Western Ontario Drama League
Newsletter November 2019
In this issue:

  • WODL Festival 2020 - 16 to 20 March 2020 - Cambridge
  • The Future of Theatre Ontario
  • Kincardine Theatre Guild needs a Sarcophagus
  • Kitchener Waterloo Little Theatre - Workshop - Canadian Intimacy for Stage & Screen
  • News From Around the WODL Region
  • Playwrights Canada Press - New Titles
  • Playwrights Guild of Canada - Canadian Play Outlet
  • If you are producing Canadian Plays this Season - Check This Out
  • ONstage Theatre Listings
  • Is your WODL Membership Information Up-to-date?
  • Dates for your Diary
Quick Links:
WODL Festival 2020 - 16 to 20 March 2020 - Cambridge
By Terri Graham, Co-chair Festival2020, terri@wodl.on.ca
The WODL Festival 2020 will be held at the Cambridge Arts Theatre, 47 Water Street, Cambridge, co-hosted by Cambridge Community Players and Paris Performers' Theatre on March 16-20, 2020.

Our board is as follows:

  • CCP co-chair - Gord Wehner
  • PPT co-chair - Terri Graham
  • Treasurer - Peter Busby
  • WODL liaison, contract negotiations guru - Mona Brennan-Coles
  • Gala and Opening Reception Manager - Nikole Beda
  • Hotel Welcoming Committee - Cindy Cudney and Marion Smith
  • Theatre Reception Managers - Peter and Nita Hunton

We are working on filling our volunteer rosters and will be announcing these people shortly.

The hotel will be the Cambridge Hotel and Conference Centre, approximately 15 minutes from the theatre. The Gala will be there as well.

The Opening reception will be at the City Hall where our emcee will be Martin Smith from PPT and the honourary chair of the festival is Cambridge Mayor, Kathryn McGarry.

We are still finalizing the contract with the Cambridge Hotel and will announce the room pricing soon.

The gala tickets will be $55.00 again this year, with a live band and deejay.

Show ticket pricing is being finalized. Tickets for the shows and gala will go on sale on December 1st.

We are looking for groups to provide the luncheons for the performers and crew for each show. If your theatre can do this, please let Terri know as soon as possible. Thank you to Guelph Little Theatre and KWLT for their participation so far!!

We are working on the daytime events at the hotel. Be prepared for some ooohhhs and aaahhhhs with these... you won't want to miss out!!

The Future of Theatre Ontario
By, Shirley Bieman, Past-President of WODL, shirley@wodl.on,ca
After the disturbing news in October that Theatre Ontario was going to have to shut down for financial reasons, the meeting referenced below gives hope that this may not be the case.

We at WODL thank the Shaw and Stratford Festivals as well as other professional members of Theatre Ontario for stepping up to help turn this around. 

Theatre Ontario has been there to support our community theatres in many ways, almost as a silent partner:
  • Hosting summer Intensive workshops on a variety of topics of interest about all things theatre

  • Maintaining a Talent Bank of Theatre Instructors

  • Bringing WODL and the other regions together at the Theatre Ontario Festival to celebrate, educate, and showcase community theatre

  • Giving us access free online publications, including the Guide to Producing in Community Theatre

  • Sponsoring webinars and workshops

  • Providing individual one-on-one counselling on areas affecting our community theatre organizations

  • Training and evaluating new adjudicators

  • Providing workshops for emerging and mid-career adjudicators

If you feel you would like to help keep this vital organization going with a donation, please see the information below. 

The Theatre Ontario Festival 2020 will be held in Sault Ste Marie in May 2020.
Announcement from Theatre Ontario:

October 30, 2019
Toronto, Ontario

At the Special Meeting of the Membership on Saturday, October 26th, those Theatre Ontario members present voted to table the Board-proposed resolution regarding shutdown until February 29, 2020.

This was based on the general support expressed by the community via telephone, email, social media, official statements (such as the one made by Canadian Actors Equity Association on behalf of its membership), and especially from a pledge of support initiated by leadership at the Shaw Festival and the Stratford Festival to their peers in the professional theatre community in the membership.

In an excerpt from their message:
“Theatre Ontario has been a vital part of the ecology for over four decades. The organization has supported the Ontario Theatre communities, both professional and amateur, since 1971. It was created to fill the gap created by the demise of the Dominion Drama Festival and Theatre Canada, and has been instrumental in the development of young professionals across the field. … Shaw and Stratford have reached out to the staff and Board of Theatre Ontario to suggest that we believe these obstacles are surmountable and have offered help…to lower overhead and increase stability while the Theatre Ontario Board and Staff undertake a process to forge a path forward. …
On a personal note, we will also be renewing our personal memberships or donating to the organization as we are able and hope you will consider the same.”
TC [Tim Carroll] and Antoni [Cimolino]
Anita [Gaffney] and Tim [Jennings]
(Shaw Festival and Stratford Festival Executive Teams)

Community and educational theatres have also expressed their desire to be part of the solution.

The vote reflected a sufficient majority to continue to try and find a way forward to see if these obstacles are surmountable.

Following the Special Membership Meeting, the Board of Directors expressed uncertainty about the next steps. Not all Board members are able to continue on this journey. However, some Board members want to continue to respond to the energy and expressions of support from the community. Solutions are going to take more than what the Board is currently able to do by themselves.

As previously reported, Raeburn Ferguson and Brandon Moore were given notice of termination as Theatre Ontario employees. Because of their respective years of service, Raeburn has already reached the end of her service, and is no longer with the organization. Brandon remains on staff until November 19th.

In the spirit of this community support, Theatre Ontario welcomes donations from the community. Donations can be made to Theatre Ontario via CanadaHelps . This is the preferred method to donate. We also acknowledge all of those who have already given support over the past year during our appeals .

Specific offers of “in-kind” support or general questions, concerns and reservations should be directed to ed@theatreontario.org
Kincardine Theatre Guild needs a Sarcophagus
Kincardine Theatre Guild needs a sarcophagus/Egyptian mummy case for their spring show, Curse of the Silver Pharaoh

If your group has done The Man Who Came to Dinner or one of those horror send-ups, curse of the son of the mummy , or whatever, then maybe they still have one.

If you know the whereabouts of a sarcophagus please contact Deb Deckert at
Kitchener Waterloo Little Theatre - Workshop - Canadian Intimacy for Stage & Screen
News from Around the WODL Region
By Janice Lundy, member WODL Communications Committee,   janice@wodl.on.ca 
Nov 9 Players Guild of Hamilton I’ll Be Seeing You
Nov 16 Elmira Theatre Company A Red Plaid Shirt
Nov 6-17 The Bank Theatre Noises Off
Nov 7-17 Theatre Tillsonburg Bare Bear Bones
Nov 7-23 Owen Sound Little Theatre Sister Act
Nov 8-17 Peninsula Players Theft
Nov 14-30 Kincardine Theatre Guild Cinderella: A Pantomime
Nov 15-17 Theatre Kent Mamma Mia!
Nov 15-24 Thistle Theatre The Gentleman Clothier
                  Windsor Light Music Theatre Matilda
                  Paris Performers Theatre Five Alarm
Nov 17-30 Theatre Burlington Aladdin
Nov 21- Dec 1 Guelph Little Theatre Twas
Nov 21 – Dec 8 Simcoe Little Theatre The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Nov 22-30     Cambridge Community Players Nobody’s Perfect
Theatre Sarnia A Christmas Carol
Nov 28- Dec 8 London Community Players Damn Yankees
Nov 29-Dec 7 Theatre Woodstock Closed for the Holidays
Nov 29-Dec 8 ITOPA The Secret Garden
Nov 30-Dec 7 Kitchener Waterloo Little Theatre The December Man (l'homme de décembre)

If you have any special events planned at your theatre in the upcoming months, please let me know!
Playwrights Canada Press - New Titles
By Jessica Lewis, Sales & Marketing Manager, Playwrights Canada Press, jessica@playwrightscanada.com
Coming soon from Playwrights Canada Press:

Straight Jacket Winter  by Esther Duquette and Gilles Poulin-Denis
2f, 2m / 90 minutes
When Gilles and Esther decided to move from Montréal to Vancouver, they didn’t expect their lives to change so starkly. Isolated by the struggle to connect to others, navigate their language barrier, and deal with non-stop rain, the young couple approach a divide between the yearning to go back to their old life and the desire to stay.
trace  by Jeff Ho
1m / 75 minutes
An elegant and sweeping story of a Chinese family’s history,  trace  follows the footsteps of four generations as their homes and identities are challenged.
Bang Bang by Kat Sandler
2f, 3m / 140 minutes
A white playwright uses the shooting of an unarmed young Black man by a female police officer as a “jumping off point” for his hit play that is soon to be adapted into a major movie. As Hollywood comes knocking for the writer, he makes a surprise visit to the home of the officer involved.  
The Bears Sleep at Last by Genevieve Billette, translated by Nadine Desrochers
2m / 60 min
Between a man who can’t ease polar bears into hibernation and a boy who is desperate to stay in one place, a beautiful story is woven together about asking for help when one really needs it.
Fortune of Wolves by Ryan Griffith
2f, 2m / 150 minutes
After losing everything, Lowell Garrish sets off on a road trip across Canada with a tape recorder, desperate to hold on to real sounds. But as he drives, strange occurrences and mass disappearances imply that something terrible is happening, and Lowell begins to realize that time for humanity may be running out.
Pugwash by Vern Thiessen
6 actors / 105 minutes
When world-renowned scientists and academics were invited to the small town of Pugwash, Nova Scotia to discuss nuclear weapons post World War II, they couldn’t have predicted the bond they’d make with the town and the legacy they’d leave.
The Directors Lab edited by Evan Tsitsias
From the co-founder of Directors Lab North comes an essential manual for directing for the stage. Combined with master classes and interviews with established, emerging, and mid-career directors, the book gives an exploration into the mechanics of theatre through the perspective of a director.

For more information on these, and other titles, visit Playwrights Canada Press at www.playwrightscanada.com/
Playwrights Guild of Canada - Canadian Play Outlet
The  Canadian Play Outlet  has launched its new site with 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!
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 .
ONstage Theatre Listings
Theatre Ontario publishes an online list of current and upcoming productions by its member groups. To see what is on  click here .
Is your WODL Menbership 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, Gina Paradis, know at  membership@wodl.on.ca
Dates for your Diary:
23 February 2020
WODL General Meeting, Cambridge
16 March to 21 March 2020
WODL Festival 2020, Cambridge