Western Ontario Drama League
WODL
Newsletter July 2021
In this issue:

  • Update from the President of WODL
  • WODL AGM - Sunday 8 August 2021 - 11.00 am - on Zoom
  • Update Group President and Group Delegates Information
  • Free Presentations from Off the Wall for WODL Members
  • Update on COVID Step 2 for Theatres
  • Community Theatre in the WODL Region
  • News from the Waterloo Wellington Region
  • Off the Wall - Space Available in Summer Courses
  • Off the Wall - Fall 2021 Weekend Workshops
  • New Plays from the Playwrights Canada Press
  • Music Theatre international's All Together Now! A Global Event Celebrating Local Theatre
  • 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 enjoying summer – even the hot and humid days. I hope you are too!
What’s Next For WODL

Supporting our Members as they Work Towards Reopening

The good news: Ontario is moving through the steps of reopening slightly ahead of schedule. On June 30th when we enter Step 2, outdoor live theatre and concert events will be able to go ahead at 25% of capacity.

The bad news: There is no clear roadmap for how/when live theatre and concert events will be able to present performances at full capacity in Step 3 and beyond. This is particularly challenging for us because it takes time to plan and rehearse live performances. And, to let our audiences know that we are back.


What does this mean for WODL in the near future?

  • There will be no local adjudications in the 2021-2022 season. We are looking forward to when we can once again hold our annual Festival and learn from the associated pre-Festival adjudications throughout the region.

  • We have talked about several options for supporting our members in reopening. Some things we’ve considered include: supporting actors as they return to the stage; understanding what we need to do to reopen safely and legally; letting our audiences know about our performances; and how we are making it safe for everyone.

  • We have supported, and will continue to support, our tech folks with virtual workshops until we can present workshops in person.

  • Terri Graham is leading a group, with Ken Menzies and Bev Dietrich, that explores options for how we can best support you as you reopen in 2021-2022. Let us know what would help you by contacting Terri, terri@wodl.on.ca, or your area VP.


The contact information for the area VPs is:



WODL Annual General Meeting (AGM)

The WODL 2021 AGM is on Sunday, August 8, 2021 at 11:00 am via Zoom. Watch for information, minutes from last years AGM, etc. from our Secretary, Pam Niesiobedzki-Curtis.  Brandon Moore will be our guest and provide further updates from the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training, and Skills Development's Advisory Committee for Live Performance. Terri Graham will provide a preliminary report on our plans for 2021-2022. Shirley Bieman will introduce the slate of new officers.

Happy Summer!
WODL AGM - Sunday 8 August 2021 - 11.00 am - on Zoom
About three weeks before this meeting, Invitations will be sent to all the presidents, and delegates, of member groups.

All members in good standing with a WODL member group are entitled to attend this meeting and to vote at this Annual General Meeting.
If you want to attend this meeting and have not received an invitation, contact the secretary to the WODL board at secretary@wodl.on.ca.

In your email please include your full name and member group affiliation (no acronyms) and whether you are a group delegate, group member, or other.
You will receive instructions on joining the meeting and copies of the meeting materials, a few days before the AGM.

Special Guest: Brandon Moore:

Brandon was formerly Community Theatre and Communications Manager at Theatre Ontario. He is currently a member of the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development Advisory Committee for Live Performance, working to develop a guideline for safe operations at theatres during the pandemic.

Brandon will provide an update on the work of this committee in developing occupational health and safety guidelines for live performance.

If you have any questions about this AGM:

Contact Pam Niesiobedzki-Curtis, secretary@wodl.on.ca.

We look forward to having you join us!
Update Group President and Group Delegates Information
WODL communicates with our member groups through the group presidents and the group WODL delegates--two delegates from each group. These people can then pass the information on to the rest of their group membership. Presidents and delegates also receive personal invitations to the WODL general meetings and to the AGM.

Now is a good time to update this information. Make sure that the formal AGM invitations are sent to the current holders of these positions.

So, presidents and delegates, if you are hiding out there, we need to hear from you!

So if you are the president, or you have been appointed a delegate for your group, please do the following:
Contact the WODL Membership Chair, Tim Dawdy, at membership@wodl.on.ca with this information:
  • Your name
  • The name of the theatre that you represent
  • Your position: president or delegate.
  • Your email address
  • Your phone number
  • Your postal address
Your contact information will only be used for official WODL purposes.
Free Presentations from Off the Wall for WODL Members
Workshop Presenters
Update on COVID Step 2 for Theatres
By Brandon Moore
On June 24, there was a technical briefing from the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries on Step 2 of the Roadmap to Reopen, which most of the province entered on June 30. (The one exception in Ontario is within the WODL region: Waterloo Region remains in Step 1 due to concerning COVID-19 case trends and the Delta variant.)

The most significant aspect of Step 2 is that outdoor cinemas, performing arts, live music events and attractions can open at 25% capacity. (There has been some discussion around how to interpret the sections of O. Reg. 263/20 regarding that 25% capacity—Section 25.2 of Schedule 2 specifies “usual seating areas”, while Sec. 25.1 specifies how to calculate capacities for all outdoor areas, and there is disagreement about whether 25.1 is meant to apply only to outdoor venues without usual seating, or whether it applies to all venues, with Sec 25.2 being an additional requirement for seated venues.)

Capacity limits must be posted and reservations are required for seated performance. The performers must maintain a physical distance of at least three metres from any spectators, or are separated from any spectators by plexiglass or some other impermeable barrier.

Indoor performance remains closed, permitted only for the purpose of rehearsing or performing a recorded or broadcasted event without spectators. As with the previous framework, there are no capacity limits specified—however, the maximum of 5 people for indoor gatherings seems like a reasonable threshold.

Written plans are still mandatory, with an explicit requirement about preventing and controlling crowding. The guidance for face coverings, physical distancing, cleaning and disinfecting, and patron screening all remain in place too.

There is still no information yet about what the capacity rules for Step 3 (which includes indoor performance) will be.

If WODL theatres are contemplating outdoor performance, consultations with your local public health unit are strongly recommended to confirm how they are interpreting these regulations. If you’re new to outdoor performance, the Ontario health and safety guidelines for “Outdoor Venues” and the new ANSI guideline ES1.7 – 2021 on “Event Safety Requirements – Weather Preparedness” are both recommended reading.
Community Theatre in the WODL Region
Several WODL member groups are keeping active during this time. A good place to find out about these activities is on 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 June newsletter, please send the information to communications@wodl.on.ca.
News from the Waterloo Wellington Region
By Bev Dietrich, Area VP Waterloo Wellington, bev@wodl.on.ca
Cambridge Community Players

Sorry Wrong Number by Lucille Fletcher and directed by Mallory Moxon-Carson is an online audio show that will be posted on CCP’s YouTube channel on July 30 at 7:00 pm. Visit www.cambridgecommunityplayers.com for the link.


Elora Community Theatre

A Red Plaid Shirt by Michael G. Wilmot, directed by Stan Jensen is the first of a series of outdoor plays and will be performed in the yard of the Elora Centre for the Arts July 29 to August 2, 2021.

Shakespeare in the Park is back for the 8th season with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Deb Stanson. Performance dates in Bissell Park, Elora August 20-22, 27-29


Guelph Little Theatre

The Ward One Acts Festival will be filmed and released August 5-8, 2021. Four new shows have been written specifically for this festival.

  • The Un-Helpfuls by Eric Goudie, director Christena Jackson
  • Frenemies by Marion Reidel, director Denise Gismondi
  • That’s How it Goes Sometimes by Romeo Ciolfi, director Jane Brooks
  • Community Theatre-Play Selection written and directed by Tom Reidel

Tickets are $15.00. For more information visit www.wardoneacts.ca.


Kitchener Waterloo Little Theatre

Introducing Flash Madness: a Weekend Audio Visual Tech Jam — July 9-11 2021. Flash Madness is a beginner-friendly audio/visual challenge. This event is entirely virtual. It is divided into two parts: an audio challenge on Saturday and a video challenge on Sunday. Participants can sign up for one challenge or both.

On Friday evening an audio/video workshop will be held.

Saturday at 8:00 am participants are given a 1 minute silent film. By 8:00 pm participants submit their audio dubbing. At 9:00 pm everybody views everyone’s work.

On Sunday at 8:00 am participants receive a 1 minute audio clip and by 8:00 pm participants submit the accompanying video. Viewing of everyone’s work at 9:00 pm.

Check out the website for more information kwlt.org/whats-on
Off the Wall - Space Available in Summer Courses
By Michele Boniface, Chair, Off the Wall Stratford Artists Alliance, mboniface@cyg.net
Facebook @offthewallstrat
Hashtags: #stratfordoffthewall #theatreproduction #backstage
Off the Wall - Fall 2021 Weekend 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 
Check out these new releases from Playwrights Canada Press:

When Words Sing: Seven Canadian Libretti edited by Julie Salverson
When Words Sing turns the spotlight on everything that goes into writing for opera, featuring seven contemporary Canadian libretti.

WROL (Without Rule of Law) by Michaela Jeffery
A darkly comic coming-of-age story (for adults) about eighth-grade survivalists.

Coming soon:

Andy’s Gone by Marie-Claude Verdier, translated by Alexis Diamond
A princess threatens to expose the truth behind her cousin’s death and the storm outside her kingdom’s walls in this contemporary retelling of Antigone for young adults. 

The archetypal student-teacher romance is cleverly turned on its head for the post-#MeToo era.

Now on YouTube:


You can find more new releases, books coming soon, and a blog full of interviews and excerpts on playwrightscanada.com!
Music Theatre international's All Together Now!
A Global Event Celebrating Local Theatre
Perform this brand-new musical revue FREE-OF-CHARGE during the weekend of November 12 - 15, 2021

MTI's All Together Now! - A Global Event Celebrating Local Theatre is an opportunity for schools and theatres around the world to locally produce and perform an exclusive musical revue featuring songs from MTI's beloved shows.

MTI's All Together Now! is entirely free-of-charge to license with no royalty or rental fees. Your organization may license MTI's All Together Now! as a fundraiser for your theatre and perform it live, streamed, or a combination of both over a four-day period from November 12 - 15, 2021.

The revue features 15 slots for musical performances with multiple song options per slot, so theatres have flexibility with how they present the show. The option to choose from two or three fantastic songs for each slot allows producers to tailor the show to best fit their artistic/creative vision, the talents of their cast, and the composition of their audience.

You will also receive a number of MTI’s innovative theatrical resources to help with rehearsals, marketing, and performances – all completely free!

For more information, including the full song list and licensing details, click here.
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:
8 August 2021
WODL Annual General Meeting, Zoom
31 August 2021
Deadline for submissions for the September newsletter
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
WODL

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

Copyright © Western Ontario Drama League 2021. All Rights Reserved.