Western Ontario Drama League

Newsletter March 2023

In this issue:
  • What the Prez Sez
  • WODL Festival and Reunion Gala 2023
  • Go Attend an Adjudication
  • Community Theatre in the WODL Region
  • Guelph Little Theatre is Looking for Directors
  • Off the Wall - Upcoming Workshops
  • New Plays from the 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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What the Prez Sez

By Linda Lloyd-McKenzie, WODL President, president@wodl.on.ca

Happy March Everyone!

Did it come in like a lamb or a lion? Personally, mine came in like a bullet train and I was on the track, but it can only get better from here... right??!!

In pre-COVID times, right now I'd be making my list of what to pack for WODL Festival on March Break: jeans and tees for workshops, pants and blouses for the shows, ball gown and diamond tiara for the Gala dinner... but most importantly booze and cute pyjamas for the nightly after parties! I sure do miss those! If you haven't been to a WODL Festival before, I strongly urge you to put it on your bucket list. So many friendships to be made, laughs to be had, and who can forget that moment when you are scared sh!tless by Gina Paradis, Bev Dietrich, Deb Deckert and others jumping out at you as you exit the bathroom... that's when you know you've been adopted by the WODL gang. Once you are in, you are there for life! 

This year's WODL Travelling Festival and Gala Event will be held on May long weekend in London, and although it is a different format, it promises to include the laughs, the friendships, the coming together of like-minded arts lovers. Details will be out in the next month or so, with plenty of time to make your arrangements, start writing your own lists and to order a unique onesie from Amazon to model at the after party (after the Gala Dinner).  

(train whistle)

Uh oh, here it comes again! Time to go! I cannot wait to see you all in May!

WODL Festival and Reunion Gala 2023

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

The WODL Gala Committee is very excited to invite you to attend the WODL Festival and Reunion Gala 2023 at the London Armouries Hotel on May 19-21, 2023 ending with the WODL AGM 2023 on Sunday, May 21, 2023.

When we meet in May, it will be more than four years since the last WODL Festival (March 2019) – the longest interval in WODL history (including World War II).

We moved to London so that we could accommodate more attendees cost effectively and have our traditional evening parties. 

Look for more details including hotel and Gala booking information in the next two or three weeks once we have finalized hotel contracts. Meanwhile, so you can begin planning …


  • $159 plus applicable taxes
  • Breakfast is not included – there are lots of options within easy walking distance of the hotel.
  • Room booking will be directly with the hotel


  • Ticket prices will be less than $75 per person.
  • Three course plated chicken dinner.
  • Dietary requirements can be accommodated.
  • We are working with the hotel to determine if we can accommodate an option for attending only the Awards presentation. Our challenge is that there is no option to increase the Gala space.
  • London Community Players is handling Gala ticket sales.


Saturday, May 20, 2023 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

  • Nothing definite yet. We are exploring the possibility of a tour of the recently renovated Grand Theatre (~15 minute walk from the hotel) or a playwright sponsored by Playwrights Canada Press.

Saturday, May 20, 2023 from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm

  • A facilitated discussion/exchange of ideas among WODL members about how they coped with the pandemic restrictions, how they are recovering (volunteers, audience) and what their future may look like.
  • We’ll start the discussion with Barbara Warnock, Aylmer Community Players, and Bev Dietrich, Elmira Theatre Company, sharing the experience of their companies.
  • Facilitator is Mona Brennan-Coles.


Hosted by Tom and Kathy Fahey in the Premier Suite at the hotel.

Kathy and Tom have lots planned for us including:

  • Tea, pop, juice along with fruit and veggie trays with dip.
  • Board games.
  • Cartoons and Cereal on Saturday morning.
  • A Tribute Wall celebrating WODL people who have left us and/or who have significantly contributed to our groups' activities in the last few years.
  • A Name that Show game (prize to be determined) – a few pictures (preferably including the set) of any show in your theatre history (maximum of 5 different shows).

To contribute to the Tribute Wall and the Name that Show game, send your photographs to Kathy Fahey as follows:


  • WHEN: Sunday, May 21, 2023 at 11:00 am
  • WHERE: The Palace Theatre, 710 Dundas Street, London (Free Parking behind the theatre)
  • HOSTED BY: London Community Players


Friday May 19, 2023

3:00 pm onwards

  • Arrival, hotel check-in
  • Visit in Hospitality Suite

Saturday May 20, 2023

9:00 am – 12:00 pm

  • Workshop TBD – Possibilities include a tour of The Grand Theatre or a sponsored playwright
  • Cereal and Cartoons in the Hospitality Suite

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

  • Lunch on your own

1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

  • Workshop – Facilitated discussion of past, present and future for WODL member groups 

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

  • Chocolate Martini Party hosted by Elmira Theatre Company

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

  • Pre-Gala cocktails

7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

  • Dinner
  • Travelling Festival Adjudicator’s Awards

10:00 pm onwards

  • Visit in Hospitality Suite

Sunday May 21, 2023

11:00 am – 1:00 pm

  • WODL AGM 2023 hosted by London Community Players at the Palace Theatre

WODL Festival and Reunion Gala 2023 Committee:

  • Mona Brennan-Coles, Chair, Workshops
  • Peter Busby, Treasurer
  • Bev Dietrich, Hotel/Workshops
  • Kathy Fahey, co-host Hospitality
  • Tom Fahey, co-host Hospitality
  • Ken Menzies, Adjudications
  • Andre Paradis, Awards
  • Renata Solski, Hotel/Gala

Go Attend an Adjudication

By Ken Menzies, WODL Adjudications chair, adjudications@wodl.on.ca

If you want to learn from an adjudication, then Phyllis Leighton, this year’s traveling Festival adjudicator has three more adjudications which you can attend this season:

  • Peninsular Players, Grimsby (April 1)
  • Elmira Theatre Company (April 28 )
  • Kincardine Theatre Guild (April 29)

A list of the winter adjudications is on the WODL website www.wodl.on.ca under resources.

As an audience member you can attend her public adjudications (these are about 10 minutes). Not only will you learn about what you have just seen, but also learn about the script and the playwright.

Some groups allow anybody, who wishes to, to attend their detailed adjudications. If you want to attend the detailed adjudication, please get in touch with group producing the play to find out what their policy is. The detailed adjudication takes about an hour.

I have attended eight of her adjudications in the fall and two this winter. Phyllis is good at identifying what works well. Thus, you will understand after hearing her more about why you liked the play. So far, I have been very impressed with the quality of performances which I have seen. In consequence, I feel confident in saying that you will be learning why you liked a performance.

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

Guelph Little Theatre is Looking for Directors

Off the Wall - Upcoming 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 Annie Gibson, Publisher, Playwrights Canada Press, jessica@playwrightscanada.com 

Check out these new books from Playwrights Canada Press!


Recently released:


Check out these new books from Playwrights Canada Press!

Reaching for Starlight by Donna-Michelle St. Bernard

When a young dancer notices that her instructor isn’t holding everyone in the ensemble to the same standard, she is determined to stop her friend from being counted out of the competition.


How It Ends by Debbie Patterson

Grieving siblings Natalie and Bart have differing views on how we die. In an immersive show about end-of-life choices, we follow them as they’re guided through the afterlife by a disabled angel. They unpack the baggage from their mother’s final decision in order to understand their own hopes and fears about death.


Forgiveness by Hiro Kanagawa

Decades after being imprisoned on opposing sides of the Pacific War, Mitsue Sakamoto and Ralph MacLean are brought together in their journeys toward healing in this soaring adaptation of Mark Sakamoto’s award-winning memoir.


Coming soon:


Winter of 88 by Mohammad Yaghoubi

Eight years into the Iran-Iraq War, a family moves into a new apartment in Tehran, hoping to feel safe. But as missiles rain down around them, they must try to survive.


Haven by Mishka Lavigne, translated by Neil Blackadder

Strangers Elsie and Matt are both feeling great voids in their lives, dealing with grief and trauma. Once their paths randomly cross, the two find they can help each other heal.


Body So Fluorescent by Amanda Cordner & David Di Giovanni

What happened last night on the dance floor? Two friends must retrace their steps to figure out the chain of events that led to an explosive fight in this exploration of Blackness, otherness, and appropriation.

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 February 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 March 2023

Deadline for submissions for the April newsletter

23 April 2023

WODL General Meeting

30 April 2023

Adjudications end

Victoria Day Long Weekend, 19 & 20 May 2023

WODL Festival and Reunion Gala 2023, London

21 May 2023

WODL AGM, London

Victoria Day Long Weekend, 17 & 18 May 2024

WODL Festival and Reunion Gala 2024

19 May 2024


Victoria Day Long Weekend 2025 and week prior

WODL Festival 2025, 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 2023. All Rights Reserved.

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