Newsletter October 2017

In this issue:
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 WODL website   WODL on Facebook  WODL on Twitter  WODL board

WODL Festival 2018  WODL tweets  2017/18 Adjudications form  Theatre Ontario Festival 2018

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.
Festival 2018 Adjudications Schedule

By Ken Menzies, WODL Adjudications Chair, adjudications@wodl.on.ca  
The Friday that is a little more than three weeks before Thanksgiving (Friday, September 15 this year) is the date when applications for adjudication are due. On Saturday (September 16), I, WODL's adjudication chair, draw up a list of each theatre group's preference order for adjudication dates. Then I take this list and draw up an adjudication schedule with two key objectives:
  1. give each group a date as close as possible to their first choice of adjudication date as possible and ideally their first choice and
  2. produce a schedule particularly for the winter with the adjudicator travelling as few kilometers as possible.
When I have a tentative schedule, I run it by the adjudicator to see if she can tweak it to work better. Groups that apply after the deadline for adjudication applications are fitted in as well as the traveling adjudicator and I can. The schedule is now on the WODL website at:

Fall 2017

October 14
8:00 pm
Theatre  Woodstock
Dracula: The Musical?
R. Abbott
October 29
2:00 pm
St Marys Community Players
Man of La Mancha
D. Wasserman
Music M. Leigh
Lyrics J, Darron
November 4
8:00 pm
Ghost Light  Players
M. Krym
November 5
2:00 pm
Theatre Tillsonburg
The Games Afoot or Holmes for the Holidays
K. Ludwig
November 10
8:00 pm
London Community Players
Dancing in Poppies
G. Bowen & R. Marken
November 11
Peninsula Players
Skin Flicks
N. Foster
November 17
7:30 pm
Owen Sound Little Theatre
Monty Python's Spamalot
Book: E. Idle
Music. J. Du Prez
November 18
2:00 pm
Kincardine Theatre Guild
The Giant's Garden
S. White & P. Fenton
November 23
8:00 pm
Paris Performers' Theatre
Jenny's House of Joy
N. Foster
November 24
7:30 pm
Thistle Theatre
Queen Millie of Galt
G. Kirkham
December 8
7:30 pm
Hanover Community Players
Robin Hood and the Heroes of Sherwood Forest
R. Wyatt
December 9
8:00 pm
Elora Community Theatre
Christmas Carol
Adapted J. Jakes

Winter 2018

January 21
2:00 pm
London Community Players
Nurse Jane Goes to Hawaii
A. Stratton
February 3
8:00 pm
Kitchener/Waterloo Little Theatre
Venus in Fur
D. Ives
February 4
2:00 pm
Guelph Little Theatre
Gloria's Guy
J. Burrows
February 8
7:30 pm
Theatre Sarnia
Strangers Among Us
A. Bushkowsky
February 9
8:00 pm
Ghost Light Players
If We Were Birds
E. Shields
February 10
8:00 pm
Aylmer Community Theatre
The Dining Room
A. Gurney
February 11
2:30 pm
Elmira Theatre Company
On a First Name Basis
N. Foster
February 15
8:00 pm
Theatre Burlington
Murder in Mind
T. Feely
February 16
8:00 pm
Paris Performers' Theatre
Twelve Angry Men
R. Rose
February 16
Carolee Mason prepares
February 17
1:00 pm
Theatre Sarnia
Carolee Mason presents results

For a printable list click here.
New WODL Treasurer - Peter Busby

Peter Busby joined the WODL Board of Directors in July 2017.
After graduating as a Certified General Accountant in 1990, Peter worked for twenty years with the Ontario Ministries of Finance and  Revenue, mostly as a Senior Field Officer, Retail Sales Tax.
He has also served as Treasurer for the Amabile Youth Choir, Fanshawe Yacht Club, and for eight years with Canada's largest non-student housing co-operative, Castlegreen Housing Co-op in Thunder Bay. Castlegreen has just completed a twenty-year replacement reserve plan set out by Peter in 1995.
Peter has been involved in theatre, both amateur and professional, since 1955, first cutting his teeth with NWODL's Atikokan Little Theatre in lighting and sound. He has appeared in every role in theatre except on stage. More recently, Peter has worked with LCP, ITOPA, SCMP, Elgin, Dutton, London Fringe and Guelph theatre groups, and is currently Lighting Chair with Guelph Little Theatre.
Peter may be contacted at treasurer@wodl.on.ca.
Festival 2018 - Sarnia - March 12 to 17 2018

By Charmaine Jacklin, Chair WODL Festival 2018 Committee, charmaine@wodl.on.ca 
Theatre Sarnia and the Imperial Theatre are excited to be hosting next years WODL Festival.  For those of you who have participated in previous Festivals either by entering a production into the Festival, or by attending Festival, you know it is definitely FUN!
Theatre Sarnia has a history of hosting exciting, successful festivals and we expect this one to carry on the tradition.
The Festival Committee has been formed. Here are just a few of the details;
When: March 12th to the 16th with the Gala on Saturday, March 17th (that's right, St. Paddy's Day!).
The Festival Traveling Adjudicator is Carolee Mason.  We are very lucky and excited to have Carolee as our Preliminary Adjudicator and look forward to seeing her here in Sarnia.

The in-Festival adjudicator is Carey Nicholson. She has been involved in the performing arts for over 40 years. We are looking forward to getting to know her, and to benefit from her experience, during the Festival week in Sarnia.

We have information available about our Festival Hotel, so you can start booking immediately! Thank you so much to the incredible people at the Holiday Inn Sarnia/Point Edward for their partnership in this event.

Here is what you need to know to book your rooms ASAP!!

Holiday Inn Sarnia / Point Edward
1498 Venetian Blvd.,
Point Edward ON N7T 7W6

Discounted group rate: $99.00+ taxes 
Continental Breakfast for up to 2 people per room included in the rate

Western Ontario Drama League Festival 
Reservation cutoff date: March 2, 2018

To make your individual Reservations:
The next committee meeting will be on Tuesday, September 19th, so be sure to check out our FaceBook page https://www.facebook.com/WODLFest2018. Feel free to like and share. Heck, you can even follow us on twitter, @WODLtheatre and @WODLfestival! Our social media team led by our very own Jay Peckham updates these pages regularly.
Stories from the Theatre Ontario Summer Theatre Intensive: Creating "Character"

By Linda Pagnotta, WODL Area VP for Bruce-Grey-Huron, linda@wodl.on.ca
This article was previously published on the Theatre Ontario blog.
This was my very first Theatre Ontario Summer Intensive experience... and it won't be my last. My expectations were not only met, but were exceeded. I attended "Who the Heck are YOU?! Creating 'Character'" with Liza Balkan.

First of all, the woman was amazing. She incorporated movement, exercises, even animal noises, which I hear the classes above us (Directors and Playwrights) greatly appreciated. Thanks for allowing us to play! Liza was full of energy, and delivered a thoughtful approach to learning. She challenged me to re-think the monologue I had prepared ahead of time, and think beyond the intended plan. That particular exercise did more for me than if I had just read aloud the monologue I had been preparing for a month. I was able to incorporate some of what I learned at the course immediately. The many exercises were beneficial for exploring, discovering and identifying what is important to me as an actor.
The space at Factory 163 was great! We had a huge space on the bottom floor which consisted of four quadrants. That's how I looked at the space. The first space was used for warm up, voice and exercises. I had brought my workout gear and yoga mat to keep up at the hotel, but didn't need it, thanks Liza! The second space was used for sharing monologues and for character development exercises. The third space was for movement, and the fourth space was a round table for some reflection of the day. At times, all four 'quadrants' were used simultaneously. I also enjoyed the common areas where I sat with participants from the other courses. We discussed and learned from one another about the various perspectives and viewpoints within the industry.

The plays I attended were not what I would normally select for myself, but I am glad that I had the opportunity to see something different and expand my horizons. I also liked hearing other participants' impressions. The lunch time guest speaker series was also beneficial because it gave us the opportunity to hear from industry professionals.
The playwright reading with Kristen Da Silva and her cast members was great! They did an excellent job reading the first act from her play, The Book Club. I wish I could have heard the rest to see how it ends. The dynamic of the actors and how they were seated really lent itself to the atmosphere of the read. I enjoyed speaking with the actors and Kristen after the reading. 

My classmates were wonderful people. I won't name any names, because you know who you are, and how much of a positive impact you had on me. Thanks for your sharing, listening and encouragement. I wish each of you much success going forward and I hope that our paths do cross again someday.
Linda has recently retired LKP Consulting, her training company after twenty-five years. She looks forward to pursuing her first love for acting and the theatre. Her hometown stage is the Kincardine Theatre Guild where she has been a member since 2006, both on and off stage.
News from Around the WODL Region

By Janice Lundy, member WODL Communications Committee, janice@wodl.on.ca 
October is starting to really warm up before the big November blitz of shows! 
London's Procunier Hall at the Palace Theatre presents Penguin Blues October 12-15, and Theatre Woodstock's Dracula? The Musical runs from October13-21.
Guelph Little Theatre opens their season with The Gondoliers from October 13-27.

Aylmer Community Theatre starts the next weekend off with Outside Mullingar, running from October 19-28, and Theatre Sarnia  presents The Hunchback of Notre Dame October 20-28.

To finish the month, St. Marys Community Players  has Man of La Mancha from October 26-November 5, and Procunier Hall at the Palace Theatre presents How the Circus Vanished October 31- November 4.
Meanwhile, auditions for Theatre Woodstock's February show Steel Magnolias will be held October 22 & 23. For more information, contact Kim DeLillo at kimdelillo71@gmail.com.

Exciting news from St. Thomas! Recently they commissioned an engineer study and found that their historic Princess Ave Playhouse balcony had some structural matters that needed "tending to" to the tune of $60,000.  They have completed phase 1: to Stabilize,  with generous help from HIRA Construction, Yarmouth Metals, SPH Engineering and invaluable contributions from Green Lane Community Trust Fund, Relish Elgin and City of St. Thomas. The Balcony is back in full use and enjoyed by guests for all performances. The integrity and architectural beauty of the historical Princess Ave Playhouse is cherished by St. Thomas' thriving performing arts community. Stay tuned for details on future fundraisers to complete phase 2 of the restoration process: To Beautify.

Owen Sound Little Theatre is pleased to announce that The Roxy Young Company will be revived with a weekly session on Saturday mornings, under the leadership of Christy Eaglesham. Their first production will be Charlie Brown's Christmas in December.

Check out the new improved  Theatre Tillsonburg website showcasing their new logo. 
Theatre Ontario Festival 2018 - London - May 16 to 20 2018

By Anne Mooney, Chair Theatre Ontario Festival, London Community Players anne@wodl.on.ca
The Festival is being hosted by London Community Players at the Palace Theatre. For information about the space please check us out on line at palacetheatre.ca/renting-1.
More specific technical information will be included on our website in the near future.
The Festival Adjudicator has just been announced. WE are excited to welcome Maja Ardal as the Adjudicator. Check out the Theatre Ontario website for more information, and see the article on Maja Ardal in this newsletter.
Opening reception, performances will be at the Palace. Workshops and adjudications and the Awards Brunch will take place at the Festival hotel.


Ticket Prices - 4 play series before Feb 1 - $88
4 play series after Feb 1 - $96
3 play Flex pass (for winning group members) - $66
Single tickets - $27
Awards Brunch - $35
All taxes and handling fees included. (there will be a postage charge if you wish your tickets to be mailed to you.) There is also an extra handling fee for on-line orders.
Tickets are not yet available for this event.

The ToFest2018 hotel is the Four Points by Sheraton London.

You cannot book your hotel room yet.

Advantages of the hotel for festival include (in no particular order) ...
  • Easy access from major highways
  • Parking
    • Lots of free parking
    • Can easily accommodate trucks for the competing groups
    • Shopping and restaurants nearby - many within walking distance
  • Have a theatre festival experience
    • LCP hosted WODL 2005 here
    • Jan Griffith, our contact, was a member of the team that worked with us for that festival
  • Rooms
    • 1 King Bed or 2 Queen Beds
      • $115 per night includes breakfast (full breakfast buffet) for one person
      • Each additional person to a maximum of 4 people in a room pay an additional $10 for breakfast i.e.
        • 2 person: $125
        • 3 person: $135
        • 4 person: $145
  • Booking
    • By calling or online - details will be on the TOFest2018 website
  • Chairman Suite
    • Will serve as our hospitality suite
      • During the day for drop in
      • After the evening performances, for an opportunity for attendees to gather, visit and exchange info.
      • Since two of our committee will be staying in this room, there are no liquor licensing issues.
  • Awards Brunch
    • Special menu/pricing of $35 all in - buffet brunch with breakfast and lunch options
    • Cash bar - "individual bar orders to be taken and paid by individuals"
Theatre Ontario Festival 2018 Adjudicator - Maja ArdalMajaArdel

By Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager at Theatre Ontario, brandon@theatreontario.org
Theatre Ontario Festival 2018 will be held in London from May 16 to 20, 2018 and is co-hosted by Theatre Ontario, London Community Players, and the Western Ontario Drama League. For more information on Theatre Ontario Festival 2018 click here.
Theatre Ontario welcomes Maja Ardal as adjudicator for Theatre Ontario Festival 2018 in London. Maja most recently adjudicated the QUONTA Festival (northeastern Ontario) in 2015 in Sault Ste. Marie, and the London One-Act Play Festival in 2016. This will be her first time adjudicating Theatre Ontario Festival.

"I am honoured to be invited to this festival," said Maja. "My role as adjudicator is both challenging and delightful, and ultimately involves the moral responsibility of sharing my views in a way that enriches the communities' craft and passion for playmaking."

Maja has been working in theatre for forty-seven years. She is a director, playwright, actor, and theatre trainer. Her musical play,  The Hero of Hunter Street, was produced by 4th Line Theatre in 2016. She researched and created  One Thing Leads to Another, Theatre for Babies, produced by Young People's Theatre, receiving two Dora Awards in 2015. It will tour Ontario in 2018, and she is developing the sequel,  You and I.

She wrote and performs in the hit shows  You Fancy Yourself (Dora Award for performance) and  The Cure for Everything (Dora nomination for outstanding play.) She also wrote  HER2, a play about a breast cancer trial for ten women.  HER2 was produced in January 2015 by Nightwood Theatre. She is developing two new plays for 4th Line Theatre. Copies of her plays can be found through Playwrights Canada Press. Maja adapted and directed the play  Prisoner of Tehran from the best-selling memoir by Marina Nemat. It was produced in  2012 by the P of T Collective in association with Theatre Passe Muraille. She wrote the book for the musical  Joy, composer Joey Miller, which was produced in 2000 by Workman Theatre.

From 1990 to 1998, Maja was the artistic director of Young People's Theatre (Toronto) where she commissioned and directed over fifteen new plays. Her production of  Whale received the Dora award for outstanding production. Among her directing credits are: Alberta Theatre Projects,  Stones in His Pockets and  Oliver Twist, The Grand Theatre, London, Theatre NorthWest,  Fly Me to the Moon, Muskoka Summer Theatre, and The Shaw Festival. She was interim Artistic Director of Nightwood Theatre 2007-8, and was a regular principal for seven seasons in  The Road to Avonlea.

Maja has trained actors at Humber and Fanshawe Colleges, where she is noted for her epic productions of Brecht and Shakespeare plays. She also gives workshops in vocal and physical theatre techniques in communities across Canada and runs writing programs in the Muskoka community and for the Peel Region Community Council. Maja has adjudicated community theatre festivals in Sault Ste Marie (QUONTA) 2015,  and London's One-Act Play Festival in 2016. She makes her home in Muskoka.
Theatre Ontario Youth Theatre Trainng Program

By Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager at Theatre Ontario, brandon@theatreontario.org
Theatre Ontario's Youth Theatre Training Program (YTTP) offers financial support to programs that deliver accessible training to young people (age 14 to 21), led by professional theatre artists, in skills such as:
  • Technical production and design;
  • Theatre administration and producing;
  • Performance skills and play creation.
This program is funded by the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.


There are two annual application deadlines for this program: March 15 and October 15 (or the next business day, if these dates fall on a weekend)


The purpose of the YTTP is to expose young people to the many and diverse skills involved in creating theatre and to provide access to professional theatre training which might not otherwise be available in the host community.  To that end, Theatre Ontario has identified the following goals:
  1. Providing opportunities for youth with reduced access because of race, culture, class, gender, (dis)ability and/or region as well as youth in underserviced communities;
  2. Extending the provincial reach of the program by encouraging theatre training programs in communities beyond downtown Toronto;
  3. Encouraging ethnic diversity in both trainers and youth;
  4. Expanding the range of training activity by encouraging training in theatre skills in non-performance areas;
  5. Providing an open and accessible admission process so that all interested youth in the community may have an opportunity to be considered to participate.
YTTP grants are for the express purpose of providing fees (or partial fees) to professional theatre artists working in the capacity of trainers with the youth.

  • Applicants must be group members of Theatre Ontario;
  • Projects must emphasize practical training in theatrical skills;
  • The applicant, participants, and professional artists proposed for the project must be Canadian citizens or have landed immigrant status and reside in Ontario (must have resided here for at least one year.)
The maximum grant available is $7,500.

programs@theatreontario.org  or by telephone at 416.408.4556 x.12
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.

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 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