Newsletter May 2016

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Theatre Ontario Festival 2016 - North Bay

By Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager, Theatre Ontario

Theatre Ontario is thrilled to welcome the four productions that will perform at Theatre Ontario Festival 2016 in North Bay. These productions are chosen from Ontario's regional community theatre festivals, and are a showcase of outstanding community theatre from across the province.
On Wednesday, May 18, Festival opens with Gateway Theatre Guild's world premiere production of Kristin Shepherd's Curved, representing QUONTA (the northeastern Ontario community theatre association.) This is the second year in a row that the Festival host has been chosen to represent their region. Curved was the winning production at QUONTA Festival in Sudbury, as chosen by adjudicator Rita Huschka.
On Thursday, May 19, Northumberland Players returns to Festival for the first time in over a decade, as they present Boeing Boeing by Marc Camoletti, and translated by Beverly Cross and Francis Evans. From Cobourg, and representing the Eastern Ontario Drama League (EODL), this was the winning production at EODL Festival in Peterborough, chosen by adjudicator Annette Procunier.
On Friday, May 20, last year's Elsie Award recipients for Outstanding Festival Production return to Festival, as Theatre Sarnia will again represent the Western Ontario Drama League (WODL) as they present 33 Variations by Moises Kaufman. This show was chosen by adjudicator Ron Cameron-Lewis as the winning production at WODL Festival in Woodstock.
On Saturday, May 21, Festival's performances wrap-up with The Curtain Club's production of The Drowning Girls by Beth Graham, Daniela Vlaskalic, and Charlie Tomlinson. The Richmond Hill community theatre will represent the Association of Community Theatres-Central Ontario (ACT-CO), and were chosen by adjudicator Thom Currie as the winning production in the Drama category from the ACT-CO Festival.
As previously announced, Theatre Ontario Festival 2016 will feature detailed adjudications with Mimi Mekler, Playwright-in-Person readings with Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, workshops on "Comedy Scene Study" with Michelle Jackett-Webster and "Stage Combat 101" with Joshua Bainbridge, and awards and parties celebrating community theatre in Ontario.
The annual Theatre Ontario Festival is a showcase of outstanding community theatre productions; a classroom for passionate, dedicated community theatre artists; a celebration of excellence in community theatre; and a destination bringing together theatre lovers from across the province. Theatre Ontario Festival 2016 runs May 18 to 22, and is co-hosted with Gateway Theatre Guild and QUONTA.


Theatre Ontario Festival 2016 is co-hosted by Theatre Ontario, Gateway Theatre Guild, and QUONTA.


The Festival Theatre is the St. Joseph-Scollard Hall C.S.S. Auditorium.

Festival Passes of tickets for all four shows are $96. Individual tickets are $24 each.

Festival Awards Brunch tickets are $30 each.

For more information, please contact  [email protected] 


Date Event
Thursday, May 19
10:00 AM
Detailed Adjudication of QUONTA entry
Thursday, May 19
1:30 PM
Comedy Scene Study workshop, with Michelle Jackett-Webster
Friday, May 20
10:00 AM
Detailed Adjudication of EODL entry
Friday, May 20
1:30 PM
Playwright-in-Person, with Donna-Michelle St. Bernard
Saturday, May 21
10:00 AM
Detailed Adjudication of WODL entry
Saturday, May 21
1:30 PM
Stage Combat 101, with Joshua Bainbridge
Sunday, May 22
10:00 AM
Detailed Adjudication of ACT-CO entry

Festival Hotel

The Festival Hotel is the Holiday Inn Express,  1325 Seymour Street, North Bay, P1B 9V6

Reservations at 705.476.7700

Room rate is $132/night plus HST, and includes a hot buffet breakfast

Specify "Theatre Ontario Festival" to get the room rate.  Deadline is April 26, 2016.

For More Information

For more information about the Theatre Ontario Festival, please contact Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager, at [email protected] or 416.408.4556 x.13.
Theatre Ontario Summer Theatre Intensive 2016

By Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager, Theatre Ontario
Live your passion for theatre!

August 7 to 13, 2016 Peterborough

Treat yourself to a unique learning adventure.
  • Immerse yourself
  • Enrich your skills
  • Flex your creative muscles
  • Meet friends old and new
"Upon completion of the course I now have a better understanding of all that is expected of a director, and what to expect from various cast and crew members" - Jo-Anne Pulfer

"I am deeply grateful and privileged to have benefitted from Tom's practical skill, talent and insightful experience. If you have a desire to learn everything you always wanted to know about acting, I cannot imagine you could find a better course" - Gregory Carruthers

"I had fantastic conversations each day with other participants, and it is truly reassuring to learn that I am not alone in my experiences or in my quest for self-improvement" - Kate O'Hearn

Your Courses

For 2016, we are offering the following courses:

For Performers

For Directors


For Stage Managers


For Opera Singers

  • Opera as Theatre, with Allison Grant (offered in partnership with the International Resource Centre for Performing Artists) - To be considered, please send headshot, resume, and either an audition DVD or URL to [email protected] before June 17th. For more information please call 416.362.1422.

Your Summer Theatre Intensive Package

  • Your choice of one course, led by an experienced theatre instructor
  • Buffet-style meals daily (including vegetarian fare)
  • Single air-conditioned room in Trent's Gzowski College Residence - just steps away from the banks of the Otonabee River
  • The option to attend a performance of The Bad Luck Bank Robbers at 4th Line Theatre in Millbrook - part of their 25th Anniversary Season
  • The opportunity to share your enthusiasm, experience, and passion for theatre while meeting other like-minded, talented and creative people

Your Week's Overview
  • Check in: Sunday, August 7th any time between 2pm and 6pm.
  • Welcome Reception: Sunday, August 7th at 8pm.
  • Meal plan: Begins with breakfast on Monday, August 8th
  • Class and assignments throughout the week will follow your instructor's schedule, with at least six hours of instruction each day
  • Evenings: will be made up of class assignments, a playwright's reading, and the option to attend a performance at Millbrook's 4th Line Theatre
  • Courses finish: Friday, August 12th at 5pm, dinner and party to follow
  • Check-Out: Saturday, August 13th (by 10am)

Course Location

Trent University, 1600 West Bank Drive, Peterborough, Ontario

Course Fees

Summer Theatre Intensive package includes tuition, accommodation and meals.

Regular Course Fees
  • $950 plus $123.50 HST = $1,073.50
Course Fee for Theatre Ontario Individual Members or IRCPA Members.
(Theatre Ontario Organization Members can send one delegate at the member rate.)
  • $850 plus $110.50 HST = $960.50
*Special Early Bird Offer - save $50 if you pay the full course fee by May 1st!
A deposit of $200 is required at time of registration. Enrollment is limited. Participation in these courses is for those 19 years of age and older.

Withdrawal Policy

Payments are non-refundable after June 24, 2016. Any cancellation must be in writing. Theatre Ontario reserves the right to withdraw any course with full course refund.

For More Information

For more information about our Theatre Ontario Summer Theatre Intensive, contact Rebecca Ballarin, Program Coordinator at [email protected] or 416.408.4556 x.12.
The Joy of Sets (Handbook of Set Design For Community Theatre) - Jane Coryell
Since 1979, Dr. Jane Coryell has designed over 100 plays for community theatre groups, schools, and professional companies in and near Oakville, Ontario. For most of those productions, Jane was head scenic artist and painting coordinator.

Her design work has received 9 awards and 6 nominations with Theatre Ontario. In 2002, Oakville Centre for Performing Arts recognized Jane's outstanding contributions to theatre at the Centre with their prestigious annual Appreciation Award. In 2006, she received Oakville's Community Spirit Award for volunteerism in the Arts.

For 20 of her 30 years of high school teaching, Jane taught Creative Drama from grades 9 - 11. For 15 years of her teaching career, she taught Visual Art. To coach others in set design and scene painting, she does workshops for schools and amateur groups.

You can download The Joy of Sets from the WODL website at:

Janes' book on set painting, All the World's a Stage Set, is also available on the WODL website at:

WODL Festival 2017 - Guelph

Preliminary Adjudicator's Report  - Festival 2015/2016

By Sandy Macdonald, 
Preliminary Adjudicator, Festival 2015/2016
Despite the harrowing journey to Kincardine and the subsequent 'storm stay', the pre-festival adjudication process worked as smoothly as always, thanks in no small part to Ken Menzies' considerable organizational skills and persistence. As well, the President and Area VPs were of considerable assistance to me.
For the most part, member groups continue to produce a high standard of productions. In particular, the quality of many of the out of festival productions was such that I think I would have needed more than the one day at the end to choose five for Festival. My companion at one of these commented that she couldn't believe the show had been produced by an amateur theatre group!
As in the past, many groups presented shows that challenged members and audiences alike.  It bears repeating that stepping out of one's 'comfort zone' can be unnerving, to say the least, but the rewards for doing so far outweigh the risk of not achieving one's usual standard of success. The play choices varied widely - some old favourites, some new to me that I was delighted to discover and no less than ten Canadian, one of which was a world premiere! All were produced with commitment, enthusiasm and joy, and  a very real desire to do their very best for their audiences.
It was so encouraging to see the incredible number of teens and children on stage, not only in the 'adult' plays but also in the four 'family' shows, many playing major roles. Also, there were a considerable number of young people working backstage, many in positions of responsibility.  We can all be reassured about the future of our beloved endeavour.
There are a few areas that I feel a number of groups need to address. I doubt that anyone failed to notice my frequent references to what I call 'vocal presence', which refers to the quality in an actor's speech that goes beyond mere adequate volume to projecting him or herself off the stage and out to the audience. Another is the need for some groups to get some help with lighting, not only with design but also with execution. Also, I feel that groups would benefit from some help with set design, particularly with regard to designing for an in festival production that, if selected, will have to travel.
Therefore, I have a few suggestions:  
  •  Encourage groups to have lighting design workshops.
  •  Encourage groups to have set design workshops.
  •  Encourage groups to have voice workshops.
In addition, I have two further requests:
  • Please clarify what a newcomer is. In my opinion, a newcomer is someone who has not appeared on stage other than in a school production. I don't feel that someone who has appeared in a film, on TV or in the the new media, e.g. on the Internet, should be ineligible. The stage is a completely different experience for an actor and is not at all comparable to one in another medium.
  • I would like you to consider a new award for the Preliminary Adjudicator to make. Given the number of high quality productions presented by groups who have chosen not to be considered in festival, I suggest an award for Best Production Out of Festival for which these groups and those who are not selected to go on to Festival would be eligible. I would be honoured to endow this award.               
I would like to thank Ken Menzies and the area VPs for their never-ending support. I would also like to thank WODL and the Board for inviting me to share in this year's Festival. Once again, I had the opportunity to reacquaint with old friends and to make many new ones. I enjoyed it immensely!
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 May  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  [email protected]
Dates for your Diary

18 to 22 May 2016 Theatre Ontario Festival 2016, North Bay.

24 July 2016 WODL AGM

7 to 13 August 2016 Theatre Ontario Summer Theatre Intensive

13 to 18 March 2017 WODL Festival 2017, Guelph

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

Tricia Ward
Communications Coordinator

Western Ontario Drama League | [email protected] | http://www.wodl.on.ca