Western Ontario Drama League
Newsletter October 2019
In this issue:

  • WODL General Meeting in Cambridge on Sunday 6 October
  • WODL Festival Adjudications Schedule
  • Faux Food Workshop at WODL GM - Cambridge - 6 October 2019
  • Lawrie Bonanno (18 November 1931 to 16 July 2019) Remembered
  • Festival 2020
  • News From Around the WODL Region
  • Playwrights Canada Press - New Titles
  • Off th Wall Stratford Artists Alliance - Theatrical and Special Effects Makeuporkshop
  • 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 General Meeting in Cambridge on Sunday 6 October
The General Meeting starts at 1:00 pm on Sunday 6 October,

at: C ambridge Arts Theatre , 47 Water Street South, Galt, Cambridge 

This is your chance to take a preliminary look at the theatre where Festival 2020 will be held.

The General Meeting is followed by a workshop on making Faux Food.
WODL Festival Adjudications Schedule
By Ken Menzies, Adjudications Chair of WODL,   adjudications@wodl.on.ca
The Festival 2019/20 adjudications schedules are available:
On September 21, the day after all applications for adjudication were due, I sat down with 22, 3 by 5-inch cards each with a theatre group name, if their production was in or out of festival and the dates in order that they wished to be adjudicated. I shuffled these around on a calendar until I had fitted them in. I had two main concerns: get each group close to their top preference of date and keep the pre-festival adjudicator’s travel sensible: long winter drives can lead to missed adjudications and much worse. I was lucky this time. All groups could be fitted into the schedule. I did not have to flip any coins.There are 10 in festival shows and 12 out of festival being adjudicated.

You can still submit a show for adjudication. Application for adjudication forms are available on the WODL website. However, please consult the adjudication schedule. No play will be deprived of their current adjudication date so please do not ask for an adjudication on a date where an adjudication is already scheduled. In addition, the pre-festival adjudicator must be available. He is entitled to a life and has made commitments since the preliminary schedule was established. However, try: it is often possible: in previous years the adjudication schedule has had several updates.
Faux Food Workshop at WODL GM - Cambridge - 6 October 2019
All members welcome

When: Sunday October 6, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Where:   C ambridge Arts Theatre , 47 Water Street South, Galt, Cambridge 

What: Delegates meeting followed by Faux Food Workshop sponsored by Off the Wall Artists Alliance, Stratford, led by Deb Erb. Deb is an Off the Wall teacher and multidisciplinary theatre artist, specializing in prop making, set and costume design, and backstage production.

Workshop participants will take home a box of hand-made chocolates, along with a recipe for creating them.

They’ll also see how to fashion many of the props shown in the photo, as well as such items as beer, fries and burgers, drumsticks, eggs, bacon, toast and much more.

Workshop: Cost to participants: FREE

Workshop: Maximum: 30 people

RSVP for the workshop by September 30 to shirley@wodl.on.ca 
Lawrie Bonanno (18 November 1931 to 16 July 2019) Remembered
By Tom Mackan, director of many memorable Festival plays
Most, or at least many, of you will have known Lawrie Bonanno. His presence at WODL events, from Festivals through annual meetings and more, could be quiet and low in profile, until something needed his attention and the high energy emerged.

Lawrie was the quintessential techie, ever backstage, in the wings, up in the booth, in the Lobby or the House, and around the Board table, managing things with sharp eyes and, when needed, a frank tongue, too. He was respected and always admired. He had a jocular and companionable side but his smooth edge was ever in his wife, Fay.

Now his widow, with his death in July, Fay Bonanno was Lawrie’s velvet glove and his partner, in life and in theatre. Community Theatre in Western Ontario and beyond owes so much to the team of Fay and Lawrie.

Both were British expatriates who came to Burlington in the post war flush of arrivals and growth of the 1950s. Burlington Little Theatre (BLT), just a few years old, beckoned. With his wealth of construction skills, tool making, electrical mastery, Lawrie was invaluable in moving the company forward. Artistic and practical, Lawrie gave the nascent group the production and administrative strength it needed to survive.

BLT’s beginnings in rudimentary quarters grew through the 1960s and 70s and eventually Lawrie and his wide circle of theatre friends in the community and city established a home in Central Park as a part of the new Drama and Music Centre. Operating now as Theatre Burlington they eventually joined the Western Ontario Drama League, and the Bonanno family took BLT to a wider purview in Ontario.

The BLT company took part in many Festivals over the years. Lawrie and Fay enjoyed the confidence and friendship of the other member theatre companies. Widely respected by his contemporaries, he gave unstintingly of his administrative skills and technical artistry in concert with the many gifted enthusiasts who made up the vitality of the Western Ontario Drama League teams.

In 1995 Lawrie was appointed an Honorary Life Member of WODL, and in 1996, Fay received the same distinction. In 2000, both Fay and Lawrie, along with another icon of the period, Anne Wilson, in recognition of their indelible service to, and knowledge of the WODL, were each granted the status of Honorary Life President, a most singular and appropriate honour.
In the 1974-75 season Lawrie took over the WODL Awards chair from Bruce Devitt. By Owen Sound Festival in March 1976 the front cover of their programme proudly featured new masks, and that was the first year of the distinctive awards designed by Lawrie.

Until illness overtook his energy resources a year or so ago, Lawrie continued to make the WODL awards, charging only for the materials while donating all his time in the manufacturing of them. His son, Trevor Bonanno, has taken over and he will continue to provide the awards his Dad’s footsteps. It seems so fitting that “Awards” are the lasting artistic legacy of Lawrie Bonnano and the Western Ontario Drama League.
In closing: Along with a favourite poem, Masefield’s I must go down to the seas again . in a memorial card at his wake, his family gathered a list of Ten Things You Never Heard Lawrie Say and they so beautifully have the measure of this memorable man.

Lawrie, the list tells, never said:

  1. That’s good enough!
  2. Use more glow tape.
  3. It doesn’t need any salt.
  4. We’ll clean the shop later.
  5. Put the tools away dirty.
  6. We’ll work through tea break.
  7. I won’t need that, just throw it out.
  8. No need to make custard.
  9. The soup’s too hot.
  10. I don’t know that nursery rhyme.

It will be hard to forget this man, this Lawrie Bonanno.
Festival 2020
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.

The theme for Festival 2020 is COMMUNITY. A community, according to the Oxford Didtionary:

"is a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common; or a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals."e are always there for each other and although sometimes we have differences of opinion, we share the same goals within our companies and within our cities - we want to create a place of artistic integrity, share our talents with others and have an atmosphere of inclusion and camaraderie. 

We strive to celebrate each others' differences and the profound healing, communication, love and creation that comes from being part of such an amazing environment in the theatre. With our theme in mind we will be having several events taking place during the days, while groups set up for the evening shows. We can't wait to showcase this event with everyone!!

At this time, our main 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

At this time 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. The honourary chair of the festival is Cambridge Mayor, Kathryn McGarry.

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

The gala tickets will be $55.00 again this year--black tie affair with a live band and deejay. 

Show ticket pricing is being finalized and will be announced shortly.

We will send out a welcome letter to all WODL groups by November with more detailed information on the theatre.

We will also send an invitation for theatre groups to assist with the coffee for adjudications, as well as the lunches for participating companies, during the Festival.

We hope to get as many groups as possible to assist with these so that the work is a little lighter for everyone.
News from Around the WODL Region
By Janice Lundy, member WODL Communications Committee,   janice@wodl.on.ca 
Continuing into October:
To Oct 5 Theatre Sarnia Mamma Mia!
To Oct 6 Guelph Little Theatre 13 the Musical
To Oct 12 Kitchener Waterloo Little Theatre Problem Child / Criminal Genius

Oct 18-26     Theatre Woodstock On a First-Name Basis
Oct 23-26    Theatre Sarnia   Heathers The Musical

Oct 24-Nov 2  Aylmer Community Theatre   Having Hope at Home
Oct 24- Nov 3 London Community Players   An Inspector Calls
St Marys Community Players   The Fantasticks
Oct 25 – Nov 9 Players Guild of Hamilton I’ll Be Seeing You

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:

1f, 3m / 60 minutes
With a few drinks and some “Ayes!” three fishermen on a small island off the coast of Nova Scotia declare independence from Canada: henceforth, they shall be known as the Princes of the Principality of Outer Baldonia!

Guarded Girls by Charlotte Corbeil-Coleman
4f / 130 minutes
The stories and experiences of three imprisoned women intertwine in dramatic and dangerous ways, as the psychological destruction that is solitary confinement taunts each of their lives.

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.

For more information on these, and other titles, visit Playwrights Canada Press at www.playwrightscanada.com/
Off th Wall Stratford Artists Alliance - Theatrical and Special Effects Makeup Workshop
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:
6 October 2019
WODL General Meeting, Cambridge
23 February 2020
WODL General Meeting, Cambridge
16 March to 21 March 2020
WODL Festival 2020, Cambridge