Western Ontario Drama League

Newsletter November 2023

In this Issue:

  • So, What is an Adjudication?
  • Trial Adjudications
  • Adjudications Schedule
  • WODL Festival 2024
  • Guelph Little Theatre Needs a Scrim
  • 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
  • Off the Wall - Fall 2023
  • 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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So, What is an Adjudication?

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

Each year most of the member groups in WODL have at least one play adjudicated. And, each year, for some people this is their first experience of adjudication. So, what can you expect?

There are actually two adjudications. The first one is for the audience that has just experienced the performance. Not all groups choose to have this public adjudication. The second adjudication, the private adjudication, is for all the people involved in the performance, and in the mounting, of the play.

As an audience member you can listen to a ten minute public adjudication. The first half will tell you something about the play and the author. Probably the adjudicator has used the Internet to prepare this. The second five minutes of the public adjudication discusses what you have just seen in light of the general themes. Most of this is favourable. Its purpose is to help you appreciate what you have just enjoyed. This is hard. To say why something works well is often more difficult than to be critical.

After the public adjudication, cast and crew and whoever the host theater allows, can attend a detailed adjudication which lasts about an hour. Until the end of the formal adjudication, only cast and crew can ask the adjudicator questions. At the end of the adjudication with the permission of the adjudicator and the host group, invited attendees may also ask questions. The purpose of this adjudication is educational, not confrontational: to let people know what they are doing that works well, and to point to areas where improvements are possible. After the adjudication, please do not change what you are doing as a cast member or techie unless your stage manager, prompted by your director, tells you to change. The adjudicator’s view is only one of many possible views of the performance. Your director has the final say. If you change and others do not, confusion reigns.

So far, I have attended two adjudications, at Binbrook and at St. Marys, by our current traveling adjudicator, Alexander Galant. He provides both good insights and is pleasant to listen to. If you can, it is worth staying for an adjudication. I often have insights about a production: two weeks later. I am constantly amazed at how quickly the adjudicator forms an overview of the play.

Trial Adjudications

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

The Western Ontario Drama League is constantly looking for potential adjudicators. One way we look, especially now that Theatre Ontario has had to close, is by holding trial adjudications. Previously, Theatre Ontario used to organize these for all the 4 regions in Ontario to allow representatives from them to assess what potential adjudicators were like.

In a trial adjudication somebody whom WODL might hire provides a ten minute public adjudication and roughly an hour long detailed adjudication. Several WODL board members, a previous adjudicator, myself, and several other people who have had experience with adjudications, attend to determine how well a potential adjudicator does and whether WODL might hire the person at some future date.

When I asked for potential places to hold a trial adjudication before Christmas, I was fortunate. Three groups kindly offered to host a trial adjudication. I chose two.

If you would like to attend a trial adjudication, please book a ticket to the Elmira show of Ed’s Garage by Dan Needles at 2:30 pm on Sunday November 12. While I have not seen this play by Needles, I have seen several others, and it should be good. The cast list also suggests it will be excellent. Alternatively, or in addition to, you can book the Guelph Little Theatre production of Norm Foster’s Dear Santa, at 2:00 pm on Sunday December 3 where there will be another trial adjudicator. I have seen this play before, and it is a great script.

Aside from a informative and enjoyable experience, I would love to receive your feedback on the public adjudication from a possible hire by WODL at adjudications@wodl.on.ca  

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

Guelph Little Theatre Needs a Scrim

By Pam Niesiobedzki-Curtis, WODL Secretary, secretary@wodl.on.ca

GLT is seeking to RENT/BORROW a black shark- skin scrim for their February play. We can work with a variety of sizes. If anyone is able to help us out, please contact Pam at pmguelphlittletheatre.com.

Community Theatre in the WODL Region

A good place to find out about what other WODL grou tops 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 December 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

Ayr Community Theatre

Clue: The Musical directed by Marc Hurwitz, choreography by Deanna Clatworthy, musical directors Martin Lacoste & Nicole Simone runs November 23-26, 2023 at the Ayr Community Center. Adjudication is November 24, 2023.

Cambridge Community Players

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Pantomime by Ben Crocker, directed by Sherri Miller runs November 17-26, 2023.

Elmira Theatre Company

ETC has moved to a new location at St. James Lutheran Church 60 Arthur Street, Elmira.

Ed’s Garage by Dan Needles, directed by Brian Otto runs November 10-19, 2023.

Guelph Little Theatre

Bare Bear Bones by Michael Grant, directed by Gina VanRaalte runs October 26-November 12, 2023. Adjudication is November 5, 2023.

Kitchener-Waterloo Little Theatre

The Funeral to End All Funerals by Steven Elliott Jackson, directed by Todd Davies runs November 17-December 3, 2023.

Theatre Wellesley

All’s Fair by Pat Cook directed by Mary Beth Jantz will run November 16-19, 2023, at the Wellesley Community Center.

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

Paris Performers Theatre is thrilled to report that they are “ALIVE and WELL” - maybe not quite well yet, but certainly “Alive and Kicking”. After the loss of several personnel and the discovery of some major financial problems, the theatre was faced with the daunting task of having to cancel their first show. But at their AGM on October 23, they elected 13 determined board members who are energized to building the company back up to being an award winning fixture in the community. They immediately set up a Go Fund Me page which reached it’s target and set up a fundraising Trivia Night on November 1, which sold out. 

Future fundraising events are in the planning stages, so stay tuned for the exciting “coming back stronger than ever” recovery of this much loved theatre company. 

Theatre Tillsonburg

The Last Romance by Joe DiPietro, directed by Karen Tripp, is ready for audiences on November 2-5 and 9-12.

Theatre Tillsonburg is looking for the following volunteers:

  • Volunteer Co-ordinator
  • Pianist
  • Ushers

Contact Charlotte VanRoestel, President, at roestel3@gmail.com to join this dedicated family of theatre supporters.

The cast of Nunsense by Dan Goggin, directed by Julie Buffett and scheduled to appear in February 2024, has been selected and rehearsals are underway.

For tickets:

Box Office at 519-688-3026


Online at www.theatretillsonburg.com

Theatre Woodstock

With their second successful show having just closed, Theatre Woodstock is getting their next production, A Good Old-Fashioned Big Family Christmas by Pat Cook, directed by Lenore Butcher ready for audiences on December 1 to 10.

All of the shows are now being mic’d to enhance the enjoyment of their audiences.

Cinderella, which runs in February, 2024, has now been cast and rehearsals are well underway.

For tickets:

Box Office at 519-537-2582

Online at www.theatrewoodstock.com

A huge announcement from Theatre Woodstock:

They are the recipients of $75,000 from the Federal Government, Community Services Recovery Fund which will be delivered via the Oxford Community Foundation, to help the theatre company adapt to a post pandemic world and to help it’s volunteers modernize the organization.

Off the Wall - Fall 2023

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:  


21 Black Futures: The Anthology, edited by Obsidian Theatre

In 2021, Obsidian Theatre engaged twenty-one writers to create twenty-one new stories about imagined Black futures. Each playwright was tasked with scripting a ten-minute monodrama in response to the question “What is the future of Blackness?” To counter the intense early-pandemic isolation and the trauma of witnessing heightened violence toward Black bodies, Obsidian’s goal was to give as many opportunities to as many diverse Black artists as possible and to bring new voices together from both theatre and film. A radical offering in unprecedented times, newly appointed Obsidian artistic director Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu’s curatorial aim was joyful, aspirational, and empowering: create something communal, unapologetically Black, and with the Black gaze at its centre—art as the architecture for creating those futures.


There is Violence and There is Righteous Violence and There is Death or, The Born-Again Crow by Caleigh Crow

Grocery-store clerk Beth has had a hell of a week. A hell of a life, actually, full of people squashing her soul. And after pushing back at life—stabbing a steak to her boss’s desk and lighting a magazine rack on fire, for instance—freshly unemployed Beth regroups at her mom’s suburban home. Just when Beth starts to think she’s to blame for systemic limits, the gift of a bird feeder sparks a relationship with a talking Crow who reconnects her with her true power. This sly chamber piece from new voice Caleigh Crow turns post-capitalism ennui on its head with a righteous fury.


Coming soon:


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.


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.


In Other News:


Four of our books have just been named Drama finalists for the prestigious Governor General’s Literary Awards!

The finalists are:

  • Forgiveness adapted by Hiro Kanagawa from the memoir Forgiveness: A Gift From My Grandparents by Mark Sakamoto

All single copies of our finalists are now 20% OFF on our website until November 8th. Learn more here.

 + 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 October 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:

30 November 2023

Deadline for submissions for the December 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 2023. All Rights Reserved.

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