Western Ontario Drama League
Newsletter April 2022
In this issue:
  • Update from the President of WODL
  • Update on COVID Precautions for Theatres
  • WODL-Sponsored Workshops
  • Stage Management Workshop - Kincardine Theatre Guild - 9 April 2022
  • Community Theatre in the WODL Region
  • Off the Wall - Summer Workshops
  • New Plays from the Playwrights Canada Press
  • Playwrights Guild of Canada - Canadian Play Outlet
  • If you are producing Canadian Plays this Season - Check This Out
  • Is your WODL Membership Information Up-to-date?
  • Dates for your Diary
Quick Links
Update from the President of WODL
By Mona Brennan Coles, WODL President, president@wodl.on.ca
I am thankful that we are continuing to “return to normal” even though the pandemic is not yet over.  
I am enjoying the increasing number of opportunities to see live theatre.
I am impressed with the many, creative ways theatres are ensuring that their audiences are safe and feel safe as live theatre returns.
I am encouraged by the respect we are showing each other as we make individual risk assessments that inform whether or not we wear masks.
I am grateful to be a member of the WODL community – talented, generous and supportive.
WODL in 2022-2023 and Beyond

We are anticipating that we will have:

  • travelling adjudications in 2022-2023 (timing to be determined)
  • an in person WODL Festival that will include the long May weekend in 2023 (format, timing to be determined).

Please reach out to your area VPs to contribute to our decision making. The contact information for the area VPs is:

Brant-Haldimand-Norfolk: Nikole Beda, nikole@wodl.on.ca.
Bruce-Grey-Huron: Linda Lloyd-McKenzie, lindalm@wodl.on.ca.
Elgin-Middlesex-Perth-Oxford: Rob Coles, rob@wodl.on.ca.
Essex-Lambton-Kent: Renata Solski, renata@wodl.on.ca.
Lincoln-Wentworth: Michelle Spanik, michelle@wodl.on.ca.
Waterloo-Wellington: Bev Dietrich, bev@wodl.on.ca.

WODL Workshops
Thank you to our Workshop committee (Terri Graham, Ken Menzies, Bev Dietrich) for continuing to present virtual workshops. See Terri’s article about workshops for more information.
I very much enjoyed the very informative Health & Safety workshop on Saturday, March 19. My biggest takeaways were the realization that we already incorporate a lot of health and safety in our process, and there is more that we can do.
Update on COVID Precautions for Theatres
By Brandon Moore
On March 21st, Ontario left the COVID-19 pandemic “Roadmap to Reopen.” The only COVID-19 public health measures still in place impact health care settings, public transit, long term care and retirement homes, home and community care, and congregate care centres like shelters. However, the head of Ontario's COVID-19 Science Advisory Table has also said that it is “very clear” that Ontario is now in the middle of a sixth wave of the pandemic. Theatres are now faced with making their own decisions about what to do.

Theatres can continue to require proof of vaccination and/or mandatory masks and face coverings as they desire. Ultimately, your local public health situation should drive the decisions you make. For example, York Region Public Health “strongly encourages masks to protect yourselves and others, especially for those who may be immunocompromised or vulnerable to COVID-19 infections.” You should probably seek the advice of your local Public Health Unit on what measures remain appropriate in your community.

Similarly, you need to consider your audience expectations. Some theatres have found that subscribers were cancelling if they found that the theatre’s requirements had changed since they purchased their tickets. How restrictive is your cancellation policy? What kind of refunds are you providing—especially for someone who has to isolate and cannot attend a performance?

If you are enforcing policies, do your front-of-house staff and volunteers have the skills and training to manage that enforcement? Do they know how to deescalate confrontations?

These decisions are the new challenges that theatres are facing as they reopen. Making well-informed decisions may feel difficult, but ultimately you know your audience and your community—and that will help you make the best decision for your local community theatre.
WODL-Sponsored Workshops
By Terri Graham, Second Vice President WODL, terri@wodl.on.ca
In March we had an informative workshop from Janet Sellery on Health and Safety in the theatre. Click here to see her resource list from the workshop that will also be put onto the WODL website for further perusal. Janet brought many years of experience to the table and walked us through a great presentation.

The next workshop will be for grant writing, something all of our theatre companies will most likely be doing in the near future to help keep us afloat as we soldier on and get back onstage. This will be May 7th and registration has already started for this online workshop. We hope to see you there!!

A number of theatre companies are starting to book smaller in person workshops which is great to see. If you need financial assistance with your workshop please see the information on the website and registration form for assistance.

Free Grant Writing Workshop - Saturday 7 May 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm on Zoom

Presented by Sam Varteniuk 

Writing Grants: How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome and (Hopefully) Get the Money
When you sit down to write a grant, do you quickly start to feel like you’re in over your head? Does successful grant-writing feel like something that someone else might do: someone with more experience or connections or intimate knowledge of the granting process? 
You’re not alone! In this workshop we’ll try to demystify the process, establish a methodical approach, and humanize those gatekeepers who stand between us and the projects of our dreams.
To attend this workshop, contact Terri Graham at workshops@wodl.on.ca.
About Sam Varteniuk 
Sam Varteniuk has spent over 25 years writing, directing, producing, and starring in stage plays, short films, and sketch comedy. His company Mostly Water Theatre was a staple of the Edmonton International Fringe Festival, and he was a regular contributor to CBC Radio's The Irrelevant Show.

His history of community creation and education stretch from academia (graduate degree in Drama from the University of Alberta) to institutions like Edmonton's Citadel Theatre and Kitchener's JM Drama Alumni. He has worked extensively in the world of Drama Therapy/Theatre for Social Change, collaborating with mental health organizations, seniors’ communities, and newcomers to Canada to tell their stories.

He is a founding member of Lightning Banjo Productions, a Theatre for Young Audiences company. For the past 11 years Sam has served as Executive Director of The Registry Theatre, pursuing a mandate to support and develop the arts in Waterloo Region through professional arts presenting, rentals, and community theatre.
Stage Management Workshop - Kincardine Theatre Guild - 9 April 2022
By Sarah Foster, Kincardine Theatre Guild, sarah.foster@kincardinetheatreguild.com
The past two years have been tough for arts groups and companies, especially theatres. The Kincardine Theatre Guild is excited to be bringing entertainment to the stage this spring, and returning to hosting workshops to enhance the skill set of our volunteers, and maybe attract some new members. 

On Saturday, April 9 from 9:15 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., the Kincardine Theatre Guild is proud to host award winning stage manager Bev Dietrich who will be conducting a stage management workshop that day. 

“When people hear ‘stage manager,’ they might think of a certain role in a production, but there is no doubt this workshop will be beneficial to everyone involved in community theatre from actors, to directors, producers, lighting crew, absolutely everyone,” said Andy Wasylycia, KTG Workshop Director. 

“I’ve worked with Bev in the past and am so excited to bring her to Kincardine where she can share her knowledge and skills to help not just the KTG, but other local theatre groups in Bruce, Grey and Huron counties who may want to participate in the workshop.”

Doors open at 8:45 am, with the morning session running from 9:15 am until noon. There will be an hour break for lunch, then from 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm the session continues. Topics covered throughout the day will include:

  • Stage Manager’s job description
  • Pre-Production tasks
  • The Prompt Book
  • Rehearsals and how to run them
  • Tech week
  • It’s Showtime
  • It’s a Wrap – Post Production
  • Problem Solving

“The workshop is suitable for first time stage managers and will be a refresher for those with experience,” explained Wasylycia.

The workshop is open to all and is free to Kincardine Theatre Guild members who have paid their membership dues for the 2021-22 season. KTG membership is $20 for an individual, or $50 for a family of three or more. If you want to participate in the workshop, but don’t want to join the KTG, the cost of the workshop on its own is $10. Space is limited so email Sarah Foster at sarah.foster@kincardinetheatreguild.com to reserve your spot. 

About Bev Dietrich:
Bev Dietrich retired as curator of Guelph Museums in 2017 after 35 years in the museum business. She also taught curatorial museum skills with in-person and online classes. 

Her theatre experience is second-to-none. She began stage managing in 1989 with Elmira Theatre Company, where she is the current president. She also serves on the board of the Western Ontario Drama League (WODL), where she is the long-time area vice-president Waterloo-Wellington, as well as the organization's archivist.  

She has been accoladed for her volunteer work in the theatre with awards for her stage management talents from WODL at its annual theatre festival. In 2014, she was honoured at Theatre Ontario when she received the Michael Spence award for outstanding contribution to community theatre.
Community Theatre in the WODL Region
A good place to find out about what other WODL groups are doing is the WODL Facebook page, WODL | Facebook. Most of the announcements are at fairly short notice, so check in often!

If your group is putting on an event that you would like included in the May newsletter, please send the information to communications@wodl.on.ca.
Off the Wall - Summer Workshops
By Michele Boniface, Chair, Off the Wall Stratford Artists Alliance, mboniface@cyg.net
Facebook @offthewallstrat
Hashtags: #stratfordoffthewall #theatreproduction #backstage
New Plays from the Playwrights Canada Press
By Jessica Lewis, Sales & Marketing Manager, Playwrights Canada Press, jessica@playwrightscanada.com 
New books out this month from Playwrights Canada Press:
Successions by Michaela Di Cesare
An Italian Canadian family dramedy about legacy, expectations, and relationships.
Let’s Run Away by Daniel MacIvor
A man searches for absolution while presenting a family memoir.
The Children’s Republic by Hannah Moscovitch
A doctor struggles to protect the children at his orphanage during the Holocaust.

See what else is  coming soon.

Did you know you can browse our plays by subjects and casting? 

Want to hear more about sales and upcoming events? Sign up for our newsletter!
You can find more new releases, a blog full of interviews and excerpts, and more on playwrightscanada.com!
Playwrights Guild of Canada - Canadian Play Outlet
The Canadian Play Outlet has over 2000 Canadian Plays right at your fingertips. Looking for something specific? Check out the curated Collections.

Every month you can take a look at the newest unpublished and published plays available!

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 to perform a Canadian play but cannot figure out where to obtain the amateur performance rights, view this presentation from PGC.
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, Tim Dawdy, know at membership@wodl.on.ca
Dates for your Diary:
30 April 2022
Deadline for submissions for the May newsletter
7 August 2022
WODL Annual General Meeting
13 March to 18 March 2023
WODL Festival 2023
11 March to 16 March 2024
WODL Festival 2024, Leamington
This newsletter was prepared by:
Tricia Ward
Communications coordinator

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

Copyright © Western Ontario Drama League 2022. All Rights Reserved.