Monday, 16 May 2011

Join Us at Theatre Ontario Festival 2011

On May 18 to 22, the 2011 Theatre Ontario Festival travels to Richmond Hill.  Are we going to see you there?

The annual Theatre Ontario Festival is a showcase of outstanding community theatre productions chosen from regional festivals across the province.  The Festival brings together theatre lovers from all over Ontario, and is an excellent learning experience, with adjudications, workshops, networking, and play readings by Canadian writers.  It's also a celebration of community theatre: awards recognizing outstanding achievements, and lots of parties!

The networking starts with the Festival organization itself.  The Festival is a partnership between Theatre Ontario, the local regional association (ACT-CO, the Association of Community Theatres—Central Ontario), and the host group.  This year’s host company is The Curtain Club, a community theatre with over 55 years of history presenting outstanding theatre in the Town of Richmond Hill.

This year’s line-up of productions features the musical comedy Suds by Steve Gundersen, Bryan Scott & Melinda Gilb, the classic Canadian comedy Balconville by David Fennario, the new Canadian triumph Trying by Joanna McClelland Glass, and the 20th century masterpiece Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee.  These four outstanding productions from Whitby, Espanola, Kingston, and Windsor take the stage at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts.  Tickets are available at 905.787.8811.

At the opening reception on Wednesday night at The Curtain Club, we will be launching Grassroots: Original Plays From Ontario Community Theatres, our partnership with Playwrights Canada Press to publish a collection of full-length scripts that premiered on our province’s community theatre stages.  After each performance, we’ll be returning to The Curtain Club for the Green Room receptions.

Beginning Thursday morning through to Sunday, there will be a detailed adjudication of the previous night’s performance at 10am.  Our adjudicator is Jane Carnwath; previously she adjudicated our 2005 Festival in Belleville.  Thursday afternoon features her Adjudicator’s Workshop: “Directing: Working With Actors” at 2pm; and on Friday afternoon, playwright Emil Sher will be our Playwright-in-Person, reading from his work, also at 2pm.  Saturday afternoon at 11:30am, Theatre Ontario will hold its AGM.  All of these events are at The Curtain Club.

On Thursday and Saturday afternoon, heritage buffs can take advantage of tours of the historic parts of Richmond Hill, a Town whose roots date back to the 18th century.

On Sunday morning at noon, we will be recognizing outstanding achievements from the productions at the Festival awards brunch.  We will also be presenting the 2011 Maggie Bassett Award to Diana Belshaw.  Doors open at 11:30am.  Our Festival awards live-blog in 2010 was a big hit…stay-tuned for news about our plans for 2011.

And while Jane adjudicates this year's productions, a new generation of adjudicators will be taking part in our Introduction to Adjudication course lead by Ron Cameron-Lewis.

All of your Festival 2011 event information can be found at the Official Festival website  We look forward to seeing you in Richmond Hill!

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