Monday, 31 May 2010

ONstage Openings

What's opening this week in Ontario?

In Central Ontario:
June 3, Perfect Wedding at Owen Sound Little Theatre
June 3, Four Play: A Showcase Of Play Readings at South Simcoe Theatre (Cookstown)

In Ottawa and Eastern Ontario:
June 1, Present Laughter at Ottawa Little Theatre
June 3, South Pacific at Belleville Theatre Guild
June 4, The Producers at Orpheus Musical Theatre Society (Ottawa)
June 5, Letter From Wingfield Farm at The Regent Theatre (Picton)

In South Central Ontario:
June 3, Charley's Aunt at Mississauga Players

In Southwestern Ontario:
June 3, Tap Dogs at Drayton Entertainment - St. Jacobs County Playhouse (with a preview June 2)
June 3, One-Act Play Weekend at Kitchener-Waterloo Little Theatre
June 3, The Fantasticks at Simcoe Little Theatre

In Toronto:
June 3, Amadeus at Scarborough Players
June 4, Pad Set at Bad Dog Theatre Company
June 5, Hip Waiters at Bad Dog Theatre Company
June 5, Alley Of The Dolls at Bad Dog Theatre Company
June 5, Jack And The Beanstalk at Solar Stage Theatre Company

For all the theatre current playing across Ontario, or for information for theatres on how to add/update your listing, visit ONstage on the Theatre Ontario website.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Welcome To Our New Board Members

Theatre Ontario is pleased to welcome our new Board members, following the elections at the AGM on Saturday, May 22.

We are pleased to welcome Patrick Gauthier of Ottawa and Michael Grit of Richmond Hill who were newly elected to the Board.  We also welcome back Debra McLauchlan of St. Catharines, Julianne Snepsts of Toronto, and Brian Van Norman of Waterloo, who were all re-elected for two-year terms.

Patrick Gauthier is a playwright and director whose writing credits include Tourist Things (Magnetic North Theatre Festival), and The Churchill Protocol (Gruppo Rubato), which was named Ottawa’s “Best New Creation” at the 2007 Rideau awards.  Directing credits include Conservatives in Love (Equity co-op), Rhythms of the Sun (Salamander Theatre for Young Audiences), and The Learned Ladies (Theatre at UBC). Pat is the co-founder of Ottawa creation-collective Gruppo Rubato, and holds an MFA in directing for the theatre from the University of British Columbia. He is currently Artistic Associate at the Great Canadian Theatre Company, and was recently awarded the 2010 RBC Emerging Artist Award by the Council for the Arts In Ottawa.

Michael Grit has been actively involved in theatre most of his life, starting in high school, then with Bramalea Little Theatre after college. In addition to the occasional performance on stage, Michael was also found working as a member of the backstage crew and producing. Since then, Michael has embarked on a career in the theatre that has brought him to the Elora Festival, the Sanderson Centre in Brantford, and currently with the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts where he participated in the design and construction of the new venue.

Upon the election of the new Board of Directors, the Board appointed Margit Tauchner of Ottawa to the remaining Board vacancy for a one-year term.  Margit was previously Chair of the Community Theatre Committee and representative from the Eastern Ontario Drama League.

Andy Trasuk, of Cornwall, has been appointed by the Eastern Ontario Drama League as their new representative.  A new appointment of a representative for the Western Ontario Drama League will be made at the WODL Annual Meeting in July.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Save The Date For Theatre Ontario Festival 2011

Theatre Ontario is pleased to announce that Theatre Ontario Festival 2011 will be held in Richmond Hill on May 18 to 22, 2011.  The Festival will be co-hosted by The Curtain Club, the Association of Community Theatres--Central Ontario and Theatre Ontario, with performances at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts.  As announcements are made, more information will be available on the Theatre Ontario website and The Curtain Club's Festival webpage.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

2010 Festival Award Winners Now Posted

The full list of winners and nominees from Theatre Ontario Festival 2010 has now been published on our website.  Congratulations to Gateway Theatre Guild of North Bay.  Their production of Waiting For Godot received the Elsie award for Outstanding Production in Festival.

You can also still read the replay of our live-blog from the Awards Brunch.  (For convenience, it is embedded below, but we encourage you to use the link to our website where formatting is cleaner.)

ONstage Openings

Theatre Ontario's weekly listings of upcoming openings will now be published at the beginning of the week (rather than at the end of the previous week.)  This week marks the opening of the summer season at Lighthouse Festival Theatre.

In Toronto:
May 26, Funny Girl at Civic Light Opera Company
May 27, Beyond Therapy at East Side Players

In Ottawa and Eastern Ontario:
May 27, Something For Charlie at The Bay of Quinte Community Players (Quinte West)
May 28, A Walk In The Woods at Lennox Community Theatre (Selby)
May 28, Oklahoma! at Suzart Productions (Ottawa)

In South Central Ontario:
May 27, Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka at Oshawa Little Theatre
May 29, Unforgettable Classics Of The '50s and '60s at Clarkson Music Theatre (Mississauga)

In Southwestern Ontario:
May 27, The Affections Of May at Guelph Little Theatre
May 27, Race Day at Lighthouse Festival Theatre (Port Dover) with previews from May 25
May 27, A Winter's Tale in previews at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival
May 27, Urinetown: The Musical at Theatre Woodstock
May 28, Evita in previews at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival

For all the theatre current playing across Ontario, or for information for theatres on how to add/update your listing, visit ONstage on the Theatre Ontario website.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Theatre Ontario Festival Day 4

by Mandy Rumbolt, Membership Coordinator

The rain kept things a little quiet on Saturday. People were trying to stay out of the weather, so it was a smaller crowd that gathered for the Detailed Adjudication of Waiting for Godot.

Following the adjudication was Theatre Ontario's Annual General Meeting. Again, probably due to the weather, the numbers were small. But we had almost all members of the board present, several staff members, representatives from all the community theatre regions, and several of both individual and group members represented. The President's Report touched on some of the exciting new developments that had oocured over the course of 2009, and there were a lot of highlights. Things took a slightly more serious tone when the Treasurer's Report revealed that Theatre Ontario is experiencing declining funds and declining membership - not an unusual development for any non-profit in the current economy, but a concern nonetheless. Staff and Board were encouraged to hear members talk about ways in which they could help with Theatre Ontario's current situation, and become excited about helping us find new ways of becoming more relevant, appealing, and useful to the theatre sector and community.

Several exciting new things were unveiled at the AGM, the biggest being the new website! While it is not yet ready to launch, it will be soon. We were able to share the design with the members in attendance, and well as explain in some detail how the new website will increase accessibility to our information and resources, allow for networking between members, provide searchable information, and better integrate social media.

We were also able to announce our newest partnership. RONA building supply stores will now offering our Group Members rebates between 3% - 5% on all of their purchases! We know that this can mean a lot of savings for many of the companies out there, and best of all it can also be used as a fundraising tool - groups can share their RONA account number with their audiences and supporters for them to use, and the purchases will count towards the year-end rebate for the group So everytime your audience shops at RONA, that cash in the groups pocket!

The rain cleared up in the evening so we had a nice full house for the Festival's last show, courtesy of EODL. John Patrick Shanley's Doubt, presented by Domino Theatre follows a nun on her crusade to prove a priest has been molesting young boys at their school. In their public adjudication, Sears & Switzers, big fans of the playwirght's work, praised the production for working well with the subtly of the text. They gave special mention to the individual performances and were incredibly enthusiastic about the lighting design, which they deemed to be of professional caliber.

So now that we've seen all the shows, there is much talk about who will win what at the awards tomorrow. What do readers think? Anyone favour a particular script, or performer, they would like to see awarded?

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Day 3 at the Theatre Ontario Festival

by Mandy Rumbolt, Membership Coordinator

Reflecting the enthusiasm of the previous night's audience, there was big crowd gathered to see the Detailed Adjudication for Whitby Courthouse Theatre's The Long Weekend. Sears And Switzer's adjudication had several of the show's performers on their feet, and true to the nature of the show itself, there were a lot of laughs all morning long.

In the afternoon, Theatre Ontario presented "Playwright-In-Person" Maja Ardal. The Iceland-born, Scotland-raised Canadian has had an expansive career in the Canadian theatre. Formerly the artistic director of Young People's Theatre, she is currently the playwright-in-residence at Nightwood Theatre. Her most recent play, You Fancy Yourself, has been garnering rave reviews for the last several years and was most recently produced at Theatre Passe Muraille. We were treated to an intimated talk by Ms. Ardal, and many of the people gathered had great questions about writing as both a passion and a profession. We were also lucky enough to hear her read several selections from the work she is currently writing, The Cure For Everything - a sequel to You Fancy Yourself.

The evening's performance, Waiting For Godot, came courtesy of QUONTA.  Samuel Beckett's infamous play, about the unending wait for the man who never comes, is challenging production for any cast... and sometimes a challenge for the audience as well.  But Gateway Theatre Guild's presentation kept the audience close and produced many a laugh, and the audience's appreciation was clear.  Sears And Switzer gave the company kudos for their bold script selection and commended the choice to give the show a Canadian context.  There was much praise for the performances, and a particular mention for the role of Boy played by the young Mackenzie Willis. I'm sure many in the audience are eager for the morning's adjudication to hear both the company and Sears And Switzer talk more about the show.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Festival Awards Live Blog Update

As previously announced, Theatre Ontario will be live-blogging the Festival 2010 Awards Brunch from the ballroom of the Delta London Armouries.  Brandon Moore and Mandy Rumbolt will be keeping Festival fans and supporters up-to-date as the Festival award winners are announced.

The live blog works like a moderated chat-room.  Readers will be able to follow along, contribute comments, and participate in polls.  The live blog can be found on the Theatre Ontario website, but it is also embedded into this blog post.  (We recommend you view the live blog on the website, as it seems to be better formatted there.)

The Awards Brunch is scheduled to start at noon, with the Awards to be announced when the meal is finished.  The live blog is scheduled to launch at 11:30am so we can keep readers up-to-date with announcements. 

Thank You To Our Outgoing Board Members

Theatre Ontario will be holding its Annual Meeting on Saturday, May 22 in London.  As this meeting will mark the election of Board members for the 2010-2012 terms, Theatre Ontario would like to thank our outgoing Board members.

"John Mayberry, Katherine Grainger and Marcia Johnson have all served passionately, intelligently and diligently as Board Members," said Julianne Snepsts, President of Theatre Ontario.  "We will miss their contributions greatly and look forward to their continued friendship."

Julianne also thanked and acknowledged Bill Meaden, who will continue to serve on the Board until the Western Ontario Drama League AGM when a new representative shall be appointed, as required by the by-laws.  "Bill is an intelligent and thoughtful contributor, and an unforgettable personality," said Julianne.  "We’ll certainly miss you Bill."

Theatre Ontario Festival: Day Two

by Mandy Rumbolt, Membership Coordinator

Thursday of the Theatre Ontario Festival got off to an early start with the Detailed Adjudication with Sears And Switzer.  The room was packed, with a big number of the previous night's audience turning out to hear the adjudicators speak.  AND... an informal poll showed that over half of the folks who came to the adjudication weren't members of other participating groups, but were simply interested audience members!  So great to see an audience so enthusiastic.  Way to go, London!

The afternoon workshop "Wake it up, Shake it up!" with Sears And Switzer was a hot ticket this today.  This free class filled up FAST the day before as soon as the sign-up was posted!  The high-energy workshop got directors and actors on their feet, exploring fresh ways to liven up a scene.

The Association of Community Theatres--Central Ontario's contribution to this year's Festival was Norm Foster's comedy The Long WeekendWhitby Courthouse Theatre's production of this popular comedic look at married life drew a big audience, and big laughs. The quick and funny show was invigorating for the crowd, and was the perfect follow-up to last night's serious drama.  The public adjudication was quick, and focused on how the great script was brought to life with four very strong performances.  Kudos went out for the use of projection in the set, and special mention was made of the costume and hair design choices.

Friday will be a full day, with Playwright-In-Person Maja Ardal joining us.  And the "Introduction to Adjudication" course continues through the weekend, with our crew of eager new adjudicators being put through their paces with instructor Ron Cameron-Lewis.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Opening Night At Theatre Ontario Festival 2010

by Mandy Rumbolt, Membership Coordinator

London's historic Aeolian Hall was buzzing with excitement as the Theatre Ontario Festival's first guests started to fill up the room. The Festival Committee had gone all out: the room was beautiful, the food was tasty and plentiful, and everyone felt more than welcome.  There was a great turnout for the Opening Reception, and the whole province was well represented... and ready to celebrate!

Before rushing off to the theatre to put on her "Producer's hat" for the opening night show, Breaking the Code, Western Ontario Drama League President Michelle Spanik gave the evening's first speech and welcomed the crowd.  The Festival Chairs Sue Perkins and Bill Meaden shared their welcoming words before Theatre Ontario's Vice-President of the Board Anne Mooney introduced the Mayor's Representative - Comptroller Gina Barber - who spoke passionately about the City of London's commitment to the arts. John Goddard, Executive Director of Theatre Ontario, took the stage next to remind everyone that we are to have fun!  And then the London Community Players' President welcomed us into their home, The Palace Theatre, before the festival chairs declared the Festival officially begun!

The crowd moved over to the theatre, where WODL's entry kicked off the Festival with Theatre Burlington's production of Hugh Whitemore's Breaking The Code. Based on the book Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges, Breaking The Code follows British mathematician Alan Turing's life through his work as a codebreaker during WWII to his prosecution for homosexual activity. This was a dramatic start to what promises to be a great lineup of shows this week.

Festival Adjudicators Theresa Sears and David Switzer gave a public adjudication that echoed the audience's enthusiasm for the production, and they gave special mention to Graham Clements' performance in the lead role, Tom Mackan's direction, and the show's brave lighting choices. Afterwards, the Encore Party at the Palace Theatre kept the crowd celebrating into the night!

For more information about the Festival, please visit the Theatre Ontario website.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

May E-Newsletter Now Available Online

Our May e-newsletter has now been posted in the archives for those of you who want to catch up on any news you might have missed through your RSS feed.

You can also sign-up for the monthly e-newsletter to get it delivered directly to your inbox.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Live-Blogging our Festival Awards Brunch

Theatre Ontario is pleased to announce that we are planning a live blog of the Festival Awards Brunch this coming Sunday, May 23.

"Provided the technology works as well at the Delta in London as it does in our office in Toronto," explains Brandon Moore, Communications Coordinator, "the live blog will give Festival fans and supporters an opportunity to follow along during the awards presentation, if they can't make it to London in person."

The awards brunch is scheduled to start at noon, with the awards presentation following the meal.  The live blog will be found on the Theatre Ontario website's Festival 2010 page.

Friday, 14 May 2010

ONstage Openings

Three summer theatre companies launch their seasons this week.  Theatre Ontario is pleased to share the exciting theatre opening across Ontario during the next week.

In Southwestern Ontario:
May 14, Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well And Living In Paris at Stratford Shakespeare Festival in previews
May 16, One Touch Of Venus at the Shaw Festival (Niagara-on-the-Lake)
May 18, Forever Plaid at Victoria Playhouse Petrolia
May 19, Disney's High School Musical at Drayton Entertainment - Huron County Playhouse (Grand Bend)
May 20, Blue Suede Shoes: A Tribute to the King at Port Stanley Festival Theatre (with a preview on the 19th)

In Eastern Ontario:
May 20, Over The River And Through The Woods at Domino Theatre (Kingston)

For all the theatre current playing across Ontario, or for information for theatres on how to add/update your listing, visit ONstage on the Theatre Ontario website.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Congratulations to the Spring 2010 YTTP Recipients

Theatre Ontario is pleased to announce the latest recipients of training grants through Theatre Ontario's Youth Theatre Training Program (YTTP).   $26,000 was awarded in total among the following recipients:
The next application deadline for this program is October 15, 2010.

This program is funded by the Ontario Arts Council.

Read more about the Youth Theatre Training Program (YTTP) on the Theatre Ontario website.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Still accepting applications for Judy Silver Scholarship Fund

Theatre Ontario has extended the deadline for applications to the Judy Silver Scholarship Fund to May 21.  The Fund provides financial support for students attending our Youth Scene Study courses in Toronto and Ottawa.

For more information, please visit the Judy Silver Scholarship Fund on the Theatre Ontario website.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Deadline extended for applications for summer student position

Theatre Ontario has extended the application deadline for our summer student position to May 25, 2010.

This position is funded through the Government of Ontario's summer employment program known as the 2010 Summer Experience Program, and is open to 15 to 24-year-olds (or up to 29 years of age, for persons with disabilities under s.10 of the Ontario Human Rights Code.)

Read about the position on the Theatre Ontario website

Friday, 7 May 2010

ONstage Openings

Theatre Ontario is pleased to share with you some of the exciting theatre opening across our province in the week ahead:

In Ottawa and Eastern Ontario:
May 7, Party at the Plaza at Seaway Valley Theatre Company (Cornwall)
May 8, Texas Blues Legend Andrew Jones at The Regent Theatre (Picton)
May 11, The Underpants at Kanata Theatre
May 13, Anything Goes at Bancroft Village Playhouse
May 13, The 39 Steps at Thousand Islands Playhouse (Gananoque)

In South Central Ontario:
May 7, Festival Of Canadian One-Act Plays at Borelians Community Theatre (Port Perry)

In Southwestern Ontario:
May 7, I Take This Man at Elora Community Thatre (Fergus)
May 7, Strangers On A Train at London Community Players
May 7, The Sisters Rosensweig at The Players Guild of Hamilton
May 7, Cinderella at Theatre Sarnia
May 8, Flanagan's Wake at Theatre Intrigue Society (Windsor)
May 12, The Women at Shaw Festival (Niagara-on-the-Lake)
May 14, Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well And Living In Paris at Stratford Shakespeare Festival in previews

In Toronto:
May 7, Revolver Lounge at Bad Dog Theatre Company
May 10, In This World at Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People

For all the theatre current playing across Ontario, or for information for theatres on how to add/update your listing, visit ONstage on the Theatre Ontario website.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Recognizing outstanding secondary school students

Theatre Ontario's newly renamed "Certificates of Excellence" are a way for secondary schools and teachers to recognize outstanding student commitment to the drama/theatre community.  With commencement season approaching, now is a terrific time to think about that student whose achievement you wish to recognize.

Read more about the Certificate of Excellence on the Theatre Ontario website

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Don Fleckser to receive 2010 Maggie Bassett Award

Theatre Ontario is thrilled to announce that the 2010 Maggie Bassett Award shall be presented to Don Fleckser. The award, which recognizes a sustained and significant contribution to the development of theatre in Ontario, is a worthy honour for a man whose work in theatre has had an impact far beyond London and Ontario.

For over sixty years, Don Fleckser has been involved in theatre. As an actor he has appeared in numerous community and professional productions, beginning with his role as Badger in Toad of Toad Hall at London Little Theatre in 1953. Professional acting credits include roles at The Huron Country Playhouse, The Port Stanley Festival Theatre, The Victoria Playhouse Petrolia and appearances on the television series Due South.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Summer Theatre Merry-Go-Round 2010

by Tim Chapman, Professional Theatre Coordinator

Looking at the 2010 season schedules of the twenty-two summer theatres who belong to ASTRO (Association of Summer Theatres ‘Round Ontario), it is not surprising to often discover the same productions, plays and playwrights shared among the member theatres.  It is also not surprising to find successful productions and plays being re-mounted or revived by theatres.  It goes without saying that there are many practical reasons for this in the financially precarious world of live theatre, but it also provides audiences a chance to see hit shows they may have missed, to re-visit their favourite writers, and to see popular plays and shows from elsewhere which have not been performed locally.  I want to give you a peek at what is coming this summer, taking a rather circuitous route of revivals, shared productions and oft-produced plays and playwrights programmed for the 2010 summer season.