Western Ontario Drama League

Newsletter April 2023

In this issue:
  • What the Prez Sez
  • WODL General Meeting - 7 May 2023 - on Zoom
  • WODL Festival and Reunion Gala 2023
  • What's Left for the Travelling Festival Adjudicator?
  • WODL Awards for 2023
  • Community Theatre in the WODL Region
  • What's on in Grey-Bruce-Huron
  • Off the Wall - Upcoming Workshops
  • 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, [email protected]

Spring is finally here... or is it? April 1st is supposed to start the month off with a snow storm in my area at least. April Fools indeed! Still, warmer weather is definitely on its way and I couldn't be happier about that. Travel weather! Time to gas up the car and make my way around the region to see some excellent spring productions. I'd encourage everyone to do the same as we should all try to support each other as much as possible. On that note, we've had a few new theatre companies join the WODL family within the last couple of years. Let's see what they are up to this spring/summer:

Theatre Wellesley 

The Ladies Foursome by Norm Foster 

Show Dates:

April 20/21, 2023 @ 8 pm

April 22/23, 2023 @ 2 pm

April 27/28, 2023 @ 8 pm

April 29/30, 2023 @ 2 pm


Theatre Wellesley Studio Space

1157 Henry St. Wellesley

Upstairs Wellesley Library

Ayr Community Theatre 

Little Women By Scott Davidson, Adapted from the novel by Louisa May Alcott

Show Dates:

April 26-29 @ 7:30 pm (the 26th is a preview)

April 29/30 @ 2 pm 


Ayr Community Centre (Queen Elizabeth Arena)

7 Church St., Ayr ON 

Penny and Pound Productions

Oliver! by Lionel Bart

Show Dates:

July 6-8, 2023 @ 8 pm

July 8/9, 2023 @ 2 pm 


The Cambridge Arts Theatre

47 Water St. South. Cambridge, ON.

Goderich Little Theatre 

The Addams Family - A New Musical Book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, 

Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa

Show Dates:

May 4-6, 11-13, 18-20 @ 8 pm 

May 7, 14, 21, @ 2 pm 


The Livery Theatre

35 South Street, Goderich, ON 

Elgin Theatre Guild

Death's Desire by Robert Scott

Show Dates:

May 4-6, 11-13 @ 7:30 pm

May 7 and 14 @ 2 pm


Princess Avenue Playhouse

40 Princess Ave, St. Thomas, ON

There's lots of excellent theatre going on in our region. To check out more of what's going on with our member groups, be sure to visit their websites and Facebook pages. There are links to the websites under Member Groups on our website: wodl.on.ca/members.

One final note... and make way for pure self-promotion... Elora Community Theatre will be premiering a new comedy, Two In The Bush (written by yours truly) as part of their Summer Series, July 13-16, 2023 at Elora Centre For the Arts, Outdoor Theatre - 75 Melville Street, Elora ON. I am so thrilled that they chose this play to produce... and since it is about a camping trip, what better location to stage it than in an outdoor space!

If your group will be premiering (or even just producing) a play written by one of your members, for this or next season, please email me so that I can include this information in upcoming editions of What The Prez Sez. It's just one more way to support our local theatres and theatre makers.

Happy Spring!

WODL General Meeting - 7 May 2023 - on Zoom

The nominees for the 2023 WODL Festival awards will be announced at a General Meeting on Sunday 7 May 2023. This meeting will take place over Zoom.

Watch out for more details!

You will have to wait for the Gala to find out who won!

WODL Festival and Reunion Gala 2023

By Mona Brennan-Coles, WODL Past-president, [email protected]

The WODL Travelling Festival and Reunion Gala is only a few weeks away – at the London Armouries Hotel May 19-21, 2023 ending with the WODL AGM 2023 on Sunday, May 21, 2023 hosted by London Community Players at the Palace Theatre.

HOTEL rooms are $159 for two double beds and $179 for a single King bed.  These rates are available until Friday, May 12, 2023 as long as the hotel is not full. You can make hotel reservations at https://www.marriott.com/event-reservations/reservation-link.mi?id=1677612516789&key=GRP&app=resvlink.

GALA tickets are $70 each and can be ordered from https://mytickets.palacetheatre.ca/eventperformances.asp?evt=378. Thank you to London Community Players/Palace Theatre Arts Common for handling our Gala ticket sales.

More information is available on the WODL website at http://wodl.on.ca/festival.

If you have any questions about the hotel and/or the Gala, please contact Renata Solski at [email protected].


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 at [email protected].


We are excited to announce that Playwrights Canada Press is sponsoring a playwright, Beatriz Pizano, who will participate in both workshops on Saturday. Playwrights Canada Press is also providing us with scripts to sell.

Beatriz Pizano, an accomplished director and playwright, is the Artistic Director of Aluna Theatre (https://www.alunatheatre.ca/).

Saturday morning workshop: Beatriz will present about The Design of Dramaturgy, a practice she uses when mounting a play.

Saturday afternoon workshop: Panel/audience discussion about surviving the lockdowns and moving forward  now. 

We’ll start the discussion with:

  • Barbara Warnock, Alymer Community Theatre (https://aylmertheatre.ca/), will talk about the difficult decision for ACT to stop producing a season after 20 years of productions, while still planning a Christmas 2023 production. She will discuss the reasons for this decision including: lack of volunteers, impact of COVID, loss of free storage space.

  • Bev Dietrich, Elmira Theatre Company (http://www.elmiratheatre.com/), will talk about the experience looking for a new space during COVID. They found space with a forward looking church looking to partner with community arts groups for everyone’s benefit.

  • Charmaine Jacklin, Theatre Sarnia (https://www.imperialtheatre.net), will talk about their incredibly successful 50/50 draw. TS owns and operates the Imperial Theatre. The draw is open to anyone living in Ontario. It was started in the early days of the pandemic and continues – they have raised more than 2.5 million dollars, all of which is directed to capital improvements.

  • Beatriz Pizano, Artistic Director, Aluna Theatre (https://www.alunatheatre.ca/) will talk about their experiences during the lockdowns and now.


Playwrights Canada Press scripts will be for sale, at a 20% discount for attendees, before and after the Saturday workshops.


Friday May 19, 2023

3:00 pm onwards

  • Arrival, hotel check-in.

6:00 pm onwards

  • Visit in Hospitality Suite.

Saturday May 20, 2023

9:00 am onwards

  • Cereal and Cartoons in the Hospitality Suite.

10:00 am – 12:00 pm

  • Workshop – The Design of Dramaturgy presented by Beatriz Pizano and sponsored by Playwrights Canada Press (PCP).
  • PCP plays will be available for sale before and after the workshop.

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 theatre with a focus on WODL member groups.  
  • PCP plays will be available for sale before and after the workshop.

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

  • Chocolate Martini Party in the Hospitality Suite.

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

  • Pre-Gala cocktails.

7:00 pm – 12:00 am

  • Dinner.
  • Travelling Festival Adjudicator’s Awards.
  • Cash bar open except during the Awards presentation.

10:30 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

What's Left for the Travelling Festival Adjudicator?

By Ken Menzies, WODL Adjudications chair, [email protected]

Our travelling Festival adjudicator, Phyllis Leighton, has two more adjudications to do: Elmira Theatre Company, Tuesdays with Morrie, on April 28, and Kincardine Theatre Guild, Curse of the Silver Pharoah, on April 29. Both adjudications are at 8:00 pm.

If you are interested in attending these adjudications go to the WODL website, http://wodl.on.ca/festival, where information about these adjudications is included in the Festival information.

On Sunday May 7 there will be a WODL delegates Zoom meeting. At this meeting, Phyllis will announce the nominees for each award.


On Saturday May 20, there will be a Festival Awards Gala at which Phyllis will announce who has won each award.

WODL Awards for 2023

By Ken Menzies, WODL Adjudications chair, [email protected]

The awards that Phyllis will be distributing are listed below along with the rules she has to follow in deciding who gets nominated for an award.

Awards and nominations are based strictly on merit, no allowances are given for:

  • Geographical location
  • The ages of the performers
  • "Spreading” awards and nominations among the groups


The following awards are selected by the adjudicator:

  • Outstanding Performance in a Major Role (2). This can be given to two males, two females or one male and one female.
  • Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role (2). This can be given to two males, two females or one male and one female.
  • Best Juvenile (Juveniles must not have reached their l8th Birthday by the date of the preliminary adjudication)
  • Best Newcomer (A Newcomer is a person who has not had a role, speaking or non-speaking, listed in the cast of characters, beyond a secondary school production, in film, television, web series, movies or any other social electronic media which is intended for viewing by the general public. The list of characters shall NOT include chorus or crowd scenes)
  • Best Cameo
  • Outstanding Ensemble Production
  • Best Visual Production 
  • Best Visually Coordinated Costumes of a Non-rental Nature
  • Best Sound Design
  • Best Set Design
  • Outstanding Lighting Design and Execution.
  • Outstanding Direction
  • Best Production of a Canadian Play
  • Best Production
  • Six special awards recognizing excellence of any type. These may be given to one performer, a group of performers, or a production
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 [email protected].

What's on in Grey-Bruce-Huron

by Nadia Comeau, WODL Area VP Bruce-Grey-Huron, [email protected]


Currently doing The Addams Family directed by Phyllis Leighton

In rehearsals and opening soon May 4-21


First time 4 Everything Festival:

Directed at newbies to theatre with first time directors

This is a Play, Final Play and Ruby of Elsinore are the 3 plays in the festival

Auditions April 3-4 ALL WELCOME


Curse of the Silver Pharaoh April 28 to May 14

Directed by Shirley Dodds-Bieman

To be adjudicated by Phyllis Leighton


Mom’s Gift April 28 to May 6

Directed by Marg Poste assisted by Nancy Lilliman

Matilda the Musical

Auditions April 11 and 12



The Game’s Afoot April 6-15

Directed by John Flynn

Gorgeous Gallivanting Goddesses written by OSLT member Sheilah Spurr, June 15-24

Directed by Bill Murphy

Off the Wall - Summer Courses 2023

By Michele Boniface, Chair, Off the Wall Stratford Artists Alliance, [email protected]
Facebook @offthewallstrat
Hashtags: #stratfordoffthewall #theatreproduction #backstage
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 [email protected]

Dates for your Diary:

30 April 2023

Adjudications end

30 April 2023

Deadline for submissions for the May newsletter

5 May 2023

WODL General Meeting on Zoom

Announcement of awards nominees

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  | [email protected]a | www.wodl.on.ca

Copyright © Western Ontario Drama League 2023. All Rights Reserved.

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