Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Browsing Our Bulletin Board

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

Coming Up from Theatre Ontario

  • Take your training to new heights at our Summer Theatre Intensive courses for performers, directors, teachers, and creators, running August 5 to 10, and August 12 to 17 in Stratford. Register by June 22.

Upcoming on The Bulletin Board

  • Deadline for applications for Ontario Arts Council’s Artists in Communities and Schools Project grants is June 20 and Touring Projects grants is June 28.
  • The Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of America annual conference is being held in Toronto beginning June 21.
  • Deadline for applications for Prologue to the Performing Arts Roster of Artists is June 22.
  • Deadline for nominations for Native Women in the Arts’ Barbara Laronde Award is June 22.
  • Deadline for nominations for Buddies in Bad Times’ Queer Emerging Artist Award is June 29.
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, 18 June 2018

ONstage Openings for the week of June 18

ONstage Now Playing in Central Ontario
Fiddler on the Roof at Cameco Capitol Arts Centre (Port Hope)
This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages

In Toronto

Jun. 22, Night of Vintage Radio Plays at The Village Players, Bloor West Village

In Eastern Ontario

Jun. 23, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story at Thousand Islands Playhouse (Gananoque) [with a preview on Jun. 22]
Jun. 23, There's Always Juliet at Classic Theatre Festival (Perth) [with a preview on Jun. 22]

In Southwestern Ontario

ONstage Now Playing in Southwestern Ontario
The Tempest at Stratford Festival
Martha Henry, Michael Blake
Photography by David Hou
Jun. 21, Brontë: The World Without at Stratford Festival [currently in previews]
Jun. 21, Canada 151: Better Late than Sorry at Drayton Entertainment: Drayton Festival Theatre [with previews from Jun. 20]
Jun. 21, Screwball Comedy at Lighthouse Festival Theatre (Port Dover) [with previews from Jun. 20]
Jun. 22, Coriolanus at Stratford Festival [currently in previews]
Jun. 22, The New Canadian Curling Club at Blyth Festival [with previews from Jun. 20]
Jun. 22, The Rainmaker at Drayton Entertainment: St. Jacobs Country Playhouse [with previews from Jun. 20]
Jun. 23, O'Flaherty V.C. at Shaw Festival (Niagara-on-the-Lake) [currently in previews] 
Jun. 23, The Orchard (After Chekhov) at Shaw Festival (Niagara-on-the-Lake) [currently in previews]
Jun. 24, The Baroness and the Pig at Shaw Festival (Niagara-on-the-Lake) [currently in previews]


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

Friday, 15 June 2018

Ontario Off Stage

The 2018 Ontario Summer Theatre season is underway!
From The Shaw Festival
Stephen Fry in Mythos: A Trilogy - Gods. Heroes. Men.
Photo by David Cooper. 
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, 14 June 2018

Save the Date for Theatre Ontario Festival 2019 in Richmond Hill

Theatre Ontario Festival is an annual destination for theatre-lovers from across the province. Next year we travel to Richmond Hill for Theatre Ontario Festival 2019, running May 15 to 19, 2019. Festival will be hosted by The Curtain Club, in partnership with Theatre Ontario and the Association of Community Theatres—Central Ontario (ACT-CO). The Curtain Club previously hosted Festivals in Richmond Hill (2011) and Newmarket (1999).

Theatre Ontario Festival showcases outstanding community theatre productions from across the province, chosen from regional festivals that run from October 2018 to March 2019. Achievements in community theatre are celebrated with artistic awards, and with the Michael Spence Award for Outstanding Contribution to Community Theatre.

Festival also features detailed adjudications open to all Festival attendees, workshops, and play readings that bring together Canadian playwrights and communities. Festival is one of the province’s premiere educational experiences for dedicated community theatre artists.

Wednesday, 13 June 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 Summer Theatre Intensive
  • We invite newcomers across the province to apply for our Summer Theatre Intensive Parsai Immigration Scholarship, sending two newcomer artists to train at one of our Summer Courses in Stratford free of charge. The application deadline is June 15.
  • We invite youth across the province to apply for our Summer Theatre Intensive New Talent Scholarship, aimed at sending a youth artist to train at one of our Summer Courses in Stratford free of charge. The application deadline is June 15.
  • Take your training to new heights at our Summer Theatre Intensive courses for performers, directors, teachers, and creators, running August 5 to 10, and August 12 to 17 in Stratford. Register by June 22.

Upcoming on The Bulletin Board

  • Deadline for applications from producers for the RISER Project in Toronto is June 15.
  • Deadline for applications for Ontario Arts Council’s Chalmers Arts Fellowship grants is June 19 and for Artists in Communities and Schools Project grants is June 20.
  • The Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of America annual conference is being held in Toronto beginning June 21.
  • Deadline for applications for Prologue to the Performing Arts Roster of Artists is June 22.
  • Deadline for nominations for Native Women in the Arts’ Barbara Laronde Award is June 22.

New on The Bulletin Board

  • George F. Walker is hosting his next weekly acting workshop beginning July 16 (with applications due on July 9).

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, 12 June 2018

Seeking Community Theatres Willing to Host Trial Adjudications

Theatre Ontario's 2018 Introduction to Adjudication class
At Theatre Ontario Festival 2018 in London, we completed our fourth “Introduction to Adjudication” course. Now the students, fresh off their intensive study of adjudication techniques, are looking for opportunities to practice their skills.

We are now looking for community theatres willing to host these Trial Adjudications. There are some administrative requirements for theatres: we need seats and space—and most importantly we need an enthusiastic, open-minded attitude. If you think this is a fit for your community theatre, let us know!

Monday, 11 June 2018

ONstage Openings for the week of June 11

ONstage Now Playing in Eastern Ontario
It's Your Funeral at Upper Canada Playhouse (Morrisburg)
Zoe Sweet, Derek Moran, Aidan DeSalaiz
This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages

In Southwestern Ontario

Jun. 14, Kings and Queens of Country at Drayton Entertainment: Huron Country Playhouse (Grand Bend) [with previews from Jun. 13]

In Central Ontario

Jun. 12, Souvenir at Gravenhurst Opera House

In Eastern Ontario

Jun. 15, The Great Kooshog Lake Hollis McCauley Fishing Derby at Smiths Falls Community Theatre


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

Friday, 8 June 2018

Ontario Off Stage

by Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager

Conversation Starters


Behind the Scenes at Ontario’s Theatres

The outdoor summer theatre season starts soon.
The 2017 4th Line Theatre (Millbrook) production of
The History of Drinking in Cavan
Robert Winslow, Shelley Simester and the cast
Photo by Wayne Eardley

TO Toasts


In Case You Missed It

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Welcome to Our Newest Members of the Talent Bank of Adjudicators and Instructors

The Theatre Ontario Talent Bank of Adjudicators and Instructors is a program to match organizations (particularly community theatres and educational organizations) with professional theatre teachers and trainers for workshops, adjudications, and short-term consulting contracts.

We are pleased to welcome the newest addition to our Talent Bank for 2018.

Lee Bolton (Instructor of Administration and Audience Development)

Lee has three decades’ experience in Canadian theatre. She trained as a theatre maker at York University and the University of Leeds, and has been Artistic Director of Second Mile Theatre (Toronto) Yukon Educational Theatre (Whitehorse) and Silk Purse Theatre (Vancouver and Saint John). Lee has taught acting and movement to aspiring professionals at Vancouver’s William Davis Centre, and in workshops to groups including seniors, children, prison inmates and business professionals. As a theatre maker, she is best known for Larger the Life: The Musical which has been performed in Vancouver and Toronto and toured in British Columbia and Yukon. She is an alumna of the Lincoln Center Directors’ Lab and a veteran of the Vancouver, San Francisco, Fundy and Island Fringe Festivals.

Janet Kish (new in the category of Adjudicator – already a member as an Instructor of Acting and Instructor of Directing Drama)

Joseph Joubert wrote "To teach is to learn twice." This certainly rings true for Janet who has had the privilege of working as a theatre educator for well over three decades. During this time, she has worked with thousands of students exploring the art of acting, directing, theatre design and playwriting. She herself has directed, written and produced dozens of plays over the years. Since retiring from the classroom in 2012, Janet has gone on to working freelance as a dramaturg and mentor with CSARN, an adjudicator for the National Theatre School Drama Festival (Formerly Sears), a drama workshop leader, a jurist for playwriting competitions and a social media content writer for various theatre groups. Her most recent directorial works include The Penelopiad (Theatre Mowat), Antigone (Alumnae Theatre), and With Love and a Major Organ (MDS Canadian Play Festival). Her last script The Kiss was chosen to be one of the plays to be showcased at the Newmarket National Play Festival in 2018. Janet’s other true loves include travel and photography.

Gerrard Morrison (Instructor of Directing Drama)

Gerrard is a theatre graduate of Dalhousie University, Halifax, N.S. as well as a graduate of the Drama in Education Program at the University of Lethbridge, AB. He is a veteran writer, performer as well as theatre educator. Gerrard has worked in all areas of media and theatre arts, specifically directing, writing, performance, and design. He also has experience in radio, film and television, most notably ATV’s Shantytown, winner of two Gold Medal Can-Pro Awards. Gerrard has been a dramatic arts specialist for more than forty years, twenty-five of which were dedicate to Drama in Education in the province of Ontario. He is pleased to continue to inspire and be inspired by the dramatic arts community.

Steve Russell (Adjudicator)

Steve is an experienced actor and director. He has studied at University of Western Ontario, the Banff Centre, the University of Toronto and Second City. He taught Secondary School drama for 30 years and directed three productions (one-act, full-length and musicals) each year. He later became an Additional Qualification Instructor, teaching drama teachers how to teach drama. He has published a book on dramatic arts assessment and was a lead writer of the Ontario Drama curriculum and resources. Steve was the Arts Consultant for his school board, and President of the Council of Ontario Drama and Dance Educators (CODE). His favourite roles were Shrek, in Shrek the Musical and King Arthur in Spamalot. His experiences doing lighting, make-up, sound, mask making, set design, construction and stage management along with his expertise in assessment and onstage make him a uniquely qualified adjudicator.

If you are interested in hiring an adjudicator or workshop leader from Theatre Ontario’s Talent Bank, you can browse our listings online and contact us to be connected with the right instructor for your needs.

Wednesday, 6 June 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 Summer Theatre Intensive
Check out all of our upcoming Career Stream and Creator Stream workshops.

Upcoming on The Bulletin Board

  • Deadline for applications for artistic staff for the 2018/19 season at Scarborough Theatre Guild community theatre is June 7.
  • Shaw Festival’s Bollywood Dance workshops with Krystal Kiran is on June 10.
  • The Musical Stage Company's Annual Tony Awards Viewing Party is on June 10 and Showtunes Karaoke is on June 11.
  • The Canadian Arts Marketing, Development and Ticketing Conference opens June 11.
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, 5 June 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 five 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: Stephanie Graham

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 Graham trained in artistic direction with Mitchell Marcus at Musical Stage Company in Toronto


(April 23, 2018) I began with the Musical Stage Company in early July 2017. After nine months, I have completed my time as the Intern Artistic Director. Thank you again to Mitchell Marcus, everyone at the Musical Stage Company, Theatre Ontario and the PTTP Committee for the support during this period of training. I cannot believe how fast the time has flown. 

Stephanie and the staff of Musical Stage Company
The second half of my internship included assisting on programming and budgeting for the 2018-2019 season as well as finalizing community outreach partners for our 2018 production of FUN HOME. I was able to observe and participate in many meetings regarding future projects and attend the weekly (very collaborative) staff meetings. These meetings will remain some of my favourite moments of the internship. I will truly miss being a part of this team.

Over the course of my internship I have learned so much. I have gained skills in many areas and have also learned that the transferable skills I have as an artist can indeed apply to arts administration. I have grown in being able to articulate a vision and how to present those ideas. 

The importance of community outreach and ancillary programming in the theatre has really been something that I have become passionate about. Hosting a couple of the post-show discussions with our audiences at FUN HOME at the CAA Theatre was one of the great ways to connect with our audience!

Stephanie leading a post-show discussion at FUN HOME
Mitchell Marcus, Artistic and Managing Director of The Musical Stage Company, has been an incredible mentor and I will miss sitting beside him in the office a couple of times per week.

By completing this internship, I am able to answer the question as to whether this was a path that I wanted to pursue in my development as an artist. And the answer is yes! So, I look forward to the next chapter in my career as I pursue opportunities that can lead me to becoming an Artistic Director.

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: ted witzel

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

ted witzel training in artistic direction with antoni cimolino at the stratford festival


(april 19, 2018) i’ve joined the festival during a year of a strategic planning cycle. of all the many aspects of the work i’ve been supporting antoni on, this has been some of the most exciting to me. i’ve had a chance to join in on conversations between all the department heads about shaping a long-term vision for the company. 

we’re assessing the festival’s success in meeting some of the goals set in the last strategic planning cycle (5 years back), and in the process of articulating new goals and directions for the future. central to all of this analysis is a look at box office trends over the last 15 years or so. we’re using this data to set attendance goals and box office targets for the coming 5 years (and beyond).

we’re obviously looking at these numbers partially because box office has a substantial impact on the festival’s operations, but also because it’s a fairly nuts-and-bolts way of looking at the organization’s impact and reach. 

one of the most obvious aspects of the stratford festival as an organization is its size. in people, in budget, and even in physical theatre buildings (an 1800+ seat house is pretty much unheard of, even on broadway). it’s a big machine. 

because of the festival’s size, the conventional not-for-profit balance of revenue streams doesn’t apply—fundraising and box office make up a much larger portion of the festival’s annual budget than most NFP theatres. 

i was especially eager to apprentice at stratford because of its size. not just to see how a machine that big operates, but particularly to see what steps and processes go into figuring out how to motivate such a sizeable audience base to buy tickets and engage with the work.

most theatres belong to local communities. these communities are usually defined by culture, class, or geography. whether you’re looking at the blyth festival, buddies in bad times, or the state theatres in germany, those audience bases tend to have a certain amount of shared culture that the theatres are able to reflect and interrogate through the work they present. 

but at stratford, both the size of the festival and its location mean that it is incumbent on the organization to reach a variety of different constituencies to build a coalition of interested audience members to come and see the work. the amount of overlap in cultural experience the festival can rely on in its audiences is much narrower. 

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these are the conversations i was especially excited to be taking part in because i spend a lot of time thinking about the canadian public’s relationship to live theatre. 

that stratford has to appeal to such a broad coalition of audience bases makes it an especially interesting challenge, especially in canada, where our culture is defined by heterogenity rather than commonality. 

in one of the planning sessions, looking at data from the past 15 years, someone asked the question “what if that’s just the ceiling?”  as in, what if we’ve reached our maximum market share, and there just isn’t a demand beyond the half million (give or take) tickets stratford sells each year?

it’s maybe not the cheeriest question to ask a room full of people who are working to build a beautiful new theatre building but it’s a legitimate one. it’s had me wondering since about the size of arts institutions this country needs. 

it’s generally thought to be poor business practice to accept a given market share and not push beyond it. and i’m not suggesting we should. i’m fundamentally opposed to applying the laws of free-market capitalism to the arts. i don’t think we’re here to maintain a status quo or uphold economic structures that create and reinforce inequality, but we are still subject to economics. 

there’s been a fair bit of talk of “right-sizing” artistic institutions lately. it’s a nice way of saying “we’re being realistic, and responding to shrinking demand by decreasing supply.”  this has happened to a certain extent at canadian stage over the last several years but it’s by no means the only institution to have taken a look in the mirror and asked “given our mandate, how many seats can we reasonably expect to fill?”

sometimes organizations defy the odds, but it usually happens within a bubble. soulpepper is facing a substantial contraction in its operations because its rapid growth was artificial— driven by a cult of personality cultivated by albert schultz among toronto’s affluent. like it or not, audiences and donors were loyal to him. he made people feel good about what it meant to be a part of his theatre. the organization is working hard to redefine itself in the post-schultz era, but its operations are shrinking as it does so. 

is that a bad thing?  i’m not sure. i know i’m upset to see resources lost. less resources, less art, less work in an already challenging economy. but i also wonder how successfully art can be everything to everyone.

we remain a pretty sparsely populated country. there’s always new audiences to be reached, but they are finite, and at a certain point there’s a question of return on investment—how many resources can we responsibly allocate to reaching audiences who don’t yet have an interest in theatre?  would we be better off accepting our market share and focusing on making the best possible work for the audiences that are already within our reach?

i think the answer lies somewhere in the middle. doug saunders points out in his book maximum canada that we have a population deficit in this country—we simply don’t have the consumers and audience members to support the kind of cultural and economic growth we imagine for ourselves. 

#########

stratford has been lucky so far. the organization hasn’t yet needed to drastically “right-size,” nor has it recently contracted in a violent identity crisis. in the last five years attendance is generally trending upward. but can it acquire more?  

everyone certainly hopes so. stratford has a lot going for it—a trusted reputation, a history and iconography, and resources to hire subject matter experts in a way most arts organizations cannot afford. shovels have also gone into the ground to begin work on building a gorgeous new theatre building. 

but there are also a lot of competing factors. a destination theatre in an age of decreasing car ownership, a mandate centred around a fairly european/colonial canon of work in population that is only becoming more diverse, and the ready availability of narrative media on several other more convenient and less demanding platforms.

above all, people seem to be looking to their media to specifically reflect their particular experiences and identities. when stratford tries to balance the interests of so many different audience segments, some will get left behind. 

it’s impossible for the festival to be everything to everyone, and all involved in the strategic planning process are realistic about that. what we’re trying to identify is how we can mean at least something to the most number of people. and to do so we’re examining the kind of work we need to make and the initiatives we can implement to respond to a rapidly shifting culture, where everything from buying habits to dramaturgical idioms are changing. it’s big work. thankfully we’ve got the rest of the year to come up with some ideas and actions. stay tuned. 

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: Julia Tribe

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

Julia Tribe begins training in community-engaged theatre and performing arts with Ruth Howard at Jumblies Theatre in Toronto


(April 23, 2018)  Greeting! It is still early days in my mentorship, but feel a great sense of collaborative spirit from Ruth Howard and all the people at Jumblies Theatre. Ruth is one of Canada’s great visionary community arts leaders; with she and her company’s innovative approach to performance and story-creation very much keeping with my own. In this mentorship I hope to share with Ruth a vision of what the arts can be on an intimate and epic scale, moving beyond myself into a performative roll of shaping the creative unknown. 

My mentorship is divided into two parts: Phase-1, spanning mid-April to July, allowing me to sample a variety of Jumblies’ projects, collaborations, partnerships and co-productions – shadowing Ruth, connecting with other lead artists, participating, assisting, finding creative roles to suit skills and learning goals; Phase-2, a more concentrated time-frame October to November, when I will take on a more creative leadership roles within Jumblies projects and partnerships in self-directed and mentored workshop/initiatives. As to the form this will take, it is yet to be defined but very much interested in exploring story narratives that come out of the diverse population Jumblies Theatre engages; and using the performativity of art-making to explore space and adorn the character through alternative languaging inherent to the community arts. 

I see this partnership as invaluable, allowing me to learn through Ruth’s ease of community engagement, and abilities to link vast ideas of cultural distinction with creative outcomes; to stay personal while holding focus in public address; to write and speak about arts engagement with clarity and passion; and to connect with sustainable company of artist and community members, alive and thriving with potential. 

At a time of career transition, this PTTP grant provides me with the time and context to re-envision my theatre arts practice. It will provide me with guidance and context to explore the merging of my performing arts design background with my new focus on community-engaged arts.

I hope this gives you an idea of the scope of possibilities and look forward to my next report, when I can share more of the detail of what is happening, and how this mentorship is enhancing my learning.

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 begins training in writing and producing with Joshua Bainbridge in North Bay


(May 24, 2018) On June 4th I will begin my mentorship for Writing and Producing with Joshua Bainbridge. I am very excited to be working with someone I respect so highly. This mentorship will be different than others for me, due to the fact that we will be working together one-on-one. Josh is going to assist me in crafting a show and ultimately teach me to successfully produce it.

In the ten weeks of working together, I hope to write a full two-act play, and gain the confidence and ability to produce. I trust that when I am done I can take on a project comfortably, and have the knowledge to successfully produce it. Currently, I fear my lack of knowledge in producing is hindering my ability to grow as a writer/producer. With this mentorship program, I have the opportunity to gain the knowledge that I need, and am very thankful for this grant. I anticipate the information and the work I will be doing with Josh will provide me with the confidence to grow. 

I’m thrilled to be working with Josh. I have known him for four years now, and we have worked together on numerous projects. As a result, we have gotten to know each other rather well. I have performed in some of his original works, and am a member of the touring theatre company that he founded. We live in North Bay which is a rural area. North Bay is where he started and crafted an incredible career. While creating and producing his own work, he has developed an extraordinary repertoire of plays, and a lot of insight in producing in a rural area.  I am very anxious to start working with Josh, and for him to teach me what he has learned over the years. Working with Josh in the past has shown me how exceptionally humble, but passionate he is about his art, which is one of the biggest reasons I look up to him. When I chose to do this mentorship, I knew I wanted Josh as a mentor because we both have an enormous heart for the theatre, and we can see eye-to-eye. We also have similar working styles, so having someone who I can relate to will bring me closer to my goal.
I hope to learn as much as I can from my mentor. Simply put, I want to gain the understanding of how to produce a play, and obtain the skill of how to craft a proper show. I also look forward to gaining the confidence he has when mounting a production. By the end of my mentorship I wish to have a play that I can be proud of. I further look forward to his knowledge and confidence being contagious. 

In regard to how I see myself contributing to the project, I look to have my voice heard. I will contribute by being professional and having constant communication with my mentor. I will make sure that I accomplish everything I set out to do. My biggest goal for this mentorship is to come out with a plethora of information that I previously did not have regarding the writing and producing of a theatre play.  

Lastly, I am very excited for this mentorship program, and cannot wait to see what it holds. I hope my goals are met and I gain what I am seeking.

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 begins training in directing with Eda Holmes at Canadian Stage in Toronto


(May 1, 2018) Yesterday I had my first meeting with my mentor, Eda Holmes, as well as a gathering at the Theatre Ontario offices with other participants in the PTTP program. It was an exciting, inspiring day.

I’m going to be assisting Eda when she directs The Children by Lucy Kirkwood at Canadian Stage and The Centaur. I’d worked with Eda as an actor on her production of Tom at the Farm at Buddies a couple of years ago and really loved the experience. I was knocked out by Eda’s rigour, preparedness, and towering intellect. She also ran a room that was open, fun, collaborative, and egoless. I mentioned to her at the time that I’d be very interested in shadowing or assisting her one day, and I’ve been waiting for her to come back to Toronto to direct again ever since so I could pursue this opportunity.

As I age and mature as an actor, I find I am less interested in my own character’s journey through a story, and more interested in how that journey can serve the bigger story. And I’m interested in how all of the other elements are serving that story, too. I don’t know if I want or am suited to be a director (though I hope through this process I discover that I am), but I do know I want to understand more about what everybody else is doing so that I can be the best, most effective collaborator I can be. I love making theatre, and I want to be better at it.

The most valuable thing I took from the meeting last night at Theatre Ontario was something Marjorie Chan said. She reminded us that this is a mentorship, not a job placement. What I can sense is going to be successful about this mentorship with Eda is that while she is already assigning me jobs and tasks (“Can you find a good explanation of nuclear fission?”), she is also very interested in what I hope to get out of this experience, and how she can fuel and foster that. For me, that is the perfect combination. I want to work, I want to contribute and be useful, but I also want to learn. I want to do whatever task she needs me to do, but I also want to know why it’s something that needs to be done. And I feel very comfortable asking Eda those questions.

I can’t wait to get started. I can’t wait to know the play inside and out. I can’t wait for design meetings, and the first day of rehearsal, and tech. I can’t wait to see what happens when the whole thing moves into a new space.

I am so grateful to Theatre Ontario for this opportunity. What a rare, extraordinary thing this program is.

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.

Monday, 4 June 2018

ONstage Openings for the week of June 4

ONstage Now Playing in Central Ontario
Mary of Shanty Bay at Theatre by the Bay (Barrie)
Leah Holder, Cesare Scarpone
Photo by Bryan Harris Photography
This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages

In Southwestern Ontario

Jun. 5, Lion King Jr. at actOUT! Kitchener-Waterloo Children's Drama Workshop (Cambridge)
Jun. 6, Brontë: The World Without at Stratford Festival [in previews]
Jun. 6, Seussical KIDS at actOUT! Kitchener-Waterloo Children's Drama Workshop (Cambridge)
Jun. 7, Mythos: A Trilogy at Shaw Festival (Niagara-on-the-Lake) [currently in previews]
Jun. 7, Cinderella: The Panto at Drayton Entertainment: King's Wharf Theatre (Penetanguishene) [with previews from Jun. 6]
Jun. 7, Halfway There at Port Stanley Festival Theatre [with previews from Jun. 6]
Jun. 7, The Orchard (After Chekhov) at Shaw Festival (Niagara-on-the-Lake) [in previews]
Jun. 8, West Side Story at Drayton Entertainment: Huron Country Playhouse (Grand Bend) [with previews from Jun. 7]
Jun. 9, Coriolanus at Stratford Festival [in previews]
Jun. 10, The Baroness and the Pig at Shaw Festival (Niagara-on-the-Lake) [in previews]

In Central Ontario

Jun. 7, Sea Change at Theatre Orangeville

In Eastern Ontario

ONstage Now Playing in Eastern Ontario
2 Pianos 4 Hands at Thousand Islands Playhouse (Gananoque)
Max Roll, Bryce Kulak
Photo by ftbd
Jun. 5, Overruled at Classic Theatre Festival
Jun. 6, Move Over Mrs. Markham at Ottawa Little Theatre
Jun. 7, The Mollycoddlers at Domino Theatre (Kingston)
Jun. 9, It's Your Funeral at Upper Canada Playhouse (Morrisburg) [with previews from Jun. 7]

In Northeastern Ontario

Jun. 8, One-Act Festival Workshop at Sault Theatre Workshop


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

Friday, 1 June 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