Newsletter September 2017

In this issue:


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WODL Festival 2018  WODL tweets  2017/18 Adjudications form

WODL now on Twitter

WODL now has a Twitter account, @WODLtheatre.

If you do not have a twitter account, you can view the WODL tweets by clicking the Twitter button on the main page of the WODL website, or by clicking here.
New WODL President - Shirley Bieman

Shirley has been involved with community theatre since 1987 when she joined the cast of HMS Pinafore with Kincardine Theatre Guild. In the 30 intervening years, she has held many positions for the Guild's productions: stage manager, producer, props, costumes, house management, etc.
However, her first loves are being onstage, being Music Director, and as Director.
As actor, she has been in such productions as Willow Quartet, The Odd Couple: Female Version, Maggie's Getting Married, A Year in Edna's Kitchen, etc.
As Music Director: Fiddler on the Roof, Oklahoma, Something's Afoot, Pirates of Penzance, Mikado, Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, and Evita to name a few.
As Director, Hamish, Deathtrap, Anne of Green Gables, Peter Pan a Pantomime, Oliver!, Christmas Carol, etc.
She has held the position of President of KTG from 2007 to the present. The Guild is gearing up to celebrate its 35th season in 2017-2018.
For 2 years in early 2000s, Shirley served as secretary for WODL, then beginning her term as Awards Chair in July of 2004 until 2017.
A retired teacher, she lives in Kincardine with her partner, Andy French. Her 3 children are spread across the country, in Kingston, Sechelt BC, and Toronto. Spending time with her two grandchildren aged 7 and 4 is her favourite thing to do!
Shirley is eagerly looking forward to her term as President of this vital group representing community theatres from across southwestern Ontario.
2017 - 2018 Premliminary Adjudicator - Carolee Mason

Carolee Mason is an award winning drama educator, author and director, and an adjudicator with the EODL, ACT-CO, WODL and Sears Drama Festivals. Her decades of theatre work have taken her to venues throughout Ontario.
Based at both the Mason Theatre and the Studio Theatre in Perth, Ontario, she has directed and designed dozens of productions for youth and adults.
Carolee has instructed students, community theatre groups and teachers across the province, most recently at Brock University and the University of Toronto. A workshop presenter for theatre educators in Ontario and abroad, she has authored a range of resource materials for students and theatre practitioners.
Carolee's work has been recognized with the Governor General's Teaching Award, and the Theatre Ontario Michael Spence Award.
WODL Festival 2018 Adjudicator - Carey Nicholson

Carey is the artistic director and co-founder of Theatre 3x60, a professional not for profit company enriching lives through theatre in Durham region. She has been engaged in performing arts for over 40 years, starting with community theatre in St.Catharines, Ontario.
 She moved to Toronto to pursue professional dance studies with Lois Smith, O.C. at George Brown College, and the School of the Toronto Dance Theatre, graduating from both professional programs and becoming a faculty member at STDT for 15 years before moving to Durham region.
She has been involved with community and professional theatre companies in Durham, York region and elsewhere as a board member, producer, director, choreographer, performer, instructor, set and costume designer.
Carey is a past Executive Director of the Scugog Council for the Arts and has received several awards for her work in the performing arts, including a Durham Art of Transition Creative Award for her contribution to theatre in Durham.
Her past, and ongoing, theatre studies include programs and courses with George Brown College, Toronto Dance Theatre, Tarragon Theatre and the Stratford Festival, among others. Carey is also a member of the Theatre Ontario Talent Bank, an independent theatre adjudicator, and an arts educator.
Remembering Carmen Agro, Theatre Tillsonburg

By Janice Lundy, member WODL Communications Committee, janice@wodl.on.ca 
On June 21, 2017, Theatre Tillsonburg lost one of its stalwarts. Carmen Agro passed away in his 79th year.

Back in November 1999, we held auditions for the February show, It Runs in the Family, and this little Italian guy turned up to audition, informing us that he had been the last president of Tillsonburg Little Theatre. He let us know that he was willing to help out with anything if he didn't get a part; he just wanted to get involved with the theatre again. He got a part and stole the show as the hospital director who ended up roaring drunk by the end of the second act.

And Carmen never left again.

After that first year he volunteered to produce my shows, and we went on to a string of successful productions together, with stage manager Lynda Nevins as the third of our triumvirate. Of course he also appeared onstage in many shows as well, including musicals such as Cabaret and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, where he got to use his talent for singing to great advantage. He directed two shows, Funny Money and Out of Order.

There were many happy hours spent at the theatre in rehearsal and set construction, and of course at showtime! After a night at the theatre, Carmen was one of our regulars at the Copper Mug, where his love for tossing popcorn once led to our table getting cut off from the popper!

Carmen served on the Board of Directors and then as president of Theatre Tillsonburg in 2002-3 (although he warned us that the last time he was president of a theatre, it folded!) And whenever there was a job to be done, Carmen was there to do it.

Carmen was a good friend to so many of our theatre members, and we will miss him dearly.

News from Around the WODL Region

By Janice Lundy, member WODL Communications Committee, janice@wodl.on.ca 

The 2017/18 season is off to a great start in September with a great selection of plays across South-Western Ontario at WODL groups!

First onstage is the Ghostlight Players production of  The Drawer Boy from September 7-16 in Windsor.

Next,  Frida & Diego will be presented at Procunier Hall at the Palace Theatre in London from September 13-16. Simcoe Little Theatre opens with The Odd Couple from September 14- 24, and Cambridge Community Players  Calendar Girls and Theatre Burlington's
The Gin Game both run from September 15-30.

Elgin Theatre Guild presents  Moonlight & Magnolias from September 21- October 1, and Kitchener Waterloo Little Theatre 's show What Happened in Vegas runs from September 21-October 7.  Finally, London Community Players finishes the month with  The  Melville Boys from September 22 - October 1.
From my Perspective - Peter Busby

By Peter Busby, WODL Treasurer, treasurer@wodl.on.ca
The Western Ontario Drama League exists to:
            encourage, assist and promote Community Theatre;
            convene an annual Theatre Festival;
            provide education in Theatre Arts.
One of the best bargains available today is a WODL adjudication in your own theatre. This professional, intensive, highly-tuned discussion about your production can provide significant insights in bringing live theatre to your community. It's a rare opportunity to have a dialogue with someone who's got the t-shirt. I say, dialogue, particularly because a two-way conversation between your individual artists and our pro is welcomed; it's by asking questions and proposing alternatives that we accomplish epiphanies.
It's a bargain, because over the last 5 years, each adjudication has cost on the average, $490 including expenses. Your price is $150 for the first adjudication in or out of Festival, and $300 for the second. I challenge you to find a better deal anywhere.
Theatre Ontario Youth Workshop - Emergence - 24 September 2017

By Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager at Theatre Ontario, brandon@theatreontario.org
What is my long-term career plan?
How can I make money as an artist?
Which training opportunities are best for my career?
If these questions sound familiar, the Theatre Ontario Youth Advisory Committee is here to help you!
Our Youth Advisory Committee connects young people pursuing a career in theatre across the province. In 2017, we have one goal: empower youth as active decision makers in their own careers.
Join Theatre Ontario's Youth Advisory Committee for:
Emergence: a theatre training day for youth, by youth.
Sunday, September 24, 2017
10:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre, Toronto
Learn more at http://www.theatreontario.org/programs/youth-advisory-committee-initiatives/emergence.aspx
Theatre Ontario Workshop - Launching Your Career - 13 September 2017

By Nicole Pena, Community Outreach and Training Coordinator at Theatre Ontario, outreach@theatreontario.org 
Launching Your Career with Rachel Kennedy and Tom Allison

Answers to your FAQ's about the business of acting!

This workshop is for actors beginning their professional careers. In this two-hour workshop, Rachel Kennedy and a special guest actor will answer the most frequently asked questions about the business of acting.

Wednesday September 13, 2017  3:00 - 5:00 pm
Theatre Ontario - Suite 350, 401 Richmond St West

For more information see: 
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.

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 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

15 September 2017 Deadline for adjudication requests
15 October 2017 WODL general meeting, Sarnia
18 February 2018 WODL general meeting, Sarnia, in-Festival finalists announced
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