Monday, 30 April 2018

ONstage Openings for the week of April 30

ONstage Now Playing in Southwestern Ontario
All My Sons at St. Marys Community Players
David James, Alex Drennan, Melissa Metler, Alison Robinson
Photo by Alan Grogan
This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages

In Toronto

May 2, 食盡天下 (A Taste of Empire) at Cahoots Theatre [with a preview on May 1]
May 3, Lulu v.7 // aspects of a femme fatale at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre [with previews from May 1]
May 3, Salmon Girl at Young People's Theatre [with previews from May 1]
May 4, Crazy for You at Scarborough Music Theatre [with a preview on May 3]
May 4, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom at Soulpepper Theatre [in previews]
May 4, Sister Act at Curtain Call Players
May 4, Lion Womxn at The AMY Project

In Central Ontario

May 2, Closer than Ever at Kempenfelt Community Players (Barrie)
May 4, The Birds and the Bees at Theatre Orangeville [with a preview on May 3]
May 4, Calendar Girls at Huronia Players (Midland)
May 4, Romeo & Juliet at Northumberland Players (Cobourg)

In Eastern Ontario

May 2, Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily at Ottawa Little Theatre
May 4, Up to Low at National Arts Centre—English Theatre (Ottawa) [with previews from May 1]

In South Central Ontario

May 2, Perfect Wedding at Markham Little Theatre
ONstage Now Playing in Central Ontario
The Addams Family at Peterborough Theatre Guild

In Southwestern Ontario

May 3, Blithe Spirit at Theatre Tillsonburg
May 3, Grand Hotel at Shaw Festival (Niagara-on-the-Lake) [in previews]
May 4, The Death of Me / My Narrator at Aylmer Community Theatre [with a preview on May 3]
May 4, Bare Bear Bones at London Community Players [with a preview on May 3]
May 4, Is He Dead? at Elora Community Theatre (Fergus)
May 4, To Kill a Mockingbird at Stratford Festival [in previews]
May 5, Long Day's Journey into Night at Stratford Festival [in previews]

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, 27 April 2018

Ontario Off Stage

by Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager

Conversation Starters



Behind the Scenes at Ontario’s Theatres



TO Toasts



In Case You Missed It

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Welcome to Lisa Codrington as Theatre Ontario Festival 2018 Playwright-in-Person

Theatre Ontario Festival 2018 is excited to welcome Lisa Codrington as “Playwright-in-Person” at this year’s Festival. Lisa will be reading from her work on Friday, May 18 at 1:30pm at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel & Suites in London.

Lisa Codrington is a Toronto-based actor and writer. Her writing has been produced in Toronto, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Winnipeg and Barbados, and has been published by Playwrights Canada Press, McGraw-Hill Ryerson and in Canadian Theatre Review. Select writing credits include Up the Garden Path, The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God?, The Aftermath, The Colony and Cast Iron, which was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama. Lisa is a recipient of the Carol Bolt Award for Playwrights and the K.M. Hunter Theatre Award. She has been playwright-in-residence at a number of theatres, including Canadian Stage, Nightwood Theatre, the Blyth Festival and the Shaw Festival.

Playwright-in-Person has been part of Theatre Ontario Festival since 1999. The program brings professional playwrights to Festival communities for script readings, Q&A, and more. Playwright-in-Person is made possible by a grant from the Playwrights Guild of Canada’s “Play Connect” program, funded by the Canada Council.

We are also excited to welcome Playwrights Canada Press who will be bringing plays for sale on Friday and Saturday of Festival, with their usual Festival discount—30% off one or two books, 50% off for three or more.

Theatre Ontario Festival is our annual celebration of community theatre in the province. It’s a showcase of outstanding community theatre productions, a symposium for passionate and dedicated community theatre artists, a celebration of excellence in community theatre, and a destination bringing together theatre lovers from across the province. Festival 2018 is hosted by London Community Players, in partnership with Theatre Ontario and the Western Ontario Drama League.


Wednesday, 25 April 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

  • Deadlines to apply for Ontario Arts Council grants include Théâtre – projets francophones (today) and Northern Arts Projects (May 2).
  • Shadowpath Theatre Productions “Into the Woods We Write” for writers 18+ is on April 28.
  • Deadline for proposals from emerging artists, designers, urbanists, envionmentalists, and community organizations for The Bentway’s Community Incubation Program in Toronto is April 29.
  • Deadline for playwright and director submissions for the Very Useful Theatre Company’s York Region Festival of One-Act Plays is April 30.
  • Deadline to apply for Toronto Arts Council’s Newcomer and Refugee Artist Mentorship is May 1.
  • Deadline for submissions for Thatz Showbiz Theatre Project’s “3 Plays in 30 Days” in Thornhill for youth is May 1.

New on The Bulletin Board

  • Aspiring Canadian Writers invites submissions for their Musical Theatre Play, Act One Critique program from musical theatre writers with scripts for original shows that have not been workshopped or produced.

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, 24 April 2018

Warming Up for the Summer Season

by Rachel Kennedy, Professional Theatre and Education Manager

I know what you’re thinking – “Rachel, there is still snow on the ground, I can’t possibly start musing about summer plans already…” – but believe it or not, sunny skies and picnic lunches are coming your way sooner than you think! Ontario Summer Theatres (OST) have been hard at work preparing their 2018 seasons and trust me, you don’t want to miss what they have in store!

After our AGM last fall one thing was abundantly clear; exciting things are happening on summer stages across Ontario. In an effort to promote even more great Canadian talent we have expanded our membership and welcomed three new members joining us for 2018, Tweed & Company Theatre, Festival Players of Prince Edward County and Stone Fence Theatre! This brings our membership up to 19 companies and 25 locations across Southern Ontario from Morrisburg to Port Stanley, and up to Killaloe in the north.

Many of these companies have opted into our annual Port-To-Port deal, which boasts a 10% discount on regular priced tickets when you present a ticket stub from another participating theatre (because we all know that two shows are better than one). A notable exception is Driftwood Theatre, and with good reason – their shows are already free to public audiences!

Our members have scheduled musicals, mysteries, tear-jerkers and knee-slappers to keep the good times rolling this summer. They have even sprinkled in a number of world premieres for those of you who’ve already seen it all and are hungry for more great Canadian stories. 

Whether you’re in the Ottawa Valley or Huron County, we’ve got a summer packed with laughter, drama, and undeniable entertainment. So be sure to check out our OST Theatre Map to find companies in your region, peruse highlights and travel tips for each company on our Blog, or visit our Theatre Info page to check out individual season offerings!

Our OST members are:
4th Line Theatre (Millbrook) 
Blyth Festival (Blyth)
Cameco Capitol Arts Centre (Port Hope) 
Drayton Entertainment (Cambridge / Drayton / Grand Bend / Penetanguishene / St. Jacobs) 
Driftwood Theatre Group (touring)
Festival Players of Prince Edward County (Wellington)
The Foster Festival (St. Catharines) 
Globus Theatre (Bobcaygeon)
Gravenhurst Opera House (Gravenhurst)
Highlands Summer Festival (Haliburton)
Lighthouse Festival Theatre (Port Dover)
Orillia Opera House (Orillia)
Port Stanley Festival Theatre (Port Stanley)
Shaw Festival (Niagara-on-the-Lake)
Stone Fence Theatre (Killaloe)
Thousand Islands Playhouse (Gananoque)
Tweed & Company Theatre (Tweed)
Upper Canada Playhouse (Morrisburg)
Westben Arts Festival Theatre (Campbellford)

Monday, 23 April 2018

ONstage Openings for the week of April 23

ONstage Now Playing in Central Ontario
Guys and Dolls at VOS Theatre (Cobourg)
This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages

In Southwestern Ontario

Apr. 26, All My Sons at St. Marys Community Players
Apr. 27, The Rocky Horror Show at Stratford Festival [in previews]
Apr. 27, Twelve Angry Men at Elmira Theatre Company

In Toronto

Apr. 26, Selfie at Young People's Theatre [with previews from Apr. 23]
Apr. 26, There Goes the Bride at NAGs Players
Apr. 27, Perfect Wedding at The Village Players, Bloor West Village
Apr. 27, Stellabration at ACT II Studio Theatre

In Central Ontario

Apr. 27, The Addams Family at Peterborough Theatre Guild

ONstage Now Playing in Southwestern Ontario
Chariots of Fire at The Grand Theatre (London)
The running ensemble
Photo by Christina Kuefner

In Eastern Ontario

Apr. 24, Opry Gold at Upper Canada Playhouse (Morrisburg)
Apr. 26, Gracie at Great Canadian Theatre Company (Ottawa) [with previews from Apr. 24]
Apr. 26, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest at Domino Theatre (Kingston)
Apr. 27, Butterflies are Free at Smiths Falls Community Theatre
Apr. 29, Steel Magnolias at Rural Root Theatre Company (Constance Bay)

In South Central Ontario

Apr. 28, sweaty and soulful at Shadowpath Theatre Productions (Thornhill)

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, 20 April 2018

Ontario Off Stage

by Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager

Conversation Starters

Equity in Theatre Symposium

Behind the Scenes at Ontario’s Theatres


TO Toasts


In Case You Missed It

Thursday, 19 April 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.

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: Darwin Lyons

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

Darwin Lyons trained in directing with Ravi Jain at Why Not Theatre in Toronto

(March 23, 2018)  This is a blog post about my thoughts after assistant directing Animal Farm, the play, written by Anthony MacMahon and directed by Ravi Jain. Animal Farm tells the tale of human adults, dressed in farm animal costumes, arguing about equality and equity in the political landscape of neoliberalism. The main response from people leaving the theatre is, “I have never seen anything like that in my life.” Some of those people said that with joy, some said it with a fire lit inside of them to start a revolution, some said it with confusion, and some said it with discomfort.

Anthony’s adaptation takes the rhetoric and tone of the novel and applies it to our time. Animal Farm is the closest thing I have seen to Epic Theatre in Toronto. Epic Theatre is Brecht’s idea of theatre as a tool to distance, and alienate the audience. I’ve always understood this to mean making an audience think as well as feel, to disorient them by not giving them catharsis. (Brecht scholars can contact me to point out the inaccuracies of my interpretation at ArguringAboutExactlyWhatDeadPeopleMeantIsOfNoInterestToMe@yahoo.com). Animal Farm brings us in and makes us feel, then pulls us away and makes us think. The modulated voices and rhetoric distance us and make us think about current political partisanship; but the sweet characters and hilarious jokes pull us in and make us feel. This push and pull can be unsettling. We are rarely unsettled in the theatre. We are familiar with being entertained, saddened, catharted, or disappointed but not unsettled. So what do audiences do with this feeling? Audiences are reacting differently with the feeling of being unsettled, and we can learn a lot about ourselves from how we deal with that feeling.

Animal Farm asks us to look at privilege. It asks us to look at how tempting it is to take glutinous care of ourselves while ignoring others’ starving. It asks us to see how easy it is to tell ourselves that we have power because we worked for it, not because it was handed to us through genetics and chance. It shows us how a lack of stability mixed with a lack of political and emotional education creates angry and dangerous masses. Animal Farm asks us to confront what makes our world, right now, unlivable for some and exorbitant for others.

Jennifer Villaverde, Raquel Duffy,
Michaela Washburn, Leah Cherniak.
Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann
In order to be sustainable, theatre needs to exist in capitalism. It is supposed to sell and make people want to come back and buy more tickets. Artists need people to buy their art, otherwise they won’t be able to survive and they won’t be able to make more art. Comedies sell well because they make us feel good, and we know what to expect. Tragedies sell well because they give us catharsis, and again we know what to expect. But if art has to be entertainment, and entertainment has to have a bottom line, can art ever explore areas of humanity beyond the binaries? I think it’s really cool that Animal Farm is so unsettling and is presented on such a large platform. I think it’s cool because I find our current world unsettling. I think art can be many different things, I think it can entertain, it can teach me and it can stir me to change. It can also placate me and allow me to tune out the world around me. How do we reconcile art that unsettles, with art that needs to inspire audiences to spend more money?

Besides Animal Farm I have rarely seen an audience listening so intently but without unified reactions. What I mean is that usually when an audience is on the edge of their seat they all laugh together, gasp together, or cry together. In the case of Animal Farm the audience is listening, but one person will laugh uproariously while another gasps in fear. What this is teaching me is that the push and pull of Epic Theatre is different for each person. One person might laugh at the satire of the one percent, and another might feel attacked. I think this push and pull is what is valuable. This push and pull makes me question my reactions, it makes me question what makes me unsettled. That feeling of being unsettled can make me put my head in the sand, or can make me ask myself: why do I want to feel placated? Do I want to live in a world that is full of selfishness and hate? Do I want to be full of selfishness and hate? I think that from that push and pull, from witnessing what my fellow audience members laugh and gasp at, we can push forward our conversations about our world.

Animal Farm looks at two revolutions, one against a tyrannical farmer and one against an oppressed pig turned oppressor. The second revolution, which we (spoiler alert) don’t see the aftermath of, is the most interesting to me because it teases at the revolutions needed of our time. As an artist, I struggle with ending a play on a question mark. Sometimes I think a question mark is the most useful because it asks the audience to come to their own conclusions. Sometimes I think as artists we need to offer alternative options. Animal Farm’s ending is really unsettling to me, I think because it is the revolution being asked of us now and I don’t know what would come next. We didn’t know what would come after Monarchy, but we fought for something better. What we have now is still oppressive and unequal, so what can we do to change it?

The ensemble of Animal Farm at Soulpepper Theatre
Photo by Cylla von Tiedmann
It is interesting to watch audiences take in Animal Farm, and then process it in conversations about Trump and Doug Ford at intermission. This play is so close to our life (maybe minus some pig costumes). What audiences are teaching me about this play is that we are in a new political moment. Epic Theatre was created in moments of need for political upheaval. Epic Theatre tried to make its audience wake up, to see their current circumstances with new eyes and then take action. As I read the news these days, I try to play a simple game with myself. The game is: how will this period in time be taught in history classes of the future? What will 15-year-old students think when they hear that the United States voted in an admitted sexual assaulter and white supremacist? Will they be baffled when they hear that we knew about global warming but didn’t stop filling landfills? What will young law students say when they study the cases of Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine? Will they be appalled by how we allowed these injustices to happen? I hope so. I hope the generations of the future will think us horrendous. But more than that I hope that that we are at a turning point as a society. I hope we are beginning to wake up and that we will use this “awakeness” to make an equitable world, to have our own Animal Revolution.

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: Cole Alvis

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

Cole Alvis training in directing with Nina Lee Aquino at Theatre Passe Muraille in Tkarón:to


(February 27, 2018) One of my responsibilities as Assistant Director of The Drawer Boy by Michael Healey at Theatre Passe Muraille is to write the land acknowledgement. It is my preference for this protocol to be spoken aloud prior to a performance by a leader from the theatre or artist connected with the work.

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre’s Dramaturge and Rhubarb Festival Director Mel Hauge speaks her acknowledgement over 20 times between both venues during the two-week festival. This commitment to addressing each audience is not always possible for performance venues and arts leaders often resulting in well-intentioned yet uninformed staff members speaking the obligatory words with cursory knowledge of the protocol and its meaning to the organization and/or the artists about to perform.

Nina Lee Aquino is the Artistic Director of Factory Theatre and for the recent run of Bang Bang by Kat Sandler requested Donna-Michelle St. Bernard and Kwaku Okyere write a recognition of the territories connecting the art on the stage with their understanding of this protocol. This acknowledgement was prerecorded, treated with a sound design to ensure artistry and incorporated into the opening moments of the production. Artists are moving this protocol forward to ensure there is context and a personal touch linking this action (recognizing territories) and the forthcoming production.

We are following suit for The Drawer Boy and Ojibway actor and comedian Craig Lauzon joined me recording the protocol complemented by sound design from Michelle Bensimon. It is important for this production (with Craig playing Angus) that people consider the original caretakers of the territories where Theatre Passe Muraille sits along with those where the quintessential Canadian play The Farm Show (inspiration for The Drawer Boy) took place. Through my work with Falen Johnson (Mohawk) and Jill Carter (Anishinaabe-Ashkenazi) I have learned how to recognize the territories here in Tkarón:to. Resources that supported my search for the original caretakers of what is now Clinton, ON include: 


I share these websites as resources for others looking to craft their own land acknowledgments and encourage you to consider âpihtawikosisân’s perspective in this article to ensure you move forward in a good way.

Here is the text for the pre-recorded land acknowledgement at our production of The Drawer Boy by Michael Healey at Theatre Passe Muraille (Feb. 28 - March 25, 2018):

Lauzon: (introduce yourself in your language) My name is Craig Lauzon. I’m an Ojibway actor playing Angus in this production.
Alvis: And my name is Cole Alvis, I’m a Métis artist and the assistant director.
Lauzon: We recognize the original peoples of this territory: the Haudenosaunee, Wendat and Mississauga Anishinaabe nations.
Alvis: The Drawer Boy by Michael Healey is set on a farm near what’s now called Clinton, Ontario. The original and ongoing caretakers of that area are the Haudenosaunee, Odawa and Anishinabek peoples.
Lauzon: We are grateful to the elders, water protectors and language keepers of these territories past, present and future.
Alvis: Stories have been told here since time immemorial and we recognize their power to move and transform.
Lauzon: This play is about storytelling and we invite you to learn about the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant that continues to govern these territories today. 
Alvis: There is one intermission in this performance. Out of respect for the actors please dim and silence your phones. Photography and video is not permitted. 
Lauzon: Meegwetch for attending our production of The Drawer Boy in celebration of Theatre Passe Muraille’s fiftieth season on these lands and waterways.

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: Sabah Haque

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

Sabah Haque begins training in artistic producing with Tom Arthur Davis and Jivesh Parasram at Pandemic Theatre in Toronto, Vancouver BC, and Victoria BC


(April 10, 2018)  I. Am. STOKED. Working with Jiv and Tom over the past year has been fun, and full of discoveries. To travel with The Only Good Indian, the first show we’ve worked on together, with THE Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, who’s always keeping it real, is a seemingly small but GIANT dream come true. I have never been to the west coast, so that in itself is thrilling. But to go to the west coast to work on theatre with three of the coolest, authentic, daring, and pleasant artists I know? Do I know a word to describe that?

I’ve already booked my travel and accommodations. I have an uncle and cousin who live in Vancouver—already planned to have lunch. My friend visited Vancouver over the summer and sent me Snapchats of his adventures—already planning to send those same snaps. I am meeting with Kristina from Generator, and Jiv and Tom this week to chat about the west-coast-based artists I am to meet—already day-dreaming about those coffee meet-cutes instead of doing my job. I get to meet MORE cool, authentic, daring artists. #FanGirl

I am looking forward to learning more about touring, experiencing that touring life, and to continue to contribute to The Only Good Indian. I imagine I will be spilling an endless stream of questions, sharing lots of laughter, and wrestling with the challenges of facilitating long table discussions and navigating QLab. I am looking forward to being someone Tom, Jiv and Donna-Michelle can rely on while they focus on their performance. I am looking forward to meeting new people, asking new questions, and making my world bigger.

The only thing that really expresses how I feel about this program is the triumphant cackles that rumble from my gut. Happens every few hours. They conclude with a grin and leave a warm feeling in my sappy heart, just like a slice-of-life anime.

Thank you so much for supporting this phase of my training with Pandemic Theatre.

Until next time

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: Andrea Scott

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

Andrea Scott training in producing with David Auster at the Stratford Festival

(April 3, 2018)  Well, I made it. We are at the official six-week point of my tenure at the Stratford Festival supported by Theatre Ontario’s PTTP program, and the Ontario Arts Council. I arrived on February 20 and had no idea if I would enjoy the experience of being a student again. But what was I thinking? I loved school, and being mentored by David Auster, the best producer at the largest theatre company in the country, is incredible.

ted witzel
On my first day at the Stratford Festival I was given a desk in the Director’s Office. I was seated next to ted witzel (who is being mentored in Leadership by Artistic Director, Antoni Cimolino), a wonderful person to bounce ideas off of as they pertain to the intricacies of theatre production. The first couple of weeks had me sitting at my desk, kind of working on my own projects guiltily while waiting to hear from David or Bonnie. Eventually I realized that it made complete sense for me to continue building and nurturing my own projects while absorbing producing knowledge from my mentors.

I treat my mentorship like a full-time job, even though I’ve been told that I’m not obligated to be in the office every day. But I like the routine of working on something, anything, theatre-related every single day. It has served me well. Initially I would be pulled into meetings David would have with different department heads where they would discuss issues that I would have to figure out myself when I was producing a show: how far in advance to begin promotion, how much on-line, in print, and on social media; where will we source xyz if this is the cap on how much we can spend; how did we do last year compared to this year and what can we do differently? Like a sentient mushroom, I sit in the room, absorbing every nuanced discussion about the business of making art.

Since my arrival I have learned about Strategic Planning for the future, audience retention, marketing, how last year’s sales compare to this year’s, how important the ‘Not in Our Space’ initiative is to the company, and had an opportunity to observe the wardrobe and props department creating whimsy and magic out of textiles and zip ties. Everyone at the festival has made me feel very comfortable and welcome. My calendar is full of meeting invites from multiple departments so I’m not just getting an education in producing; I am getting a comprehensive overview of every area in the theatre that makes the season a success.

But let me be clear: I’m a black woman in a mainly all-white space. I spoke up about diversity in a meeting two weeks ago and it was terrifying. I am not a Stratford employee and many of the people at the meeting were very important. Kamala Harris is a politician and lawyer serving as a junior US Senator. She is also black and been subjected to some of the worst dog whistle politics you can imagine in this current administration. On March 19, she wrote, ‘My advice to black girls everywhere: whenever you find yourselves in a room where there are lots of people who don’t look like you—be it a classroom, a boardroom, or a courtroom—remember you have an entire community in that room with you, all of us cheering you on.’ I heard these words in my head when, heart racing and voice shaking, I spoke up; women of colour need to speak up in rooms where the marginalized rarely get a voice.

Jennifer Palmieri, communications director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, and author of Dear Madam President: An Open letter to the Women Who Will Run the World, speaks to the fact that concept of women in powerful leadership positions in business and politics is still a radical idea for a patriarchal society. Adding race to that equation makes the obstacles seem even more insurmountable but I have been invited to sit in the rooms and asked to speak. I’m not in Strategic meetings out of politeness and I need to get over my own fear of sounding stupid or, heaven forbid, making people feel uncomfortable. Discomfort is useful, and if my presence disrupts spaces in a way that moves ideas forward then I will take advantage of this unique opportunity that I manifested for myself a year ago. Palmieri says it best, ‘If you inhibit yourself, you’re not just inhibiting yourself, you’re robbing everyone else of your perspective, and if you don’t look like everyone else, and if you’re one of a few women in the meeting…your perspective matters more, not less.’

B.J. the Swan for
the Stratford Swan Parade
My last six weeks at the Stratford Festival will be about taking up space, speaking up, and going to the Swan Parade on April 8. I will conduct research in the mornings, brainstorm with administrative staff at lunch, and write in the evenings, making this the best idea I’ve ever had for my career as a theatre professional in Canada; I could not be happier.

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.

Wednesday, 18 April 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

The Curtain Club in Richmond Hill
invites director submissions
for their 18/19 season
  • Deadline to apply to direct for the 18/19 season at The Curtain Club community theatre’s in Richmond Hill is today.
  • Deadline to apply to direct for the Fireworks Festival at Alumnae Theatre in Toronto is April 20.
  • Ryerson University’s Centre of Free Expression is hosting a community event “Are Arts Funders Starting to Define the Arts” on April 23 in Toronto.
  • The next Paprika Festival Monologue Jam for writers under 30 is April 24 in Toronto.
  • ArtsBuild Ontario is holding a webinar on “Balancing Programming and Space Rentals” for venue operators on April 24.
  • Deadline to apply for Ontario Arts Council Théâtre – projets francophones grants is April 25.

New on The Bulletin Board

  • Scarborough Theatre Guild community theatre invites applications for artistic staff for their 18/19 season.

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, 17 April 2018

Honouring Excellence by Students in Theatre

Do you know an outstanding student who has made a commitment to the drama/theatre community in his/her/their school?

Teachers and schools can honour those students with Theatre Ontario’s Certificate of Excellence—and with commencement season approaching, now is a terrific time for recognition!

Theatre Ontario’s Certificates of Excellence are awarded to an individual who has shown diligence, excellence of participation, and/or outstanding commitment. The person receiving the certificate may have worked as a performer, technician, organizer of the drama club, or may simply have been of great support and encouragement to others, during or after school hours.

Monday, 16 April 2018

ONstage Openings for the week of April 16

ONstage Now Playing in Toronto
The Cemetery Club at Scarborough Theatre Guild
This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages

In Southwestern Ontario

Apr. 17, The Music Man at Stratford Festival [in previews]
Apr. 20, Million Dollar Quartet at Theatre Aquarius (Hamilton) [with previews from Apr. 18]
Apr. 20, Chariots of Fire at The Grand Theatre (London) [with previews from Apr. 17]

In Toronto

Apr. 17, Fun Home at The Musical Stage Company [currently in previews]

In Central Ontario

Apr. 19, Guys and Dolls at VOS Theatre (Cobourg)
Apr. 20, A Comedy of Tenors at Northumberland Players (Cobourg)
ONstage Now Playing in Southwestern Ontario
The Merchant of Venice at Kitchener-Waterloo Little Theatre

In Eastern Ontario

Apr. 20, The Diary of Anne Frank at Brockville Theatre Guild


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

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Congratulations to the Professional Theatre Training Program Spring 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 $42,500 was awarded in total among the following 13 recipients:
  • Thomas Alderson will train in directing with Ashlie Corcoran at Arts Club Theatre Company in Vancouver BC
  • Sehar Bhojani and Brendan McMurtry-Howlett will train in artistic direction with Jillian Keiley at the National Arts Centre of Canada in Ottawa
  • Logan Raju Cracknell will train in lighting design with David DeGrow at Cahoots in Toronto and on tour
  • Sabah Haque will train in artistic producing with Tom Arthur Davis and Jivesh Parasram at Pandemic Theatre in Toronto, Vancouver BC, and Victoria BC
  • Christine Horne will train in directing with Eda Holmes at Canadian Stage in Toronto
  • Taryn Jorgenson will train in directing with Richard Rose at Tarragon Theatre in Toronto
  • Stephanie Kast will train in writing and producing with Joshua Bainbridge in North Bay
  • Tijiki Morris is training in directing with Erin Brubacher at Aga Khan in Toronto
  • Scott Emerson Moyle will train in intimacy direction with Tonia Sina at Intimacy Directors International in Toronto and Chicago USA
  • Nancy Anne Perrin will train in design for opera with Michael Gianfrancesco at the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto
  • Samyuktha Punthambekar will train in arts management with Mitchell Marcus at Musical Stage Company in Toronto
  • Julia Tribe will train in community engaged theatre and performing arts with Ruth Howard at Jumblies Theatre in Toronto
  • Anne White will train in directing and artistic direction with Adam Paolozza at Bad New Days in Toronto

Over $98,000 was requested during this application round. The next application deadline for this program is October 1, 2018.

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.

Wednesday, 11 April 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 Performing Artists" workshop
Check out all of our upcoming Career Stream and Creator Stream workshops.

Upcoming on The Bulletin Board

  • Deadline to apply for Festival Players of Prince Edward County’s Academy for Young Actor Training is April 13.
  • Deadline for nominations for TAPA's Dora Ancillary Awards (The Silver Ticket and the Leonard McHardy and John Harvey Award for Leadership in Administration) is April 16.
  • Deadline to apply to direct for the 18/19 season at The Curtain Club community theatre’s in Richmond Hill is April 18.
  • Deadline to apply to direct for the Fireworks Festival at Alumnae Theatre in Toronto is April 20.

New on The Bulletin Board

  • Theatre Direct is hosting a workshop on “Creating Theatre for Very Young Audiences” as part of the WeeFestival in Toronto from May 14 to 18.

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, 10 April 2018

Welcome Toronto Irish Players and Ottawa Little Theatre to Theatre Ontario Festival 2018

Toronto Irish Players' production of Little Gem
Theatre Ontario is thrilled to welcome the final two productions that will perform at Theatre Ontario Festival 2018 in London. These productions are chosen from Ontario’s regional community theatre festivals, and are a showcase of outstanding community theatre from across the province.

On Thursday, May 17, the Toronto Irish Players return to Festival with their production of Little Gem by Elaine Murphy. Representing the Association of Community Theatres—Central Ontario (ACT-CO), and chosen as Best Production in the Comedy category at the ACT-CO Festival by adjudicator Heather Dick, Toronto Irish Players were the recipients of last year’s Elsie Award for Outstanding Festival Production.

On Saturday, May 19, Ottawa Little Theatre will present Dead Accounts by Theresa Rebeck, representing the Eastern Ontario Drama League. This show was chosen as Best Production in the EODL Full-Length Festival by adjudicator Bea Quarrie. Ottawa Little Theatre hosted last year’s Theatre Ontario Festival, and last represented EODL at Festival in 2005.

As previously announced, Theatre Ontario Festival 2018 will feature detailed adjudications with Maja Ardal, a Voice and Movement workshop led by Dan Ebbs, a Playwright-in-Person reading, and awards and parties celebrating community theatre in Ontario.
Ottawa Little Theatre's production of Dead Accounts

The annual Theatre Ontario Festival is a showcase of outstanding community theatre productions; a classroom for passionate, dedicated community theatre artists; a celebration of excellence in community theatre; and a destination bringing together theatre lovers from across the province. Theatre Ontario Festival 2018 runs May 16 to 20, and is hosted by London Community Players, in partnership with Theatre Ontario and the Western Ontario Drama League.

Join us at Theatre Ontario Festival 2018

Monday, 9 April 2018

ONstage Openings for the week of April 9

This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages
ONstage Now Playing in Toronto
The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Alexander Showcase Theatre

In South Central Ontario

Apr. 12, The Attic, the Pearls and Three Fine Girls at Theatre Aurora
Apr. 12, The Dixie Swim Club at Whitby Courthouse Theatre
Apr. 13, Boxed In at Georgetown Little Theatre
Apr. 13, Hilda's Yard at Theatre Burlington

In Southwestern Ontario

Apr. 11, Stage Kiss at Shaw Festival (Niagara-on-the-Lake) [in previews]
Apr. 12, The Merchant of Venice at Kitchener-Waterloo Little Theatre
Apr. 13, Exit Laughing at Theatre Sarnia

In Toronto

ONstage Now Playing in Southwestern Ontario
Heroes at Players' Guild of Hamilton
Steve O'Brien, Michael Hannigan, Erik Peters
Photo by Lynne Jamieson
Apr. 9, Risky Phil at Young People's Theatre
Apr. 10, Fear and Misery of The Third Reich at George Brown Theatre School
Apr. 10, Take d Milk, Nah? at Theatre Passe Muraille
Apr. 11, The Provoked Wife at George Brown Theatre School
Apr. 12, Mouthpiece from Nightwood Theatre at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre [with a preview on Apr. 11]
Apr. 13, Fun Home at The Musical Stage Company
Apr. 13, Queen Marie at Alumnae Theatre Company

In Central Ontario

Apr. 10, Jonas and Barry in the Home at Port Hope Festival Theatre
Apr. 12, Harvest Moon Rising at South Simcoe Theatre (Cookstown)

In Eastern Ontario

Apr. 12, Sal Capone: The Lamentable Tragedy of at National Arts Centre—English Theatre (Ottawa) [with previews from Apr. 10]


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

Friday, 6 April 2018

Ontario Off Stage

by Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager

Conversation Starters

Theatre Ontario Staff and Members of
the Youth Advisory Committee on World Theatre Day
  • Thanks to everyone who joined us on World Theatre Day.  You can catch up with the recording of the Facebook Live broadcast (autoplays), and the snapd photo gallery.
  • New data from People for Education show that, despite the widely recognized importance of arts education, equitable access to arts programs and resources is an ongoing challenge for Ontario’s schools. Students in small and rural schools, in schools with higher levels of poverty, and in schools with lower levels of parental education are less likely to have access to learning opportunities in the arts. You can also read media reports from the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, and the CBC (autoplays).

Behind the Scenes at Ontario’s Theatres


In Case You Missed It

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Join Us at Our "Movement and Voice" Workshop at Theatre Ontario Festival 2018 in London

Dan Ebbs
Theatre Ontario will be hosting a free “Movement and Voice” workshop with Dan Ebbs as part of Theatre Ontario Festival 2018 for participants eager to enhance their skills.

Dan’s workshop will focus on body dynamic, finding characters instinctively, personalized warm-ups, mime, natural body resonance, and enunciation.

Theatre Ontario Festival is a showcase of outstanding community theatre productions, a symposium for passionate, dedicated community theatre artists, a celebration of excellence in community theatre, and a destination bringing together theatre lovers from across the province. Festival 2018 runs May 16 to 20 in London.

Learn more about our Theatre Ontario Festival 2018 Movement and Voice Workshop

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Browsing Our Bulletin Board

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

Coming Up from Theatre Ontario

Grant Writing Information Session
Check out all of our upcoming Career Stream and Creator Stream workshops.

Upcoming on The Bulletin Board

  • Deadlines for applications for Ontario Arts Council grants (Arts Organizations in Communities and Schools: Operating, Major Organizations: Operating, Multi and Inter-Arts Organizations: Operating, and National and International Residency Projects) is today, with Arts Service Projects on Apr. 10.
  • Deadline for nominations for the Mallory Gilbert Leadership Award from PACT, the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres, is April 6.
  • The Council of Ontario Drama & Dance Educators is holding a Directing Intimacy workshop for secondary school teachers on April 7.
  • Deadline for applications for directors of Markham Little Theatre’s 2018/19 season is April 9.
  • The Canadian Event Safety Summit is on April 11 in Toronto.
  • Deadline to apply for Festival Players of Prince Edward County’s Academy for Young Actor Training is April 13.

New on The Bulletin Board

  • Shadowpath Theatre Productions “Into the Woods We Write” workshops are coming up on Apr. 28 (ages 18+) and May 26 (ages 14-18) in Richmond Hill.

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