Newsletter June 2017

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WODL Festival 2018

WODL now on Twitter

WODL now has a Twitter account, @WODLtheatre.
WODL Festival 2018 - Sarnia -  12 to 17 March 2018

In Sarnia, the WODL Festival 2018 committee is starting work on a   Fun Filled Week of Theatre and Friendship.

To see what's happening, check their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WODLFest2018/
Request for Adjudication Form for Festival 2018 now Available 

By Ken Menzies, WODL Adjudications Chair, adjudications@wodl.on.ca
The adjudication application form is now available.

Click here to download the form.

The deadline for application for an adjudication in 2017/18, in-, or out-of-Festival is Friday September 15, 2017. All applications for adjudication received by this date will be considered together when the WODL adjudication chair considers dates for adjudication.

While late applications will be entertained, they will be fitted in around the existing schedule and are possible only if the adjudicator has not made other plans for the desired adjudication dates.

Adjudications occur between Tuesday, October 10 (the day after Thanksgiving) and Friday February 16, 2018.

The adjudication application form is also available on the WODL website, www.wodl.on.ca
Things to Think About when Casting a Festival Play

By Marion J. Smith, Area VP Brant-Haldimand-Norfolk, marion@wodl.on.ca
Now is the time of year when Theatre companies are planning their next season. Does your next season include hopefully taking a production to The WODL festival?

Following are planning suggestions for making your Festival experience a happy one.

We agree most directors and actors hope to go to festival but we suggest there is a lot more to be considered.

If selected to go to festival the following March Break week will your company have the man/woman power to transport, erect, operate, and tear down sets, lights, sound, costumes, props etc.? If yes then continue.

At audition time ensure your cast and crew know about the possibility of going to Festival the following March. Give them the exact dates and location of festival. Make it clear your company may be chosen to perform any one night of the five that week. The exact night your company will perform will not be announced until the third Sunday in February.

The preliminary adjudicator is the only person to decide which group performs on each evening. Only the adjudicator will make that decision and his/her decision will be final. An adjudicator's decision is based on the production he/she saw at your theatre. Your production in festival therefore should consist of the same cast. We realize there can be an emergency circumstance when an alternate person/understudy must be brought into the production. But early planning should help avoid this need.

Next ensure your adjudication application and script, with copies of the rights to perform, are sent to the adjudications chair-person in September. He/she will pass that information on to the adjudicator. Also be sure that your company has paid its WODL membership dues and adjudication fees.

The plays accepted to perform in festival will be announced usually on the third Sunday in February. At a WODL General meeting: normally held in the theatre where the festival will be. When the final announcement is made your company will be invited to accept. Please ensure you have a delegate from your theatre at that meeting to either accept or refuse the invitation.

Following that meeting if your company is chosen to be "IN" you will be invited to tour the festival facility to make notes, and ask questions of the host stage managers.

The Best Production of the WODL Festival may be invited to take their production on to Theatre Ontario Festival in May. Make sure your cast and crew are aware of those dates and location also.
Theatre Ontario Festival 2017 - Ottawa - Results

Theatre Ontario Festival Awards are presented to Ontario's best community theatre productions, showcased at the annual Theatre Ontario Festival.

Waiting for the Parade by John Murrell, presented by Northumberland Players (Cobourg) - EODL

Better Living by George F. Walker, presented by Ghost Light Players (Windsor) - WODL

Outside Mullingar by John Patrick Shanley, presented by Toronto Irish Players - ACT-CO

Lucy by Damien Atkins, presented by Sault Theatre Workshop (Sault Ste. Marie) - QUONTA

Award winners and honourable mentions are chosen by adjudicator Annette G. Procunier (unless otherwise specified).

The Elsie For Outstanding Festival Production
Outside Mullingar , Toronto Irish Players
Outstanding Director
Harvey Levkoe, Outside Mullingar
Honourable Mention: Jeffery Bastien, Better Living
Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role
Chris Irving as Anthony Reilly, Outside Mullingar
Honourable Mention: Michele Legere as Nora, Better Living
Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role
Dean Valentino as Tom, Better Living
Honourable Mention: Elaine O'Neal as Rosemary Muldoon, Outside Mullingar
Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role
Kristen Lamoure-Dias as Maryann, Better Living
Honourable Mentions:
Carol Beauchamp as Margaret, Waiting for the Parade
Shayla Hudson as Gail, Better Living
Dermot Walsh as Tony Reilly, Outside Mullingar
Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role
Barbara Taylor as Aoife Muldoon, Outside Mullingar
Honourable Mentions:
Anne-Marie Bouthillette as Marta, Waiting for the Parade
Michael J. Krym as Junior, Better Living
Outstanding Technical Achievement
Better Living
Honourable Mention: Outside Mullingar
Outstanding Visual Presentation
Outside Mullingar
Honourable Mention: Better Living
Outstanding Coordinated Production
(This award is chosen by the Festival Stage Manager)
Toronto Irish Players
Special Adjudicator Award for set design:
Wayne Cardinalli, Outside Mullingar
Special Adjudicator Award for best ensemble:
Waiting for the Parade
Special Adjudicator Award for outstanding debut:
Calista Jones as Lucy, Lucy
Special Adjudicator Award for costume design:
Grace Price & Dawn Watters, Waiting for the Parade
Special Adjudicator Award for outstanding sound design:
Michael Cuthbertson, Lucy
For more information about the Theatre Ontario Festival 2017 Awards, please contact Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager at brandon@theatreontario.org or 416.408.4556 x.13.
Congratulations to Ghost Light Players

By Linda Lloyd-McKenzie, WODL Theatre Ontario Liaison, to-liaison@wodl.on.ca 
Congratulations to Ghost Light Players for their outstanding achievements at Theatre Ontario Festival.

Their production of George F. Walker's Better Living was very well received by the audience and by the adjudicator, winning awards for:
  • Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role, Dean Valentino as Tom
  • Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role, Kristin Lemoure-Diaz as Maryann
  • Outstanding Technical Achievement. 
Better Living also garnered honourable mentions for:
  • Outstanding Director, Jeffery Bastie)
  • Outstanding  Performance in a Leading Role, Michele Legere as Nora
  • Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role, Shayla Hudson as Gail
  • Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role, Michael J. Krym as Junior
  • Outstanding Visual Production
Highlights of the Better Living Adjudication at Theatre Ontario

By Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager at Theatre Ontario, brandon@theatreontario.org
Highlights of the detailed adjudication by Annette G. Procunier of Ghost Light Players' production of Better Living by George F. Walker (representing the Western Ontario Drama League-WODL)
  • Ghost Light Players is a two-year-old company; no permanent home-they enjoy moving to new spaces; found kindred spirits
  • Director enjoys black comedy, absurdist theatre, "meaty" work: opportunities in George F. Walker; this was an exciting challenge
  • Originally performed at the Bank Theatre in Leamington; seats 150 and they averaged about 75 people per performance which exceed their expectations-proscenium stage, braced set pieces, manual lighting board, two-channel sound system; 40 minutes away from their home in Windsor
  • Texts like this from the late-70s/early-80s are resonating again with political extremism coming back; issues of family violence have not gone away
  • Not an easy play to watch, learning curve for the audience; there will be people in the audience who have lived it; depended upon the truthfulness of the presentation
  • Structure of text can be problematic: Opens with exposition, raucously funny, initially the father isn't so dreadful-he seems benign; but evil hides in banality
  • Text doesn't articulate why the women get sucked back in; people do return to abuse, but it is a sparsely-written transition-all plays have difficulty in their writing, and the challenge is to figure them out
  • Production was abundantly truthful-committed to believability and taking us into the world (and we didn't want to be there)
  • Set was evocative, audience members went up to the edge of the stage to see the detail
  • Give your tech people all the time in the world-they get far less of it; in tech rehearsals, actors need to sit there and shut up
  • Furniture arrangement: Sofa was parallel to the edge of the stage, with the chair perpendicular; if the chair was angle, we would have seen the person sitting in the chair much better
  • Kitchen rocking chair interfered with them using the space; also, it read more like a living room rocking chair; it was Nora's mother's chair yet she never sat in it (actor had backstory to explain that, but audience didn't see it)
  • Loved the characters eating; it demonstrated compulsive behaviour but the heads down sometimes made it hard to hear
  • Costumes and cell-phone made it clear it wasn't set in the 1980s since the set (out of necessity) couldn't tell us that
  • Actors should take time with their initial entrance: they are the action and we want to absorb who they are; give us an action that allows us a second to see them (e.g. Junior's entrance-wanted him to flaunt while not seeing Jack in the kitchen; could have been achieved if Jack was entirely U.S. and Junior flaunted to audience rather than mirror)
  • Wonderful job of truthful movement, especially with a text requiring so much physicality
  • Relationship between Gail and Junior was extremely clear about who was in charge, his naivete was finely acted
  • Theatre is about truth not reality: believable people are essential and the actors committed to that; family members' responses were distinct from each other
  • Nora's first entrance in full regalia was successful: actress created a world and lived in it; always be careful vocally: when voices rise, they can emphasize vowels at the expense of consonants (particularly for women)
  • Risk-taking: characters/actors push each other to the limit, listened to each other as thought things were fresh and new
  • Occasionally kept playing through the laughs; this is not stand-up comedy with punchlines (like a comedian telling jokes for predictable laughs), but the humour is essential to the work
  • Pace and internal rhythm was good
  • Nora clearly knew who Tom/Tim was, but decided to live their relationship in another way; it was scary; they talked through the fight scene and changed it a lot-talking is good, but performers can be hurt and should take the time to rehearse it; similarly the Tom/Jack fight was creepy
  • Maryann had excellent flightiness
  • The gun was not seen clearly by the audience; a stage gun would have had more impact than the sound effect
  • The motorcycle helmet gag was a hoot; succeeded because there was no self-consciousness
  • The final family scene left us with question of what happened to him, and then he comes in with the television-would his entrance have been more effective if he came in from the backyard, audience focus would go to him; they had tried that choice, but decided they preferred him sneaking into the family portrait-execution didn't read as "sneaking", read as he belonged there; what was the significance of the television? He will show them what's going on in the world, part of his control over them
As always, this is my best effort to record the conversation at the Detailed Adjudication, with apology for any misrepresentations of the ideas of the members of the company and the adjudicator.
News from Around the WODL Region

By Janice Lundy, WODL Area VP Oxford Region, janice@wodl.on.ca

Many theatre groups in our region have finished up their 2016/17 season and have turned their spaces over to theatre camps, but there are still several great shows to see across the region in June!


The Guelph Little Theatre production of The Drowsy Chaperone continues until June 10, as does the Owen Sound Little Theatre show The Miracle Worker. Simcoe Little Theatre's Ned Durango Comes to Big Oak closes on June 11.


Kitchener-Waterloo Little Theatre's  Legally Blonde, The Musical runs June 8- 24, and  Ingersoll Theatre of the Performing Arts (ITOPA) Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?  is onstage from June 16-25.


Kitchener-Waterloo Little Theatre will be holding their final round table on June 26th at 6:30 pm on the topic of being "someone else", otherwise known as creating characters.


The Sun Parlour Players will be holding a fundraiser on June 15 called Meet the Big Bad Wolf.  It will feature dinner, whiskey and craft beer tasting at the Wolfhead Distillery in Amherstburg. Advance tickets are $40.00.  There is a limit of 100 tickets, available online at www.banktheatre.com 


A special show has been added to ETC's roster.  Sarah and the Dinosaur by Ingrid De Sanctis will be performed June 15, 16, 17 at 8:00 pm and on June 18 at 2:00 pm. It is directed by Loren Fleming. This show is a fundraiser for Innisfree House. ETC has lost a couple of members this past season to cancer and has some members battling this wretched disease right now. Tickets are available by calling the theatre at 519-669-3230.

Theatre Ontario - Summer Theatre Intensive 2017 - Reminder

By Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager at Theatre Ontario, brandon@theatreontario.org
Bigger & Better Than Ever!

Theatre Ontario is thrilled to be introducing our new Summer Theatre Intensive, partnering with Off the Wall, Stratford Artist Alliance. Through this exciting new collaboration we will join Off The Wall in their home at Factory 163 in the heart of Stratford, Ontario. This year we will be offering intensives over a two week period.


WEEK TWO (Sunday August 13 - Friday August 18th)
Who the Heck Are YOU?! Creating "Character" with Liza Balkan
Building your own Directing Process with Philip Akin
How to Tell An "Important" Story with Donna-Michelle St. Bernard

More Information

For full details of these courses, costs, and to enrol  click here .
Theatre Ontario - Workshop - Intimacy for the Stage-Directors and Coaches 

By Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager at Theatre Ontario, brandon@theatreontario.org
Theatre Ontario in partnership with  IntimacyDirectorsInternational 

Intimacy for the Stage for Directors and Coaches: A Practical Approach to Staging Scenes of Intimacy in Performance

Sunday June 11, 2017
2:00pm to 6:00pm
Theatre Ontario Boardroom
Suite 350, 401 Richmond Street West, Toronto
As directors and coaches, you've probably worked on intimate scenes and know how difficult they can be to stage comfortably.

Learn the techniques and the language to stage human sexuality in a way that is professional, dynamic and focused on storytelling.
In this 4 hour workshop, you'll learn specific techniques for helping actors to access their vulnerability in a dramatic context, resulting in powerful chemistry between characters without compromising personal boundaries. Focus is on subtle and specific details in choreography, and on acting exercises to keep partners connected physically and emotionally. The work is an exploration of vulnerability within a dramatic context for the purpose of telling the story of the scene. We'll also touch on suggestions for Best Practices, the foundational Intimacy Pillars, addressing permission vs. consent, psychological safety, and minimum working conditions. Exercises include "instant chemistry and comfort" and "asking for consent", as well as a brief discussion on how to approach choreographing moments of intimacy.
This is not just kissing or sex scenes. The principles can include the intimacy between parents and children, between dear friends, and can also apply to scenes of sexual violence.
Touching (handshakes, handholding, hugging) is part of the course. Kissing is not required. While the goal is to explore emotional and physical intimacy, the core concept of this work is Safety, for the facilitation of safe exploration. All touching is consensual, and participants are always invited to sit out and watch, should they feel uncomfortable or triggered.

For more information, fees, or to register click here.

Meet the instructor...

Tonia Sina is currently the Intimacy Choreographer and sexual harassment prevention advisor for the Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada. She is the Artistic Director of Reduxion Theatre Company in Oklahoma City, and an international Intimacy for the Stage workshop teacher and choreographer.

Tonia has been researching Intimacy for the Stage and Sexual Harassment in the industry since she began research for her thesis in 2004. Tonia is the founder of Intimacy Directors International, whose goal is to make the theatre industry safer and more professional when handling scenes containing sexual content.

Other Intimacy Direction includes: Les Liaison Dangereuses, Ausust: Osage County, The Odessey, Metamorphoses, Angelina Project, Anna in the Tropics, Lion in the Streets, and In the Next Room (or the vibrator play). Also an actress, playwright, model, and former movement professor.

Tonia is a double kidney transplant recipient and rare and chronic disease patient advocate and national motivational speaker. Training: Niagara University- BFA in theatre performance, Virginia Commonwealth University- MFA in Movement Pedagogy with a specialty in Intimacy for the Stage. For further information, please visit www.intimacydirectorsinternational.com.
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 a play included on the Canadian Play Map of Canada, click here to obtain an application form.

PGC also publishes a list of theatre companies that have an all-Canadian season. Click here to obtain a nomination form for this list.
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 June  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

23 July 2017 AGM, Tillsonburg
15 September 2017 Deadline for adjudication requests
12 to 17 March 2018 WODL Festival 2018, Sarnia
16  to 20 May 2018 Theatre Ontario Festival 2018, London
This newsletter was prepared by:  

Tricia Ward
Communications Coordinator

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