Friday, 12 October 2018

Ontario Off Stage

Raeburn Ferguson
by Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager

From Theatre Ontario


Conversation Starters


Behind the Scenes at Ontario’s Theatres

  • Orpheus Musical Theatre’s production of The Last Five Years lost several performances due to the long power outages many in Ottawa suffered following the tornado on September 21. Thanks to the Gladstone who graciously offered their space, the production will go on three more times.

Migrations


In Case You Missed It

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Stories from the Summer Theatre Intensive: Plot – It Builds Character

by Jackie Mahoney

For a week this August, I had the privilege of attending the Creation Lab as a part of Theatre Ontario’s Summer Theatre Intensive. Before taking the course, I had been feeling a little disillusioned with my writing, but having five days to escape from the hubbub of everyday life was exactly what I needed, both as a writer and a person!

When I arrived at Factory 163, everyone (the majority of whom had never met before) was mingling, laughing and getting to know their peers for the next week. When the Creation Lab group went upstairs to our delightfully creepy room (Factory 163 was an office furniture warehouse built in 1903 that is said to be VERY HAUNTED! Ooo, that sounds like the start of a great play, I’ll be right back...) and had some alone time, I was so excited to get to work.

The Creation Lab at Theatre Ontario's Summer Theatre Intensive
Our instructor, Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, was unlike any teacher I had ever encountered in theatre school, in the best ways possible. I have never felt as encouraged or supported as she made us feel. She was a phenomenal facilitator in that she managed to perfectly balance time spent teaching, writing, sharing and giving feedback. She is a wealth of knowledge, both in terms of writing and life experience in general. In addition to learning about play creation, our group really bonded through sharing our personal stories with each other. She encouraged us all to, “Just write it!” and see what comes out, then place editing/necessary judgement on it later.

Our group consisted of possibly the loveliest collection of people I’ve ever had the pleasure of learning with. We each brought our own unique interests, writing styles, goals for the week, perspectives and life experiences, but it was these differences that made our group so strong. I will never forget the fun we had ‘reading each other’s tea leaves’ after drawing out our ideas for a play we were working on. Donna-Michelle gave all of us so many useful tools for writing, including an incredible collection of writing prompts and ways to get ‘unstuck’, which I’m sure we will all use for the rest of our writing careers.

Playwright-in-Person with Kat Sandler
at Theatre Ontario's Summer Theatre Intensive
We were also lucky enough to attend a play reading by Kat Sandler, which was one of the highlights of my week. Sitting in the Stratford Perth Museum, listening to a playwright who had met with success and who seemed to have a similar sense of humor was unreal. It felt like confirmation that yes, I could write my bad puns and dad jokes into a show and people might actually come see it and find it funny. Maybe.

My favourite exercise that we did involved going out into the community of Stratford, finding an intriguing looking individual and creating a character profile and scene based on our observations. The first time I tried to do this exercise I failed miserably: I was bored of my character two lines into writing my scene. However, on the very last night of the course I was parking my car in Waterloo when a gentleman who looked like he had just walked off the set of a 70's buddy cop film, carrying two XL Tim Horton’s coffees and a half-eaten birthday cake went into the back door of The Love Shop. I have never been so excited to write a character-driven scene in my life. I put all of my week’s learning together (2 prompts from Donna-Michelle, my classmates’ feedback, the affirmation of my comedy style courtesy of Kat Sandler etc.) and created a 15 minute play that I am quite proud of which is currently called Walter Wall Carpet.

So many wonderful people worked so hard to make this week unforgettable for everyone. Thank you Rachel, Emily, Donna-Michelle, Camille, Mackenzie, Tim, Shelley and everyone else who had a hand in the Summer Theatre Intensive. And don’t forget, if anyone ever questions your style of creation, just tell them, “It’s all a part of my process.”

Related Reading

Playwright-in-Person is made possible by a grant from the Playwrights Guild of Canada's "PlayConnect" program, funded by the Canada Council.

Wednesday, 10 October 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 with Elley-Ray
Check out all of our upcoming Career Stream and Creator Stream workshops.

Upcoming on The Bulletin Board

  • Deadline for applications for Ontario Arts Council grants include Deaf and Disability Arts projects (October 11), Touring projects (October 16), Multi and Inter-Arts Projects and Skills and Career Development: Indigenous Arts Professionals and Arts Professionals of Colour (Oct 17)
  • Deadline for nominations for the WorkInCulture Bob Johnston Award is October 12.
  • Deadline for applications for Thousand Islands Playhouse’s Ontario Arts Council Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators is October 15.
  • Deadline to register to apply for Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Transform Grants is October 17.
  • Shaw Festival’s next Teachers Day workshop is October 19.
  • George F. Walker’s next Acting Workshop series begins on October 22.

New on The Bulletin Board

  • Jumblies Theatre invites submissions for their Ontario Arts Council Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators. Their funding priority is community-engaged art.
  • Nightswimming is inviting submissions for their next 5x25 commissions of new work by artists born in 1995.

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, 9 October 2018

ONstage Openings for the weeks of October 8 and October 15

ONstage Now Playing in Central Ontario
Mary's Wedding at Northumberland Players (Cobourg)
This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages

In Eastern Ontario

Oct. 11, A Murder Is Announced at Belleville Theatre Guild
Oct. 11, Queen Milli of Galt at Studio Theatre Perth
Oct. 11, Dean and Jerry: What Might Have Been at Upper Canada Playhouse (Morrisburg)
Oct. 12, A Murder Is Announced at Smiths Falls Community Theatre
Oct. 14, Leader of the Pack: The Ellie Greenwich Musical at Rural Root Theatre Company (Constance Bay)
Oct. 17, Cliffhanger at Ottawa Little Theatre
Oct. 18, The Mouse House at Domino Theatre (Kingston)
Oct. 19, Silence at National Arts Centre—English Theatre (Ottawa) [with previews from Oct. 17]
Oct. 20, The Glass Menagerie at Prince Edward Community Theatre (Milford)

In South Central Ontario

Oct. 19, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at Etobicoke Musical Productions (Mississauga)

In Southwestern Ontario

Oct. 11, Ordinary People at Guelph Little Theatre
Oct. 11, An Undiscovered Shakespeare at The Grand Theatre (London)
Oct. 12, Man of La Mancha at Drayton Entertainment: Hamilton Family Theatre Cambridge [with previews from Oct. 10]
Oct. 12, I'll Be Back Before Midnight at Theatre Woodstock

In Toronto

Oct. 10, What If Romeo and Juliet... at Young People's Theatre
Oct. 12, Pearle Harbour's Chautauqua at Theatre Passe Muraille [with a preview on Oct. 11]
Oct. 18, The Royale at Soulpepper Theatre [with previews from Oct. 12]
Oct. 18, Now You See Her from Nightwood Theatre at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre [with previews from Oct. 16]
Oct. 19, Dancing at Lughnasa at Toronto Irish Players [with a preview on Oct. 18]
ONstage Now Playing in Toronto
Noises Off at Scarborough Players
Photo by Thomas Kowal

In Central Ontario

Oct. 12, Lunenburg at Theatre Orangeville [with a preview on Oct. 11]
Oct. 16, The Shadow Walk of Millbrook at 4th Line Theatre (Millbrook)
Oct. 18, Last Day, Last Hour at Northumberland Players (Cobourg)
Oct. 18, Wait Until Dark at Cameco Capitol Arts Centre (Port Hope)
Oct. 19, Sexy Laundry at Northumberland Players (Cobourg)


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

Friday, 5 October 2018

Ontario Off Stage

Mikaela Davies and Elissa Horscroft in conversation with
Keira Loughran at foldA from the Stratford Festival.
Photo by Michael Wheeler
Image from spiderwebshow.ca
by Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager

Conversation Starters


Behind the Scenes at Ontario’s Theatres


Migrations


TO Toasts


In Case You Missed It


Thursday, 4 October 2018

Meet Our Youth Advisory Committee’s Emergence 2.0 Mentors

Theatre Ontario’s Youth Advisory Committee is super excited for the awesome lineup of mentors who will be at Emergence 2.0 for our Coffee Dates Sessions. We believe that speed networking is just too short to really get what you need out of a conversation. Coffee Dates will include longer mentorship sessions, where a young artist will get to speak with another artist one-on-one for 20-minutes. We are bringing in the following awesome artists who work in a variety of different disciplines within the theatre industry.

So, who are our mentors for Emergence 2.0?

Kevin Matthew Wong - performer, performance creator, arts facilitator, producer, environmentalist

Kevin Matthew Wong is a performer, performance creator, arts facilitator, producer and environmentalist. Kevin is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Broadleaf Theatre, a company that creates multidisciplinary performances exploring Canada’s relationship with environmentalism. His on-going work The Chemical Valley Project is a documentary theatre solo-performance that investigates Canadian colonization and environmental racism. The show is created in collaboration with Aamjiwnaang First Nation Water Protectors Vanessa Gray and Lindsay Beze Gray, and co-creator Julia Howman. The project makes its full-length Toronto debut at Theatre Passe Muraille in April 2019. Kevin is a graduate of the U of T Drama Centre and Generator’s inaugural Artist-Producer Training Program, and he is a fellow of the American social-justice arts residency The Gardarev Center. As a creator, Kevin was recently part of fu-Gen’s Interdisciplinary Kitchen XV, and has recently worked with Carousel Players, Cahoots Theatre, Music Picnic, the Koffler Centre and others.

Aimee Bouchard - Community Programs Manager, Young People’s Theatre

Aimee Bouchard currently works as the Community Programs Manager at Young People’s Theatre, where she manages community programs and residencies as well as access and inclusion initiatives.

She is an arts administrator, artist educator and Ontario Certified Teacher, and holds a BAH in Drama and BEd with a focus in Artist in Community Education from Queen’s University. She has developed and facilitated drama programming for schools, festivals and arts organizations across Ontario, including for Young People’s Theatre, Theatre Direct and the WeeFestival, the Kick & Push Festival in Kingston, and the Luminato Festival.

Khadijah Roberts-Abdullah - actor, writer, producer, chef

Khadijah Roberts-Abdullah is a Dora nominated and My Entertainment Award winning actor, a writer, producer and chef. Notable credits include; Geschwitz in Red Light District’s LULU V.7 //aspects of a femme fatale, Lila in Kat Sandler’s Bang Bang, Jessica in Danny Pagett’s Cloud, Laertes in Ravi Jain’s The Prince Hamlet, Claudette in How Black Mothers Say I Love You, Queen Elizabeth I in The Queen’s Conjuror, Black Woman in We Are Proud to Present..., St. Monica in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, and Othello in Go Play Producing's Othello. Checkout what Khadijah is up to next or look at pictures of what she’s eating by following her on Instagram @dijyro or Twitter @DijyRoberts

Rosamund Small - playwright

Rosamund Small is the Dora-Award winning playwright of Sisters (Soulpepper, 2018), TomorrowLove, Vitals (Outside the March, 2016/ 2014), and other theatre works including documentary, solo show, and large-scale immersive projects. She is interested in finding humour, joy, and excitement to stories about both the darkest and brightest moments in life. In addition to playwriting, Rosamund is story co-ordinator of Workin’ Moms Season 3 on CBC, and also collaborates on dance-narrative work with Robert Binet and the National Ballet of Canada.

Christina Cicko - stage manager

Christina Cicko is currently stage managing the Dora nominated Gertrude and Alice (Buddies In Bad Times Theatre). Most recent credits include; assistant stage manager of The 27 Club (Soulpepper) stage manager for Stones (Aluna Theatre and The Stones Project), Mikveh (The Harold Green Jewish Theatre), the world premier of Calpurnia (Nightwood Theatre), Dora nominated Unholy (Nightwood Theatre), and Dora winning Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre). Other selected credits include The Youth & Elders Project (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre), Quiver (Nightwood Theatre), and two seasons as assistant stage manager at the Blyth Theatre Festival. She was also a Pauline McGibbon Award Nominee for Lighting Design and is currently teaching stage management for the theatre department at York University.

Luke Reece - producer, playwright, poet, educator

In a failed attempt to escape Presto, Luke left his hometown of Mississauga under the guise of becoming a Toronto-based artist. He strives to share authentic and engaging stories with audiences through his work as a producer, playwright, poet and educator. He is the Producer for Canada’s leading culturally-specific theatre company Obsidian Theatre, along with being the Co-Creator and Operations Manager of Dark Nights conversation series. He continually seeks opportunities to empower and support young-in-craft artists with his collective Little Black Afro Theatre, creating spaces for artists to develop work with and for the communities they come from. After becoming the Toronto Poetry Slam (TPS) Grand Champion in 2017, Luke went on to captain the 2017 TPS team that competed at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word and placed first in the country. He also competed in Vancouver in 2018 at the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam and placed 2nd. He has facilitated workshops, performed, and hosted events for Young People’s Theatre, Crow’s Theatre, The Paprika Festival, CANVAS Arts Action Programs, Union Station, Playwrights Guild of Canada and the International Festival of Authors.

Maddie Bautista - theatre maker and performance artist

Maddie Bautista is a Saudi Arabia-born Filipino theatre maker and performance artist. Selected Acting Credits: Izzy in This Will Be Excellent (Carousel Players); The Girl in My Nightmares Wear White (SummerWorks 2016 Spotlight Award for Performance). Selected sound design credits: bug (Luminato 2018), Stones (Aluna Theatre) CAKE (Theatre Passe Muraille). Choir composition and direction: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare in the Ruff). Half of xLq with Jordan Campbell: an award-winning POP performance art duo. Co-creators and performers of 4inXchange (Winner of NOW Magazine’s Audience Choice Award at SummerWorks 2018, selected by Nightswimming for the 5x25 2017 Commission) - a facilitated experience around $1000 cash for four participants at a time. xLq is also part of Theatre Direct’s New Creation Unit developing Inside the Outside - an interactive and accessible theatrical experience for one young participant at a time. She is an alumni of Generator TO’s 2016/2017 Artist Producer Training program and Paprika Festival’s Writer’s Circle 2017. She is committed to creating work for survivors of sexual assault through her solo show Jeddahwi - in development with Rare Theatre.

Augusto Bitter - performer and theatre creator

Augusto Bitter is a Venezuelan-born performer and theatre creator based in Toronto. He has a Specialist in Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies from the University of Toronto and was named one of NOW Magazine’s Top 10 Theatre Artists of 2017. He has trained with Manifesto Poetico (Paris), Teatro delle Radici (Lugano, Switzerland), Factory Theatre's Mechanicals, and Canada's National Voice Intensive. Augusto is a part of Aluna Theatre's Interpretation Lab and a Youth Link Artist Educator at Soulpepper Theatre Company. Select performance credits include The Monument (Factory Theatre), Lear (Groundling Theatre Co.), El Retorno/I Return (Theatre Aquarius), Rope Running Out (lemonTree creations), and Our Town (Theatre Rusticle). His solo show, CHICHO, premieres at Theatre Passe Muraille March 2019, co-presented with Pencil Kit Productions with support from Aluna Theatre. More at www.augustobitter.com

Rachel Forbes - set and costume designer

Rachel is a Toronto based Set and Costume Designer creating for theatre and dance. She loves making her way across the country to design for a variety of communities. Some of the companies she has had the pleasure to design for include: the Shaw Festival, Obsidian Theatre, Buddies in Bad Times, Factory Theatre, Theatre Centre, Theatre Passe Muraille,Watah Theatre, Charlottetown Festival, and Video Cabaret. Some recent credits include: Risky Phil (Young People's Theatre), Speaking of Sneaking (Riser Project), Other Side of the Game (Obsidian Theatre/Cahoots), Lukumi: a dub opera, Bleeders, Bloodclaat (Watah Theatre), The Dream Catchers (Charlottetown Festival), 1837: The Farmers’ Revolt (Shaw Festival), Black Boys (Saga Collectif/Buddies in Bad Times), How Black Mothers Say I Love You (Factory Theatre/Trey Anthony Productions).

We are so excited about Emergence 2.0 and cannot wait to see you there!  Emergence 2.0 is on October 15, 2018 in Toronto.

Join Us at Emergence 2.0

We thank The Second City and the Associated Designers of Canada for their generous support of this event.

This event is in partnership with the Siminovitch Prize.

Wednesday, 3 October 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 "Ready, Set, Show!
Foundations of Indie Producing" workshop
Check out all of our upcoming Career Stream and Creator Stream workshops.

Upcoming on The Bulletin Board

  • Deadline for applications for the Ontario Arts Council’s Théâtre – projets francophones is today.
  • Deadline for applications for Thousand Islands Playhouse’s OAC Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators is October 5.
  • Deadline for applications for Alumnae Theatre’s call for directors (community theatre non-paying) is October 5.
  • Deadline for registrations for Grey Wellington Theatre Guild’s SPARC Regional Hub Mini-Symposium in Harriston is October 9.
  • Deadline for applications for the Ontario Arts Council’s Deaf and Disability Arts projects is October 11.
  • Deadline for nominations for the WorkInCulture Bob Johnston Award is October 12.

New on The Bulletin Board

  • George F. Walker’s next Acting Workshop series begins on October 22.

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, 2 October 2018

Honouring Contribution to Community Theatre in Central Ontario

Do you know someone whose sustained contribution, generosity of spirit, involvement, and commitment within the Central Ontario region has helped community theatre flourish?

Theatre Ontario is now inviting nominations for the 2019 Michael Spence Award for Contribution to Community Theatre. The award is presented annually to an individual from the region that is hosting the Theatre Ontario Festival—which in 2019 is Central Ontario.

The 2018 Michael Spence Award presentation to Sue Perkins
Past recipients of the award are Joan McRae, Anne Wilson, Lillian Sievanen, Sharon Sproule, Betty Coates, Arlene Watson, Vince Mathewson, David Glover, Harry Houston, Hans Warmenhoven, Beth McMaster, Val Hadley, Maureen Lukie, Ken Stephen, Gabe Ferrazzo, Margaret Shearman, Lawrie Bonanno, Jo-anne Spitzer, Walter Maskel, Joe O’Brien, Bev Dietrich, John Storey, Murray Finn, and David Parry. The 2018 award was presented to Susan M. Perkins of London.

The 2019 award will be presented to an individual from the Central Ontario community theatre region, which includes the City of Toronto, Durham Region, Halton Region (except the City of Burlington), Peel Region, York Region, Dufferin County, Simcoe County, and the District of Muskoka.

The award was established in 1997 by Theatre Ontario on the occasion of Theatre Ontario's 25th Anniversary. Multiple awards were presented on the quinquennial anniversaries of Theatre Ontario until 2012, when it became an annual award. The award is named in honour of Michael Spence, the founding President of Theatre Ontario.  Michael was active in community theatre at Hart House Theatre, London Little Theatre, and the University Alumnae Dramatic Club (now known as Alumnae Theatre.)  He was a member of the Board of Governors of the Dominion Drama Festival, a past President of Arts Etobicoke, and continues to be an enthusiastic supporter of Theatre Ontario.

The nomination deadline is January 31, 2019.

Monday, 1 October 2018

ONstage Openings for the week of October 1

ONstage Now Playing in Southwestern Ontario
Spider's Web at Theatre Aquarius
Mairi Babb, Valerie Boyle, Robin Ward
Set and Costumes by Patrick Clark
Lighting Design by Siobhan Sleath
Photo by BankoMedia
This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages

In South Central Ontario

Oct. 4, Steel Magnolias at Oshawa Little Theatre

In Southwestern Ontario

Oct. 4, Kings and Queens of Country at Drayton Entertainment: Drayton Festival Theatre [with previews from Oct. 3]
Oct. 5, A Red Plaid Shirt at Aylmer Community Theatre [with a preview on Oct. 4]
Oct. 5, Ghost: The Musical at Drayton Entertainment: St. Jacobs Country Playhouse [with previews from Oct. 3]
ONstage Now Playing in Toronto
Exit Laughing at Stage Centre Productions

In Toronto

Oct. 4, Oraltorio: a Theatrical Mixtape at Soulpepper Theatre [with previews from Oct. 2]
Oct. 4, Krapp's Last Tape at Theatre Passe Muraille
Oct. 4, Talking Treaties at Jumblies Theatre
Oct. 5, Noises Off at Scarborough Players

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

Thursday, 27 September 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 October 1, 2018.


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 training in directing with Eda Holmes at Canadian Stage in Toronto


(September 9, 2018)

A few days ago in rehearsal for The Children, I confessed to my mentor/director Eda Holmes that I was still trying to navigate when, as the assistant director, it was appropriate for me to speak up in the room and when it’d be wiser for me to just share my thoughts with her privately. “Be brave enough to look stupid,” she told me. Part of her job, she said, is risking saying the wrong thing.

That idea is perhaps what’s standing out to me the most when I reflect on our first two weeks of rehearsal (well, that and our Day 2 field trip to the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station). And I’m remembering that it’s why I was interested in working with Eda in the first place: the lack of ego. Say the thing, risk getting it wrong, and move on to the next thing. I’m such a dweller—if I feel I’ve gotten something wrong it’s really hard for me to shake—but Eda’s words are really encouraging to me.

I have spent most of our time watching and listening. As an actor, it’s been an adjustment to spend so much of a rehearsal day sitting still and being quiet, but I truly love it. The Children is an exquisite play, and the cast is phenomenal: Laurie Paton, Fiona Reid, and Geordie Johnson. What a gift to be able to sit back and watch them work. And I am fortunate that they are genuinely interested in what I have to say, and what I might be able to offer. I have felt very welcomed and respected in the room.

I’m really looking forward to moving into tech at the end of this week. I’ve learned a lot watching Eda work with the actors in the rehearsal hall and I’m so interested to see how she layers in working with the designers and technicians as we transition into the theatre. It’s always such an exciting time in the process for me and I love that I’ll get to be in the house watching it all come together from the outside.

It’s been an overwhelmingly positive experience so far. There is a lot of rigour in the work, but also a lot of laughter and joy. I can’t wait to see what the next few weeks bring.

Related Reading:



The next application deadline for the Professional Theatre Training Program is October 1, 2018.

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 training in directing with Ashlie Corcoran at Arts Club Theatre Company in Vancouver BC


(August 18, 2018)  As I approach the half-way point of my experience at the Arts Club, I take time to reflect on the process of being mentored so far. I wrote in my first post that my main goal was to learn about the effective and positive ways in which a director communicates with their colleagues. So far, I have had a great inside look at just that.

I have had the good fortune to be included in productions meetings where each department brings up concerns and/or presents the ways in which their teams will bring (and are bringing) the designs to reality. I have witnessed Ashlie eloquently guide each department towards her vision. There is a willingness to compromise in all departments, and because of her passion for her vision and her respect for each member of the staff, everyone has an excitement about bringing each detail to life as authentically and polished as possible. It has been informative and inspirational to see the entire creative and production teams work so positively and passionately together with the common goal of excellence.

Another goal for this opportunity was to get a better sense of what is necessary in the pre-production process. I had a wonderful interview session with the production manager of the Arts Club, where he walked me through how their season works from play selection to budgeting to production. He gave me powerful insight to what he appreciates from a director, as far as being able to budget a show from early stages. The clearer the director’s vision from the beginning, the more the budget can be adjusted to create the desired outcome. The earlier the director and designer can have an idea about major concepts, tricky transitions, major setting locations, any major technical dreams, etc., the higher the likelihood of them being fully realized.

As we have now moved into rehearsal with actors, I have been able to witness how beneficial preparation on the director’s script work can be. We had a few days of table-work in which the actors were able to really get on the same page, before even beginning staging. This is due to Ashlie’s deep understanding of the play and her thorough preparatory work. During the weeks before rehearsal, I was able to help with Ashlie’s prep work, and she was gracious in sharing much of her research. Seeing this come into useful and practical application was a huge learning moment.

I am overjoyed to say that so far the mentorship has been exactly as I had hoped. As we move through rehearsal, I am making notes on the rehearsal process and directing tactics I am observing. As I go forward through the second half of this experience, I am excited to see how the show comes together from a story, staging, and performance perspective. Ashlie has been very open with me and I am eager to gain more insight as we look back on the rehearsal process when it comes to an end.

Related Reading:


The next application deadline for the Professional Theatre Training Program is October 1, 2018.


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: Stephanie Kast

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

Stephanie Kast trained in writing and producing with Joshua Bainbridge in North Bay


(August 17, 2018)  I have officially finished my mentorship for Writing and Producing with Joshua Bainbridge.

I’m writing this on the last day of my mentorship because next week is going to be very busy. In North Bay, August is our Fringe Festival month. After the mentorship ends we run right into The Fringe Festival. What is exciting is I’m doing a read of the one-act version of the play I’ve written. I am doing this read with colleagues of mine. After weeks of working so hard on this I am thrilled to get responses and opinions from my peers and the community.

Here is the image for advertising purposes for my read: 


I learned a lot about producing through this mentorship. What was great is we focused on things that I was unsure about such as: budgeting, advertising and marketing. Closer to the end of our mentorship we ended up focusing heavily on the writing aspect of things.

Now that the mentorship is over, I am applying what I’ve learned from my mentorship to mount the reading of my play. Producing this for the North Bay Fringe will be quite different because it’s through a Festival setting, but I am confident that I will do it properly.

I was able to write a strong one-act play and I’m still in the process of editing the two-act version. I was hoping to get it finished by the end of this mentorship but these things take time and I’m okay with that. I learned a lot from Joshua through this mentorship. He was able to bring things out of my writing that I was nervous and hesitant on approaching. He made me realise that it’s okay to take risks in my writing; that it’s okay to push the boundaries of things.

Outside of this mentorship and outside of the Fringe Festival I fully intend to put the two-act version of this show up in North Bay. After a few more edits it will be ready for me to take on my first try at producing.

I want to send off and say how grateful I am for this experience. Being able to work with Joshua this closely on a piece of my work was amazing. I’m very honoured that he was so eager to work with me on a personal piece when he has so many other projects he is also working on. I am extremely happy with how this experience went and proud to call him my mentor.

Related Reading:

The next application deadline for the Professional Theatre Training Program is October 1, 2018.


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 begins training in artistic direction with Jillian Keiley at the National Arts Centre of Canada (NAC) in Ottawa


(September 19, 2018)

Hi there!

Brendan McMurtry-Howlett here, reporting on the preparations for my internship with Jillian Keiley at the NAC. I am a week away from heading to Ottawa to begin the internship in artistic direction. It has been a busy prep so far!

I have been in close communication with Jill and with Judi Pearl who is the Artistic Projects Coordinator for the English Theatre at the NAC and also some kind of half-human half-god when it comes to communication, organization and connecting all of the complicated dots of the NAC. We have gone over some of the scheduling and discussed some of the projects I’ll be taking on during my time with them. I get the sense I’m going to be VERY busy over the next four weeks. But I also get the sense it is going to be a rewarding relationship not only with Jill, but many of the team members who work closely with the Artistic Director making the whole organization fly. Jill and Judi have been very open and candid with me about the job. Jill refers often to the “Daily Dilemmas” of being an artistic leader—the responsibility to wrestle with the ethical and practical issues that come with the job.

The question of what I’m hoping to accomplish and learn with this time still feels very overwhelming when considering the time ahead and the scope of Jill’s job at the NAC. I hope to learn from Jill’s leadership style and the way she engages deeply with the larger questions of what it means to do theatre in Canada right now. I hope to learn how Jill approaches the balancing act between serving both the national community of theatre artists, and the local community of artists and audiences. I also hope to learn the practical details of daily operations for the AD—budgeting, marketing, programming, etc. and how those are executed within the context of a full staff.

I will be working closely with another intern during this time—Kate Smith. I believe we will be able to offer quite a bit in our short time with the NAC helping to tackle some of those “Daily Dilemmas” and hopefully contribute some lasting solutions to the work the NAC English Theatre does. I get the sense that each new day will bring many new adventures and I feel ready to roll with the punches as they come fast and furious.

Until next time!

Brendan

The next application deadline for the Professional Theatre Training Program is October 1, 2018.


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

Wednesday, 26 September 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

ONstage Now Playing in Eastern Ontario
Shirley Valentine at Thousand Islands Playhouse (Gananoque)
Deborah Drakeford
Photo by Randy deKleine-Stimpson
The deadline for Thousand Islands Playhouse OAC
Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators is October 5.
  • The Shaw Festival’s “Play by Play” event for theatre lovers begins today in Niagara-on-the-Lake, while their “WW1 Weekend” in partnership with the Niagara Historical Society and Museums and Parks Canada begins September 29.
  • The Shaw Festival’s next Scene Study Sunday is on September 30.
  • Deadline for applications for the Ontario Arts Council’s Théâtre – projets francophones is October 3.
  • Deadline for applications for Thousand Islands Playhouse’s OAC Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators is October 5.
  • Deadline for applications for Alumnae Theatre’s call for directors (community theatre non-paying) is October 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, 24 September 2018

ONstage Openings for the week of September 24

This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages
ONstage Now Playing in Southwestern Ontario
Prom Queen: The Musical at The Grand Theatre
Devon Dixon, Marcy Gallant and ensemble
Photo by Dahlia Katz


In Toronto

Sep. 24, Groundswell Festival 2018 from Nightwood Theatre
Sep. 27, Exit Laughing at Stage Centre Productions
Sep. 28, Sound of the Beast at Theatre Passe Muraille

In South Central Ontario

Sep. 27, It’s Only a Play at Burl-Oak Theatre Group (Oakville)

In Southwestern Ontario

Sep. 25, Dean & Jerry: What Might Have Been at Lighthouse Festival Theatre (Port Dover)
Sep. 27, Blood Relations at Kitchener-Waterloo Little Theatre

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, 21 September 2018

Ontario Off Stage

by Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager

Behind the Scenes at Ontario’s Theatres

Theatre Orangeville's production of The Birds and The Bees.
They are celebrating their 25th year this season.

In Case You Missed It


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

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Welcome Carolee Mason as Theatre Ontario Festival 2019 Adjudicator

Carolee Mason
Theatre Ontario welcomes Carolee Mason as adjudicator for Theatre Ontario Festival 2019 in Richmond Hill. Carolee most recently adjudicated as the Western Ontario Drama League Festival preliminary adjudicator in 2017/18 and the Association of Community Theatres—Central Ontario (ACT-CO) Festival in 2015/16. This will be her first time adjudicating Theatre Ontario Festival, and marks the first Theatre Ontario Festival adjudicated by a graduate of Theatre Ontario’s Adjudicator Training Program, initiated in 2010.

Carolee has taught in the Theatre Department at Brock University, instructed practicing teachers and teacher candidates with the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, and has been the teacher/director of generations of high school drama students and countless community theatre groups. She is a frequent workshop leader with the Council of Drama and Dance Educators of Ontario, and has presented for drama educators internationally with the American Alliance of Theatre Educators and the International Drama and Education Association.

“Creative collaboration is one of the most engaging of human endeavours,” said Carolee. “Couple that with the spirit of community and discovery at the Theatre Ontario Festival, and the experience is heady! I am thrilled to adjudicate the 2019 Festival, to foster learning, and to celebrate achievements with my theatre colleagues from around the province.”


Theatre Ontario Festival 2019 will be held in Richmond Hill from May 15 to 19, 2019 and is co-hosted by Theatre Ontario, The Curtain Club, and the Association of Community Theatres—Central Ontario.

Wednesday, 19 September 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

Shaw Festival's Play by Play
  • Deadline to apply to the Ontario Arts Council’s Indigenous Arts Projects and Ontario Arts Presenters Projects is today.
  • Deadline to apply for Ontario Trillium Foundation Capital Grants is today.
  • The Shaw Festival’s “Play by Play” event for theatre lovers begins September 26 in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

New on The Bulletin Board

  • Grey Wellington Theatre Guild and SPARC – Supporting Performing Arts in Rural Communities – are hosting a “Regional Hub Mini-Symposium” community event in Harriston. Register by October 8 for the October 20 event.
  • Jumblies Theatre in Toronto is hosting their next Artfare Essentials training beginning October 28.
  • The 2019 AITA/IATA International Amateur Theatre Festival will be held in Saint John, New Brunswick from August 26 to September 1. The deadline for submissions is October 31, and the theme of the festival is Diversity.
  • South Simcoe Theatre in Cookstown is seeking submissions of new plays for their Four Play: A Showcase of Play Readings series. The deadline is November 30.
  • Great Canadian Theatre Company invites submissions for their OAC Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators; their funding priorities are playwrights and collectives based in, or who originate from, Ottawa and the National Capital Region. The deadline is December 7.
  • The MT Space invites submissions for their OAC Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators; their funding priorities are collectives / projects that will be developed by collectives; and creators who are working on non-script based physical forms. The deadline is December 7.
  • Theatre Direct invites submissions for their OAC Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators; their funding priority is work aimed at young audiences, in its early stages of research and development. The deadline is December 17.

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