Monday, 24 July 2017

ONstage Openings for the week of July 24

ONstage Now Playing on Tour
Othello from Driftwood Theatre
Christopher Darroch, Jordin Hall
Photo by Dahlia Katz
This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages

In Southwestern Ontario

Jul. 27, Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery at Lighthouse Festival Theatre (Port Dover) [with previews from Jul. 26]
Jul. 27, Five Alarm at Port Stanley Festival Theatre [with previews from Jul. 26]
Jul. 27, One for the Pot at Drayton Entertainment: Dunfield Theatre Cambridge [with previews from Jul. 26]
Jul. 30, The Breathing Hole at Stratford Festival [in previews]

In Toronto

Jul. 24, Girl Crush at The Musical Stage Company
Jul. 28, An Octoroon at Shaw Festival (Niagara-on-the-Lake)
Jul. 29, Dracula at Shaw Festival (Niagara-on-the-Lake)
Jul. 30, Middletown at Shaw Festival (Niagara-on-the-Lake)

ONstage Now Playing in South Central Ontario
Mary's Wedding at Theatre 3x60 (Port Perry)

In Central Ontario

Jul. 26, Raising the Barn at Globus Theatre (Bobcaygeon)
Jul. 27, Bedtime Stories at Orillia Opera House [with previews from Jul. 26]

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

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Join Us at the Adjudicators Symposium

by Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager

Our Adjudicators Symposium has been scheduled for Saturday, October 14 from 10:00am to 4:00pm at the Theatre Ontario office in Toronto. Registrations are now open.

As has become tradition, the Symposium will open with a discussion of “The Past Year of Adjudication.” Adjudicators who were engaged at community theatre festivals in 2016/17 are invited to share their experiences.

In the “Adjudication Techniques Roundtable”, we will discuss strategies for approaching areas of adjudication. Two suggestions have come forward already:
  • Adjudicator-Director conversations in adjudications
  • Adjudicating Intimacy
Further suggestions for topics are invited, as well.

We will also have breakout sessions to discuss “Broader Issues and Big Ideas in Adjudication.” So far, we have three conversation starters:
  • Articulating the Value of Adjudication and Why We Adjudicate
  • Connecting Adjudicators and Prospective Engagers
  • Adjudicator Membership and Involvement in Community Theatres and Productions
Again, suggestions for other topics is appreciated.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Browsing Our Bulletin Board

Theatre Ontario's Summer Theatre Intensive

Coming Up from Theatre Ontario

  • We are still accepting registrations for our Summer Theatre Intensive for actors, directors, and playwrights. Spaces are available until July 21.
  • Want to know the secrets to a successful voice acting career? Join us at our Voice Over workshop with Elley-Ray on July 22 in Toronto.
Check out all of our upcoming Career Stream and Creator Stream workshops.

Upcoming on The Bulletin Board

  • The Shaw Festival “Shaw Conference” for academics and Shaw experts begins on July 21.
  • The Shaw’s Stage Skills for Adults “Stage Combat” workshop is on July 28.

New on The Bulletin Board

  • Laidlaw Foundation invites submissions for their Resilience 150 grants for projects and events created and/or co-created by young people that celebrate Indigenous resilience and resistance on this land. The deadline is July 31.
  • The Stratford Festival invites submissions for the Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction from emerging and mid-stage theatre directors. The application deadline is August 8.
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, 18 July 2017

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 2, 2017.

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: Jessie Fraser

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

Jessie Fraser is training in digital communications and archival processes with Adam Barrett at VideoCabaret in Toronto

(June 15, 2017)

It's very dark in here. Not quite the total darkness that will envelop the opening night house but close enough. Monitors glow from inside the house as designers and technicians make the thousands of tiny adjustments needed to make the intricate details of these shows seem effortless. The company on both sides of the knee-wall becoming an increasingly well-oiled machine moving seamlessly through razor-sharp lights and dizzying costume changes, barreling like a train—

"stop" "stop" "STOP" 
"...everybody ok?" 
"Yup, couldn't find my moustache, it was caught in Madame Gauthier's wig." Reset. Start again. 

Bob Nasmith came to the first preview, watched act one from the booth. "Marvellous, just marvellous!" Bob is one of the original Videocab actors and can remember playing many of the roles on stage right now. Paul Braunstein, assistant director, was once Laurier and even onstage actors play opposite characters they once embodied themselves. Such is the legacy of this company. 

I spent much of the early stage of this rehearsal process working in the sound department helping Richard Feren wrangle the vast musical resource that is the Brent Snyder library. Digging through boxes of A-tracks and reel-to-reel video searching for an elusive overture I am face-to-face with the reality of the importance of ongoing archival practice. I am one who believes that in order to support innovation and experimentation of form and invention we must be able to reference and access the innovations and experiments of our past.

As the process continued I found myself drawn to find out more about Brad Harley, co-Artistic Director of Shadowland Theatre and designer of Videocabaret’s idiosyncratic props. Brad’s been working with the company since the early 80’s and staying focused while going through his props and set pieces in storage is a herculean act of self-control. The full list for parts one and two is a daunting two-page document, landscape-orientated, two columns, 10pt font, single spaced. Some props, like the crucified Christ on a cross or the cow, have been around for years (although, to the best of my knowledge, this is the first time Bessie has been able to be milked.) Props are modified and adapted to suit the current production while maps are constantly being adjusted as the size of the theatre changes the way we perceive the images.

What's next? Confederation Part I opens this coming Saturday and we have just begun the massive task of negotiating the company through the cue to cue for Part II. I will begin the second part of my time with Adam as we begin to explore the finer points of photo and video editing for online communications purposes. I'm excited, these are skills that I constantly find myself lacking in my own work and I have been fortunate enough to pair my time with Videocabaret with a residency at the east end bar, Farside, where I am going through the personal archives of my grandmother; a wonderful example of the larger themes that become the containers and questions supporting my professional and personal work.

Having the support of Theatre Ontario has afforded me the flexibility to do so much more than simply shadow and observe a mentor. It has given me the flexibility to invest time into both the process and history of an historic company throughout the course of an historic double bill production. As we turn the corner from rehearsal to performance and as Adam and I make the shift from archive to communication I am reminded to keep track of this experience with my own documentation, after all, what’s the point of saving it if I can’t find it later? 

Related Reading:

The next application deadline for the Professional Theatre Training Program is October 2, 2017.

Theatre Ontario’s Professional Theatre Training Program is funded by the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario.