Western Ontario Drama League

Newsletter January 2024

In this Issue:

  • The Story of a Trillium Grant
  • Nominations for Life Members of WODL
  • Adjudications Schedule
  • WODL Festival 2024
  • Community Theatre in the WODL Region
  • What's on this Month in the Waterloo-Wellington Region
  • What's Happening in the Brant-Haldimand-Norfolk-Oxford Region
  • Horizon Solutions - Resource Stage Conversations
  • Off the Wall - Winter 2024
  • Playwrights Canada Press
  • Playwrights Guild of Canada - Canadian Play Outlet
  • Concord Theatricals New Plays
  • If you are Producing Canadian Plays this Season - Check This Out
  • Is your WODL Membership Information Up-to-date?
  • Dates for your Diary
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The WODL Board

wishes all the members of WODL

a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2024!

The Story of a Trillium Grant

By Shirley Marshall, Second VP WODL, shirleym @ wodl.on.ca

It was a cold day in February, watching our latest panto at Binbrook Little Theatre, when I thought… wouldn’t it be great if we could use some kind of video technology on our stage to set the scene? But there are problems… the ceiling is too low, the stage is too small. Any attempts at projections just end up projecting on the actors. What we really need is a really good short-range projector and a screen that covers the whole back of the set. How hard can it be? Expensive? Well, yes. But I’ve heard that my brother-in-law’s theatre group gets a Trillium Grant every year to upgrade their facilities. Why couldn’t we do that in Binbrook? How hard can it be? The wheels were in motion…

Next I had my brother-in-law connect me with the Northumberland Players’ Trillium Grant guru. She gave me great advice.

  • The government WANTS to give the money away. Just follow their guidelines to the letter and you will be successful. You need someone who is familiar with filling out government forms, if possible.

  • Talk to the advisors at the Ontario Trillium Foundation whenever you have a question or need some guidance. They are there to help and will support your success.

  • While you are writing your grant proposal, don’t try to get it right all in one go. Save what is done so far and then go back and add some more until it is time to submit.

  • Plan your application in advance of the opening date. The questions are online before the application opens.

  • If you don’t end up spending all the money you are granted, come up with a use for the money that is still related to the project and they will likely let you spend it. They don’t really want to take money back, but will if you don’t get creative.

  • There is a holdback amount when you get the grant money. If you can’t wait for that final payment and need the money, make your project period shorter so the money is there when you need it. If that doesn’t work out, just ask for the money when you need it. They are reasonable people.

We began the process, considered our needs carefully. We decided to apply for funding for the projector and screen, and also a new lighting board, LED lights and a new communication system with headsets. The reason for the project and how it will positively effect the community is most important idea to convey. We brainstormed how to word that at our local Swiss Chalet. It was important that we ensure our list of board members was up-to-date and accurate from our tax return. We had received a Trillium Grant 20+ years ago, so had to do some steps to revive that old account instead of creating a new one.

The biggest hurdle was getting quotes in time for the deadline. Be sure to start that process early. Since we did not already have a working relationship with a supplier, it was difficult to find someone interested in our business. Thankfully we had a chat with Rob Coles at the WODL Festival in May, and he pointed us to Horizon Solutions. They were able to meet with us virtually at short notice and give us the quotes we needed without an on-site visit, since our building was unexpectedly shut down for roof work by the City of Hamilton.

In the end, our grant was approved and we are now in the process of spending the money and re-jigging budgets to spend what we said we were going to. Supply chain delays are our current issue. Hopefully we will be using our new projector and screen for the set of Snow White, opening Feb 2… not shadow puppets!

If you have any questions about the process, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at shirleym@wodl.on.ca.

Nominations for Life Members of WODL

By Sue Perkins, WODL Life Members Chair, lifemembers@wodl.on.ca

As many of you will know already, in May 2023 we presented two very special people with Honorary Life Membership in Western Ontario Drama League - Andre and Gina Paradis.  Both of them have given so much time and energy to all aspects of WODL, their own home company of Theatre Kent and to theatre in general in western Ontario.  


This honour is given for outstanding service to Theatre in the WODL region. Honorary Life Members, without payment of fees, have all the rights and privileges of a member.


If you know of someone within your region who has made outstanding contributions to theatre in this region, please let me know.  Forward details to:


Sue Perkins  lifemembers@wodl.on.ca


The Life Members Committee - comprised of all current Life Members - has received three nominations to date. At the last Board meeting a motion was passed as follows:


The deadline for receipt of nominations for Honorary Life Membership in WODL be set at February 15 of the year for which the honour is being presented.


The awards will be presented in May at the Gala to be held in London, Ontario and members have until February 15, 2024 to submit a nomination for 2024.

Adjudications Schedule

For the latest revision of the adjudications schedule go to www.wodl.on.ca.

WODL Festival 2024

By Mona Brennan-Coles, WODL Past President, mona@wodl.on.ca

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 February newsletter, please send the information to communications@wodl.on.ca.

What's on this Month in the Waterloo-Wellington Region

By Bev Dietrich, WODL Area VP Bruce-Grey-Huron, bev@wodl.on.ca

Penny and Pound Theatre Productions

Little Heaven – World Premiere

Music and Lyrics by Lori Robinson Distel 

Book by Piper J. Distel

Orchestral Arrangements by Alexander W. Halma-Reed

Directed by Lori Robinson Distel & Piper J. Distel 

Performances: January 11-13, 2024

Adjudication: Friday January 12, 2024 at 8:00 pm.

Performance Venue: Guelph Little Theatre

Theatre Wellesley

Making God Laugh by Sean Grennan, directed by Rhonda Caldwell and Aidan Tessier.

Audition Dates: January 14, 2024 at 2:00pm and January 17, 2024 at & 7:00pm

Performances: April 13-21 & 25-28, 2024.

Kitchener Waterloo Little Theatre

Battle of the Bards: Bards at Home 4

Friday, January 19th @ 8:00pm online.

Kafka’s Dick by Alan Bennett, directed by Christena Jackson

Auditions: January 22-24, 2024

Performances: April 18 to May 4, 2024

What's Happening in the Brant-Haldimand-Norfolk-Oxford Region

By Laurel Gillespie, WODL Area VP Bruce-Grey-Huron, laurel@wodl.on.ca

Paris Performers Theatre

After another successful fundraiser, Life is Just a Cabaret, Paris Performers are blazing ahead into 2024 so stay tuned.

Theatre Tillsonburg

The 2023-24 season continues with the fan favourite Nunsense by Dan Goggin which has performances on February 8-11 and 15-18, 2024. Get tickets at www.theatretillsonburg.com.

Auditions for Gloria’s Guy by Joan Burrows, and directed by Joe Sheik, will be held on January 9 and 10 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm at the theatre with call backs scheduled for January 14, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm.

Theatre Woodstock

Theatre Woodstock is looking forward to an exciting remainder of their 2023/2024 season! January is bursting with Matilda Jr. The Musical which is presented by STAGES, their kids' program, from January 12-14, 2024. Also, Theatre Woodstock is honoured to be sharing the premiere of the locally directed, filmed, and partially casted (Laurel Gillespie and John R. Smith) true story called What if it was Me? on Saturday, January 20, 2024, at 7:30pm.

Finally, Theatre Woodstock is currently looking to hear from experienced actors and newcomers to the stage for auditions on Sunday, January 21, and Monday, January 22, 2024, for the Festival of One Act Plays. More information about auditions can be found here. 

Be sure to check back in February for news about Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella!

Horizon Solutions - Resource Stage Conversations

By Samadhi Perera, Horizon Solutions, samedhi@horizonsolutions.net, www.horizonsolutions.net

Robbin Cheesman joins us to share the twists and turns of her career path leading to one of the top technical management positions in Canadian theatre.

We will discuss what it's like being in the position of Technical Director in a what has been traditionally a male role in professional theatre.

Robbin will then walk us through a behind-the-scenes look at the unique repertory theatre production cycle of the Stratford Festival.

For more information click here.


Join us at Horizon Solutions on January 9 at 7:00 pm

at 1910 Huron Street, London, ON

or online at www.resourcestage.ca

Almost every audio, video and lighting system today has some sort of network component. And more and more, we are all required to be some level of network expert. But it's not always easy to keep up.

We're here to help.

In this three-hour seminar you will gain the necessary knowledge to navigate the fundamentals of common digital audio, video, and lighting systems found in churches, community theatres and on school stages.

This seminar is designed to demystify networking for your AV systems. Don't miss out on this opportunity to enhance your skills and effortlessly navigate the digital landscape.


$20 / person (payable at Horizon)

Note: this seminar requires registration


Register today to

Join us at Horizon Solutions

1910 Huron Street, London

Off the Wall - Winter 2024

By Michele Boniface, Chair, Off the Wall Stratford Artists Alliance, mboniface@cyg.net

Website: stratfordoffthewall.com

Facebook: @offthewallstrat

Instagram: @offthewallstratfordartists

Hashtags: #stratfordoffthewall #theatreproduction #backstage

Playwrights Canada Press

By Brandon Crone, Sales & Marketing Coordinator at Playwrights Canada Press, brandon@playwrightscanada.com

Check out these new books from Playwrights Canada Press!

Recently released:  


New by Pamela Mala Sinha

It’s 1970s Winnipeg—a time of revolution and radical possibilities—and an apartment building of immigrant friends is about to be transformed by their latest arrival. Qasim is happily in love with his Canadian girlfriend Abby and has made dear friends with his Indian neighbours. But when Qasim’s mother goes on a hunger strike to strong-arm him into an arranged marriage, his fearless young Bengali bride challenges everyone to rethink their perceptions of identity, sexuality, and freedom. New is a joyous ensemble comedy that honours the immigrant experience and encourages all generations to create a meaningful life on our own terms.


This is Beyond: A Time Capsule of Queer Experience, edited by Evan Tsitsias and Bilal Baig

In this rapid moment of expansion in queer theatre, when everything is exposed, interrogated, and investigated, This is Beyond is a time capsule of where we are now and a map for where we might go next. Co-editors Evan Tsitsias and Bilal Baig strike out to capture the magnitude of this seismic shift, asking: How far have we come? What’s changed? What’s stayed the same? What do we need to do to continue to change things? An anthology that moves like a satellite in the sky, This is Beyond confronts and expands our current perceptions so that we may continue to explore the new and unknown.

Coming soon:


Retreating to Re-Treat: A Performative Encounter at the 'Edge of the Woods' by The Collective Encounter with Jill Carter

In 2019, the Collective Encounter—a group of scholar-artists led by Jill Carter—presented Encounters at the 'Edge of the Woods' as part of Hart House Theatre’s 100th anniversary season. The piece acted as survivance intervention: an Indigenous reclamation of territory, using Storyweaving practices rooted in personal connections to the land to restor(y) treaty relationships. Retreating to Re-Treat documents both their collective creation and process, offered in the spirit of creative knowledge-sharing and enriching scholarship around collaborative practices. By revealing their unique and still-developing method for addressing a fraught and tangled (hi)story, the Collective Encounter invites readers to join them as we mediate those sites of profound experiences and renewal—sites in which the project of conciliation might truly begin.


Freedom: A Mixtape, edited by Marcel Stewart with Suitcase in Point

Freedom: A Mixtape is a soulful artistic response to recent and historical violence on Black bodies, presented through a collection of original songs, stories, poems, anecdotes, spoken-word pieces, and musical instrumentation from folks living in the Niagara Region. A community conversation about our complicated relationship with emancipation and the human right to be free, Freedom: A Mixtape is a compilation album that is part protest and part celebration. It is history and the present moment all at once, a reminder that this moment is part of a larger, ongoing movement. Familiar pains are felt deeply in moments both bygone and bitingly present, setting the tone—and stage—for action.

 + 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!

See December 2023 releases.

Concord Theatricals New Plays

See their latest scripts click here.

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, Shirley Bieman, know at membership@wodl.on.ca

Dates for your Diary:

31 January 2024

Deadline for submissions for the February newsletter.

12 April 2024

End of adjudications.

14 April 2024

WODL General Meeting. Announcement of nominations for awards.

Victoria Day Long Weekend, 17 & 18 May 2024

WODL Festival and Reunion Gala 2024, London

Victoria Day Long Weekend, 15 - 18 May 2025

WODL Festival 2025, Leamington.

Victoria Day Long Weekend, Sunday 18 May 2025

Awards brunch, 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 2024. All Rights Reserved.

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