Thursday, 6 December 2018

Join Us at Theatre Ontario Festival 2019

Our annual Theatre Ontario Festival returns to Richmond Hill—and welcomes one of Canada’s most acclaimed actors, RH Thomson, as our Festival Honorary Chair. Tickets and accommodations are now on sale.

Opening May 15, and running until May 19, our annual Festival is a celebration of community theatre—featuring performances, adjudications, workshops, awards, and parties that bring together theatre lovers from across the province. The Festival is hosted by The Curtain Club, with performances at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts (RHCPA), the venue of Theatre Ontario Festival 2011. Early-bird passes at a discounted rate are available until January 31.

We are thrilled to welcome Richmond Hill-born actor RH Thomson as our Festival Honorary Chair. In 2015, Canadian stage and screen actor RH Thomson was awarded the Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement and the ACTRA Award of Excellence. He was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2010 and has been given an Honorary Doctorate from Trinity College, University of Toronto. He has appeared in theatres across Canada and has filmed in Canada, the US, Greece and the Czech Republic. He has earned Gemini, Genie, Dora and Merritt awards for his work and recently directed The Crucible at Theatre Calgary and is performing in The Message at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto. He is currently playing Matthew Cuthbert in the CBC/NETFLIX series Anne with an E for which he received the Canadian Screen Award. As well as being an advocate for the arts, he has worked on many history / education / arts projects. For the First World War Centenary, he built the multi lingual project The World Remembers-Le Monde Se Souvient, an international WWI Commemoration with installations across Canada and in eight other nations - www.theworldremembers.ca.

“Theatre Ontario is part of theatre’s essential nutrients since live theatre can only thrive with live participation,” said RH Thomson. “Seducing people away from their screens in order to enter the spaces where they can explore the art form called theatre is one of our main challenges. Festivals, like Theatre Ontario’s, is one of the ways we can do that.”

The Festival Hotel is the "Holiday Inn Express and Suites Toronto-Markham" in Richmond Hill. Festival guests will receive preferred rates.

For booking information of tickets and accommodations, visit www.theatreontariofestival.ca.

Theatre Ontario Festival 2019 is hosted by The Curtain Club, in partnership with Theatre Ontario and the Association of Community Theatres—Central Ontario.

For 65 years, The Curtain Club has provided quality theatre at an affordable price to the citizens of Richmond Hill, Ontario and has been recognized as a centre for developing artistic appreciation, creativity, personal growth, and friendship.

Related reading

Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Browsing Our Bulletin Board

Upcoming opportunities from Theatre Ontario, from our members, and from other arts service organizations.

Join Our Theatre Ontario Youth Advisory Committee

Coming Up from Theatre Ontario

Check out all of our upcoming Career Stream and Creator Stream workshops.

Upcoming on The Bulletin Board

  • Deadline for applications for Great Canadian Theatre Company’s Ontario Arts Council Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators is December 7.
  • Deadline for applications for The MT Space’s Ontario Arts Council Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators is December 7.
  • Studio PAVAS’ “Lyrical Choreography” workshop with Mitchell Jackson is December 7 in Mississauga.
  • George F. Walker’s next Acting Intensive begins on December 10 in Toronto.
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, 4 December 2018

Stories from the Professional Theatre Training Program

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

Today we feature three stories:
The next application deadline for the Professional Theatre Training Program is March 1, 2019.


Theatre Ontario’s Professional Theatre Training Program is funded by the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

Stories from the Professional Theatre Training Program: Naomi Wright

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

Naomi Wright begins training in directing with Robin Witt at Writers Theatre in Chicago, USA


(November 22, 2018)  Yesterday I had my second phone meeting with my mentor Robin Witt.  Robin is a Chicago-based director and is also Associate Professor of Directing at UNC Charlotte. I will be mentoring under her and assistant directing on her production of Caryl Churchill’s A Number at Writer’s Theatre in Chicago. Robin is awesome. She is a vocal champion for women in the industry, a very accomplished director and teacher, and a hilarious human to talk to.

I’ve been thinking about directing for a while now.  I’m interested in expanding how I contribute to the industry in Canada and how I practice the theatrical art form. (That sounds so pretentious and I promise I will get less precious from here.) I have sketched out ideas for countless shows and stored them in the back of my brain because I have no idea whether I will be any good at directing. My greatest hope is that I’ll have something original to contribute and that I’ll be a kind and generous and insightful director that makes everyone feel super confidant in everything they do. My greatest fear is that despite working in the theatre for over a decade, I actually have no idea how the theatre works. That when I get into the room I’ll only rehearse the first scene over and over, and I’ll forget to cue to cue, and I’ll make everyone come on stage in one big blob in transitions, and then everyone will quit because they realize I have no idea what I’m doing.   

So, I thought I should do some homework. Under the PTTP grant I can dedicate the time to learn about directing through study and practical work. It is an invaluable learning opportunity.  It’s an amazing program and one I am already encouraging everyone I know to look into. 

I had seen Robin Witt’s name mentioned in various articles about the Chicago theatre scene. She has been nominated for several awards and her productions are often featured on Best Of the Year lists. I was in the process of seeking a mentor who best fit my hopes for the grant when I saw that Robin was announced as the director of A Doll’s House Part 2 at Steppenwolf. “Exciting,” I thought. I reached out to Robin through one of the smaller theatres she works with and within a day I heard back. We set up a phone meeting for the following week.  At the end of that hour-long conversation, Robin had offered me a place at the table on four shows she was directing. A Number fit in best with my work schedule. She floored me with her openness and generosity. That is the first lesson I have learned from Robin and one I hope I never forget. 

So now back to where this post started. Yesterday I had my second phone meeting with Robin, and it lasted almost two hours. She was so excited that I had been awarded the grant.  We talked for a long time about Caryl Churchill and A Number. Churchill is a vocal feminist and A Number is a two-hander about cloning and it features two male characters. Robin feels the absence of women is deliberate in the play. That this particular world that is like ours but not ours, is devoid of femininity. That, and the medical focal point of the drama, are the jumping off points for the design. Hard edges, tall ceilings, clinical lighting, oversized windows.

Robin went into such particular detail about how she approaches her work. From design meetings and how she speaks with designers to best communicate ideas while not contaminating their creative process, to how she runs auditions.  She told me that she is a huge fan of research and preparing. She said that especially when directing work by playwrights like Churchill, she feels it’s her job to dig as deep as possible into the text.  We spoke about some of the research she has started and how I can get help in that area. 

We also spoke about Robin’s career as an actor and director; she gave me her thoughts on various aspects of directing from being kind, to scripting your first day address; she talked about what she learned from her own mentor, Anna D. Shapiro, and how lucky she feels she was having met Ms. Shapiro before the great success of August: Osage County because Ms. Shapiro had the time back then to dedicate to mentorship.

I have a page scribbled front and back with notes from our conversation.  The next step for me is going through the design drop box so I can look at where that work sits right now.  Robin is going to put me in touch with the team at Writer’s so that I can be brought into all of the conversations surrounding the show.  She has suggested I read Anne Bogart’s book A Director Prepares and to look into Freud’s theory of dopplegangers as research for the play. I couldn’t be happier.

The next application deadline for the Professional Theatre Training Program is March 1, 2019.

Theatre Ontario’s Professional Theatre Training Program is funded by the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

Stories from the Professional Theatre Training Program: Christine Horne

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

Christine Horne trained in directing with Eda Holmes at Canadian Stage in Toronto


(November 11, 2018) I returned home a few days ago after a week in Montreal for the transfer of The Children from Canadian Stage to the Centaur Theatre. I’ve done a little bit of touring as an actor, but never a proper transfer like this. So the experience was entirely new.

During the Toronto run, Eda was back in Montreal (where she lives and works as Artistic Director of The Centaur), so the job of checking in on the show at home fell to me. It was nice to feel useful, and trusted by the actors and stage management. Tech had been stressful, with lots of complicated bits to work out—water flowing across the floor, an apple rolling effortlessly across a table, a wig and bald pate to finesse—and by the time the show was opening, no one felt especially ready. So it was very satisfying to revisit the show a couple of times through the run to watch as things deepened and grew. 

The move to The Centaur, after a nearly two-week hiatus for the cast, went really well. Everyone was relaxed and rested, and genuinely excited to be there. There were lots of tiny adjustments to be made to the sound and lighting, just by virtue of the different equipment and the space being nearly twice as big, and the water once again had to be worked out. But in the end, everything came together beautifully, and comparatively smoothly. And though I had to leave after the first preview, by all accounts their opening night performance in Montreal was the best the show has ever been.

I learned so much through this process, and the words of support and encouragement not only from Eda, but from the cast and stage management as well, have really meant a lot to me. I’m going to keep venturing down this path, learning and practicing where I can. This has been an incredibly valuable, inspiring experience, and I’ll always be so grateful for the opportunity. Thank you, Theatre Ontario!

Related Reading:


The next application deadline for the Professional Theatre Training Program is March 1, 2019.


Theatre Ontario’s Professional Theatre Training Program is funded by the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

Stories from the Professional Theatre Training Program: Taryn Jorgenson

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

Taryn Jorgenson training in directing with Richard Rose at Tarragon Theatre in Toronto


(October 26, 2018)

Cut. Add. Move. Scratch that! Add that! Change it. Take out. Throw out! Draft new. Draft again. Page number? New Page! Insert. Read it! Do it. There is a playful relationship with the constant changing of a new script. One that has surprised me, and invigorated me. Working on The Message at Tarragon has given me a new perspective on the art of playwriting. It has brought me consistently to the question of “What does it take to write a play?”—and within that—“What does it take to direct a new play?”

The persistent search for more depth, better rhythm, clearer through-line, specificity in moments among many others is a whirlwind experience, one in which, everyone has to be on their toes. I walked into this mentorship with an expectation to learn the director’s craft. What does it take to be a director? How do you present a play in a specific style? What tools do you need at your disposal? How to listen? What to say? What to not say? Who am I as a director? Halfway through this mentorship has now brought me to the realization that it was an entirely new form of directing that I am to learn. 

Watching Richard in this process, the line between director and dramaturg blur into some kind of emerging position. Directurg?! Scratch that! Dramator?! His professional relationship with Jason Sherman is clearly one of experience and is an excellent example of one to strive for—one that contains nurture, trust and honesty. As the dramator peels the layers back of the onion, he facilitates the true vision of Sherman’s work, while pointing out the details that don’t support it. 

Richard himself, although his notes and ideas seemed perfectly planned before rehearsal, has morphed and changed within the movement of the changes. A good example of this is in a scene where the intention for the main character was initially to show gratitude. With a few line changes suddenly, the intention became clear that it was quite the opposite. Not only is it just the words being re-arranged and/or cut, entire characters have walked in and out of the play just as easily as a turn of the page. Mz Cunningham turned into Mz Cuttingham when she was thrown on the editing floor until she was revived the very next day and repositioned in the play. Professor Frye, a real-life colleague of Marshall McLuhan, has also seen the editing floor close-up. He has yet to see the light of day again—we’ll see! 

Sherman’s process as he works has given me another perspective of theatrical exploration. The rehearsal room has now become the creation room, approaching the work with a clear intent and yet willing to be flexible listening to all participant’s needs and/or suggestions. This can always be a scary place to be when one is creating art. I’ve experienced an instinct to hang onto something because it holds some value, or you presume it does, but does it always serve? It’s solidifying for me how important it is to allow such change and openness to new possibilities. Then there is the problem that when things are cut, something might fall out of sync, something that was put in place by that very thing that was cut—no matter how small. We have also run into this problem. You realize suddenly that there was a small tie that was kept together by that moment. It becomes a juggling game with the script to keep all the elements that tell the story while perfecting moments and sequences for its particular reason. 

It is an amazing skill to be able to have such flexibility and discipline. I’m seeing everyone in the room keep a keen eye and ear to the heart of the script. There is a sense of trust with your cast, playwright and with yourself—as a dramator—to be able to play this game. The idea is to know the play in and out, the character’s action, central image and through-line of the piece and to never steer off its course. It’s your base. Scratch that! Your foundation. Scratch that! Your anchor in the currents of the changing words. Which brings me back to all the questions I went in there with in the first place. Whatever you do, say, present, tools you use, through-line is key. Everything else is secondary. I have realized for the first time how the role of dramaturg and director are so very closely linked. 

I am enjoying this experience participating in this “dramatorical” position. I have always been drawn to modern plays and new creations and the experimental approaches to fresh ideas and concepts. I always find something satisfying in the new grounds that can be explored and the extensive journey it takes to get there. Is a new play ever done at opening night? A thought that could be debated. Whether presenting something published or new I love its relation to the world we are in, the connections that the cast and production team make to their own lives and the contributions that our skills and souls can make to its ideas and words. It becomes more than literary, it becomes auditory. It becomes sensual. Happening simultaneously (to quote McLuhan) “We use all our senses and entire makeup in its experience.” Is it not why we do art in general?

With the mounds of drafts and cuts, morphed, scratched page inserts accumulating on my desk, I come back to the question once again of “What it takes to create and present a play?” – Vision! Openness! Acceptance! Truth! Trust! Play! A Team!

Can’t wait for the second half in which we take this new creation into tech, previews and performance and see the vision of this expressionistic style come to life with all the elements.

Related Reading:


The next application deadline for the Professional Theatre Training Program is March 1, 2019.

Theatre Ontario’s Professional Theatre Training Program is funded by the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

Monday, 3 December 2018

ONstage Openings for the weeks of December 3

ONstage Now Playing in Toronto
Munsch Goes to School at George Brown Theatre School
Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann
This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages

In Eastern Ontario

Dec. 6, Bed and Breakfast at Great Canadian Theatre Company (Ottawa) [with previews from Dec. 4]
Dec. 7, The Hockey Sweater: A Musical at National Arts Centre—English Theatre (Ottawa) [with a preview from Dec. 5]
Dec. 7, Beauty and The Beast – A Panto at Smiths Falls Community Theatre

In Northeastern Ontario

Dec. 5, Alice in Cuckoo Land at Sault Theatre Workshop (Sault Ste. Marie)

In South Central Ontario

Dec. 7, Home Alone – An Original Radio Play at The Oakville Players

In Southwestern Ontario

Dec. 7, A Christmas Carol at The Grand Theatre (London) [with previews from Dec. 5]
Dec. 7, Hir at Calithumpian Theatre Company (London) [with a preview on Dec. 6]
Dec. 7, Anne of Green Gables at Elora Community Theatre (Fergus)

ONstage Now Playing in Toronto
Obaaberima at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre
Kobèna Aquaa-Harrison, Tawiah Ben M’Carthy
Photo by Jeremy Mimnagh

In Toronto

Dec. 5, Asheq: Ritual Music to Cure a Lover from Onelight Theatre
Dec. 8, Peter Pan at Soulpepper Theatre [in previews]
Dec. 9, A Christmas Carol at Soulpepper Theatre [with previews from Dec. 7]

In Central Ontario

Dec. 5, The Other: A Strange Christmas Tale at 4th Line Theatre (Millbrook)
Dec. 6, That December Show – Beauty and The Beast at South Simcoe Theatre (Cookstown)


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

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Welcome Costin Manu as Executive Director

The Board of Directors of Theatre Ontario is very pleased to announce the appointment of Costin Manu to the position of Executive Director.

As a young actor, Costin participated in Theatre Ontario’s Next Generation Showcase and has continued to engage with our organization during his entire career. He has a keen sense of the value of Theatre Ontario in today’s arts ecology. With his impressive background in fundraising, he is the fiscal leader and strategist that we believe capable of building a stronger, more vibrant Theatre Ontario.

"A charismatic leader, Costin's drive, determination and long-standing experience is exactly what we need to usher in a new era at Theatre Ontario. We are thrilled he will join us January 2, 2019," says Interim President Vera Held.

Monday, 26 November 2018

ONstage Openings for the weeks of November 26

ONstage Now Playing in South Central Ontario
Enchanted April at The Curtain Club (Richmond Hill)
This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages

In Central Ontario

Nov. 30, A Christmas Story at Theatre Orangeville [with a preview on Nov. 29]
Nov. 30, Miracle on 34th Street: A Radio Play at Northumberland Players (Cobourg)

In Eastern Ontario

Nov. 28, It's a Wonderful Life at Ottawa Little Theatre
Nov. 29, Rumors at Belleville Theatre Guild [with a preview on Nov. 27]
Nov. 29, Yes Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus at Domino Theatre (Kingston)
Dec. 1, The Christmas Express at Upper Canada Playhouse (Morrisburg) [with a preview on Nov. 30]

In South Central Ontario

Nov. 29, The Drowsy Chaperone at Theatre Aurora

In Southwestern Ontario

Nov. 27, The Last 15 Seconds at The MT Space (Waterloo)
Nov. 29, Brigadoon at Thistle Theatre (Embro)
Nov. 29, Disney's Beauty and the Beast at London Community Players
Nov. 30, Elf - The Musical at Theatre Aquarius (Hamilton) [with previews from Nov. 28]
Nov. 30, Jack and the Beanstalk: The Panto at Drayton Entertainment: St. Jacobs Country Playhouse [with previews from Nov. 28]
ONstage Now Playing in Southwestern Ontario
Firebird at Guelph Little Theatre
Photo by Dean Palmer

In Toronto

Nov. 28, Munsch Goes to School at George Brown Theatre School
Nov. 29, The Runner at Theatre Passe Muraille [currently in previews]
Nov. 29, Obaaberima at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre [with previews from Nov. 27]
Dec. 1, The Code at Young People's Theatre [with school performances beginning Nov. 27]

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

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Browsing Our Bulletin Board

Upcoming opportunities from Theatre Ontario, from our members, and from other arts service organizations.

Coming Up from Theatre Ontario

Check out all of our upcoming Career Stream and Creator Stream workshops.

Upcoming on The Bulletin Board

  • Deadline for applications for Young People’s Theatre’s “Three Up” program for young writers ages 13 to 17 is today.
  • Deadline for applications for volunteer Assistant Directors, Stage Managers, and Lighting Operators for the Alumnae Theatre New Ideas Festival is November 26.
  • ArtsBuild Ontario’s “Creative Spaces Projects: A Brainstorming Workshop” with Lucy White is on November 27 in Waterloo.
  • Deadline for applications for Ontario Arts Council’s programs include Market Development Projects (Nov. 30), Indigenous Culture Fund (ICF) Project Grants for Individuals, Groups and Collectives and for Organizations (Dec. 4), the Premier's Awards for Excellence in the Arts (Dec. 4),
  • Deadline for submissions for South Simcoe Theatre’s “Four Play: A Showcase of Play Readings” is November 30.
    South Simcoe Theatre's "Four Play:
    A Showcase of Play Readings"
  • Deadline for submissions for nightswimming’s 5x25 commissions is November 30.
  • Deadline for applications for Toronto Arts Council’s Animating Toronto Parks grants is December 3.
  • Deadline for applications for Great Canadian Theatre Company’s Ontario Arts Council Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators is December 7.
  • Deadline for applications for The MT Space’s Ontario Arts Council Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators is December 7.
  • Studio PAVAS’ “Lyrical Choreography” workshop with Mitchell Jackson is December 7 in Mississauga.

New on The Bulletin Board

  • 4th Line Theatre in Millbrook invites submissions for their Ontario Arts Council Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators, with their funding priorities including promoting and preserving Canadian cultural heritage and history.
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, 20 November 2018

Create Space for Youth in Theatre Today

Emergence 2.0 from the 2018 Theatre
Ontario Youth Advisory Committee
Theatre Ontario’s Youth Advisory Committee is a place for Ontario’s Emerging Artists to engage with one another and with Theatre Ontario to develop themselves as they enter the theatre industry and become the next generation of thinkers and doers.

Our YAC is a platform for emerging artists across the province to gain professional development in theatre and arts administration by accessing mentorship and training opportunities with our full-time staff, our Board, and our network.

We’re looking for volunteers who have a passionate interest and involvement in Ontario’s Emerging Theatre Community to serve on our 2019 Youth Advisory Committee. Committee members who live outside of the GTA can participate via electronic means. Practical theatre experience is encouraged and welcomed, but not mandatory. This is a volunteer position and the committee is active for one year.

Learn more about applying for the Theatre Ontario Youth Advisory Committee

Monday, 19 November 2018

ONstage Openings for the weeks of November 19

ONstage Now Playing in Toronto
The Penelopiad at Hart House Theatre
Arielle Zamosa and the ensemble
Photo by Scott Gorman
This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages

In Toronto

Nov. 22, Miracle on 34th Street at Stage Centre Productions
Nov. 24, Yellow Rabbit at Soulpepper Theatre [with a preview on Nov. 23]
Nov. 25, The Runner at Theatre Passe Muraille [in previews]

In South Central Ontario

Nov. 22, The Addams Family at Oshawa Little Theatre

In Southwestern Ontario

ONstage Now Playing in South Central Ontario
Next to Normal at Whitby Courthouse Theatre
Nov. 21, The Boy in the Moon at The Grand Theatre (London) [with previews from Nov. 20]
Nov. 22, Firebird at Guelph Little Theatre
Nov. 22, The Paper Bag Princess: A Musical at Kitchener-Waterloo Little Theatre
Nov. 23, Holiday Inn at Drayton Entertainment: Hamilton Family Theatre Cambridge [with previews from Nov. 22]
Nov. 23, Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!) at Theatre Woodstock
Nov. 23, Journey's End at University Players (Windsor)
Nov. 23, Miracle on 34th Street at Theatre Sarnia


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

Friday, 16 November 2018

Ontario Off Stage

by Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager

Conversation Starters

  • The federal government is permanently lifting the cap on the Endowment Incentives component of the Canadian Cultural Investment Fund. Shelley Stevenson from the Stratford Festival wrote on the PACT blog about the multi-pronged approach to advocacy in this area.

Behind the Scenes at Ontario’s Theatres


TO Toasts

  • ... to Sandra Houston, former Theatre Ontario Board Member, who was honoured with the 2018 Community Recognition Award for Performing Arts from the city of Sault Ste. Marie.
  • ... to the award recipients and honourable mentions at the Eastern Ontario Drama League One-Act Play Festival. We’ll share the full list when it is available from EODL.

In Case You Missed It

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Browsing Our Bulletin Board

Upcoming opportunities from Theatre Ontario, from our members, and from other arts service organizations.

Coming Up from Theatre Ontario

Theatre Ontario's "Voice Over" workshop
Check out all of our upcoming Career Stream and Creator Stream workshops.

Upcoming on The Bulletin Board

  • Deadline for applications for ArtsBuild Ontario’s Creative Space Mentoring Network is November 16.
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, 13 November 2018

Congratulations to the Professional Theatre Training Program Fall 2018 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.

Over $25,900 was awarded in total among the following 9 recipients:
  • C.J Astronomo training in production management with Simon Marsden at the Stratford Festival
  • Claire Burns training in administration and managing direction with Shawn Daudlin at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in Toronto
  • Rhiannon Collett training in artistic producing with Tom Arthur Davis and Jivesh Parasram at Pandemic Theatre in Toronto
  • Allie Marshall training in video design and new media skills with Nick Bottomley at Outside the March in Toronto
  • Laura McCallum training in general management with Laura Pomeroy at Studio 180 Theatre in Toronto
  • Hanlon McGregor training in playwriting with Diane Flacks
  • Holly Meyer-Dymny training in projection design with Cameron Davis at Studio 180 Theatre in Toronto
  • Keshia Palm training in dramaturgy with Marjorie Chan at Cahoots Theatre in Toronto
  • Naomi Wright training in directing with Robin Witt at Writers Theatre in Chicago, USA
Over $131,000 was requested during this application round. The next application deadline for this program will be in early 2019. Prospective applicants should Stay Connected with Theatre Ontario for more information about that deadline.

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

Learn more about the Professional Theatre Training Program

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

(Updated November 13 at 1:30pm to include an omitted recipient.)

Monday, 12 November 2018

ONstage Openings for the weeks of November 12

This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages
ONstage Now Playing in Southwestern Ontario
Murder Most Fouled Up at Elmira Theatre Company

In Southwestern Ontario

Nov. 16, Barber Shop Chronicles at The Grand Theatre (London) [with a preview Nov. 15]
Nov. 17, A Christmas Carol at The Shaw Festival (Niagara-on-the-Lake) [with previews from Nov. 14]

In Toronto

Nov. 13, Uncovered: Joni Mitchell & Carole King at The Musical Stage Company
Nov. 16, The 2-Spirit Cabaret at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre
Nov. 16, Unholy at Nightwood Theatre

Touring

Nov. 13, Old Man and the River from Theatre Direct

In Central Ontario

Nov. 15, King Arthur the Panto at Cameco Capitol Arts Centre (Port Hope)
Nov. 15, Lend Me a Tenor at South Simcoe Theatre (Cookstown)
Nov. 16, Murder's in the Heir at Huronia Players (Midland)

In Eastern Ontario

Nov. 15, Chasing Champions: The Sam Langford Story at National Arts Centre—English Theatre (Ottawa) [with previews from Nov. 13]
Nov. 15, The Marvellous Wonderettes—Dream On at Studio Theatre Perth
Nov. 16, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at Orpheus Musical Theatre Society (Ottawa)
ONstage Now Playing in Southwestern Ontario
The December Man / L'homme de decembre
at London Community Players

In South Central Ontario

Nov. 14, Calendar Girls at Markham Little Theatre
Nov. 16, Enchanted April at The Curtain Club (Richmond Hill) [with a preview on Nov. 15]
Nov. 18, Rumplestiltskin at Theatre Burlington


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

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Seeking “New Faces” to Participate in Next Generation Showcase 2019

We invite applications for “New Faces” to participate in our Next Generation Showcase.

Theatre Ontario’s Next Generation Showcase is a unique two-day event, providing graduating theatre students the opportunity to showcase their talents in front of industry professionals, including casting directors, artistic directors, independent directors, producers, and agents. Many of the top theatre training programs from Ontario and beyond participate annually.

Each year we also provide spaces for “New Faces” to participate. “New Faces” is for recent graduates from other training programs wishing to pursue their performing careers in Ontario, and for artists from communities that have faced historical and/or systemic barriers to accessing this type of opportunity.

Theatre Ontario’s annual Next Generation Showcase will take place on January 13th and 14th.

The deadline for applications for New Faces is Friday, November 30th at 12:00 noon.

Learn more about New Faces at Theatre Ontario’s Next Generation Showcase

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Browsing Our Bulletin Board

Upcoming opportunities from Theatre Ontario, from our members, and from other arts service organizations.

Coming Up from Theatre Ontario

Theatre Ontario's "Intimacy for the Stage for
Directors" workshop with Siobhan Richardson
Check out all of our upcoming Career Stream and Creator Stream workshops.

Upcoming on The Bulletin Board

  • Deadline for applications for Ontario Arts Council’s Chalmers Professional Development Projects grants is November 8.
  • Deadline for applications for ArtsBuild Ontario’s Creative Space Mentoring Network is November 16.

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, 6 November 2018

2018 Youth Advisory Committee Reflections… and Looking to 2019

By Deanna Galati, Chair, Youth Advisory Committee 2018

Being on the Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) this past year has been such a lovely and eye opening experience filled with learning curves, opportunities, and successes. As I reflect on this past year of being Chair of the YAC, I think about all that we’ve done and all that I’ve learned. 

When I accepted my position on the YAC, I really didn’t know what to expect of my year. All I did know was that I was interested in learning new skills, meeting new people, and offering something special to the young theatre community; a community that I consider myself to be a part of. The early stages of the YAC consisted of our team talking about what excited us, what scared us, what was needed, and where many of the gaps were in our industry for young people of all different cultural backgrounds, races, abilities, genders, and sexualities. We were a mighty group with lots of vision, and as chair, it was difficult to narrow down what our year would look like—there were so many good ideas to choose from.

Our Emergence 2.0 "Advocating for Yourself" panelists:
Nikki Shaffeeullah, Sabah Haque and Kristina Lemieux
When it came down to selecting the content and topic for what became Emergence 2.0, I really thought about those early conversations. There were many conversations where our team felt that there was a lack of mentorship opportunities for young artists to grow, and that it was sometimes daunting to approach a mentor to talk about an early stage career in the industry. We also talked a lot about how young artists can be treated and how we must advocate for ourselves in many different ways, depending on a variety of different factors. I didn’t want to let that early work go. 

With help from the Theatre Ontario team, we decided to continue on the awesome momentum that was built from Emergence in 2017 and use the same name for our event as well. Thus, Emergence 2.0 was born.

Emergence 2.0 consisted of a panel discussion about advocating for yourself, followed by mentorship pairings where we brought in 9 generous and relevant theatre artists who acted as mentors for our participants. There was a lot of insight offered and I hope that the participants got what they needed to out of the conversations we had.

Dinner break and networking at Emergence 2.0
Being chair for the YAC has definitely taught me a lot about my leadership skills, my communication skills, my limits, my ambition, teamwork, and also that I have such a supportive and welcoming theatre community around me. I learned so much about myself in this position and am grateful for the experience it gave me to advocate for myself. 

The YAC is excited to part of the selection process for the 2019 team. Keep your eyes peeled for details to come...

My advice to the incoming year of YAC artists—putting together a comprehensive event for folks in the industry takes a lot of time, strategic planning, and organization from you! So do something that you’re passionate about. Strong communication skills as well as great outreach and marketing are also key aspects to running a successful event. I was glad to be surrounded by Kelsey Dann (YAC member), the Theatre Ontario staff who supported in various ways along the way, as well as the awesome artists involved in Emergence 2.0 throughout the entirety of this year. I am very excited to see what the 2019 cohort brings to the table next year!

Thanks to Annie Clarke for the Emergence 2.0 photography!
Theatre Ontario will be launching our call for the 2019 Youth Advisory Committee later in November. Contact programs@theatreontario.org for more information.

Monday, 5 November 2018

ONstage Openings for the weeks of November 5

ONstage Now Playing in South Central Ontario
The Long Road at Durham Shoestring Performers (Oshawa)
This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages

In South Central Ontario

Nov. 8, The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Brampton Music Theatre
Nov. 8, Next to Normal at Whitby Courthouse Theatre
Nov. 8, We Will Rock You at Marquee Theatrical Productions (Newmarket)

In Southwestern Ontario

Nov. 9, The December Man (L'homme de decembre) at London Community Players [with a preview on Nov. 8]

In Toronto

Nov. 7, FireWorks Festival 2018 at Alumnae Theatre Company
Nov. 7, The Caucasian Chalk Circle at George Brown Theatre School
Nov. 8, Mary Poppins at Young People's Theatre [with performances from Nov. 5]
Nov. 8, Departures and Arrivals at Seen by Scene Entertainment
Nov. 9, The Penelopiad at Hart House Theatre
ONstage Now Playing in Toronto
The Coarse Acting Show 2 at The NAGs Players

In Central Ontario

Nov. 9, Prelude to a Kiss at Peterborough Theatre Guild
Nov. 9, Disney’s Aladdin Jr. at Kempenfelt Community Players (Barrie)

ICYMI: Check out last week’s openings

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

Friday, 2 November 2018

Ontario Off Stage

by Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager

Conversation Starters

  • Closing a theatre company – Scott Artley wrote on HowlRound about “The Final Act—Sunsetting a Nonprofit Arts Organization” and the decision to shutdown.

Behind the Scenes at Ontario’s Theatres


TO Toasts

Playwrights Guild of Canada's Tom Hendry Awards

In Case You Missed It

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Stories from the Professional Theatre Training Program

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

Today we feature four stories:

The next application deadline for the Professional Theatre Training Program is March 1, 2019.

Learn more about Theatre Ontario's Professional Theatre Training Program

Theatre Ontario’s Professional Theatre Training Program is funded by the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

Stories from the Professional Theatre Training Program: Thomas Alderson

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

Thomas Alderson trained in directing with Ashlie Corcoran at Arts Club Theatre Company in Vancouver BC


(October 24, 2018) As I reflect on my experience in Vancouver, it’s difficult to put into words the gratitude I feel towards both The Arts Club and Theatre Ontario for making this possible. 

Aside from all of the wonderful insights I had into the rehearsal process, which I shared in my earlier posts, I had some amazing one-on-one counselling with Director Ashlie Corcoran, nearing the end of my time in Vancouver. 

She shared with me her personal journey to becoming a director, and eventually Artistic Director. She offered amazing advice about trusting your own instincts and not being afraid to seek out opportunities that might scare you. She talked about her experience applying for jobs and learning opportunities, and how she was constantly gaining knowledge and growing as she worked towards her goals. Not only did she find learning and growth, but she also enjoyed her journey. She talked about finding ways to make the process of applying for opportunities (both successfully and unsuccessfully) a learning opportunity. She also stressed that I should not be afraid to ask for feedback and guidance along the way. 

She gave me amazing advice on how to remain personally creative and self-motivated. She encouraged me, saying, “You don’t have to wait for an opportunity; you can create them yourself, however large or small.” 

Lastly she has been amazing, continuing to support me even after our time together has ended. She has offered to be a reference for me for further applications for emerging director opportunities. Although she lives in Vancouver and I am back in Ontario, we are in contact. I am so grateful to feel her support even from across the country.

Related Reading:

The next application deadline for the Professional Theatre Training Program is March 1, 2019.


Theatre Ontario’s Professional Theatre Training Program is funded by the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

Stories from the Professional Theatre Training Program: Brendan McMurtry-Howlett

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

Brendan McMurtry-Howlett training in artistic direction with Jillian Keiley at the National Arts Centre of Canada in Ottawa


(October 24, 2018) Two weeks down, two weeks to go. As short as that time seems on paper, it feels as if I’ve been here for a month already with how much happens each day. I have loved every minute of it. Every day brings a new surprise and new challenge. My co-intern, Kate Smith and I have learned to stay agile as new problems and tasks are presented to us. Watching the whole team at the NAC work together has been a real lesson in fast thinking, hard work, and how to keep a sense of humour and lightness through it all.

In the first few days of the internship it was a bit overwhelming trying to grasp how the overall organization of the NAC works and how the English Theatre fits into it. It operates more like a small department in a large university than a standard theatre company. On top of trying to understand the inner workings of the NAC we were trying to keep pace with the amount of meetings, emails, and “Daily Dilemmas” that Jill deals with each day. It’s become clear how important good systems and organizational tools are to being able to process huge amounts of information as an artistic director.

Within a few days we acclimatized to the exhilarating pace with the help of the incredibly generous staff at the NAC, all of whom have willingly shared their time with us in the midst of the flurry of activity. We have sat in on all sorts of fascinating meetings, have assisted the constantly shifting process of programming next season (far more complicated than I could have anticipated), drafted plans for a few new initiatives English Theatre will be taking on, and have still had time for some deeper philosophical conversations on the nature of leadership. Everyday I have pages of notes, ranging from profound wisdom on leadership to little practical tidbits to stay on top of things. Here are a few of those tidbits I’ve received from Jill and the rest of the English Theatre staff:

Touch Paper Once – If you can, deal with a letter or an email when you first lay hands on it, rather than laying it to the side to be dealt with latter. It will take more time and brain energy to think about it again, pick it back up, and deal with it, than it is to just deal with it immediately.

Programming Priorities – Keep an explicit list of priorities beside you when programming your season. There will be ample pressure from other departments to program based on the bottom line and keeping this list will help you stay true to your programming priorities.

Working TOWARDS Something – This is the idea that in this kind of leadership role, it is unrealistic to believe that you will be able to accomplish something in any kind of finalized way. You are always working TOWARDS something, as the ground constantly shifts under your feet. It is acknowledging that the goal is not to arrive, but to keep striving and improving with your eyes on the horizon.

Meditation – When you hit the point in the day when you feel tired, or overwhelmed by stress and tasks, a quick 8-minute meditation will do wonders for you.

Take Walking Meetings – Whenever it is feasible, take your meeting on a walk. It changes scenery and gets the blood moving.

Related Reading:

The next application deadline for the Professional Theatre Training Program is March 1, 2019.


Theatre Ontario’s Professional Theatre Training Program is funded by the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.