Newsletter Febuary 2016

In this issue:
Welcome to the WODL Newsletter

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Festival 2016 Box Office Now Open
Click here to order your Festival 2016 tickets, or call the Box Office at

Gala Tickets are now available by calling the Box Office and also online.
Festival 2016 Adjudications Schedule

The adjudications for Festival 2016 are now well under way.

To view the most recent adjudications schedule click here.
Woodstock Festival 2016

By Bonnie Hartley, Co-chair Festival 2016.  Bonnie@wodl.on.ca
With only three weeks till the announcement of what the FIVE plays will be, excitement is mounting here in Woodstock. Many of the nine contending shows are currently in production and it's been nice to share some of their information on the Theatre Woodstock Facebook page. Our own Mom's the Word opens on February 12.
Gala tickets

Gala tickets are available from the Box Office (519-537-2582) and now online at  http://wodlfestival2016.ca/ Just click "gala" on the calendar on the TICKETS tab. You will be asked for a Theatre Group affiliation to help with seating.

In addition to the awards, some members of CAST (our young company) will be performing, and the band for the evening will be Full Nelson. Their specialty is classic rock - so come prepared to dance!
Light up your Skills

In addition to FIVE fabulous plays, we will also be offering FOUR  Workshops Tuesday to Friday from 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm in the Altadore Room in the Quality Hotel.  All are FREE and open to the public. In all cases you may observe and/or participate.
Tuesday: Ron's Top Ten Practical Pieces of Advice for Actors.
Led by adjudicator Ron Cameron-Lewis. Details.
Wednesday: Improvisation for Fun and Skill-building
Since we are taking a pause from Minifest, many groups are turning to Improv as a great way to hone skills and have lots of fun.  Led by Kim Watson of Enchanted Theatre, the session will include an introduction to Improv, some exercises and perhaps a game or two.
Thursday: Ron's Top Ten Practical Pieces of Advice for Directors
Led by adjudicator Ron Cameron-Lewis.  Details.
Friday: Playwright Mark Crawford, writer in Residence at Blyth Festival will talk about developing Canadian plays. You'll get a chance to learn how he approaches script writing, and hear scenes from two of his plays Stag & Doe, and The Birds & The Bees, which will be premiering at Blyth this summer.
Playwrights Canada Press will also be providing a display of Canadian scripts for perusal and purchase.
Parking in Woodstock

Street parking is FREE for 2 hours and only $2 for the day in Municipal lots - and FREE after 6:00 pm. There is a large lot diagonally opposite the theatre and you are within walking distance of many restaurants as well as the Woodstock Art Gallery and the Woodstock Museum (National Historic site) in the old town hall.
See you all on February 21st!!
Follow Festival 2016 on Twitter at #wodlfestival       
Festival 2016: Outline of the Directing Workshop to be facilitated by Ron Cameron-LewisDirectingwWorkshop

Ten exercises for directors to use to help actors grow and thrive in rehearsal

1.      The role of memorized monologues

2.      Impulse exercises for call-back auditions

Rehearsal -  Ensemble

3.      Style: exercises in linear acting and circular movement

4.      Quick exercises for large-cast productions

5.      60-30-10 and the 'dark room' exercise

Rehearsal - Physical

6.      Physicalizing characters through centres

7.      Focus: the audience eye; the actor's point of concentration

Rehearsal - Vocal

8.      Optimum pitch, articulation, inflection and rhythm

9.      Emotional texturing:  discovering range and opposites

10.    Playing with overlapping dialogue; developing pace and rhythm

Festival 2016: Outline of the Acting Workshop to be facilitated by Ron Cameron-LewisActingWorkshop

Ten points for actors to remember for auditions, rehearsal and performance  
Audition Advice

1.      Preparing memorized monologues

2.      Advice for call-back auditions

Rehearsal Advice

3.      Getting to neutral; building character energy and physicality

4.      Creating backstory

5.      Developing listening skills

6.      Remaining present at rehearsals

7.      Advice for memorizing lines

8.      Emotional texturing:  discovering range and opposites

9.      Advice from the Dames: Sybil Thorndike, Edith Evans

10.   Trigger words in developing pace and rhythm

Theatre Ontario Festival 2016

Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager, Theatre Ontario.
Theatre Ontario Festival is:
  • a showcase of outstanding community theatre productions
  • a classroom for passionate, dedicated community theatre artists
  • a celebration of excellence in community theatre
  • a destination bringing together theatre lovers from across the province
Theatre Ontario Festival 2016 runs May 18 to 22 in North Bay and is co-hosted by Theatre Ontario, Gateway Theatre Guild, and QUONTA.

WODL's representative will perform on Friday, May 19th.  This year's adjudicator is Mimi Mekler, familiar those of you in southwestern Ontario as your WODL Festival 2014 adjudicator.  Mimi last adjudicated at Theatre Ontario back in 1999 when WODL was so memorably represented by Theatre Woodstock's production of Orphans.

Festival is an opportunity to meet and renew acquaintances with community theatre lovers from across the province, to learn new skills at workshops and detailed adjudications, and to visit some of Ontario's vibrant theatre communities.  The vast distances in our province seem a lot smaller when we come together at Theatre Ontario Festival.

For more information, visit www.theatreontariofestival.ca

FAQs at Theatre Ontario

In the past couple of months at Theatre Ontario, I've received a number of inquiries from community theatres regarding difficulties in the areas of:
  • health & safety
  • online box office systems
  • dealing with Canadian Actors Equity Association
  • human resource policies
  • theatre by-laws-and the latest developments in 2015 regarding ONCA
  • ordering royalties and scripts from the U.S.
  • declined Ontario Trillium Foundation grants
  • policies for providing rental of your venues
As we work collectively to find solutions for these challenges, it is always helpful for me to hear experiences-positive or negative-in this area.  We want to ensure we have the right mix of resources for the sector, and to strengthen the network of community theatres in the province.  Contact me at brandon@theatreontario.org.

All the World's a Stage Set: Handbook of Scene Painting, by Dr. Jane Coryell
Since 1979, Dr. Jane Coryell has designed over 100 sets for community theatre groups,
schools, and professional companies in and near Oakville, Ontario.

She has received 9 awards and 6 nominations with Theatre Ontario. In 2002, the Oakville Centre for Performing Arts recognized Jane's outstanding contributions to theatre with their prestigious annual Appreciation Award. In 2006, she received the Oakville Community Spirit Award for volunteerism in the Arts.

For 20 of her 30 years of high school teaching,  Jane taught Creative Drama from grades 9-11. For 15 years of her teaching career, she taught Visual Art. Her PhD is in Art Education (1995, University of Toronto, O.I.S.E.).

On most of her productions, she was head scenic artist and painting coordinator. This handbook is based on that expertise and experience.

All the World's a Stage Set - Part 2
Samuel French YouTube Channel

The Samuel French YouTube Channel includes over 100 videos that highlight Samuel French plays, musicals and the people who make them. There are interviews with renowned playwrights like Madeleine George, Will Eno, and Alan Ayckbourn, information about new products, plus coverage of Samuel French events and panels.
Subscribe for the latest updates!
Five Canadian Play Recommendations for Community Theatres

By Hannah Moscovitch, from the Playwrights Guild of Canada
Hannah Moscovitch is a Canadian playwright who rose to national prominence in the 2000s. She has been dubbed "an indie sensation" by Toronto Life Magazine; "the wunderkind of Canadian theatre" by CBC Radio; "irritatingly talented" by Eye Weekly; and the "dark angel of Toronto theatre" by Toronto Star. The National Post, The Globe and Mail, and Now Magazine have all hailed Hannah as "Canada's Hottest Young Playwright".

Hannah possesses a unique ability to combine the tragic, the humorous and the shocking while also delivering an intellectually and emotionally complex work. The Globe and Mail hailed The Russian Play as "that rarest of all theatrical experiments: a clever satire with a beating heart", while Variety Magazine's review of East of Berlin noted that "[Moscovitch is] not afraid to plunge right through areas that others might consider poor taste in order to come out the other side in search of a deeper truth."

In 2014, Hannah became the first playwright to win the Trillium Book Award. She's also won the Toronto Critic's Award for Best Canadian Play, the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play, and the SummerWorks Prize for Best Production. Her work has been nominated for the Siminovitch Prize, the Governor General's Award, the Carol Bolt Award, the Toronto Arts Council Foundation Emerging Artist Award, the K.M Hunter Award, and the international Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.

Hannah's writing for the stage includes Infinity, What a Young Wife Ought to Know, East of Berlin, This is War, Little One, Other People's Children, The Russian Play, The Huron Bride (a ghost story) and In This World (for young audiences). Hannah's plays have been produced in Australia, Japan, Greece, Austria, Ireland, Britain and the United States, as well as across Canada, including at the Magnetic North Theatre Festival, Yukon Arts Centre,Banff Centre, Great Canadian Theatre Company, Theatre Network, Tarragon Theatre, Factory Theatre, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Firehall Arts Centre, Prairie Theatre Exchange, Neptune Theatre, Persephone Theatre,and Alberta Theatre Projects among others.

Hannah's opera with award-winning composer Lembit Beecher,I have no stories to tell you, commissioned by the Gotham Chamber Opera, premiered at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in February of 2014.

As part of the 2015/2016 season, Hannah is premiering her new play Bunny at the Stratford Theatre Festival. Hannah is a playwright-in-residence at Canada's leading new works company, Tarragon Theatre.
Here are Hannah's recommendations:

Plays that have super roles for women!

Available for both Amateur and Professional rights!
Contact: Ian Arnold (agent) - ian@catalysttcm.com
What begins as an ordinary parent teacher interview unravels into a gripping and raw confrontation between two women on the brink of disaster. A Cast of 2 Female roles.
Between the Sheets can be purchased from Playwrights Guild of Canada.
2. d'bi Young's bloodclaat.

Available for both Amateur and Professional rights!
Contact: D'bi Young - bookings@dbi333.com
A one woman show: "blood claat is the first story in the sankofa trilogy which charts the journey of three generations of afrikan-jamaican-becoming-afrikan-canadian womben..."
blood claat can be purchased from Playwrights Canada Press this coming summer!

Available for both Amateur and Professional rights!
Contact: Anusree Roy - anusreeroy@hotmail.com
Provocative and moving, Brothel #9 is about the power of the human spirit and its ability to triumph in the face of corruption and suffering. A Cast of 2 Male and 2 Female roles.
Brothel #9 can be purchased from Playwrights Canada Press.

Available for both Amateur and Professional rights!
Contact: Michel Simard (agent) - info@agencesimard.com

A mother falls into complete silence. Upon her death, her twin children are asked to uncover the source of that silence. A Cast of 7 actors.

Scorched can by purchased from Playwrights Canada Press.

Available for both Amateur and Professional rights!
Contact: info@gnaminc.com
Growing up in the 1950s, Kate is fascinated by time and space, interests dismissed as unbecoming to a young woman of her time. A Cast of 2 Male and 5 Female roles.
The Little Years can be purchased from Playwrights Canada Press.
-EXTRA suggestion (Hannah couldn't stop at 5!)-

Available for both Amateur and Professional rights!
In Morwyn Brebner's stunning playwriting debut, Veleska Gert-1930s cabaret star, avant-garde performance artist-explains life, love, and art from her own unique perspective.
Music for Contortionist can be purchased from Gordon Shillingford Publishing Inc.
Canadian Play Map of Canada

Each month the Playwrights Guild of Canada publishes a map showing which Canadian plays are being produced and where. To see the map for February click here.
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 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, Sue Perkins, know at  membership@wodl.on.ca
Dates for your Diary

21 February 2016 WODL General Meeting, 1:00 pm Woodstock. Out-of-Festival award winners, and the five finalist productions, are announced.

14 to 19 March 2016 WODL Festival 2016, Woodstock

18 to 22 May 2016 Theatre Ontario Festival 2016, North Bay.

7 to 13 August 2016 Theatre Ontario Summer Theatre Intensive

13 to 18 March 2017 WODL Festival 2017, Guelph

May 2017 Theatre Ontario Festival 2017, Ottawa

This newsletter was prepared by:  

Tricia Ward
Communications Coordinator

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