Friday, 29 August 2014

Ontario Off Stage

by Brandon Moore, Communications Coordinator

Conversation Starters
Behind the Scenes at Ontario’s Theatres
From Ontario Summer Theatre:
The Long Weekend at Globus Theatre
Photo by Catherine Whitnall
TO Toasts
In Case You Missed It
And yes, we’ve been caught up the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge…

Challenge Issued to the staff of Theatre Ontario by the staff of the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Challenge Accepted by the staff of Theatre Ontario

As of press time, Trevor Lundy, General Manager at Oshawa Little Theatre (who are hosting our 2015 Theatre Ontario Festival) has already responded to our challenge.

You can receive news and updates from Theatre Ontario every month by email.  Our archives are online and the August issue is now available.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

ArtsVote Across Ontario

by Brandon Moore, Communications Coordinator

Ontario’s municipalities go to the polls on October 27, 2014.  Approximately 2800 councillors and 700 school trustees will be elected.  ArtsVote organizations across Ontario are now mobilizing communities to ensure that candidates talk about arts and culture policy.  What’s happening in your community, and how can you connect?

ArtsVote Toronto has been active in municipal elections since 2000.  This year, they have identified four key issues, and issued surveys to candidates to prepare Report Cards.  They will also be hosting a lunch-time Mayoral Arts Debate at the TIFF Bell Lightbox on September 29—but I was especially interested to hear about “Art on the Ballot”, a partnership with the SummerWorks Festival, that featured a panel from the Toronto arts community answering questions from candidates.  (Torontoist covered the event.)  To get involved in Toronto, you can sign up for the newsletter, or connect with their Facebook page or Twitter feed at the ArtsVote Toronto website—and take your "what do you ArtsVote for?" photograph.

ArtsVote Hamilton launched on June 4 with their first event: a discussion about arts in Hamilton with local councillors and candidates, and Stephanie Vegh of the Hamilton Arts Council blogged about the event.  ArtsVote Hamilton has a Facebook page where you can follow for future event information.

Kingston Arts Council also launched the ArtsVote Kingston initiative this past year.  They ran a successful IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to make a public service announcement video—we look forward to seeing the results.  (UPDATE on August 29: ArtsVote Kingston's launch event is scheduled for September 13 at 2:30pm in the Atrium at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre at Queen's University)

The Mississauga Arts Council is holding a Mayoral Forum on Arts, Culture and Heritage on September 8 at the Living Arts Centre.  With Hazel McCallion retiring after 36 years in the mayor’s office, this is sure to be an important discussion as Mississauga chooses a new mayor.

Barrie, London, Niagara, Oakville, Ottawa, and Windsor all had activities in 2010, and hopefully we will hear more about the work in these communities in the months ahead—as well as other new initiatives across Ontario.  Please contact me at or 416.408.4556 x.13 to be included in the next update.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Browsing The Bulletin Board

Coming Up from Theatre Ontario
Check out all of our upcoming Career Stream and Creator Stream workshops

Upcoming on The Bulletin Board
Buddies in Bad Times invites applications for their
Young Creators Unit.  The deadline is September 5.
Photo is of past YCU participant Olive-or-Oliver.
Photo by Omer Yuseker.
  • Deadline to apply for Shakespeare Globe Centre of Canada’s Bluma Appel Mentorship Award for Directors for intensive study in London, UK, is August 31
  • Deadline to apply for the Canadian Stage / York University MFA in Stage Direction is September 3
  • Alameda Theatre Company is still accepting applications for Nueva Voz for Latino/as aged 14 to 25, starting September 4
  • Deadline for submissions for Alumnae Theatre Company’s New Ideas Festival is September 5
  • Deadline to apply for the Buddies in Bad Times’ Young Creators Unit for queer-identified artists 25 and under is September 5
  • Deadline to apply for Acting Up Stage Company’s Syd and Shirley Banks Prize for Emerging Musical Theatre Artists is September 5
New on The Bulletin Board
Check out these items, and other postings from our members of funding opportunities, workshops, calls for submission, and more—on Theatre Ontario’s Bulletin Board on our website

Theatre Ontario individual members can also access auditions, job postings, and volunteer opportunities on our Theatre Ontario Individual Member Resources on our website

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

The Enduring Sense of Community at Theatre Ontario’s Summer Theatre Intensive

By Zara Jestadt, Education Assistant

Upon starting my summer position at Theatre Ontario, I never thought I would have the opportunity to witness any of the workshops the organization has to offer. While a large part of my responsibilities, especially early on in my internship, fell on coordinating the annual Summer Theatre Intensive during the weeks leading up to it, it was always under the assumption that I would not be in attendance for it. So it was with pleasure, eagerness, and curiosity that I went to Waterloo for the majority of the Summer Intensive week when the opportunity arose. 

What I witnessed were fiery students who craved to gain the most out of their experiences. Late on my first evening there, I walked past the student common lounge, where participants were engaged in an impassioned discussion about the ‘external conflict’ in Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, after having spent the entire day actively participating in classes. Most agreed to have their classes start earlier than scheduled. Pairs of students spent the bus ride to the Stratford Festival (for a performance of Man of La Mancha) going over lines of their scenes, not to waste a moment’s time. Most potently, as I was sitting out in the hallway to the classrooms one afternoon, a participant ran past me on the way to the bathroom—“I have to go so bad, but I don’t want to miss a word!” she explained in her haste.  Clearly, these were students who were there to work.

How Do I Make This Play Happen? Directing for Beginners
But these were also students who were willing to give, risk, and participate fully. One of the directing classes had asked the participants from the acting classes to present a monologue to a large panel of directing students, in a mock-audition style, during their free time. These students willingly gave their time and efforts, and both groups seemed to gain important insight and experience. It was amazing to see this mutual camaraderie amongst working artists, and the initiative with which they took practical skills learning into their own hands.

The week did not go by without its challenges. Disruptions and unexpected changes occurred in the residence building and the surrounding campus. But even in the face of these challenges, the spirit of the courses, the magic of the theatre, was kept alive in the determination of the instructors and their participating students. It even stimulated some creative juices—the musical theatre class used these extenuating circumstances as inspiration for their final musical revue performance, a piece that was both honest, and kneel-over hilarious.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know
about Acting... and Then Some!
Ultimately, this week reinforced the reasons why we continue to do theatre: the enduring sense of community, the importance of collaboration, the creative impulse, and the engagement through which theatre is able to touch and impact others. We do theatre because we must. This week was a testament to that spirit. Even in the face of adversary, stress, or disappointment, one must keep going, keep performing, keep creating. There is no other option.

It was a pleasure to be reminded of this once again.

Find out more about Theatre Ontario's Summer Theatre Intensive

Monday, 25 August 2014

ONstage Openings for the week of August 25

ONstage Opening in Eastern Ontario
Waiting For The Parade at
Thousand Islands Playhouse (Gananoque)
Deborah Drakeford, Andrea Houssin,
Shannon Currie, Janet Michael
Photo by Barbara Zimonick
In Eastern Ontario
Aug. 29, Waiting For the Parade at Thousand Islands Playhouse (Gananoque)*

In Southwestern Ontario
Aug. 28, The Gentleman Clothier at Lighthouse Festival Theatre (Port Dover), with previews from Aug. 27
Aug. 28, Fool's Paradise at Registry Theatre (Kitchener)

In Toronto
Aug. 26, Glenn at Soulpepper Theatre, in previews
Aug. 30, The Crucible at Soulpepper Theatre
Sep. 1, Ashkenaz Parade at Shadowland Theatre

Check out last week’s openings

For more information on all the theatre playing across Ontario, visit Theatre Ontario’s ONstage theatre listings on our website.

Theatre Ontario individual members can access discount ticket offers for shows marked with an * asterisk

Read more about our discount tickets program