Monday, 30 July 2018

ONstage Openings for the week of July 30

ONstage Now Playing in Southwestern Ontario
The New Canadian Curling Club at Blyth Festival
Marcia Johnson, Matthew Gin, Omar Alex Khan,
Parmida Vand, Lorne Kennedy
Photo by Terry Manzo
This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages

In Southwestern Ontario

Jul. 31, Julius Caesar at Stratford Festival [in previews]
Aug. 1, The Hound of the Baskervilles at Shaw Festival (Niagara-on-the-Lake) [in previews]
Aug. 1, Paradise Lost at Stratford Festival [in previews]
Aug. 2, Napoli Milionaria! at Stratford Festival [in previews]
Aug. 3, 1837: The Farmers' Revolt at Blyth Festival [with previews from Aug. 1]

In Central Ontario

Jul. 30, The Dining Room at Highlands Summer Festival (Haliburton)
Aug. 3, The Ladies Foursome at Peterborough Theatre Guild

ONstage Now Playing in Southwestern Ontario
Book Club at Port Stanley Festival Theatre
Iain Stewart, Jeff Dingle, Josh Johnston
Photo by Phil Bell, Shutter Studios

In Eastern Ontario

Aug. 2, The Drawer Boy at Festival Players of Prince Edward County (Wellington)
Aug. 4, Plaza Suite at Upper Canada Playhouse (Morrisburg) [with previews from Aug. 2]

In South Central Ontario

Aug. 1, The Glass Menagerie at Theatre on the Ridge (Port Perry)


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

Friday, 27 July 2018

Ontario Off Stage

by Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager

Conversation Starters

Thousand Islands Playhouse in Gananoque

Behind the Scenes at Ontario’s Theatres


In Case You Missed It

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Emerging in the Industry: A Resource for New and Emerging Artists


You’ve graduated from high school/college/university, or maybe you are changing your career path for one in theatre. Either way, entering the industry is something that requires patience, perseverance and hard work!

Getting your first gig in theatre isn’t easy, but you can certainly make it a lot easier for yourself through hard work, dedication, and understanding a few things. Every person tackles the industry from a different background. Some find that formalized training institutions are for them; others not so much. Some come into working right out of high school, while others have experience working in another field. Either way, there are similar entry points and things to consider when starting out your career.

Making Contacts

Knowing people within the theatre industry is one way to start gigging and getting work. A lot of times, you will be referred to a job or even asked to work on a gig (not always, but it does happen). How do you begin making contacts? Do your research. In Ontario, there are so many theatre organizations doing great and different things. Figure out what you like, what you don’t, where you want to be working, and how you want to impact the industry. Then—reach out! Send a quick and specific email to the artistic director, or managing director to ask if you can chat with them over coffee. If the organization is larger, speak with someone in a role that you might be interested in working in. A lot of times, people are willing to answer some questions and give their advice.

Volunteer!

Volunteering is great way to connect with people and start getting experience. If you work a full-time or part-time job (‘cause let’s face it, we all have to), and can only commit a few hours a week to volunteer, that’s better than nothing! If you treat a volunteer position like a paid position, then the organization is more likely to hire you, be a reference for another paid job, refer you to different positions, or at the very least, give you an insight to what is going on within the industry. Be conscious! Respect your personal boundaries, and don’t exert yourself with volunteer tasks.

Watch shows

Good shows, not-so-good shows, shows that makes you excited, and shows that makes you cringe. One of my mentors told me: in order to get good at what I do, I have to know what kind of work is out there. You won’t become the next biggest director or performer overnight by watching many shows, but there are many benefits in attending live performances often. You get to know the theatre companies that exist and create art within your city, which helps you decide if you fit into their mandate and the work that they do or if you don’t. It also opens opportunities to meet people—going to opening night especially, as the cast and crew of the show are usually there. It helps you stay connected, and talk to people about what’s relevant. If your budget is tight to pay for all these tickets, many theatre companies offer Pay-What-You-Can performance, discounted tickets for youth (under 30), and rush tickets. All it takes is a few clicks on their websites. Folks sometimes offer free tickets on Bunz Theatre Zone, too.

Now I have done the volunteer thing, watched some shows, how do I get a mentor?

Getting a mentor always seemed like an arbitrary concept to me. People around me would say “my mentor told me this…” and “my mentor told me that…” I just couldn’t grasp the concept of getting a mentor. Until one day, it just sort of happened. I had committed myself to a volunteer position with a theatre company in Toronto. The General Manager of the company was my direct supervisor and that opened opportunities up for me to shadow her, assist her outside of my volunteer commitment and ask her questions. A bit later on down the road, I needed a job reference and she was more than happy to provide that for me. I continued to maintain a relationship with her and then she wound up calling ME for an assistant position to work with her again. The relationship continued on after that and I owe much of my theatre career to her. But it is interesting to see how that relationship formed and how I never asked her to be my mentor, but the relationship sort of flourished.

Now, GET PAID!

We all want, and ultimately need to find work that pays us. We can’t keep volunteering forever. But a job isn’t going to fall in your lap. There are different ways to find work, but one key way is to have patience and do your research. Yes, sites like WorkInCulture and Indeed post opportunities, but some smaller organizations may not use those sites and therefore you can be missing out on some cool opportunities.

If you are a recent college/university grad, or even someone stating post-secondary studies, you can seek opportunities to work as an intern or summer student. Regularly check company websites and social media pages, as many of them post great paid opportunities online.

Other things to help you out!

Here are some super cool organizations that help support youth and young artists, In Toronto and beyond the GTA. Many of their missions are to foster the next generation of artists and provide them with tools and resources to succeed!

Theatre Ontario - https://www.theatreontario.org/ - Theatre Ontario offers programs for young artists who want to train in Stratford through their Summer Theatre Intensive Program. They also offer PTTP grants for artists and some emerging artists may qualify. Lastly, the YAC is an excellent opportunity for an eager group of young theatre artists to get in a room and develop programming that they want to put out.

Paprika Festival (Toronto) - http://paprikafestival.com/ - Paprika Festival offers excellent opportunities for emerging artists to create work (through performance, direction, playwriting and more). They also offer excellent opportunities to gain mentorship. They really helped kick-start the careers of many Toronto artists.

Generator (Toronto) - http://generatorto.com/ - Generator offers so much support in various different ways. For artists emerging into the field of producing, they run a year long program for artist producers to train. They are also great supporters in giving artists the tools and resources needed to succeed. Check out their artistproducerresource.com!

Fringe TENT program (Toronto) - https://fringetoronto.com/get-involved/youth/tent - the TENT program at Fringe is a great way for emerging producers (and artists in general) to gain experience and knowledge in producing and various other performance related topics. It also provides opportunities for networking (meeting new people!) and watching a bunch of theatre! 

Soulpepper (Toronto) - https://soulpepper.ca/youth-community/youth/programs - Soulpepper has an entire program dedicated to supporting youth and young artists wanting to make a career out of the arts! Check out their various programming.

York Region Arts Council (Toronto) - http://www.yorkregionartscouncil.com/ - for artists living just north of the city, there are opportunities available with the York Region Arts Council to gain mentorship and/or experience. They offer mentorship for artists, a business accelerator for artists as well as other opportunities that may be of interest to emerging artists who live and/or want to work in York Region.

Magnus Theatre (Thunder Bay) - https://magnustheatre.com/education/ - Magnus Theatre in education is the premiere theatre training facility in the Thunder Bay area. Their classes and masterclasses are taught by professional actors, directors and educators. There are new classes starting every quarter.

The Hive@GCTC (Ottawa) - https://www.gctc.ca/for-youth - The Hive @ GCTC introduces high school and university students to the inner workings of GCTC and the Ottawa theatre community.

The MT Space (Waterloo Region) - http://www.mtspace.ca/ - Aside from their regular season productions, The MT Space offers educational programs and professional development workshops, and provides mentoring and assistance to local artists. The MT Space continues to promote the cultural richness of their community by providing a space for meaningful interaction.

Blue Canoe (Kingston) - https://bluecanoetheatrical.com/ - Blue Canoe hires and works with young artists (aged 13-30) in various capacities, including as actors, producers, directors, etc. They provide a unique platform for creation and working in the Kingston area.

Blyth Festival Young Company - https://blythfestival.com/educational-programs-young-company/ - For emerging theatre makers aged 14-19, the Blyth Festival in Blyth, Ontario offers a summer workshop to gain skills in playwrighting, directing and creation.

There are also many other opportunities for emerging artists to gain mentorship and experience! 

These are just a select few suggestions. Do your research to find out what might be best for you.

Wednesday, 25 July 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 Shaw Seminar at The Shaw Festival
  • Deadline to register to apply for Ontario Trillium Foundation Capital Grants program is today.
  • Shaw Festival’s Shaw Symposium for scholars and fans of Bernard Shaw begins July 27, Scene Study Sundays is on July 29, and the Shaw Seminar for those interested in an in-depth educational experience begins August 2.
  • Deadline for submissions for Toronto Arts Foundation's ArtWorksTO capacity-building and professional development program for youth arts entrepreneurs is August 2.
  • Theatre by the Bay’s next Barrie Theatre Lab for playwrights and actors is August 6.
  • Deadline for submissions for the Stratford Festival’s Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction is August 7.
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 July 2018

Funding Professional Theatre Mentorships

Do you need financial support for professional mentorship in your career?  Seeking funding for that career-changing/career-accelerating opportunity?

We are now inviting applications for the October 1, 2018 deadline for our Professional Theatre Training Program (PTTP).

PTTP offers financial support for unique and flexible training with a chosen mentor in any theatrical discipline (except performance.) You can apply for professional development in your own discipline, or a "change of direction" in a career.


Related Reading

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

Monday, 23 July 2018

ONstage Openings for the week of July 23

ONstage Now Playing in Central Ontario
Cliffhanger at Highlands Summer Festival (Haliburton)
David Mills, Marilyn Hawley, Sue Black
Photo by Lorne Campbell
This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages

In South Central Ontario

Jul. 24, Armstrong's War at Theatre on the Ridge (Port Perry)
Jul. 24, Monsters and Milfoil: A Tale of Lake Scugog at Theatre on the Ridge (Port Perry)

In Southwestern Ontario

Jul. 26, The Birds and the Bees at Drayton Entertainment: Drayton Festival Theatre [with previews from Jul. 25]
Jul. 26, Book Club at Port Stanley Festival Theatre [with previews from Jul. 25]
Jul. 26, Out of Order at Drayton Entertainment: Huron Country Playhouse (Grand Bend) [with previews from Jul. 25)

In Central Ontario

Jul. 25, Cruisin' Classics at Drayton Entertainment: King's Wharf Theatre (Penetanguishene) [with a matinee preview]
Jul. 25, Weimar to Vaudeville at Highlands Summer Festival (Haliburton)
Jul. 26, Lunenburg at Orillia Opera House [with previews from Jul. 25]
ONstage Now Playing in Eastern Ontario
The Unexpected Guest at Ottawa Little Theatre

In Eastern Ontario

Jul. 26, A Funny Proposition at Festival Players of Prince Edward County (Wellington)
Jul. 26, Lysistrata and the Temple of Gaia at Odyssey Theatre (Ottawa) 
Jul. 28, The Canadian at Thousand Islands Playhouse (Gananoque) [with a preview on Jul. 27]


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

Friday, 20 July 2018

Ontario Off Stage

Kim Renders
(From the Kingstonist)
by Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager

From Theatre Ontario

We are saddened to hear the news of the passing of Kim Renders this week. Kim was a long-time member of Theatre Ontario’s Talent Bank as an instructor of acting, directing, writing, and youth theatre. She was among the founders of Nightwood Theatre in Toronto (Artistic Director Kelly Thornton wrote an excellent tribute) and was most recently a professor in the Dan School of Drama and Music at Queen’s University in Kingston—the university remembered her significant legacy and Cris Vilela wrote a tribute for Kingstonist, including how her passing is being recognized at this week’s Storefront Fringe Festival. In 2006, we recognized her contribution to professional, community and educational theatre in our province with our Maggie Bassett Award.

Conversation Starters


Behind the Scenes at Ontario’s Theatres


Migrations


In Case You Missed It


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

Thursday, 19 July 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 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 training in writing and producing with Joshua Bainbridge in North Bay


(July 9, 2018)  I am currently at the halfway point in my mentorship with Joshua Bainbridge for Writing and Producing. I couldn’t be more pleased with how it is going. 

When starting this mentorship, I had planned out each week in detail with what I was going to learn and work on—but not everything goes according to plan. I originally mapped out that the first 4-5 weeks was strictly about creating and writing a two-act play, and when my play was completely finished we would switch gears and start with the producing. Except when Josh and I get together to have meetings we always find bits and pieces of producing infused in our talks. He started teaching me how to budget for a show. Using the play that I am currently writing as an example, he has given me a tutorial of how to budget. He used one of his previous budgets from an old production, as a template to demonstrate each thing that needs to be accounted for. For example what a venue would cost, costumes, a set, posters/advertising—things of that nature. Josh also went over the audition process with me, starting with how to get an audition together. We’ve done a mock up audition notice. He has also walked me through different kinds of audition processes and what to look for in an audition. The final thing we’ve touched on is the media involved in producing. We haven’t finished this discussion yet but I’m learning about pictures and imagery and their influence on a production.

Aside from the producing, I have started my play. I took a different route while writing it then I had originally planned. I started writing it as a one-act play. My goal for the last half of my mentorship is to fill it out to a two-act play. Currently I’m on my fourth edit of the one-act. My first two edits were about getting the story I wanted to tell onto paper, after that it was about things that needed work or things that didn’t quite make sense. Josh has edited it once and we spoke about what needs to be added and what needs to be taken out. I have my plot and my characters developed but I found that I needed to change how I was telling the story. I’m also presently editing my dialogue, making it more fluid and relaxed. Once this draft is done and Josh gives his final notes, I am going to start working it into a two-act.

I’m very thrilled to continue to the next half of my mentorship. The first half has already been a great experience and I’m learning a lot. I’m ecstatic to keep working on my play with Josh and learn more about producing. I look up to Josh and couldn’t have asked for a better 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: Helen Monroe

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

Helen Monroe trained in directing with Richard Rose and Esther Jun at Tarragon Theatre in Toronto


(July 2, 2018)  First, I would just like to say a final thank you for allowing me to participate in this program and receive funding for this time I have spent at Tarragon—it has been a wonderful year. I have learned so much and grown so much as an artist.

I have started a full-time position as the Business Manager here at Tarragon, and while my time as a directing intern has come to a close, I still come to work every day at Tarragon so it doesn’t feel as if anything has ended for me here; rather it has been an extension of the work I was already doing. 

Girls Like That at Tarragon Theatre
Photo: Cylla von Tiedemann
Photographed: Tess Benger, Rachel VanDuzer,
Allison Edwards-Crewe, Cynthia Jimenez-Hicks,
Shakura Dickson, Lucy Hill and Nadine Bhabha
Costume: Ming Wong
Set: Shannon Lea Doyle
Lights: Kaleigh Krysztofiak
The final show I worked on here at Tarragon was Girls Like That, by Evan Placey. That was the first time in my career I have worked on a show with so many women, each one inspiring, driven and talented. I enjoyed the rehearsal period immensely. What was unique about this show was that my involvement did not end after opening night. The first week of the show running was a very interesting experience. We received an incredibly harsh review from the Globe & Mail that stirred up some very strong reactions from our community. The reviewer felt our play was misogynistic. Many members of the community felt very differently and rallied around us creating counter articles in alternative magazines and creating a social media storm of comments and discourse. The tension spilled over into our talkback week (a Tarragon initiative to have talk backs with the actors every night of the first week of shows), and some of the questions being directed at our cast were pointed and accusatory. It was decided that rather than have an outside person facilitate these discussions, someone with more insight into the production would be helpful to field these questions for the actors. So I stepped in and was there for week of very interesting conversations with the girls and our education coordinators.

I felt very strongly that my position on the panel was not to justify the choices that we had made or defend the women on stage, but rather to present an alternative to the preconceived notions that many people were walking into the show with. I also found that while there was some minor hostility, the majority of the audience who stayed to chat with us had found extreme points of connection with out material and understood and related to the characters they had seen on stage. It was an experience for me in audience relations and I enjoyed the discourse I experienced immensely. While I did not agree with the reviewer’s ideas of our production, I appreciated the conversations we had because of her.

Thank you again for this opportunity, it really has been wonderful.

All my very best,
Helen Monroe

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: Carly Chamberlain

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

Carly Chamberlain trained in artistic direction with Franco Boni at The Theatre Centre in Toronto


The Importance of Yielding


Carly with Jennifer Tarver's dog
(July 1, 2018) When Franco and I began our mentoring relationship, I was just coming out of a rough few months. I was burnt out, a little disillusioned, and really searching for meaning and my place. In one of our first meetings he asked me, “Okay, how do you want to do this?”—and I took a long pause and said the words all perfectionist over-achievers dread: “I don't know.”

What Franco said in response has shaped the last many months. He said he once heard choreographer Lee Su-Feh talk about the importance of yielding to her process. That yielding is important. That it was okay for me to take this time to reflect, absorb, listen, rather than drive. English is a funny language. What a perfect contradiction that the “to yield” can mean “to surrender” and also “to produce or provide”—or maybe that’s not a contradiction at all.

This has been an indescribably important value shift. It’s a lesson I’ve learned before...but I think living is mostly the process of learning the same important lesson over and over.

I came to the mentorship valuing advocacy, community and wanting to think critically about a different kind of leadership. But I had gotten stalled in the mode of the opposite: driving, controlling, selling. What I’ve discovered in taking this shift to heart (and witnessing it in action), is that it’s much easier to be present, to listen (really listen) and be responsive, to lead in a meaningful way, when space is made for yielding. 

At the Festival TransAmérique
It’s entirely contrary to the work culture of our community, I know. We’re all on deadlines, have short rehearsal periods, small budgets, trying to get that next contract, on and on and on. It feels counter-intuitive to slow down. But I’m starting to believe it’s healthier. Healthier personally, and also healthier for artistic practice and leadership. And I’m starting to have this crazy idea that, hey, maybe health (spiritual, physical, artistic) should be more important than achieving.

Originally I had planned a project during this period that would involve banding indie companies together to make a think tank: to problem-solve shared models. But over time I decided that my energy would be better spent elsewhere. 

So now I’m in the early stages of planning an event (or hopefully series of events) for artists and artists-at-heart that acknowledges we are more than what we make. An event that encouraging yielding. My vision is that it will offer workshops, quiet time, play time, resources, and more to nudge some tiny shift in our work culture. 

Because it’s actually better for the art when we take care of ourselves and each other. And more importantly it’s undeniably better for our hearts.

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: Nancy Anne Perrin

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

Nancy Anne Perrin begins training in design for opera with Michael Gianfrancesco at the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto


(June 25, 2018)  As I enter into this generous gift of a mentorship with Michael Gianfrancesco while he designs sets for the Canadian Opera Company’s upcoming new production of Hadrian, I find myself facing one of the big obstacles that I hope to address during this time. The continual struggle of juggling multiply creative projects at once has me anxious. In beginning to work with Michael, I am also designing a show of my own while working part-time. This has not diminished my excitement for the work, just complicates it. In our roles as designers we are often in different points of the design process with multiple projects at the same time. At this very moment Michael is adjusting set designs following initial costing for Hadrian, while doing fabric shopping for an opera in Italy and redesigning an older design to fit within a new theatre space. Knowing where his career is, I know he must have built some strong working tools to make this task less daunting and I need them in my own practice. 

I had the pleasure to first meet Michael during my time as an Assistant Designer at the Stratford Festival where I was able to work with him on shows such as A Chorus Line and The Sound of Music. As everyone in this business I am continually in transition, navigating working as a designer on smaller independent productions with assisting more established designers. For many years I have been transient, spending half or more of my year in Stratford with the other part in Toronto slowly trying to become part of the community here. Last year I decided to take the leap and not return to Stratford as an assistant and try to make a more concerted effort to become part of the Toronto theatre scene. In the fall, offering a hand-up, Michael had planted the seed of assisting him on Hadrian. 

This opportunity will allow me access to some of the strongest figures in Canadian and Toronto theatre—Peter Hinton, Gillian Gallow, Bonnie Beecher and Daniel MacIvor. Figures that I would love the opportunity to learn and grow from their experiences and knowledge of life in this industry. How they navigate the work and their lives. How their creative process develops between their different roles as designers, writer and director. This piece will also allow me to work on a scale that I have only touched on in theory through my education. Opera is another world that is alluring, exciting and foreign to me as my own practice has primarily been in traditional theatre. How does the scale, timelines and structure of opera effect the designer’s creative process? For an added level of complexity, Hadrian is new work which is uncommon in opera. 

My hope for what my contribution will be goes beyond the standard design assistant role. Of course I will be able to aid in model-building and set drawings, but I would also hope that I can provide a different perspective to the process; that my questions are not just for myself but for those whom I am asking them. Thank you Theatre Ontario and the Professional Theatre Training Program for continually supporting your community by providing the means that these important learning opportunities can happen.

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: Samyuktha Punthambekar

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

Samyuktha Punthambekar training in arts management with Mitchell Marcus at Musical Stage Company in Toronto

Samyuktha Punthambekar is a Bharathanatyam dancer, arts educator and arts administrator. Samyuktha won the Volunteer Award for Arts and Culture Toronto in 2016 for her outstanding volunteering contributions. As an arts administrator, she has worked for Dancer Transition Resource Center and Sunny Artist Management, Toronto Arts Foundation, lbs/sq” performance and Tapestry Opera. As an arts educator, she has conducted workshops and also is a resident arts educator for TDSB and continues to teach and conduct workshops for other institutions and festivals.

Samyuktha has graduated with Honours from Humber College's Arts Administration and Cultural Management program. She received the OAC's grant for her studies at Humber and also won the Dean's Award, Jerry Smith Scholarship as well as a Best Student Nomination for the program in 2016/17. She has sat on grant juries for many arts councils. Her interview article ‘Breathing Fresh Air’ was published on Dance Current’s online magazine. Most recently, she has been featured on Humber’s Alumni Success Stories and NOW Magazine. She also obtained the Effective Fundraising and Leadership in Arts and Culture certificate from The University of Leeds. Currently, Samyuktha is shadowing Shannon Litzenberger as part of the OAC’s Compass Grant. She is working as an Associate for LeSage Arts Management. Samyuktha continues to be deeply invested by acquiring more knowledge and gaining professional development as an emerging arts leader.

(April 19, 2018)  I am very happy and excited to have been selected as one of the recipients of the Theatre Ontario PTTP grant. I’ve chosen to pursue an Arts Management internship with Mitchell Marcus, Artistic and Managing Director of the Musical Stage Company.

Mitchell Marcus was one of the top 3 people that I always wanted to work and learn from. The workshops of Mitchell’s that I have attended, have been an eye opener in many ways. His meticulous planning, minute attention to detail and his clear vision is something that has intrigued me very much. As a person myself who aims for perfection in everything I do, it is important for me at this stage of my career to mentor under Mitchell Marcus. This will certainly enhance my expertise and exposure for more ‘on the ground’ strategies. I met Mitchell many times after PLN and expressed my interest in mentoring under him and he was open to the idea to mentor me! After a couple of meetings and discussing ideas/work plans - I also realized that Mitchell is extremely sensitive to human emotions and feelings. This also reflects in his plays and productions that he chooses to showcase through his company. Like me, Mitchell is also very organized and loves to be ‘all consuming’ with his work. These factors, I personally feel makes us the right fit to form a mentor-mentee relationship.

I have identified a few key areas that I would further want to focus on and learn from Mitchell, which are:

Main Interests 
  • Fundraising - I have realized that this is a very important aspect in the arts. As Fundraising/donations - either corporate or individual, form an integral part of an organization's functionality and funding model, I am very keen on exploring The Musical Stage’s funding strategy. 
  • Marketing, Communication and Sales Pitch - Musical Stage has an excellent marketing strategy. I have understood this through social media, interacting with Mitchell, his staff and watching their productions. I have stated the term ‘Sales Pitch’ here as I feel from what I have observed in the arts that this is very important, especially when one wants to collaborate with large institutions such as CanStage, Mirvish etc. (as The Musical Stage Company does). I do not feel confident in this area as I need to acquire more robust and practical/ ‘hands on’ experience for me to better understand this aspect. Marketing, Communication and Sales Pitches also in the long run, helps in Partnerships, Board Relations, Donors and Corporate Sponsorships
  • Grant Writing - I love to write. Prior to this grant, I have written other grants and have been successful. I have written for the Dance Current magazine and also started my first online blog. However, I feel to sharpen this skill is very important and hence would like to train and understand more on grant writing, which is also another area of fundraising. 
Simultaneous Learning and Interests 
  • Project Planning and Producing - Creating a Musical is a huge endeavour and hence I am interested in understanding the project plan aspect of how to create and manage big productions, budgets etc. Artistically I would like to learn what it takes to be a Producer 
  • International Associations and Financial Management - Musicals have a global reach and gather a diverse audience. I would like to observe and learn from Mitchell the international approach and how to pitch projects on a global level. I feel Financial Management also is key to understanding this aspect 
  • Education Outreach and Community Engagement - I have been teaching and being part of community engagements for over a decade. It would be good to increase my knowledge to observer this aspect under Mitchell. 
I would like to extend my deepest gratitude and thanks to the committee for selecting me. My aim with the support from Theater Ontario’s PTTP is to further enhance my skills towards leadership positions. It will also support me with ‘on the ground’ strategies, skills and bringing equity to the arts community which is one of my biggest missions both personally and professionally.

(June 21, 2018)  So far, my mentorship has been nothing short of amazing. Working with Mitchell Marcus is probably one of the best things that has happened in my career so far. I am truly privileged to be working with such a knowledgeable, organized and giving person. Thanks to Mitchell, It is after almost five years, I feel a sense of pride, achievement and have found my true identity in Arts Management.

My internship objectives have been distributed between all the staff members of The Musical Stage Company. I was part of a fundraiser which comprised of the Board members of the company. This event gave me first-hand experience of how an event of this magnitude is managed.  It also gave me a deep insight into how the face of the Company i.e. top management presents the mandate and invites potential funders and donors to contribute to a shared cause. It was after this event that I had my ‘aha!’ moment in arts management. 

In terms of production and project management, I was designated as project lead to supervise The Living Arts Centre’s 2018/19 season launch. I was responsible for the coordination between artists, the technical team as well as the management. Two fantastic singers, Divine Brown and Sara Farb presented a portion of Uncovered. Organizing this event as Project Manager, gave me an excellent experience in coordinating as well as overall management. 

I have also had the opportunity to draft artist contracts with Equity. It has given me an insight into the nuances, details as well as the importance of how and why the contracts are drawn out based out of the Equity framework.

Most recently, I was given the role of Front of House Manager for ‘Dr. Silver’. This show, in partnership with Luminato Festival and The National Arts Centre, was scheduled from June 14 to 19th. I was also involved in the pre-preparation by observing the rehearsals from June 4th onwards. During the show, my responsibilities included audience management, ensuring that the seating arrangement at the Heliconian Club was accurately maintained, volunteer coordination as well as take down of sets at the end of the show. It was a fantastic experience overall.

For an establishing immigrant who has transitioned from Indian Classical Dance into Arts Management, Mitchell is very caring, compassionate and giving mentor. He has taken very close care of my needs and is determined that I get the most out of my internship with The Musical Stage Company. His attention to detail and keen listening is something that I marvel at and strive to achieve constantly. Every two weeks, we have a one on one touch base to go over objectives. The weekly staff meetings have also been an effective way to understand everyone’s roles better. 

I have also had a brief understanding of Musical Stage’s company budget as well gained perspective into a General Manager’s duties. The team of Musical Stage is so thorough with their work, that it inspires me to do my best at every duty that I take on. I am currently working with the team on drafting a production cover letter, newsletter and a press release. In fundraising, I am also doing an in-depth research on Musical Stage’s upcoming projects. I have also been reviewing operating grants, social media and strategic planning of the company. 

Personally, I feel much more confident, energized and ready to take on duties without any hesitation. I also know that Mitchell Marcus and Musical Stage will be there as my constant support system. 

I once again thank Theatre Ontario’s PTTP and OAC’s support in enabling to achieve a very important milestone in my career.  

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, 18 July 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
Last call for our Summer Theatre Intensive! Spaces are still available in some of our courses in Stratford:
Registrations close on July 20.

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

Upcoming on The Bulletin Board

  • Ryerson School of Performance’s Adult Summer Acting Intensives begin July 23.
  • Deadline to register to apply for Ontario Trillium Foundation Capital Grants program is July 25.

New on The Bulletin Board

  • Theatre by the Bay’s next Barrie Theatre Lab workshop is on August 6.
  • Solar Stage invites submissions for The Dawning Series, paid playwright professional development for playwrights interested in writing specifically for Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA).

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 July 2018

Welcome Marie Beath Badian and Kat Sandler as Playwrights-in-Person at our Summer Theatre Intensive

Marie Beath Badian
We are excited to welcome two Canadian playwrights to this year’s Theatre Ontario Summer Theatre Intensive as our Playwrights-in-Person.

Marie Beath Badian Lazarus will join us in Week One on Monday, August 6th at 7pm and Kat Sandler will join us in Week Two on Monday, August 13th at 7pm.

Location: 
Stratford Perth Museum
4275 Huron Street, Stratford, ON N5A 6S6

Admission:
This will be a FREE EVENT open to participants of Theatre Ontario and Off The Wall’s summer courses, as well as the public.
Kat Sandler

Learn more about Playwright-in-Person at our Summer Theatre Intensive

Registrations are still being accepted until July 20

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

Monday, 16 July 2018

ONstage Openings for the week of July 16

ONstage Now Playing in Central Ontario
Plaza Suite at Orillia Opera House
Liam Collins, Viviana Zarrillo
Photo by Cole Bennett
This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages

In South Central Ontario

Jul. 22, Pine Grove Plots: History to Die For at Theatre on the Ridge (Port Perry)

In Southwestern Ontario

Jul. 19, Disney's The Little Mermaid at Drayton Entertainment: St. Jacobs Country Playhouse [with previews from Jul. 18]
Jul. 20, Come Down from Up River at The Foster Festival (St. Catharines) [with previews from Jul. 18]
Jul. 22, Henry V at Shaw Festival (Niagara-on-the-Lake) [in previews]

In Central Ontario

Jul. 16, Cliffhanger at Highlands Summer Festival (Haliburton)
Jul. 18, The World Goes 'Round at Gravenhurst Opera House
Jul. 20, Northern Lights at Theatre by the Bay (Barrie) [with previews from Jul. 18]
ONstage Now Playing in Central Ontario
Crow Hill: The Telephone Play at 4th Line Theatre (Millbrook)
Photo by Wayne Eardley, Brookside Studio

In Eastern Ontario

Jul. 21, Mrs. Warren's Profession at Classic Theatre Festival (Perth) [with a preview on Jul. 20]


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

Friday, 13 July 2018

Ontario Off Stage

Port Stanley Festival Theatre from Ontario Summer Theatre
Buying the Farm
Shannon McCracken, Jeff Culbert, Matthew Gorman
Photo by Phil Bell, Shutter Studios
by Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager

Conversation Starters


Behind the Scenes at Ontario’s Theatres


In Case You Missed It

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Calling All Bowlers, Supporters and Sponsors!

We invite you to take part in our 3rd annual Bowl-a-Thon in support of Theatre Ontario on Saturday, September 15, 2018 (4pm–6pm). Our goal is to raise funds to support the operation of our core programs and services, which help theatre artists develop their talent and careers, while fostering healthy and vibrant theatre communities across the province.

Show your support and join us to help meet our $5,000 fundraising goal!

Be a Sponsor. Provide an In-Kind donation or contribution. Bowl with us!

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Browsing Our Bulletin Board

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

Coming Up from Theatre Ontario

Spaces are still available in some of our Summer Theatre Intensive courses in Stratford:
Watch John P. Kelly talk about his directing course:


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

Upcoming on The Bulletin Board

  • The MT Space's free dance and movement workshop with Vanguardia Dance Projects runs July 12 and 13 in Kitchener-Waterloo.
  • Shaw Festival’s “Learn Bollywood Dance” workshop with Krystal Kiran is on July 14 in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
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 July 2018

Save the Date: Theatre Ontario’s Youth Advisory Committee Pairs with the Siminovitch Prize

Speed Ideating from the Theatre Ontario Youth
Advisory Commitee's Emergence event in 2017
Our Youth Advisory Committee has paired up with the Siminovitch Prize’s Finalist Celebration, for Emergence 2.0 on Monday, October 15, 2018. The event will take place at the Hart House Theatre in Toronto and will include workshops, panels and mentorship led by youth, for youth in theatre.

The Youth Advisory Committee is excited to launch an afternoon of theatre discussion and workshops for youth. The afternoon component will be directed to young theatre artists working in all disciplines, including: actors, directors, producers, playwrights, designers, theatre administration, and others who want to learn or who are emerging as a theatre artist. We welcome all levels of experience to learn from one another. The afternoon festivities will then be followed by a dinner, the Siminovitch Finalist’s panel discussion and then a reception to end off the evening.

Keep your eyes peeled for our finalized programming, speakers, workshop leaders and mentors that will be involved! To stay up to date, like the Youth Advisory Committee on Facebook and join Theatre Ontario’s mailing list.

See you October 15!

Learn more about Theatre Ontario’s Youth Advisory Committee Initiatives

Monday, 9 July 2018

ONstage Openings for the week of July 9

ONstage Now Playing in Southwestern Ontario
Wrong for Each Other at The Foster Festival (St. Catharines)
Julia Porter, Daniel Briere
Photo by David Vivian
This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages

In Northwestern Ontario

Jul. 12, Back in ’59 at Magnus Theatre (Thunder Bay)

In South Central Ontario

Jul. 11, Peter Pan at Theatre on the Ridge (Port Perry)

In Southwestern Ontario

Jul. 11, Cruisin' Classics at Drayton Entertainment: Hamilton Family Theatre Cambridge [with a matinee preview]
Jul. 12, Canada 151: Better Late than Sorry at Drayton Entertainment: Huron Country Playhouse (Grand Bend) [with a matinee preview]
Jul. 14, Oh What a Lovely War at Shaw Festival (Niagara-on-the-Lake) [in previews]

In Toronto

Jul. 11, Orlando at Soulpepper Theatre [currently in previews]

On Tour

Jul. 14, Rosalynde (or, As You Like It) at Driftwood Theatre Company [with a preview on Jul. 13]

In Central Ontario

Jul. 10, The 39 Steps at Cameco Capitol Arts Centre (Port Hope)
Jul. 11, Not Quite Sherlock at Highlands Summer Festival (Haliburton)
ONstage Now Playing in South Central Ontario
The Melville Boys at Theatre on the Ridge (Port Perry)

In Eastern Ontario

Jul. 11, The Unexpected Guest at Ottawa Little Theatre
Jul. 12, Songbook: Steven Page with the Art of Time Ensemble at Festival Players of Prince Edward County (Picton)


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

Friday, 6 July 2018

Ontario Off Stage

by Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager

From Theatre Ontario

Thank you to the Ontario Arts Council for the wonderful news that they are increasing their financial support to Theatre Ontario as we continue to nurture community, create opportunities to benefit the community, and strive to be agents of change.

Conversation Starters

Mary Pitt and Clive Walton in Gravenhurst Opera House's
production of Souvenir - part of Ontario Summer Theatre 2018
Photo by Larry Carroll

In Case You Missed It

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Save the Date for the Theatre Ontario Adjudicators Symposium

Annette G. Procunier leading a Detailed
Adjudication at Theatre Ontario Festival 2017
Mark your calendars!  We've booked the date for our next Theatre Ontario Adjudicators Symposium – it will be Saturday, September 22, 2018, from 10:00am to 4:00pm at the Theatre Ontario office in Toronto.

The Symposium is one of Theatre Ontario’s professional development and networking events for adjudicators of all experience levels. Adjudicators discuss techniques, approaches and strategies for public and detailed adjudications; and their adjudication experiences during the past year. This year’s Symposium will feature a “Meet the Engagers” panel with representatives from community theatre festivals.

Registration will open in late July.