Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Welcome to Chris Hadfield, Theatre Ontario Festival Honourary Chair

Theatre Ontario Festival 2014 continues to grow as a showcase, a classroom, a celebration, and a destination. Theatre Ontario is thrilled to welcome Chris Hadfield as our Honourary Festival Chair for Theatre Ontario Festival 2014. Sarnia-born, he became an international icon during his time as Commander of the International Space Station, sharing commentary and images, and connecting audiences on Earth with the spectacle of space.

Chris Hadfield
"I would like to express my best wishes to all those attending, and especially to the competing community theatre groups. I would also like to extend my sincerest appreciation to Theatre Sarnia, the Western Ontario Drama League and to Theatre Ontario for organizing this wonderful festival. Their work has led to a long-standing and proud history in maintaining a high standard of excellence in community theatre. It is a delight to see so many people involved, and I hope everyone enjoys themselves immensely!"

Theatre Ontario Festival is a showcase of outstanding community theatre productions. Two of those productions have now been chosen from regional Festivals. On May 14, Festival opens with Doubt: A Parable by John Patrick Shanley, presented by Theatre Kent, representing the Western Ontario Drama League. This will be the first time this Chatham-Kent theatre company will participate in Theatre Ontario Festival.

On May 16, Gateway Theatre Guild travels from North Bay with their production of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, representing QUONTA, the northeastern Ontario community theatre association. GTG last participated in Theatre Ontario Festival in 2010 in London, with a production of Waiting For Godot that won Outstanding Festival Production.

Our May 15 production from the Association of Community Theatres—Central Ontario and our May 17 production from the Eastern Ontario Drama League will both be announced after their respective Awards on April 5 and April 6.

Bea Quarrie
Theatre Ontario Festival is a classroom for passionate, dedicated community theatre artists. Each morning, our adjudicator Bea Quarrie will give a detailed adjudication of the previous evening’s performance, open to all Festival attendees to listen and learn. As an adjudicator, director, and performer, Bea has always believed in the transformative power of the arts. She has directed over 85 shows, some representing Canada at International Festivals in Japan, Germany, Aruba, and Venezuela, as well as in Canada. She has been active in educational, amateur, and professional theatre, served on regional, provincial, and national committees, arts councils, theatre companies and theatre service organizations. Bea will also be leading a workshop on "Director's Vision" on Friday, May 16.

David S. Craig
Playwright-in-Person brings together Canadian playwrights and the community. This year on Thursday, May 15, our Playwright-in-Person is David S. Craig, one of Canada’s most prolific and successful dramatists. He has written 29 professionally produced dramatic works including his hit comedy Having Hope at Home and the internationally acclaimed Danny, King of the Basement which has been seen by over half a million people in North America alone. Playwright-in-Person is made possible by a grant from the Playwrights Guild of Canada, funded by the Canada Council.

Theatre Ontario Festival is a celebration of excellence. After each performance, the audience gathers for the Green Room Parties to toast the company members and celebrate the accomplishments of bringing together a show at Festival. On Sunday morning, the annual Festival Awards will be presented, including the Elsie for Outstanding Festival Production. We will also be presenting this year's Michael Spence Award for Contribution to Community Theatre to Bev Dietrich of Elmira. As has become tradition, if you can’t make it to Sarnia, you can follow along with our Festival Live-Blog chat on the Theatre Ontario website.

Theatre Ontario Festival is a destination bringing together theatre lovers from across the province. This year marks the third time Theatre Ontario Festival has travelled to Blue Water Country. Located on the south shore of Lake Huron, just across the St. Clair River from Eastern Michigan, Sarnia combines small town friendliness and ease of transportation with big city amenities. In Lambton County you’ll find tropical blue waters with abundant soft sandy beaches, rare natural habitats, diverse agricultural offerings, and unique geological formations. Park-lined river banks provide a front row seat to watercraft of all kinds. From jet skis and yachts to fishing boats and shipping freighters, they’re located on one of the busiest international waterways. Inland attractions include a Canada’s First designation, where the industry’s birth left a rich legacy of Victorian era architecture, ambiance and historic sites. Scenic drives throughout the County reveal acres of fresh working farms, road side stands, markets and unspoiled green spaces.

Join us at Theatre Ontario Festival 2014!

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