Newsletter May 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/
Preliminary Adjudicator's Report - WODL Festival 2017

The following are excerpts from the report that Lindsay Price presented to the WODL board.

I was contracted as the 2016/2017 preliminary adjudicator in 2014. The Adjudicator co-ordinator Ken Menzies answered any questions I had prior to starting quickly and in detail.

In general, it was a joy to work with the groups. I felt that the companies embraced the notion of community theatre and building communities. I was impressed with a number of the initiatives groups had in place to include new members and provide mentorship programs. Groups presented as being interested in the adjudication experience from an educational perspective, rather than being awards driven. If any group was awards driven, they did a great job hiding that from me. The only time I felt any resistance in the process was because of nerves and that is completely understandable. Group hosts and those I came in contact with by and large were friendly, accommodating and strove to make my time in their theatre easy. Most groups were well prepared with seating arrangements and suitable pre-show/intermission areas. There was only one group who insisted that they were not told about the seating arrangements, but seeing as how every other group was in the know I'm sure this was just an oversight. Having said that, this particular group fixed the issue swiftly and I was fully satisfied with the solution.

WODL has a lot to be proud of with their groups both onstage and off.

I feel that where companies excelled was in emotional connections on stage, emotional safety on stage, and working as a committed group. Again, referencing back to the definition of community. I found that for the most part the basics of acting were in firmly in place: verbal elements (diction, projection, clarity) and actors standing their ground on stage. Where groups could improve was in staging choices (levels, creating tension through physical action be it dramatic or comedic, finding moments to communicate to the audience, even if the characters weren't talking directly to the audience.) When asking personnel, be they on stage or off, about their choices and intentions the majority had a specific, well thought out answer. Sometimes that intention was not as clearly executed as they thought.

As previously stated, groups were friendly and accommodating. The format of having a
host to contact and meet the adjudicator at the theatre at a specific time is a good one.
Not every group was able to provide a pre-show/intermission space but in all of those
situations, sitting in the theatre worked just as well. There was a wide variety of attendance for the public adjudications. Some audiences stayed in full, others were much less. I wonder if there's a better way to connect to audiences that the public adjudication is part of the experience and that it's a good idea to stay.

The travel was exhausting, but there's not much that can be done or said about it. Aside
from a couple of storms that had to be avoided, the travel was easily accomplished and
all adjudications were completed on schedule.

The private adjudications were sometimes just the cast and crew, sometimes it was a room filled with guests and members. The participants ranged from those experiencing their first adjudication (and were clearly terrified) and those with experience. My goal was to make the participants feel at ease and find out their intentions. I understand the necessity of having guests at the privates, of course companys and company members want to be involved, but I wonder if it upped the nerves for those who were there to hear the feedback. It seemed hard for these folks to engage let alone think about the process - it wasn't really a private experience.

Having said that, the privates were overall a lovely experience. It was intriguing to hear
the intentions of actors, directors and designers. Based on Ken's feedback it is my
understanding that those involved felt the privates were educational and informative and
I can't ask for anything else.

A great story to end is one conversation I had at the February 19th meeting. A director/cast had taken a suggestion made in the private, expanded upon it with their own ideas and were thrilled with the results. This to me is what makes a successful adjudication process.
Theatre Ontario Festival 2017 - Ottawa - Wednesday 17 May to Sunday 21 May 2017

For everything you want to know about the Theatre Ontario Festival click here.

To view the Festival Committee Facebook page click here.

Wednesday 17 May - EODL - Waiting for the Parade - Northumberland Players

Eastern Ontario Drama League Entry: Waiting for the Parade by John Murrell, presented by the Northumberland Players (Cobourg).

WAITING FOR THE PARADE by playwright John Murrell, is an award winning Canadian play that takes place in Calgary in the 1940s during WWII. With music and costumes from the era, it captures life back home as people rallied to support the war effort amid  shortages and personal loss. In the play, five women battle their anxieties about the war with courage, tension, humour, and a little music. Through it all, they are waiting, waiting for the war to end and the men to return. 

Playwright John Murrell still lives in Alberta. His beautifully written play was first produced by Alberta Theatre Projects in 1977 and went on from there to play in major theatres across Canada as well as the Dominion Theatre in New York. In 2010 Soulpepper Theatre, Toronto, presented WAITING FOR THE PARADE to rave revues.

The play won the prestigious Floyd S. Chalmers Award in 1980, the first of three Chalmers Awards for Mr. Murrell.

Thursday 18 May - WODL - Better Living - Ghost Light Players

Western Ontario Drama League Entry
BETTER LIVING by George F. Walker
Presented by Ghost Light Players (Windsor).

Nora couldn't be happier. Her three daughters will all be under one roof again. Even her youngest, Gail, with her criminal boyfriend, Junior, is welcome. But as she waits for the meek Maryann and the brassy Elizabeth to return, Nora's brother Jack, a priest doubting his faith, warns her of the return of her tyrannical husband, Tom. Tom's likely to still be angry about the three times Nora and Jack have tried to kill him.

Friday 19 May - ACT-CO - Outside Mullingar - Toronto Irish Players

ACT-CO Entry
OUTSIDE MULLINGAR by John Patrick Shanley
Presented by Toronto Irish Players (GTA)

OUTSIDE MULLINGAR tells the story of Anthony and Rosemary, two introverted eccentric souls straddling 40. Anthony has spent his entire life on a farm in rural Ireland. Rosemary lives next door, determined to have him, but watching the years slip away. With Anthony's father threatening to disinherit him and a land feud simmering between their families, Rosemary has every reason to fear romantic catastrophe.

Saturday 20 May - QUONTA - Lucy - Sault Theatre Workshop

LUCY by Damien Atkins
Presented by Sault Theatre Workshop (Sault Ste. Marie)

A world-renowned and much-respected anthropologist, Vivian is most comfortable in her world of quiet solitude, balking at even the idea of interaction with the outside world. Her life is abruptly changed, however, when her ex-husband shows up and asks Vivian to take their thirteen-year-old autistic daughter, Lucy. A powerful play about the relationship between mother and daughter, the power of love, and the rare moments in life when something, or someone, comes along and forces us to re-evaluate our own lives and the way we respond to the world around us.
News from Around the WODL Region

By Janice Lundy, WODL Area VP Oxford Region, janice@wodl.on.ca
Every weekend in May, there's something to see at our theatres around southwestern Ontario. For most groups, this is their last show for the season before taking a well-earned summer off, or switching to children's camp mode! 

Elora Community TheatreAlice in Wonderland May 5-14

London Community Players- Twelfth Night  May 11-21
Aylmer Community Theatre-The Savanah Sipping Society May 11-20
Theatre Sarnia-  Oliver! May 12-20

Kincardine Theatre Guild- One Actmanship May 18- June 2
Paris Performer's Theatre- Suburban Standoff- 19-21 and 25-28

Theatre Tillsonburg- Beau Jest May 25- June 4
Guelph Little Theatre- The Drowsy Chaperone May 26- June 10
Theatre Woodstock STAGES The Drowsy Chaperone May 26- June 3
Hanover Community Players- The Perils of Persephone May 26- June 4

Owen Sound Little Theatre- The Miracle Worker  June 1- 10
Simcoe Little TheatreNed Durango Comes to Big Oak- June 1-4 and 8-11
Something to think about - Michael Spence Award for Contribution to Community Theatre

Theatre Ontario's Michael Spence Award for Contribution to Community Theatre is presented annually to an individual for his/her outstanding contribution to community theatre in his/her region over a sustained time.
The award is presented to an individual in the region that is hosting that years Theatre Ontario Festival. In 2018 the recipient of this award will be from the WODL region.
Nominations will open in October 2017 and close in January 2018.
For further information, see the Theatre Ontario website at http://www.theatreontario.org/programs/awards/michael-spence-award.aspx. The guidelines are currently under review. The updated guidelines will be published when nominations open in October.
  • Sustained contribution to community theatre.
  • Generosity of spirit, involvement, and commitment to community theatre that is legendary within his/her region, helping community theatre flourish.
  • Nominations are made to Theatre Ontario by community theatres in the applicable region.
  • Nominations are reviewed by the applicable region's jury, and they recommend the recipient to Theatre Ontario.
  • Theatre Ontario presents the award at the Theatre Ontario Festival Awards Brunch.
About Michael Spence
The award is named in honour of Michael Spence, the founding President of Theatre Ontario. Michael was active in community theatre at Hart House Theatre, London Little Theatre, and the University Alumnae Dramatic Club (now known as Alumnae Theatre.) He was a member of the Board of Governors of the Dominion Drama Festival, a past President of Arts Etobicoke, and continues to be an enthusiastic supporter of Theatre Ontario.
For more information about the Michael Spence Awards, please contact Brandon Moore, Theatre Ontario Community Theatre and Communications Manager, brandon@theatreontario.org or 416.408.4556 x13
Playwrights Guild of Canada Opens a NEW Bookstore: The Canadian Play Outlet

Playwrights Guild of Canada (PGC) celebrates it's 45th anniversary by opening a new bookstore in Toronto dedicated to the work of Canadian playwrights. The Canadian Play Outlet was launched on Monday 1 May by welcoming community members into the new store and event space at the 401 Richmond building.
After the beloved TheatreBooks closed their doors in 2014, people have been at a loss for a communal space to purchase scripts and discover new plays. PGC is now taking the reins by creating a new and intimate space that will showcase Canadian plays and feature the work of playwrights by hosting play readings, an audio play station, workshops, and more.
The 401 Richmond Building is an arts-and-culture hub in downtown Toronto and is the home of over 140 artists and like-minded organizations. Here, the The Canadian Play Outlet will find the enthusiasm, ambition, and support it needs to thrive, not only with hard copy books but with digital scripts and audio plays as well. The Canadian Play Outlet will be open from Monday to Saturday, 9:00am to 5:00pm. It is located in the existing suite of TAPA (Toronto Alliance of the Performing Arts), Theatre Ontario, and PGC, and is available for event bookings through PGC.  
The Canadian Play Outlet
Open: Monday - Saturday
401 Richmond Street West, Suite 350
Toronto, Ontario
To book events in the Canadian Play Outlet, please email orders@playwrightsguild.ca.
Michelle and John Spanik, winners of a signed Canadian play, at The Canadian Play Outlet launch. 
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 .
Shakespeare in Italy

Shakespeare in Italy is an organization that seeks to enhance experience and international understanding of the works of Shakespeare and in particular appreciation of the influence of the Italian Renaissance, culture and philosophers on all his writing.

They are holding their 3rd  Shakespeare in Italy 14 day residential summer course in Padua, Italy 24th June - 8th July 2017.

Click here to see the course brochure.

Click here for more information on the course organizers, Shakespeare in Italy.
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 May  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

17 to 21 May 2017 Theatre Ontario Festival 2017, Ottawa
23 July 2017 AGM, Tillsonburg
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