Thursday, 1 December 2016

Building Community in Ontario Summer Theatre

Theatre Ontario Executive Director Bruce Pitkin and I hit the road on November 10th and headed to Bobcaygeon for this year’s Ontario Summer Theatre (OST) Annual General Meeting.

We decided to avoid the hustle and bustle of major highway traffic and opted for the scenic route instead. What a great choice! The ride from Toronto was only about two hours and treated us to incredible views of the last colours of autumn falling along rolling hillsides and small town streets. We even managed a quick stop in Lindsay for breakfast at Jane’s Kountry Kitchen (arguably the best bagel I’ve ever had) and were then on our way to Globus Theatre’s Lakeview Arts Barn (LAB) to begin day one of the festivities. We were greeted upon arrival by our hosts from the Globus team, Artistic Director Sarah Quick and Artistic Producer James Barrett along with a spread of baked goods and refreshments. After a quick round of coffee and “hello”s we took our seats at the roundtable and so began our 2016 AGM!

Sophie Andreou presents at the OST Annual General Meeting
Ontario Summer Theatre (OST - formerly ASTRO), was founded in 1985 and acts as a network of professional theatres throughout the province which are committed to cultivating and celebrating great summer theatre. The companies gather for an AGM each year to foster partnerships, develop collaborative marketing strategies, and share the successes and challenges of their summer seasons with other member theatres. This year the group decided to take this meeting and expand it to a 2-day event so that we could invite speakers to come and give presentations on topics of mutual interest to all of our members. We had Dustyn Wales start the morning off with a presentation from the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association, followed by Sophie Andreou who spoke about the use of social media as a low-cost marketing and branding tool for theatre companies, and after lunch we had Sara Meurling and David Nairn discuss the different types of PACT memberships and their benefits. Each speaker was engaging and touched on a lot of tips and tricks that OST members can use to help protect and promote their shows while bringing new audiences to their communities.

Knickers at Globus Theatre in the Summer of 2016.
Photo by Sam Tweedle, Kawartha Now
After the presentations were finished we were treated to a surprise performance of selected scenes from Sarah Quick’s play Sunshine Express and when we returned to our conference space the Lakeview Arts Barn transformed once again as staff began to roll out plate after plate of delicious dinners! Needless to say, if you haven’t done dinner and a show at Globus Theatre yet, you have been missing out. Over our meals we discussed how everyone’s year went, shared a few laughs and really got the chance to get to know each other in person (a rare opportunity these days with so much digital communication)! This was truly an invaluable experience for everyone around the table as it allowed professionals from different regions to get together and create a sense of community with one another.

This feeling carried over into the next morning and our meeting was filled with lively discussion about new possibilities, fueled by the presentations and conversations from the day before. Bruce and I headed back to Toronto after the meeting adjourned and enjoyed another beautiful drive through the countryside, still talking excitedly about what was to come for the 2017 summer theatre season. 

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Browsing Our Bulletin Board

Coming Up from Theatre Ontario

We are seeking Summer Theatre Intensive course
proposals from prospective instructors
Check out all of our upcoming Career Stream and Creator Stream workshops.

Upcoming on The Bulletin Board

  • Alumnae Theatre’s Fireworks Writers’ Intensive with Diane Flacks begins November 30 in Toronto.
  • Shadowpath Theatre is hosting Femme Operative on November 30 in Aurora, a forum for female creative leaders to connect, support and inspire through artistic collaboration, information sharing and like-minded learning.
  • ArtsBuild Ontario is hosting a free webinar on Marketing Your Rental Spaces on November 30.
  • Deadline to apply for Cahoots Theatre’s Ontario Arts Council Theatre Creators Reserve is December 1.
  • Deadline to apply for the Canada Council’s Theatre International and Theatre Touring and Special Initiatives Funds is December 1.
  • Deadline to apply for Great Canadian Theatre Company’s Ontario Arts Council Theatre Creators Reserve is December 2.
  • Deadline to apply for Buddies In Bad Times’ Ontario Arts Council Theatre Creators Reserve is December 2.
  • The MT Space in Kitchener is hosting an Advanced Acting Training and Theatre Creation workshop with Fadhel Jaibi, beginning December 5.
  • Deadline to apply for Theatre Aquarius’ Ontario Arts Council Theatre Creators Reserve is December 5.
  • Deadline to apply for Festival Players of Prince Edward County’s Ontario Arts Council Theatre Creators Reserve is December 9.
  • Deadline to apply for The MT Space’s Ontario Arts Council Theatre Creators Reserve is December 9.
  • Deadline for submissions from playwrights for Driftwood Theatre’s Trafalgar 24 is December 9.

New on The Bulletin Board


  • Theatre by the Bay has launched the Barrie Theatre Lab for playwrights and actors to gather, read new works-in-progress, and network. The first submission deadline is January 5.
Check out these items, and other postings from our members.
Theatre Ontario individual members can also access Auditions, Job Postings and Discount Ticket Offers on our Theatre Ontario Individual Member Resources on our website

Monday, 28 November 2016

ONstage Openings for the week of November 28

This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages
ONstage Now Playing in Southwestern Ontario
Scrooge Macbeth at Kitchener-Waterloo Little Theatre

In South Central Ontario

Dec. 2, Elf the Musical Jr. at Brampton Music Theatre

In Southwestern Ontario

Dec. 1, The Tales of Peter Rabbit and Friends at The Registry Theatre (Kitchener)
Dec. 2, Beauty and the Beast at Theatre Aquarius (Hamilton), with previews from Nov. 30
Dec. 2, The Secret Garden at London Community Players, with a preview on Dec. 1

In Toronto

Nov. 29, Seussical at Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts
Nov. 30, Munsch All Over at George Brown Theatre School
Dec. 2, A Christmas Carol at Soulpepper Theatre
Dec. 2, Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol at Scarborough Theatre Guild

In Central Ontario

Dec. 2, Miracle on 34th Street at Theatre Orangeville, with a preview from Dec. 1
Dec. 2, A 1940s Radio Christmas Carol at Northumberland Players (Cobourg)
Dec. 3, The Jungle Book at Northumberland Players (Cobourg)

In Eastern Ontario

Nov. 30, The Three Musketeers at Ottawa Little Theatre
Dec. 1, Arsenic and Old Lace at Belleville Theatre Guild, with a preview on Nov. 29
Dec. 1, The Daisy Theatre at Great Canadian Theatre Company (Ottawa), with previews from Nov. 29
Dec. 1, It’s a Wonderful Life at Domino Theatre (Kingston)
Dec. 2, Sleeping Beauty at Smiths Falls Community Theatre
Dec. 3, Miracle on 34th Street at Upper Canada Playhouse (Morrisburg), with previews from Dec. 2
Dec. 3, Shrek the Musical Jr at Seaway Valley Theatre Company (Cornwall)

ONstage Now Playing in South Central Ontario
The Last Resort at The Curtain Club (Richmond Hill)

In Northeastern Ontario

Nov. 30, Dear Santa at Sault Theatre Workshop (Sault Ste. Marie)
Dec. 2, It's a Wonderful Life at Sudbury Theatre Centre, with a preview on Dec. 1
Dec. 2, Bob’s Your Elf at Espanola Little Theatre


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

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Browsing Our Bulletin Board

Coming Up from Theatre Ontario

Ready, Set, Show! workshop at Theatre Ontario
Check out all of our upcoming Career Stream and Creator Stream workshops.

Upcoming on The Bulletin Board

  • Deadline to apply for Young People’s Theatre’s Ontario Arts Council Theatre Creators Reserve is November 25.
  • Deadline for submissions to Theatre Passe Muraille’s “Pitch Andy” for artists interested in pitching to the TPM Artistic Director is November 25.
  • Deadline for artist proposals for The Bentway in Toronto is November 25.
  • Theatre InspiraTO’s Perfect Ten: Writing an Engaging 10-Minute Play workshop is on November 26 in Toronto.
  • Deadline to apply for Native Earth Performing Arts’ Ontario Arts Council Theatre Creators Reserve is November 28.
  • Alumnae Theatre’s Fireworks Writers’ Intensive with Diane Flacks begins November 30 in Toronto.
  • Shadowpath Theatre is hosting Femme Operative on November 30 in Aurora, a forum for female creative leaders to connect, support and inspire through artistic collaboration, information sharing and like-minded learning.
  • ArtsBuild Ontario is hosting a free webinar on Marketing Your Rental Spaces on November 30.
  • Deadline to apply for Cahoots Theatre’s Ontario Arts Council Theatre Creators Reserve is December 1.
  • Deadline to apply for the Ontario Arts Council’s Creative Engagement Fund to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment in Ontario is December 1.
  • Deadline to apply for the Canada Council’s Theatre International and Theatre Touring and Special Initiatives Funds is December 1.
  • Deadline to apply for Great Canadian Theatre Company’s Ontario Arts Council Theatre Creators Reserve is December 2.
  • Deadline to apply for Buddies In Bad Times’ Ontario Arts Council Theatre Creators Reserve is December 2.

New on The Bulletin Board

  • Applications are now open for the Cayle Chernin Awards, for female professional emerging or transitioning artists seeking assistance in the creation, development, or production of a new work. The submission deadline is February 17.
  • Submissions are now open for the Newmarket National 10 Minute Play Festival. Original play submissions are due on February 28.
Check out these items, and other postings from our members.
Theatre Ontario individual members can also access Auditions, Job Postings and Discount Ticket Offers on our Theatre Ontario Individual Member Resources on our website

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Congratulations to the Professional Theatre Training Program Fall 2016 Grant Recipients

We are pleased to announce the latest recipients of training grants through Theatre Ontario’s Professional Theatre Training Program (PTTP). We thank all those who applied to the program.

$36,094 was awarded in total among the following 9 recipients:
  • Heather Davies will train in artistic direction with Gil Garratt at Blyth Festival
  • Erin Gerofsky will train in set and costume design with Judith Bowden
  • Valerie Hawkins will train in direction with Jillian Keiley at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa
  • Michael O’Brien will train in digital media creation and directing with Sarah Garton Stanley at SpiderWebShow
  • Norah Paton will train in production management with Kevin Waghorn at the Ottawa Fringe Festival
  • Michela Sisti will train in artistic direction with Ross Manson at Volcano Theatre in Toronto
  • Jennifer Stewart will train in directing classical theatre with Jeannette Lambermont-Morey at Talk is Free Theatre in Barrie
  • Lisa Van Oorschot will train in lighting design with Kimberly Purtell
  • Kevin Wong will train in artistic direction with Marjorie Chan at Cahoots Theatre in Toronto
Over $147,780 was requested during this application round. The next application deadline for this program is March 1, 2017.

Our Professional Theatre Training Program (PTTP) offers financial support for unique and flexible training with a chosen mentor in any theatrical discipline except performance.


This program is funded by the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.