Newsletter December 2016

In this issue:
Quick Links

 WODL website   WODL on Facebook   WODL board

2016/2017 Adjudications schedule

Festival 2017 website  Book Festival tickets  Book Festival Hotel

Adjudications Schedule for Festival 2016/2017

The latest adjudications schedule is on the WODL website at  www.wodl.on.ca/Adjud%20Sch%2017.pdf
Festival 2017 Website is LIVE!

Festival 2017 Update

By Dennis Johnson, Festival 2017 Co-chair, dennis@wodl.on.ca
Website Facts
  • Festival 2017 website:  www.guelphlittletheatre.com/on-stage/wodl-2017.
  • You can also reach the Festival 2017 website from the Guelph Little Theatre website, www.guelphlittletheatre.com, and then you click the Festival 2017 poster which appears on the Home page.
  • Be sure to visit the site often, and check for updates about workshops, special events, plays in contention, etc.
  • Links to the Box Office and to the hotel are now live.
  • For technical information, click Resources on the side bar.
Festival Facts
  • Festival 2017 is a Canada-150 event, celebrating Canada's Sesquicentennial.

  • 5 Canadian Plays will be presented at the Guelph Little Theatre from Monday March 13 to Friday March 17, 2017.

  • Awards Gala at the Holiday Inn on Saturday March 18, 2017.

  • The 5-play schedule will be announced February 19, 2017, along with all Out-of-Festival awards.

Ticket Prices
  • Single tickets cost $24.

  • A five-play package costs $110.

  • Tickets to the Awards Gala cost $55 each.

Box Office Facts
  • Festival Ticket Sales are handled by the River Run Centre Box Office.

  • Box Office hours are Monday to Saturday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.

  • All performances are at the Guelph Little Theatre.

  • Reserved seating - you choose your ticket location.

  • Book tickets by phone at (519) 763-3000 or (877) 520-2408.

  • For online sales go to  www.guelphlittletheatre.com/on-stage/wodl-2017

  • The River Run Box Office is not open for in-person, or phone, sales on February 19 (Sunday) or February 20 (Family Day). So VIP tickets will be available at Guelph Little Theatre on February 19.

  • Limited numbers of pre-printed VIP Tickets for the shows are available for purchase at WODL meetings. The next opportunity is the General Meeting at GLT on February 19 when the Festival line-up will be announced.

  • For wheel-chair locations, you must order by phone. They are not accessible online.

How To Save Money
  • No Box Office charges for VIP tickets. Buy in person using cash or cheque only. Make cheques payable to Guelph Little Theatre.

  • No charge for picking tickets up at the River Run Centre Box Office or at one of the following:
    • Pre-ordered and pre-paid tickets can be picked up at Guelph Little Theatre on February 19 during the WODL Meeting.

    • Prior to the Opening Reception at the Holiday Inn Hospitality Room on March 13.

    • At GLT every night of Festival before the performance.

Box Office Charges
  • Phone Orders cost $1.50 per ticket for 5-play package (No Maximum).
    • Phone (519) 763-3000 or (877) 520-2408.

    • Mail delivery costs $2.00 per order.

    • Online orders cost $2.75 per ticket or per 5-play package (Maximum $7.50 per order).
    • Print-at-home option is included in online fees. Not available yet. Coming soon.

Hotel Room Booking
Hotel Hints
  • No online bookings after February 12, 2017. Phone or in-person only after that date.

  • Hotel desk is open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Phone anytime.

  • Atrium rooms do not have windows to the outdoors. If you want fresh air, do not book an Atrium room.
New WODL Award Announced

By Dennis Johnson, Festival 2017 Co-chair, dennis@wodl.on.ca
In 2017, the Western Ontario Drama League will inaugurate a new award - Best Production Out-of-Festival. The recipient will be selected by the Preliminary Adjudicator and announced on February 19 at the WODL General Meeting. The Award and an accompanying trophy will be presented at the WODL Awards Gala on March 18 at the Holiday Inn Guelph. All plays adjudicated in the Out-of-Festival category are eligible to be selected, as are all plays not selected to perform at Festival 2017. There are 16 such play productions this year.
This new award will be named The Kay McKie Memorial Award. Like the Brickenden Award and the Jamieson Award, the recipient will receive the usual WODL award as well as being custodians (for one year) of a larger Kay McKie Trophy.
Memories of Kay McKie

By Dennis Johnson, Festival 2017 Co-chair, dennis@wodl.on.ca
Kay McKie was born and raised in Owen Sound. As a child, visiting Florida, she met John D. Rockefeller. As was his custom, he gave her a dime. As was her custom, she spent it on an ice cream cone. As a teenager, before the Second World War, Kay worked with a summer theatre company in Owen Sound. Her director was Jack Blacklock. In 1990, after a long and distinguished career in teaching, Jack was given the Maggie Bassett Award by Theatre Ontario for his pioneering work in summer theatre in Ontario. In 1999, Kay McKie was also presented with the Maggie Bassett Award "for a sustained and significant contribution to the development of theatre in Ontario."

Kay was educated at McMaster University during the war, and went on to study business at Radcliffe College (Harvard University). While there, in 1944, Kay was cast in the chorus of the first production of Dark of the Moon staged in previews in Boston prior to its debut on Broadway. Kay stayed in school and did not join the New York cast when the previews were over.
In the 1950s, Kay moved to Guelph with her husband Bill. Their home at 99 Lemon Street was kept immaculate by a gardener named Bela Barabas - he and his family were refugees from Hungary and spoke little English. Kay took Bela's young daughter Beatrix under her wing, and cast her in Durrenmatt's The Visit. Beatrix learned her lines phonetically. Another Guelph Little Theatre member, Trix Davies (a graduate of RADA), worked with Beatrix to teach her to speak English - with a British accent! Bea Barabas went on to be the first female graduate from the Honours Drama program at the University of Guelph. You know her as Bea Quarrie.
Kay was active as a director with the Guelph Little Theatre, the Road Show Theatre, and as the founding director of Royal City Musical Productions. In 1967, she directed the GLT production of The Broken Jug by Don Harron, which won Best Production of an English Language Play at the Dominion Drama Festival in Newfoundland. Her cast included John Snowdon and Terry Doyle. It was Centennial year, and every entry in Festival that year was a Canadian play.
Like her first mentor, Kay distinguished herself as a teacher - first at the University of Guelph and later at John F. Ross Collegiate in Guelph in the 1970s. She joined the Theatre Ontario Talent Bank in 1982 as an adjudicator and a director. Always a keen learner, she chaired the Summer Courses committee at Theatre Ontario in the 1980s, and signed up for Paul Eck's course in Adjudication in 1987. Fellow students that summer included Bea Quarrie, Dennis Johnson, Marion Smith and Al Lee.
Most of us remember Kay as an adjudicator. She was famous for her charm, her supportive comments, and her famous theatrical double entendres - "I always enjoy a good comedy..." or "It looks like you had fun with that one..." or "Well, I can't say it was perfect..." Kay could always find a kind word to say about your play, even though her message could be inscrutable. But beware of the questions. If you wanted to decipher the code to find out what she really thought of your play, you would listen to the questions. If she said "Why did you choose to..." then you knew you were in for a rough ride from this very delicate lady.
News from Around the WODL Region
By Janice Lundy, WODL Area VP Oxford Region, janice@wodl.on.ca
Theatre Sarnia is having a  New Year's Eve Gala!  This will mark the 20th anniversary of the Imperial Theatre being opened and the 80th anniversary of the original Capitol Theatre's opening.  Come and enjoy the festivities this New Year's Eve. This fundraiser features comedian John Wing as master of ceremonies for the evening. "Pain Killer Jane" will provide the music as you dance on stage to welcome in the New Year. Also featured will be a "Surprise Musical Guest". During the evening there will be a live auction as well as a silent auction. The live auction will be featuring a trip for 6 to Italy, a Paint Party for 6 from The Painted Cat & Zzas, and one night in the Community Box for Sarnia Sting Game. The silent auction boast of Dinner & Theatre Sarnia Combos, Manicures, and a variety of food delights.  Catering will be by "Grind" from Sarnia.

The Gala will start at 8:00 pm and continue through the New Year until 1:00 am. The cost is $100.00 per person which includes a $50.00 charitable tax receipt. Come and ring in the New Year with Theatre Sarnia.

Elsewhere in the region...
December is a lean month for live theatre in WODL, with most groups focused on their January/February productions, and with holiday preparations and parties getting in the way of putting on a show. However, a few brave theatre companies are bringing their Christmas cheer to their audiences! The London Community Players is presenting The Secret Garden, A Musical from December 1 to 11. Meanwhile, The Elgin Theatre Guild's wildly popular annual Christmas pantomime, Alice in Wonderland, is already sold out! Well done, St Thomas! Up in Hanover, the Hanover Community Players's production Monster in the Closet runs from December 9-11. 

New Workshops Page on the WODL Website
Did you know that WODL can give your theatre group financial help towards running a workshop?

We can even help you advertise your workshop: by publicising it on our website and in our newsletter; and by sending email blasts.

You have to apply in plenty of time and allow members of other WODL groups to attend.

We have a new and improved Workshops page on our website that tells you how to do it. Click here to find out more.

Why You Must Never do a Live Slap in a Performance
Published with permission from Shrew'd Business, www.shrewdbusiness.com
To start with, here are 13 injuries you can easily cause.

This is taken from the book Stage Combat by Jenn Zuko Boughn:
  • Catching the eyeball with a fingernail can cause permanent blindness, or a dislocated lens, not to mention serious pain in the moment.
  • A stray fingernail can rip the eyelid, lip, or other tender parts on the face.
  • Covering the ear with a slapping hand can cause a miniature vacuum in the ear canal, which can rupture the eardrum, causing permanent deafness.
  • Slapping the ear with an open hand can cause cauliflower ear, a common disfigurement seen in boxers.
  • It takes a modest clap to dislocate the jaw.
  • It takes a strong clap to break the collarbone.
  • If earrings are worn, there are potential rip or puncture hazards. If rings are worn, the face or anything on it can be torn.
  • Not to mention a basic lost contact lens or glasses gone to the floor or askew, which is disconcerting in the middle of a scene.
  • Or a bloody nose, which stops the action, scares an audience, and ruins costumes.
  • Just a little adrenaline (which we all have when onstage) can cause the victim to bite her tongue or lip.
  • Just a little more adrenaline than the above example can knock out a tooth.
  • Ever have a broken nose? The pain and shiners will put you out of work for a while. If part of your nose's bone is driven into the brain, you could suffer internal facial bleeding (yuck), or even, in extreme cases, brain damage or death.
  • The temple is a tender spot, and you can suffer brain damage or death if it is struck with force.

Those are purely physical damage reasons. There are, however, other reasons as well. I have seen live slaps onstage. Every single time, a CHARACTER becomes angry to the point of going beyond words, and so resorts to physical force. The CHARACTER winds up, the CHARACTER starts to swing at the other CHARACTER, and then I see a scared ACTOR trying to look like they're doing a hard slap, while also trying to swing lightly, so as not hurt the other ACTOR. And, of course, the receiving CHARACTER turns into a scared ACTOR, trying to look like a CHARACTER that has been slapped.

Invariably, the audience is following a story, watching drama build to a crescendo, and then in one stupid, ill-advised moment of choreography, the bottom drops out of the entire story, and we're left with an audience looking at scared actors. The characters have disappeared, the drama has evaporated, and the audience's only train of thought is, "That looked like a real slap! I hope that actor is ok! I wonder how much that hurt? Was that a mistake?" Etc., etc., etc.

When a slap is staged well, all the drama remains, and the characters wind up, slap, and react with all the power and emotion required in the moment. The character throwing the slap has absolutely no hesitation, and swings with full force, as they know the other actor will not be hit. The character receiving the slap has no momentary wince, telegraphing the actor's fear of an upcoming moment. One CHARACTER "slaps" another CHARACTER. Both CHARACTERS react to the event. The story continues.

Another possible consequence of giving or receiving a real slap every show, is that an unintentional animosity may build between the two actors. Each one may unconsciously begin to fear and hate that moment in the show, and transfer that fear and hatred to the other actor. The end result is a lasting feeling of discomfort with another person, which will likely show in the performance, and may last indefinitely after the show closes.
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 December  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

19 February 2017
GM, Guelph. Finalists and out-of-Festival awards announced

13 to 18 March 2017 WODL Festival 2017, Guelph

17 to 21 May 2017 Theatre Ontario Festival 2017, Ottawa
23 July 2017 AGM, place to be decided
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