Tuesday, 23 May 2017

ONstage Openings for the week of May 23

ONstage Now Playing in Eastern Ontario
Almost, Maine at Seaway Valley Theatre Company (Cornwall)
This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages

In Central Ontario

May 26, Once Upon a Rocking Chair at Northumberland Players (Cobourg)

In Eastern Ontario

May 25, BOOM at Thousand Islands Playhouse (Gananoque) [with a preview on May 24]

In Southwestern Ontario

May 23, Oh Canada, We Sing for Thee at Port Stanley Festival Theatre
May 25, Saint John at Shaw Festival (Niagara-on-the-Lake)
May 25, The Ladies Foursome at Lighthouse Festival Theatre (Port Dover) [with previews from May 24]
May 25, The Changeling at Stratford Festival [in previews] 
May 26, The Madness of George III at Shaw Festival (Niagara-on-the-Lake) 
May 26, Beau Jest at Theatre Tillsonburg
May 26, The Drowsy Chaperone at Theatre Woodstock
May 26, The Drowsy Chaperone at Guelph Little Theatre
May 26, We're in the Army Now at Theatre Ancaster (Hamilton)
May 26, The Game’s Afoot, or Holmes for the Holidays at Century Church Theatre (Hillsburgh)
May 27, 1837: The Farmers' Revolt at Shaw Festival (Niagara-on-the-Lake) 
May 27, Me and My Girl at Shaw Festival (Niagara-on-the-Lake)
May 27, Bakkhai at Stratford Festival [in previews]
May 27, Grace Mission: The Musical at Fridge Door Live Theatre Company (touring southwestern Ontario)
ONstage Now Playing in Toronto
Anything to Declare? at Stage Centre Productions
Lindsay Woodford, Pierre Rivard

In Toronto

May 22, The 16th Annual Paprika Festival at Paprika Festival
May 26, Office Hours at East Side Players
May 27, Porgy and Bess in Concert at Soulpepper Theatre
For all the theatre playing across Ontario, visit Theatre Ontario’s ONstage theatre listings on our website

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Toronto Irish Players Awarded the Elsie for Outstanding Production at Festival 2017

Chris Irving and Elaine O'Neal in the Toronto Irish Players
production of Outside Mullingar.
Congratulations to Toronto Irish Players, whose production of Outside Mullingar by John Patrick Shanley was awarded the Elsie as Outstanding Production at Theatre Ontario Festival 2017 in Ottawa. They represented the Association of Community Theatres of Central Ontario. This is their first Elsie Award, and the first winner from ACT-CO since 2009.

The production received six awards and three honourable mentions from adjudicator Annette G. Procuner. The production also received the award for Outstanding Coordinated Production.

Ghost Light Players, from Windsor, represented the Western Ontario Drama League, presenting Better Living by George F. Walker, and received three awards and five honourable mentions.

Northumberland Players, from Cobourg, represented the Eastern Ontario Drama League, presenting Waiting for the Parade by John Murrell, and received two awards and two honourable mentions.

Sault Theatre Workshop, from Sault Ste. Marie, represented QUONTA (the northeastern Ontario community theatre association), presenting Lucy by Damien Atkins, and received two awards.

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 2017 was hosted by Ottawa Little Theatre, in partnership with Theatre Ontario and the Eastern Ontario Drama League.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

ONstage Tonight at Festival: Sault Theatre Workshop

Sault Theatre Workshop—a frequent Theatre Ontario Festival participant in the 1970s and 1980s—returns to Festival for the first time since 1998, representing QUONTA (the northeastern Ontario community theatre association) with their production of Lucy, written by Damien Atkins (our recent Playwright-in-Person at Theatre Ontario Festival 2015 in Oshawa.)

The Sault Theatre Workshop is a non-profit organization devoted to the production and promotion of live theatre in and around Sault Ste. Marie with almost 100 members. The group was founded in 1948 and as they present their 68th season of quality productions, they look back with pride on their accomplishments. They have their own building, the Studio Theatre, which is their rehearsal hall, performance space, and teaching centre. It is an intimate little theatre with a usual set-up of table and chairs with candles on the table. The table set up allows the audience the comfort to enjoy beverages and delicious homemade treats during the show. The building seats 90 with a table-and-chair set-up, or 130 with just chairs. They currently present four productions a year and host a regional festival of one-act plays at the Studio Theatre. In addition, their studio is home to their young company, Stage1, who also present several events over the year including weekly drama classes.

Sault Theatre Workshop's production of Lucy
A world-renowned and much-respected anthropologist, Vivian is most comfortable in her world of quiet solitude, balking at even the idea of interaction with the outside world. Her life is abruptly changed, however, when her ex-husband shows up and asks Vivian to take their thirteen-year-old autistic daughter, Lucy, Reluctantly, Vivian agrees, although motherhood is something that she never desired. Overwhelmed by the particulars of Lucy’s care and unable to connect with her daughter at first, Vivian soon realizes that Lucy isn’t that different from her—socially awkward, emotionally withholding, and reclusive—and slowly comes to believe that she and Lucy are the next step in the evolutionary chain. A powerful play about the relationship between mother and daughter, the power of love, and the rare moments in life when something, or someone, comes along and forces us to re-evaluate our own lives and the way we respond to the world around us.

At QUONTA Festival 2017 in Timmins, Sault Theatre Workshop won Outstanding Production, Outstanding Direction (Randi Mraud), Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role (Calista Jones as Lucy), Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role (Mark Daniher as Gavin), Outstanding Actor in a Supporting Role (Michael Haggerman as Morris), and Adjudicator’s Awards for Sound Design (Michael Cuthbertson) and Set Design and Execution (Phil Jones, Fred McKey, and Rick Mooney), with nominations for Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role (Catharina Warren as Vivian) and Outstanding Actress in a Supporting Role (Wendylynn Levoskin as Julia.)

Friday, 19 May 2017

ONstage Tonight at Festival: Toronto Irish Players

The Toronto Irish Players return to Theatre Ontario Festival for the first time in thirty years, representing the Association of Community Theatres—Central Ontario (ACT-CO), presenting John Patrick Shanley’s Outside Mullingar.

Toronto Irish Players (TIP) was founded by a group of Irish immigrants in 1975 and is Toronto’s only Irish community theatre group. Over the last 42 years, they have produced more than 82 plays, connecting Toronto’s Irish community and sharing Irish heritage with audiences throughout the Greater Toronto Area. From their first performance of Kathleen Ni Houlihan by William Butler Yeats at Toronto’s Caravan in 1975, TIP have presented classic and modern works by Irish playwrights including Sean O’Casey, Hugh Leonard, Brien Friel, Bernard Farrell, Hugh Leonard, Brendan Behan, Conor McPherson, James Joyce,  and TIP member Jonathon Lynn. Their productions are presented at The Alumnae Theatre in the heart of downtown Toronto. Over forty-two years they have seen bonds created, friendships forged, immigration and emigration, and multiple generations become part of TIP. Their current membership of 80-strong welcome new members every year.

Toronto Irish Players' production of Outside Mullingar
Chris Irving and Elaine O’Neal
Outside Mullingar tells the story of Anthony and Rosemary, two introverted eccentric souls straddling 40. Anthony has spent his entire life on a farm in rural Ireland. Rosemary lives next door, determined to have him, but watching the years slip away. With Anthony's father threatening to disinherit him and a land feud simmering between their families, Rosemary has every reason to fear romantic catastrophe. The playwright, John Patrick Shanley, is best known as the winner of both the Pulitzer Prize for ‘Drama’ as well as the Tony Award for ‘Best Play’ for Doubt. He also received an Oscar for ‘Original Screenplay’ for Moonstruck.

At the ACT-CO Festival in the Comedy Category, Toronto Irish Players received awards for Best Production, Best Lighting Design (Mary Jane Boon), and an Adjuudicator’s Award for “Magic As It Only Happens in the Theatre” (The design team), with nominations for Best Director (Harvey Levkoe), Best Performance by a Male in a Leading Role (Chris Irving as Anthony), Best Set Design (Wayne Cardinalli), Best Sound Design (John McQueen).

Thursday, 18 May 2017

ONstage Tonight at Festival: Ghost Light Players

Thursday night marks our Festival “debutantes” as Ghost Light Players of Windsor presents George F. Walker’s Better Living, representing the Western Ontario Drama League (WODL).

Ghost Light Players: taking their name from the Ghost Light used to keep the stage alive and honour those that were there before, and Players like those troupes of old, as they have no urge to settle in one spot, instead they keep moving and learning and discovering. Ghost Light Players engage, inspire, challenge and entertain audiences with theatrical productions that range from classical works to new productions from local playwrights and everything in between; they are supporting and promoting their current generation of artists while paving a path for future generations from within the community; they provide artistic opportunities that promote a life-long learning to a diverse community; and are constantly celebrating the essential power of the theatre to illuminate and illustrate our common humanity. In short, creating theatre without fear!

Ghost Light Players' production of Better Living
Nora couldn't be happier. Her three daughters will all be under one roof again. Even her youngest, Gail, with her criminal boyfriend, Junior, is welcome. But as she waits for the meek Maryann and the brassy Elizabeth to return, Nora's brother Jack, a priest doubting his faith, warns her of the return of her tyrannical husband, Tom. Tom's likely to still be angry about the three times Nora and Jack have tried to kill him. Better Living was first produced by Canadian Stage Company in 1986 and in the US in 1987 by New York Stage and Film Company in association with Vassar College.

At the 2017 Western Ontario Drama League Festival in Guelph, Ghost Light Players received the D. Park Jamieson Memorial Award for Best Production in Festival, and awards for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Major Role (Michele Legere as Nora), Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Dean Valentino as Tom), Outstanding Technical Achievement, an Adjudicator’s Award for Outstanding Producing (Jeff Bastien), and an Adjudicator’s Award for Esprit de Corps, with nominations for Oustanding Direction (Jacqueline Tinus), Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Kristen Lamoure-Dias as Maryann), Best Visual Production, and Outstanding Ensemble Work.