  • Kathy Fahey, co-host Hospitality
  • Tom Fahey, co-host Hospitality
  • Laurel Gillespie, Workshops
  • Ken Menzies, Adjudications
  • Andre Paradis, Awards
  • Renata Solski, Hotel/Gala

2024 Life Members

By Sue Perkins, WODL Life Members Chair, lifemembers@wodl.on.ca

The current Honorary Life Members have considered the contributions of the three nominees for Life Memberships for 2024. Only two can be chosen, and the Life Members have voted on their decisions. The two people chosen will be announced at the AGM to be held in Leamington in October. This will be a hybrid meeting with the opportunity to attend in person or via Zoom.

Adjudicator for 2024/2025 Season - Trevor Smith Diggins

By Ken Menzies, WODL Adjudications Chair, adjudications@wodl.on.ca

An accomplished actor, director, producer, and alumnus of the former Theatre Ontario Talent Bank, Trevor returns to WODL as our travelling adjudicator, following his previous tour in 2019. 


A familiar face on the WODL festival circuit, Trevor received his first adjudicator's award for acting in 1980. Since then, he has earned numerous honors for his work in the region, including three best actor awards. He also advanced to win the top award twice again at Theatre Ontario festivals.


In the Greater Toronto region, Trevor adjudicated for the Association of Community Theatres Central Ontario (ACT-CO) in 2016 and 2017. And he served three times on adjudication panels for Sears Drama Festivals.


Directing credits include Company, Venus in Fur, Marjorie Prime, Noises Off, Calendar Girls, Shirley Valentine, Misery, The House of Blue Leaves, Come Back to the 5 & Dime, God of Carnage, and Stepping Out.


As an actor, Trevor has played several challenging roles onstage, including Martin in The Goat, Norman in The Dresser, John Merrick in The Elephant Man, Roy in Cosi, Robin in The Wild Guys, Tim in Dine-Her, Underling in The Drowsy Chaperone, Allan in Harvest, Hal in Self-Help, Lionel in Bakersfield Mist, and multiple roles in the Toronto premiere of The Normal Heart.


Trevor’s resumé also includes a few film and TV gigs, plus two turns on the ballroom floor, winning silver (2010) and gold medals (2011) in Dancing with the Stars, a fundraiser for Hope Spring Cancer Support Centre. In 2023, he used his voice in support of the Downie-Wenjack Fund as a featured soloist for three benefit performances of In View: The Lyrics of Gord Downie in Concert.


Trevor is passionate about helping other theatre artists to make compelling choices that resonate on the stage. He’s frequently called upon by community theatre groups to conduct play-polishing workshops for actors and directors during their rehearsal process.


Trevor is a founding director of The Downtown Theatre Project, an independent, profit-sharing company launched in 2018 to produce mainstage shows for small performance spaces in Guelph.

When he's not in a theatre, Trevor works as an independent consultant, providing communication strategy and training for corporate and government clients across Canada – www.smithdiggins.com  

Community Theatre in the WODL Region

A good place to find out about what other WODL groups are doing is the WODL Facebook page, WODL | Facebook. Most of the announcements are at fairly short notice, so check in often!

If your group is putting on an event that you would like included in the May newsletter, please send the information to communications@wodl.on.ca.

What's on this Month in the Waterloo-Wellington Region

By Bev Dietrich, WODL Area VP Waterloo-Wellington, bev@wodl.on.ca

Cambridge Community Players

The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie, directed by Mallory Moxon-Carson runs from March 29 until April 7, 2024. Adjudication is April 5, 2024.

Elmira Theatre Company

Drowning Girls by Beth Graham, Charlie Tomlinson & Daniela Vlaskalic directed by Joe Brenner runs April 26 – May 5, 2024, at St. James Lutheran Church in Elmira.

Guelph Little Theatre

Five Alarm by Kristen Da Silva, directed by Stephen Sherry, runs April 11-18, 2024.

Kitchener-Waterloo Little Theatre

Kafka’s Dick by Alan Bennett, directed by Christena Jackson runs from April 18 until May 4, 2024.Sherry, runs April 11-18 , 2024.

Penny and Pound Theatre Productions

Registration is open for Penny & Pound’s Newcomers program which is an auditioned performance program designed specifically for performers in Grades 4-8 and 9-12 that will start in September 2024 and run for 9 months on Saturdays.

Tickets are on sale on April 1 on Eventbrite for Disney’s Newsies: The Broadway Musical which runs July 25-28 at Guelph Little Theatre.

Theatre Wellesley

Making God Laugh by Sean Grennan, directed by Rhonda Caldwell & Aidan Tessier runs from April 18 until 28, 2024.

What's Happening in the Brant-Haldimand-Norfolk-Oxford Region

By Laurel Gillespie, WODL Area VP Brant-Haldimand-Norfolk-Oxford, laurel@wodl.on.ca

Paris Performers’ Theatre

Paris Performers’ Theatre was thrilled to host a “Meet and Mingle” night this past March to introduce their Board of Directors and their new home at St. Paul’s United Church in Paris.

They are holding a “Trivia Night” at the Paris Pub on April 10 at 7:00 pm. This terrific trivia night is a fundraiser to support Paris Performers’ Theatre operations and productions. Tickets are $10. a person and may be paid on the night. To book a table contact Hello@parispub.ca

A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be performed on August 8-11 and 15-18. Auditions will be held on Sunday, April 14, 1-6 and Monday, April 15, 6-9 for actors and Tuesday, April 16, 6-9 for production inquiries and volunteer help. Contact ParisPerformersTheatre@gmail.com for further details.

Get ready for the Brant Theatre Festival 2024, a 3 day showcase of One Act Plays, Paris Playwrights, and exciting theatrics happening in Brant on June 21, 22, and 23 in downtown Paris. Contact ParisPerformersTheatre@gmail.com for further information and keep checking their Facebook page.

Theatre Tillsonburg

The upcoming production of Gloria's Guy at Theatre Tillsonburg is not just about the incredible cast, but also the dynamic and enthusiastic crew who are having a blast behind the scenes.

Gloria's Guy promises to be a theatrical experience like no other. Stay tuned for updates and be prepared to be captivated by the incredible talent and camaraderie showcased in this remarkable production.

Keep checking their Facebook page to see who wins the next Larkin Lake - Looney of the Month Award.

Show Dates for Gloria’s Guy are May 2-5 and 9-12, 2024

Get your tickets here : https://www.theatretillsonburg.com/get-tickets-live

Theatre Woodstock

Theatre Woodstock hosted Maggie's Wake, a band with Celtic roots, on Saturday, March 9, 2024, for an evening which ended in many patrons dancing at the front of the house to their lively music. A good time was had by all!

Festival of One Act Plays 3 hits Theatre Woodstock's stage from April 11-13, 2024. It consists of three hilarious 30-minute productions which welcome many new thespians to the stage and see the return of several familiar faces. Tickets are only $15 and can be purchased through the Theatre Woodstock Box Office.

On Tuesday, March 19, Theatre Woodstock announced their 2024/2025 season at their special "Role-Out" Night! This evening provided the audience with a brief synopsis from each director of the 4 Main Season shows including My Old LadyA Snow White ChristmasCabaret, and A Rock Sails By. The Festival of One Act Plays will also be returning with their fourth installment and STAGES shared their line-up for their youth program as well. For all the details, please visit the Theatre Woodstock and STAGES' Facebook & Instagram pages and check their website for information about auditions and season ticket sales.

Are you looking for a theatre experience for the younger people in your life? Bring them to see Munsch at Play & Giants in the Sky from May 3-5, 2024. STAGES, the youth program at Theatre Woodstock, has prepared six stories by Robert Munsch in Munsch at Play, including The Paper Bag Princess. Our friends at Annick Press (Robert Munsch's publishing company) have provided us with a bunch of Robert Munsch mini-books which our younger patrons will have a chance to win for FREE! After the intermission, Giants in the Sky tells the tale of giants heading down the infamous beanstalk for an adventure below. Don't delay and get your tickets today through the Theatre Woodstock Box Office

Off the Wall - Summer Courses

By Michele Boniface, Chair, Off the Wall Stratford Artists Alliance, mboniface@cyg.net

Website: stratfordoffthewall.com

Facebook: @offthewallstrat

Instagram: @offthewallstratfordartists

Hashtags: #stratfordoffthewall #theatreproduction #backstage

Horizon Solution Seminar in April

By Samadhi Perera, Horizon Solutions, samadhi@horizonsolutions.net

Resource Stage – April 9 - Digital Audio Mixers

Every year we take time in our Resource Stage schedule to look at Digital Audio mixers. Every year Horizon Solutions sells more and more digital consoles from Allen & Heath and other brands to schools, churches and theatres across the country. We also provide training on these consoles for clients everywhere.

Join us on April 9th at Horizon Solutions 1910 Huron Street or online at www.resourcestage.ca for a look at our two best-selling digital audio mixers, the Allen & Heath Qu series and SQ series of mixers.

We’ll look at every input and output and talk through how signals flow through this digital console.

This is a great seminar for anyone who’s never used a digital audio console before, or for those who have had a console, but they would like to have some questions answered.

Playwrights Canada Press

By Brandon Crone, Sales & Marketing Coordinator at Playwrights Canada Press, brandon@playwrightscanada.com

Check out these new books from Playwrights Canada Press!

Recently released:  


Retreating to Re-Treat: A Performative Encounter at the 'Edge of the Woods' by The Collective Encounter with Jill Carter

In 2019, the Collective Encounter—a group of scholar-artists led by Jill Carter—presented Encounters at the 'Edge of the Woods' as part of Hart House Theatre’s 100th anniversary season. The piece acted as survivance intervention: an Indigenous reclamation of territory, using Storyweaving practices rooted in personal connections to the land to restor(y) treaty relationships. Retreating to Re-Treat documents both their collective creation and process, offered in the spirit of creative knowledge-sharing and enriching scholarship around collaborative practices. By revealing their unique and still-developing method for addressing a fraught and tangled (hi)story, the Collective Encounter invites readers to join them as we mediate those sites of profound experiences and renewal—sites in which the project of conciliation might truly begin.

Frozen River (nîkwatin sîpiy) by Michaela Washburn, Joelle Peters, and Carrie Costello

Exploring reconciliation and connection through a story that spans seven generations, Frozen River (nîkwatin sîpiy) tells the story of two eleven-year-olds through the eyes of Grandmother Moon. Eilidh and Wâpam are born under the same blood moon, but Eilidh was born in Scotland and Wâpam in Kihci-Manito kâ ayapit, now known as Manitoba. Coming from vastly different worlds, Eilidh and Wâpam decide to teach each other about their ways of life. But when a sacred promise between them is broken, the relationship among cultures becomes jeopardized for generations to come.

Coming soon:


The Black Drum by Adam Pottle

Hailed as the world’s first Deaf musical, The Black Drum revolves around Joan and her journey to healing after the death of her wife, Karen. Joan’s grief pulls her into a bizarre, black-and-white world where her two beautiful tattoos come to life as guides and together they confront a monster called the Minister. But the only way to defeat the Minister and begin to heal is for Joan to embrace her own voice. An epic fantasy about grief and healing, The Black Drum questions the concept of music we are conditioned to believe, suggesting that music is not just something you hear, it is something you see and feel.


 + see what else is coming soon!

Did you know you can browse our plays by subjects and casting? 

Want to hear more about sales and upcoming events? Sign up for our newsletter!


You can find more new releases, a blog full of interviews and excerpts, and more on playwrightscanada.com.

Playwrights Guild of Canada - Canadian Play Outlet

The Canadian Play Outlet has over 2000 Canadian Plays right at your fingertips. Looking for something specific? Check out the curated Collections.

Every month you can take a look at the newest unpublished and published plays available!

See March 2024 releases.

Concord Theatricals New Plays

See their latest scripts click here.

If you are Producing Canadian Plays this Season - Check This Out

The Playwrights Guild of Canada publicises productions of Canadian-written plays through its website, www.playwrightsguild.ca.

If you want to perform a Canadian play but cannot figure out where to obtain the amateur performance rights, view this presentation from PGC.

Is your WODL Membership Information Up-to-date?

Are you on the board of a theatre group that belongs to WODL? If your group has:

  • A new President
  • New WODL delegates
  • A new Treasurer

Please let our membership chair, Shirley Steele, know at membership@wodl.on.ca

Dates for your Diary:

12 April 2024

End of adjudications.

14 April 2024

WODL General Meeting in Woodstock. Announcement of nominations for awards.

30 April 2024

Deadline for submissions for the May newsletter.

Victoria Day Long Weekend, 17 & 18 May 2024

WODL Festival and Reunion Gala 2024, London

Victoria Day Long Weekend, 15 - 18 May 2025

WODL Festival 2025, Leamington.

Victoria Day Long Weekend, Sunday 18 May 2025

Awards brunch, Leamington.

This newsletter was prepared by:

Tricia Ward

Communications coordinator


Western Ontario Drama League  | communications@wodl.on.ca | www.wodl.on.ca

Copyright © Western Ontario Drama League 2024. All Rights Reserved.

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