Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Welcome Bloor West Village Players and Domino Theatre to Theatre Ontario Festival 2019

Theatre Ontario is thrilled to welcome the final two productions that will perform at Theatre Ontario Festival 2019 in Richmond Hill. These productions are chosen from Ontario’s regional community theatre festivals, and are a showcase of outstanding community theatre from across the province.

Bloor West Village Players' production of Late Company
(standing) Rob Candy, Lydia Kiselyk
(seated) Andrew Horbatuik, Dylan Mills-Capote, Andrea Lyons
On Wednesday, May 15, Bloor West Village Players from Toronto will present Jordan Tannahill’s Late Company, representing the Association of Community Theatres—Central Ontario. This will be their first time at Theatre Ontario Festival, and they were chosen as the Best Production of a Drama by adjudicator Janet Kish from ACT-CO Festival 2018/2019.

Since 1974, Toronto’s Bloor West Village Players have produced both entertaining and thought-provoking theatre. As a non-profit group it aims to offer professional production quality, at a modest cost. It is an active part of the community and provides opportunities for training and participation in all aspects of theatre. They produce a season of five Mainspace plays in their 162-seat theatre, from September to May. Their Reading Committee spends the year reading, then presents a long-list of recommendations to the Board, which chooses five. The Board of Directors then co-ordinates the team for each show; directors, producers, stage managers, designers, operators, and the balance of the team are all pulled from their large volunteer base.

In Late Company, two families come together in an attempt to reach an understanding a year after the death of the son of one of the couples. Family secrets are revealed, as everyone deals with issues of coping with grief and guilt. This leads to them ask questions about how well we know ourselves, those closest to us, and especially our children. As so often happens, it is a case of “we don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” Late Company was written when Jordan Tannahill was 23 (he’s now 30, twice winner of the Governor General’s Award for English-language drama) and is based on an actual incident.

Domino Theatre's production of Outside Mullingar
David Hurley, Geoff Johnson, Sandie Cond
On Friday, May 17, Domino Theatre from Kingston will represent the Eastern Ontario Drama League with their production of Outside Mullingar by John Patrick Shanley. Domino returns to Festival for the first time since 2011 when they presented Trying by Joanna McClelland Glass and received the Elsie for Outstanding Production in Festival—coincidentally, 2011 was the last time Theatre Ontario Festival was held in Richmond Hill. Domino was chosen as recipient of the Leslie M. Frost Award for Best Production in the EODL Festival by adjudicator Carey Nicholson.

Since its unusual beginning between feature films at the old Odeon Theatre in Kingston in 1952, Domino has grown to a full seven-play winter season. Each season offers an appealing mix of drama, comedy and mystery from the Canadian and world stages. People from all walks of life pool their skills to present productions of a consistently high calibre. As a member of the Eastern Ontario Drama League and Theatre Ontario, Domino is actively involved in the Ontario amateur theatre community and has acted as host to several annual festivals. Many Domino people and productions have been recognized for their excellence at the regional and provincial levels.

With a Board of Directors elected by the membership, and with advertised auditions open to all, Domino welcomes the participation of interested volunteers both on stage and behind the scenes.
In Outside Mullingar, Anthony and Rosemary are two introverted misfits straddling 40. Anthony has spent his entire life on a cattle farm in rural Ireland, a state of affairs that, due to his painful shyness, suits him well. Rosemary lives next door and is determined to have him but is watching the years slip away. With Anthony’s father threatening to disinherit him and a land feud simmering between their families, Rosemary has every reason to fear romantic catastrophe. In this very Irish story with a depth of poetic passion, these yearning, eccentric souls fight their way toward some kind of happiness. Outside Mullingar is a compassionate, delightful work about how it’s never too late to take a chance on love.

As previously announced, Theatre Ontario Festival 2019 will feature detailed adjudications with Carolee Mason, a Playwright-in-Person reading with Keith Barker, workshops, awards and parties celebrating community theatre in Ontario.

The annual Theatre Ontario Festival is a showcase of outstanding community theatre productions; a symposium for passionate, dedicated community theatre artists; a celebration of excellence in community theatre; and a destination bringing together theatre lovers from across the province. Theatre Ontario Festival 2019 runs May 15 to 19, and is hosted by The Curtain Club with performances at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts, and the Association of Community Theatres—Central Ontario.

Join us at Theatre Ontario Festival 2019

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