Newsletter July 2016

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Timeline for Adjudication Applications

By Ken Menzies, Adjudications Chair, WODL, adjudications@wodl.on.ca
Here are some key dates in the application for adjudication process.

Early August: The application for adjudication form for 2016/17 adjudications is posted on the WODL website: www.wodl.on.ca. Download it and return it by September 16, to Ken Menzies, the WODL adjudications chair, at the email address given on the form.

Mid-August: Snail mail letters are sent out to the address of the theatre, or to the key person listed on the WODL membership list. These letters ask people to apply, if interested, for an adjudication. An application form is enclosed. The letter also reminds people that an electronic copy of the form is available on the website.

Early September: An electronic reminder to apply for adjudication is sent to the email address of the theatre, or key person, listed on the WODL membership list.

Mid-September: You will receive a request from the WODL treasurer for your annual dues and your adjudication fee. Please send the requested money to the treasurer. If for some reason an adjudication cannot be fitted into the schedule, your adjudication fee will be refunded.

Friday September 16: Last day for being considered with full priority for all adjudication dates. On this weekend I produce a calendar of adjudication dates. The winter schedule tends to be "tight": all dates, or almost all dates, in late January and February up to Friday February 17, the last adjudication, tend to get filled. If I am forced to choose which applications to accommodate, then applications for adjudication in-Festival have priority over applications for out-of-Festival adjudications. So far I have not had to do this or toss a coin to decide which group gets an adjudication and which does not; however, there may be a first time. Friday September 16 has been picked as it is slightly over three weeks before the first possible adjudication date: The Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

September 17 and 18 : I run the proposed schedule of dates by the preliminary adjudicator, Lindsay Price. Together we tweak it. As soon as the fall schedule is agreed, I send out emails to the groups being adjudicated in the fall. These emails state when their adjudications will be and what they need to do to ensure a successful adjudication. This email will have several attachments (e.g. a photo of the adjudicator which can be used for publicity purposes; a bio of the adjudicator; the adjudication rules which can be forwarded to all cast and crew). Once the fall schedule is agreed with the pre-Festival adjudicator, we work on the winter schedule. Once this is agreed, emails go to all groups having winter adjudications. Everybody should know their adjudication date by Tuesday September 20 at the latest.

September 17 on: Late applications for adjudication are received and accommodated if possible. Accommodation requires a date being available when no adjudication is already scheduled and the adjudicator being available. If you apply late, it is worth looking on the WODL website for the schedule of adjudications. This will tell you what dates are already taken. While late applications are accepted if possible, to get your first choice of date, or as close to it as fits into the schedule, application on or before September 16 deadline is advised.
WODL AGM 24 July 2016 at Elmira

The AGM of WODL takes place in at the Elmira Theatre Company, 76 Howard Avenue, Elmira, N3B 2Z7, on Sunday 24 July at 11:00 am.

We need as many people to come along to this as possible.  All members in good standing with a WODL member group are entitled to vote at this Annual General Meeting.

The AGM will be followed by a workshop for details see "Theatre and Technology....how do we use it to our advantage?!

A pizza lunch will be available at a cost of $5.
This workshop will explore the different types of technology that theatres can access. From stage projection to multi-level soundscapes.

In this interactive workshop, you will discover computer applications that are free, as well as simple to use.

When: 24 July 2016 at Elmira, immediately after the AGM.

Presenter:  Tim Dawdy
Tim is currently the President of WODL.  Tim has been working with audio equipment and computer applications for almost 30 years. Tim is a techie at heart and knows the advantages of using technology to achieve a greater production.
Festival 2016/2017 Travelling Adjudicator - Lindsay Price 
By Dennis Johnson, Co-chair, WODL Festival 2017, dennis@wodl.on.ca
Happy Canada Day!! The 150th year of Confederation has just begun!! It will be a year of celebration--a Canadian milestone. Plans are underway at the Guelph Little Theatre to host our 2017 WODL Festival. The festival adjudicator will be Bea Quarrie, well-known to WODL members. But you may be less familiar with Lindsay Price, our preliminary (travelling) adjudicator who will see all the IN- and OUT-of-Festival productions, and select the final five for the 2017 festivities.
Most of the adjudicators we know have found their way to this job through acting, directing, sta ge managing, designing, or a combination of any-or-all of the above. Only a few adjudicators have followed the path of the playwright. Lindsay Price may indeed be the best-kept sec
ret in Canadian pl
ay writing.
You may know her as the adjudicator/facilitator at Minifest 2014 in Elmira. Some community theatres are familiar with her longer works. But EVERY secondary school on the continent knows who Lindsay Price is. She has published over 60 plays, most of them one-acts and most of them published online by her company, Theatrefolk. Her works average over 400 productions a year. She has adjudicated festivals and conducted workshops throughout the United States and Canada. She is a member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada, the Dramatists Guild of America, the Educational Theatre Association, and the Talent Bank of Theatre Ontario.
You can read more about Lindsay on her website,  www.lindsay-price.com 
So you've been asked to be the Festival Stage Manager - now what?
Rob Coles, Festival Stage Manager WODL Festival 2016
So your local theatre company has decided to host the WODL Festival and have asked you to be the Festival Stage Manager. If you are like some people, panic sets in as you have never done such a task before, and you think will you'll let everyone down; or you graciously accept with pride, as you feel you can handle it, and it will be fun.

Well I am in the second group of people. The Festival Stage Manager is a fun position. Yes there are a lot of responsibilities. But, overall the tasks you will be required to perform, carry out, and report back on, are much like you would perform if you were stage managing a production for your own local theatre company. Let's just see what some of the tasks you will be responsible for are (the list is by no means complete).

You need to first gather together a team. The Festival Stage Manager's job is really too big of a job for just one person now, as the days at Festival will be very long--yet not action packed. There's no need to go into sleep deprivation at Festival. What I have found works best, is a team of at least two other individuals who think and work much like yourself and who you can trust to carry out the Festival Stage Manger's duties much like you would. They should also be as knowledgeable about your facility and equipment as you are. This way, you can divide the various jobs amongst you and not get into burn-out. At Festival you can divide the day between you such that no one becomes sleep deprived and you can all partake in the other activities at Festival.

Next up, get together a floor plan of the stage, a listing of all the equipment your company has that can be used by the incoming groups. Create the list of house rules with regards to: the load-in, the construction phase, the technical rehearsal, when the auditorium must be vacated, the production run itself, the deconstruction phase, and the load-out. And, most importantly, create the safety guidelines/rules that you expect, and demand to be, followed by everyone. Remember only to concern yourself with items that relate to the staging of a production--don't get involved with food prep, after glow parties etc. Many of these jobs need to be done for the October WODL meeting that will be held at your theatre. This will be the first time many of the "In-Festival" companies will get to see your facilities and ask questions (which you can, hopefully, answer).

Over the next couple of months, you can ensure that your facility and stage are a safe work environment. Perhaps it's time to declutter some of the spaces Festival will be occupying. After all, do you really need all those costumes, set pieces, and props that are residing in your green room/dressing rooms? The ones no one knew where to put, or you ran out of storage space. Those items that haven't been used in over 10 years (and not likely to ever be used again) and no one will part with them. With a little effort, over time you can declutter your facility for Festival, and in the process create for yourselves much better work environment. And, who knows maybe even create some storage space.

For the February WODL meeting that is in your theatre (i.e. that all important one where the in-Festival entrants are announced) you and your team MUST be there with all your house rules and regulations in place, accurate drawings of your facilities, accurate equipment listings, the all-important move in time, and your complete set of safety guidelines. You must also be prepared to give tours of your facility to the finalist groups and be prepared to answer any questions they may have. Don't be afraid to describe any constraints that the incoming participants may encounter (e.g. no wing space on stage right). The more your incoming participants know about the facility, the better they are able to plan and execute their move in. It would be wise to also include a lighting plot of your house hang and how you want the lighting rig to be restored after the end of every Festival production.
After this meeting you have about 4 weeks left. Time for those final inspections, hang the house plot, and do the final clean. Ahh, but this is also the time to get the directions to the hardware stores, lumber stores, drug stores, and beer/liquor stores closest to the theatre and closest to the Festival hotel. Remember no matter how good a group is at planning etc. they will inevitably forget something and having this information is important during the week of Festival.

So you're all set, ready and able to start and welcome your first incoming group. This is when the fun and the learning process begins. Remember that you and your team are there only as observers and to be resource personnel if needed; you're not there to actually do the work of remounting a production but rather to facilitate this process. You are also there to ensure the safety of all the incoming people who know nothing about your facility.

First-off introduce yourself to the incoming Stage Manager and crew and welcome them to your facility. See if they have any immediate concerns or questions. Let them know how you and your team will be operating through the day, and then let them begin. Ensure that all of your house rules are being followed. If there are infractions of your safety rules (especially those that could endanger lives or have a risk of serious or severe injury), remember you MUST stop the work and remind them of what is expected before allowing the work to continue. You don't want any injuries!! By now you will have had the chance to begin "scoring" your new group for determining who will win the Festival Stage Manager's Award. Keep track of time. and if they appear to be going off schedule, talk to the production Stage Manager. Remember they have a show that runs at 8pm finished or not and no one wants to "not be ready".

Throughout the day you will see things done in ways you expect and ways you don't, and you get to see if the work abouts will work. You will get to see how your newcomers overcome some obstacles. Who knows, maybe some of these practices will become part of your productions. Remind the production company that someone from your team will be with them in the booth to assist, if needed, and to ensure that nothing unforeseen by the production crew occurs. You will also have the opportunity to meet, converse, and become friends with many, many new people; this is the part of Festival that I think is the most fun--making new friends and hearing about others accomplishments and agonies of productions over time. Finally at the end of the night you and/or your team will oversee the load-out and final clean-up by the now outgoing production.

The first one is done, only 4 more to go!! If you have done this all correctly you will not have spent the entire day in your theatre but will have spread the job of overseeing the incoming production over your team. Remember load-in is usually around 7 am (this means you're there before that) and the load-out may not finish until after midnight (and you'll be there for a bit longer to close up and ensure nothing was left behind). Don't make the mistake of trying to be there all the time-you will just succeed in becoming sleep deprived and not enjoying Festival at all. Remember you have a team with you and they are just as important to the success of Festival as you are. Work as a team.

Well five nights later Festival begins to wrap up for another year. Let the Awards Chair know who you and your team felt was the most deserving of the Festival Stage Manager's Award so that the engraving can be completed. And, oh don't forget to have bought your ball ticket as you and your team give the award not the Festival adjudicator, or the Festival Chair, or anyone else on the Festival Committee. One of your final tasks is to have fun at the Ball--you can do the final report back to your Festival committee later.

So although the job of Festival Stage Manager sounds daunting and formidable it really isn't. In particular, if you have created a good team to have worked and shared all the tasks with, you and your team will have been able to take in much of what Festival has to offer, not be too sleep deprived and have had a really fun time!!
About Theatre Ontario Membership

By Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager, Theatre Ontario
Theatre Ontario works to strengthen the network of community theatres across Ontario. Our programming for the community theatre sector includes our Theatre Ontario Festival, Summer Theatre Intensive, webinars and workshops, Adjudicator Professional Development, Talent Bank of Theatre Instructors, and individual one-on-one counselling on areas affecting your community theatre organization.

All of these programs are made possible by donations and memberships from the community theatre sector. We receive no public funding for our community theatre programming, and program revenue covers just part of the associated expenses.

Theatre Ontario is a registered charity--your support through a tax-receiptable donation will support the growth of our programming, and can be made online at http://www.theatreontario.org/support-us/donation-form.aspx

Organization members can participate in our outreach initiatives--promoting your shows, auditions, volunteer appeals, and other events-demonstrating the full breadth and vibrancy of community theatre in our province.  You can also send a delegate to our courses and workshops at the individual member rate. Organization membership can be purchased online at  www.theatreontario.org/join-us/member-benefits.aspx

Individual members have access to our audition and job li stings, and can access discounts on workshops, theatre tickets, and publications. Individual memberships can also be purchased online at www.theatreontario.org/join-us/member-benefits.aspx
For more information, contact Brandon Moore at   brandon@theatreontario.org or 416.408.4556 x.13.
eyeGO to the Arts - for High School Students

eyeGO to the Arts  is for high school students who want to experience the best that live arts has to offer at a price they can afford. Through this program, students can purchase $5 tickets to live theatre, music, spoken word, dance, and musical theatre.
eyeGO has more than 90 partners in Canada, and one in Texas. It has been in operation for 16 years. It is recognized by  the Ontario Trillium Foundation as one of their most worthwhile investments. Last year, 3500 students made use of the eyeGO programme.
The eyeGO website, www.eyeGo.org, explains to students how they can use the program, as well as listing the events that are available through the program.
The rest of this article concentrates on information for organizations that stage events in collaboration with eyeGO. These organizations are called partners by eyeGO. So, if you want to see the students' view of the program, you should go to the eyeGO website.
It is important that partners treat students as regular patrons, apart from the discounted price. This means:  
  • With the exception of matinees and special events, partners should make eyeGO discounted tickets ($5) available for every show in a season.
  • eyeGO tickets should be for the best available seats at the time of purchase.
  • 5% of every house should be available for eyeGO tickets; however, a venue is not expected to hold these seats. If you sell out in advance, and none of those tickets are eyeGO tickets, then the students need to learn to book in advance. You can maintain a first come, first served booking policy.
  • Generally, students require a student card ID or an eyeGO card to get a ticket. However, partners need to be sensitive to the fact that there are situations such as homeschool or low income which make presenting an ID difficult. The priority is to provide students with positive experiences at arts venues. However, your ticket policy is still your own, and eyeGO does not want impose on the way you run your box office.
eyeGO fees and services:  
  • There is a $50 annual fee for organizations that employ staff.
  • There is no fee for organizations that are completely run by volunteers.
  • Partners have access to the eyeGO website. They submit event information through the website. The event information can then be accessed by students. The website has a location feature. If someone from your area logs onto the eyeGO site, they see your event as it is close to their location. eyeGO asks that you also report your eyeGO ticket sales through the website.
  • eyeGO is CRA registered charity. The difference between the eyeGO ticket price ($5) and the original price of the ticket may be considered as a donation in kind. Your organization must should get professional advice on this.
  • eyeGO collaborates with its partners on social media and community outreach.
  • eyeGO asks that partners add the eyeGO logo to their website and printed materials.
For more information contact Ben Steele, Administrator, eyeGO to the Arts Inc. at info@eyeGO.org or 519-496-4658.
Canadian Play Map of Canada

Each month the Playwrights Guild of Canada publishes a map showing which Canadian plays are being produced and where. To see the map for July  click here.
ONstage Theatre Listings

Theatre Ontario publishes an online list of current and upcoming productions by its member groups. To see what is on  click here.
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, Sue Perkins, know at  membership@wodl.on.ca
Dates for your Diary

24 July 2016 - 11:00 am WODL AGM, Elmira

7 to 13 August 2016 Theatre Ontario Summer Theatre Intensive

16 September 2016 Last day for receipt of adjudication requests which are considered with full priority for all adjudication dates. Requests received after this date are accommodated if possible

13 to 18 March 2017 WODL Festival 2017, Guelph

17 to 21 May 2017 Theatre Ontario Festival 2017, Ottawa
This newsletter was prepared by:  

Tricia Ward
Communications Coordinator

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