Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Browsing Our Bulletin Board

Upcoming opportunities for theatre artists from Theatre Ontario, from our members, and from other arts service organizations

Coming Up from Theatre Ontario

  • Deadline for applications for New Faces (recent theatre grads from other training programs) at Next Generation Showcase 2018 of graduating theatre students is December 15.
  • We are also seeking volunteers for Next Generation Showcase, helping with backstage coordination and ushering.
  • Preparing an OAC application? Get the inside scoop at our “Grant Writing Information Session” free pre-recorded webinar with Pat Bradley of the Ontario Arts Council available on January 9.
  • Learn the techniques and the language to stage human sexuality in a way that is professional, dynamic and focused on storytelling at our “Intimacy for the Stage for Directors” workshop on January 13 in Toronto.
Check out all of our upcoming Career Stream and Creator Stream workshops.

Upcoming on The Bulletin Board

The Amorous Servant at Odyssey Theatre in summer 2017.
Their Ontario Arts Council Recommender Grants for Theatre
Creators deadline is December 18.
  • Deadline to apply for Ontario Arts Council’s Artists in Communities and Schools Projects is December 14.
  • Deadline to apply for The MT Space’s Ontario Arts Council Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators is December 15.
  • Deadline for nominations for the Gina Wilkinson Prize for experienced female artists transitioning into directing is December 15.
  • Deadline for submissions for the Ellen Ross Stuart Opening Doors Award for emerging writers is December 15.
  • Deadline to apply for Odyssey Theatre’s Ontario Arts Council Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators is December 18.
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, 12 December 2017

Join Us at Theatre Ontario Next Generation Showcase 2018

We warmly invite Directors, Artistic Directors, Producers, Casting Directors, Agents (EIC signed or TAMAC members), and other Industry Professionals to join us at Theatre Ontario’s Next Generation Showcase of graduating student talent.

When: Sunday, January 14th and Monday, January 15th, 2018
Where: Miles Nadal JCC,Al Green Theatre, 750 Spadina Avenue, Toronto

Learn more about Next Generation and RSVP on our website

Monday, 11 December 2017

ONstage Openings for the week of December 11

ONstage Now Playing in Southwestern Ontario
A Christmas Carol at The Grand Theatre (London)
Patrick Monaghan, Ben Campbell
Photo by Claus Andersen

This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages

In Southwestern Ontario

Dec. 14, The Wind in the Willows at Yellow Door Theatre Project (St. Catharines)
Dec. 15, A Christmas Story, The Musical at Theatre Sarnia

In Toronto

Dec. 14, The Tale of a Town – Canada at Theatre Passe Muraille [with a preview on Dec. 13]
Dec. 15, A Very Soulpepper Christmas at Soulpepper Theatre
Dec. 16, Miracle on Mercer Street at The Second City


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

Friday, 8 December 2017

Ontario Off Stage

Theatre Ontario's Holiday GIVING Tree
by Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager

From Theatre Ontario


Conversation Starters


Behind the Scenes at Ontario’s Theatres


Migrations


In Case You Missed It

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Browsing Our Bulletin Board

Upcoming opportunities for theatre artists 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

  • Great Canadian Theatre Company in Ottawa is hosting a Hive workshop for students on “Introduction to Improv” today.
  • Deadline for submissions from professional new generation playwrights under the age of 35 for Driftwood Theatre's Trafalgar 24 is December 11.
  • Deadline for submissions from volunteer directors with production proposals for Kitchener-Waterloo Little Theatre's 18/19 season is December 11.
    Kitchener-Waterloo Little Theatre is seeking
    production proposals for the 2018/19 season
  • Deadline to apply for Ontario Arts Council’s Artists in Communities and Schools Projects is December 14.
  • Deadline to apply for The MT Space’s Ontario Arts Council Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators is December 15.
  • Deadline for nominations for the Gina Wilkinson Prize for experienced female artists transitioning into directing is December 15.
  • Deadline for submissions for the Ellen Ross Stuart Award for emerging writers is December 15.
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, 5 December 2017

Join Us at Theatre Ontario Festival 2018

Tickets and accommodations for Theatre Ontario Festival 2018 in London will be going on sale on December 15th.

Opening May 16, and running until May 20, our annual Festival is a celebration of community theatre—featuring performances, adjudications, and workshops—bringing together theatre lovers from across the province. Early-bird 4-show packages at a discounted rate of $88 are available until February 1. After that, packages will cost $96. Single tickets are $27 each and Awards Brunch tickets are $35.

Tickets will be available online at www.theatreontariofestival.ca (additional charge for online sales) or you can call the London Community Players Box Office at 519.432.1029 (box office hours are Tuesday to Friday from 11am to 7pm.)  The link will also have information about the Festival schedule and hotel information after December 15th.

Theatre Ontario Festival 2018 is hosted by London Community Players in partnership with Theatre Ontario and the Western Ontario Drama League.

Related reading

Monday, 4 December 2017

ONstage Openings for the week of December 4

This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages
ONstage Now Playing in Eastern Ontario
Noises Off at Belleville Theatre Guild

In Central Ontario

Dec. 6, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe at Peterborough Theatre Guild
Dec. 9, A Sherlock Christmas at Lindsay Little Theatre

In Eastern Ontario

Dec. 7, Annie at Suzart Productions (Ottawa)
Dec. 8, A Christmas Carol at National Arts Centre—English Theatre (Ottawa) [with previews from Dec. 5]
Dec. 8, Aladdin at Smiths Falls Community Theatre

ONstage Now Playing in Southwestern Ontario
A Christmas Carol at Elora Community Theatre

In Northeastern Ontario

Dec. 6, King Arthur at Sault Theatre Workshop (Sault Ste. Marie)
Dec. 8, A Christmas Story at Sudbury Theatre Centre [with a preview on Dec. 7]

In Northwestern Ontario

Dec. 8, Miracle on 34th Street at Magnus Theatre (Thunder Bay)

In Toronto

Dec. 7, A Christmas Carol at Soulpepper Theatre
Dec. 8, Peter Pan at Soulpepper Theatre


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

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Seeking "New Faces" to Participate in Next Generation Showcase 2018

Theatre Ontario’s annual Next Generation Showcase, presented in partnership with the Miles Nadal JCC, will take place on January 14th and 15th at the Al Green Theatre.

This unique two-day event provides graduating theatre students the opportunity to showcase their talents in front of industry professionals, including casting directors, artistic directors, independent directors, producers, and agents. Many of the top theatre training programs from Ontario and beyond participate annually, and each year we also provide an opportunity for recent grads from other training programs wishing to pursue their performing careers in Ontario in our NEW FACES category.

To be eligible to apply to "New Faces", you must fulfill the following criteria:
  • You are graduating or have graduated from a full-time theatre training program within the last 3 years;
  • You currently reside, or plan to reside, in Ontario and are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada;
  • You presently do not have an agent;
Please note:  If you have already participated in the Next Generation Showcase in the past, you are not eligible for NEW FACES participation.

The deadline for application is Friday, December 15th at 12:00 noon

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Browsing Our Bulletin Board

Upcoming opportunities for theatre artists from Theatre Ontario, from our members, and from other arts service organizations

Coming Up from Theatre Ontario

"Propel Your Professional Career Forward" workshop
Check out all of our upcoming Career Stream and Creator Stream workshops.

Upcoming on The Bulletin Board

  • Deadline to apply for Carousel Players’ Ontario Arts Council Recommender Grant for Theatre Creators is November 30.
  • Deadline for submissions for South Simcoe Theatre’s “Four Play: A Showcase of Play Readings” is November 30.
  • Deadline to apply for Great Canadian Theatre Company’s Ontario Arts Council Recommender Grant for Theatre Creators is December 1.
  • Deadline to apply for Buddies in Bad Times’ Ontario Arts Council Recommender Grant for Theatre Creators is December 1.
  • Great Canadian Theatre Company in Ottawa is hosting a Hive workshop for students on “Introduction to Improv” on December 6.

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

Monday, 27 November 2017

ONstage Openings for the week of November 27

ONstage Now Playing in Central Ontario
The Drawer Boy at Huronia Players (Midland)
This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages

In Toronto

Nov. 28, Instant at Young People's Theatre
Nov. 28, Moll at Randolph College for the Performing Arts
Nov. 29, Munsch on the Moon at George Brown Theatre School
Nov. 30, Heisenberg at Canadian Stage [with previews from Nov. 28]
Dec. 1, It's a Wonderful Life at Scarborough Players
Dec. 1, Scenes from the City at Bad Dog Theatre Company
Dec. 2, 7th Cousins at Nightwood Theatre

In Central Ontario

Nov. 30, That December Show - Cinder Ella, Eh! at South Simcoe Theatre (Cookstown)
Dec. 1, The Last Christmas Turkey at Theatre Orangeville [with a preview on Nov. 30]
Dec. 1, Bob's Your Elf at Northumberland Players (Cobourg)
Dec. 2, How to Eat Like a Child and Other Lessons in Not Being a Grown-Up at Northumberland Players (Cobourg)

In Eastern Ontario

Nov. 29, Peter Pan and Wendy at Ottawa Little Theatre
Nov. 30, Blind Date at Great Canadian Theatre Company (Ottawa) [with previews from Nov. 28]
Nov. 30, Noises Off at Belleville Theatre Guild [with a preview on Nov. 28]
Nov. 30, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at Domino Theatre (Kingston)
Nov. 30, A Christmas Story at Studio Theatre Perth
Dec. 2, Mistletoe Magic at Upper Canada Playhouse (Morrisburg) [with a preview on Dec. 1]

In South Central Ontario

Nov. 30, The Game's Afoot, or Holmes for the Holidays at Theatre Aurora

In Southwestern Ontario

Dec. 1, A Christmas Carol at The Grand Theatre (London) [with previews from Nov. 28]
ONstage Now Playing in Southwestern Ontario
The Giant's Garden at Kincardine Theatre Guild
Dec. 1, Honk! at Drayton Entertainment: St. Jacobs Country Playhouse [with previews from Nov. 29]
Dec. 1, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Theatre Aquarius (Hamilton) [with previews from Nov. 29]
Dec. 1, Anne of Green Gables at London Community Players [with a preview on Nov. 30]
Dec. 1, A Christmas Carol at Elora Community Theatre (Fergus)
For all the theatre playing across Ontario, visit Theatre Ontario’s ONstage theatre listings on our website

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Browsing Our Bulletin Board

Upcoming opportunities for theatre artists 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

  • Obsidian Theatre Company in Toronto is hosting Darktown – a new community event initiative for young-in-craft and professional Black theatre artists – on November 27.
  • Deadline to apply for Carousel Players’ Ontario Arts Council Recommender Grant for Theatre Creators is November 30.
  • Deadline for submissions for South Simcoe Theatre’s “Four Play: A Showcase of Play Readings” is November 30.
  • Deadline to apply for Great Canadian Theatre Company’s Ontario Arts Council Recommender Grant for Theatre Creators is December 1.
  • Deadline to apply for Buddies in Bad Times’ Ontario Arts Council Recommender Grant for Theatre Creators is December 1.
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, 21 November 2017

Celebrating Legendary Commitment to Community Theatre

Our Michael Spence Award recognizes outstanding contribution, generosity of spirit, involvement, and legendary commitment to community theatre in a region. The award is presented annually within the region that is hosting the Theatre Ontario Festival.

In 2018, the award will be presented to someone in the Western Ontario region of Ontario community theatre. The deadline for nominations to be received by Theatre Ontario is January 31.

We caught up with two past recipients of the Michael Spence Award from the Western Ontario Drama League region to find out how they are continuing to contribute to theatre in their community and region.

Bev Dietrich (Elmira) was awarded the Michael Spence Award in 2014

Bev Dietrich
Has it been four years already? It just seems like yesterday that I received that phone call from Brandon and expressed to him my total disbelief in a few choice words. Four years later I can truly say that it is still an honour!

Theatre is still a big part of my life. In the past two years I have moved on up and now sit on the Board for both my home theatre and with the Western Ontario Drama League.  At WODL I serve as Area Vice President for Waterloo Region and Wellington County. I represent five different community theatre groups. My duties include introducing the travelling adjudicator, sitting in on the adjudications, and reporting on the group’s activities to the WODL board.

At Elmira Theatre Company (ETC), I sit on the executive as the VP of Productions. All things “production” fall under my umbrella which include the play reading committee and chairing the technical production committee. I recently worked with a standing committee re-writing our theatre by-laws that were passed at our AGM in September. Over the summer I re-organized the theatre archives (10 banker boxes in total) and helped with our prop storage re-organization. I am also our membership chairperson, so I keep track of the membership forms, who paid and hasn’t and of course “the active membership list.” Two years ago I wrote an article “The Show Must Go On: The History of Elmira Theatre Company” which was published in the Waterloo Historical Society Volume 102.

I’m producing our in-festival production of On a First Name Basis by Norm Foster in 2018 as well as our spring production of Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose. We are going to do this production in the round, which is exciting and a first for our theatre company.

This past year I retired from my day job and have found time for activities that don’t relate to theatre but at the same time I even have more time for theatre now!

Lawrie Bonanno (Burlington) was awarded the Michael Spence Award in 2012

Lawrie Bonanno
I am acting as Vice President of Theatre Burlington this year. I continue as business administrator for Theatre Burlington—dealing with the city as the Drama Centre is a city-owned building—looking after any problems that might crop up, overseeing purchases, organizing cleaners and general purchases that are required to keep everyone happy (like providing tea and coffee!) Last year we installed a whole new updated lighting system in the Drama Centre with the aid of an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant.

I looks after the awards for Burlington. I also make and supply all the awards that are given out at the Western Ontario Drama League (WODL) Festival each year. I am also Chair of the Life Memberships for both Burlington and WODL.

Monday, 20 November 2017

ONstage Openings for the week of November 20

ONstage Now Playing in Toronto
Quiet Courage at Amicus Productions
Photo by Dave Fitzpatrick
This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages

In Southwestern Ontario

Nov. 23, It's Morning Now at Players' Guild of Hamilton
Nov. 23, Once Upon a Mattress at Kitchener-Waterloo Little Theatre
Nov. 24, Beauty and the Beast at Drayton Entertainment: Dunfield Theatre Cambridge [with previews from Nov. 22]
Nov. 24, Bob's Your Elf at Cambridge Community Players
Nov. 24, A Dickens of a Christmas at Theatre Woodstock
Nov. 24, Saving Sleeping Beauty at Guelph Little Theatre
Nov. 25, A Christmas Carol at Shaw Festival (Niagara-on-the-Lake) [currently in previews]

In Toronto

Nov. 21, Cake at Theatre Passe Muraille [currently in previews]
Nov. 23, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Sweater at The Second City [with previews from Nov. 20]
Nov. 23, Born Yesterday at Stage Centre Productions
ONstage Now Playing in Toronto
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
at Hart House Theatre
(Front) Vanessa Campbell, Amy Swift, Kevin Forster
(Back) John Wamsley, Erin Humphry, Braelyn Guppy, Hugh Ritchie
Photo by Scott Gorman
Nov. 23, Pygmalion at Alexander Showcase Theatre
Nov. 25, Unholy from Nightwood Theatre at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre [with previews from Nov. 23]

In Eastern Ontario

Nov. 23, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at Bottle Tree Productions (Kingston)

In Northeastern Ontario

Nov. 22, 1837: The Farmers' Revolt at Gateway Theatre Guild (North Bay)
Nov. 24, It's a Wonderful Life at Take Two Theatre (Timmins)


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

Friday, 17 November 2017

Ontario Off Stage

by Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager

Conversation Starters


Behind the Scenes at Ontario’s Theatres


TO Toasts


In Case You Missed It

Thursday, 16 November 2017

A Fruitful and Festivity-Filled Fall for Ontario Summer Theatre

by Rachel Kennedy, Professional Theatre and Education Manager

As you have probably noticed, the bright, beautiful days of summer have come and passed for 2017.  It’s true that our clocks have changed, our fall jackets are starting to feel worn in again, and some people have even been shovelling snow—but that doesn’t mean that the excitement has stopped for Ontario Summer Theatre! It has been a busy month for OST members, as we tied up their summer seasons with an AGM and welcomed new talent into the room for our 2017 General Auditions—so grab a hot cup of cocoa and let us fill you in on what we’ve been up to!

A bench at the Blyth Festival
On October 19-20th, ten of our member companies got together for our AGM in sunny Blyth, Ontario. As if the scenic drive out to the Blyth Festival Theatre wasn’t enough, Artistic Director Gil Garratt was there waiting with a full two-day schedule of activities for everyone. Day one was focused on professional development and best practices. We welcomed Deidre Walton of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatre (PACT) in the morning for a 4-hour ALL-IN session: a highly collaborative program focused on increasing equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) throughout Canada’s theatre sector. After a quick lunch we were back at it with a tour of the Blyth Festival’s newly renovated facilities and a roundtable discussion about audience development, strategic planning, and the ever-changing world of social media. For dinner, Gil told the group that he had a table reserved over at the Blyth Inn (affectionately nicknamed “The Boot” by locals) for their wing night. 

The Boot
I don’t know if you have been to Blyth before, but if you are familiar with small-town Ontario you may be asking why we needed a reservation for a Thursday night. If you are familiar with The Blyth Inn’s wing night, however, you wouldn’t even be asking. As Gil, Rachael and John explained to us, wing night is when the locals come out to hit The Boot in full force. We had a fabulous time rubbing elbows with so many members of the Blyth community and it is safe to say that Wing Night definitely lived up to its reputation. 

After dinner (and a mandatory Wet Nap bath) we headed off to the brand new Cowbell Brewery for a play reading by Sophia Fabiilli, sponsored by Playwrights Guild of Canada’s PlayConnect program. The large, picturesque brewery and restaurant is located just 900m from the Blyth Festival Theatre and makes for the perfect after-dinner walk to stretch your legs. When we arrived, we were shown to a private room reserved for our event, and were treated to an incredible show of talent from Sophia, who played every character in a reading of her farce Liars at a Funeral. After hearing most of the first act, our guests were filled with questions and excitement about the rest of the play. We were hooked. Sophia was kind enough to stick around and answer everyone’s questions, and even joined us in tasting some of the local flavours (the Absent Landlord Country Kolsch was a personal favourite).

Sophia Fabiilli
“I am still smiling from the experience,” said Sophia. “As an early career playwright, the opportunity to read my work for a room of Artistic Directors does not come up every day. One of my biggest takeaways is a simple one: AD's and their staff truly love theatre. We communicate so much over email that it’s easy to forget that the people running theatres are generally really, really excited about what they do—and when you get them in a room together that passion is palpable. So, if you're a playwright hesitating to submit your play... Or an actor second-guessing yourself before an audition... Remember the people on the other end have devoted their lives to this, just like you have. Don't let fear hide your passion!”

The second day of our festivities was focused on the AGM itself. Each theatre came with their reports and we discussed themes that were present in various seasons, as well as a clear focus on the growing importance of professional development and networking. After a great discussion, and our annual nominations for the Executive Committee, the meeting was adjourned and our group slowly dissipated, taking off in various directions for a beautiful autumn drive home. 

Members of Ontario Summer Theatre
Back at the Theatre Ontario office, the activity picked right back up as we continued preparing for the OST General Auditions to be held on November 6th and 7th at Tarragon Theatre in Toronto. The generals are usually held every two years and are open for any OST members who wish to participate. This year we had eight member companies join us in inviting submissions from actors who wished to be seen. Once again hundreds of great resumes were sent out to various companies, and out of everyone’s top picks, a short list of 76 actors was chosen and scheduled. By November 1st we had our final schedule and the actors had just under one week left to finish their audition pieces. 

I was only able to attend for the last hour of Monday’s schedule, but the excitement in the air when I reached Tarragon’s studio space was palpable. I had the joy of seeing a few familiar faces as performers filed in and out of the waiting room, and I was excited to hear that our group of AD’s had also made time to see at least ten “crashers” that day as well! The atmosphere was supportive and the panel of professionals waiting inside was always filled with smiling faces, ready to soak up new talent. I wasn’t able to make it back to see everyone off at the end of the second day, but I so look forward to hearing more stories from the general auditions, and learning what new connections were made. 

So what’s next for the OST? We’ve certainly got a few tricks up our sleeves for the 2018 summer season, but for now our energy is focused on celebrating each of the current and upcoming season announcements. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our Theatre Map and find out which OST company is near you—it’s never too early to start dreaming of warmer days!

Related Reading

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Browsing Our Bulletin Board

Upcoming opportunities for theatre artists 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

  • GCTC’s next The Hive workshop for students is Musical Theatre is today.
  • Deadline for grant applications for the Ontario Arts Council’s “Northern Arts Projects” is November 16.
  • Daniela Saioni’s “Am I Covered? The Art of Visual Storytelling for Film and TV” workshop runs November 18 and 19. This workshop may be of interest for theatre artists interested in film-making, or stage managers interested in learning script supervision.

New on The Bulletin Board

  • Common Boots Theatre in Toronto invites volunteers to be show ushers as part of their walking winter show The Story. Volunteer deadline is December 3.
  • Theatre Aurora invites volunteers for the production team of If/Then, opening January 25, in the roles of costume designer, props master, set construction, and scenic painter.
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, 14 November 2017

Congratulations to the Professional Theatre Training Program Fall 2017 Grant Recipients

We are pleased to announce the latest recipients of training grants through Theatre Ontario’s Professional Theatre Training Program (PTTP). We thank all those who applied to the program.

$32,800 was awarded in total among the following 9 recipients:
  • Cole Alvis will train in directing with Nina Lee Aquino at Theatre Passe Muraille in Tkarón:to
  • Carly Chamberlain will train in artistic direction with Franco Boni at The Theatre Centre in Toronto
  • Howard J. Davis will train in directing and designing with Peter Hinton, Beth Kates, Michael Giafrancesco, and Michael Hart at The Grand Theatre in London
  • Aaron Jan will train in dramaturgy with Marjorie Chan at Cahoots Theatre in Toronto
  • Darwin Lyons will train in directing with Ravi Jain at Why Not Theatre in Toronto
  • Harveen Sandhu will train in directing, artistic direction, and producing with John Van Burek at Pleiades Theatre in Ottawa
  • Andrea Scott will train in producing with David Auster at the Stratford Festival
  • Sara Topham will train in teaching pure movement with Shona Morris at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London UK
  • ted witzel will train in artistic direction with Antoni Cimolino at the Stratford Festival
Over $101,000 was requested during this application round. The next application deadline for this program is March 1, 2018.

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


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

Monday, 13 November 2017

ONstage Openings for the week of November 13

This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages

ONstage Now Playing in Eastern Ontario
Ordinary Days at Great Canadian Theatre Company
Katie Ryerson, Zach Counsil, Jennifer Cecil, Gab Desmond
Photo by Andrew Alexander

In South Central Ontario

Nov. 15, Jitters at Markham Little Theatre 
Nov. 16, All Shook Up at Marquee Theatrical Productions (Newmarket)
Nov. 17, Parfumerie at The Curtain Club (Richmond Hill) [with a preview on Nov. 16]
Nov. 19, Sleeping Beauty at Theatre Burlington

In Southwestern Ontario

Nov. 15, A Christmas Carol at Shaw Festival (Niagara-on-the-Lake) [in previews]
Nov. 17, Red at Calithumpian Theatre Company (London) [with a preview on Nov. 16]
Nov. 17, Things My Mother Taught Me at Grey Wellingon Theatre Guild (Harriston)
Nov. 17, Queen Milli of Galt at Thistle Theatre (Embro)
Nov. 19, Aladdin at Century Church Theatre (Hillsburgh)

In Toronto

Nov. 14, Old Man and the River at Theatre Direct
Nov. 14, Uncovered: Dylan and Springsteen at The Musical Stage Company
Nov. 15, Triptyque at Canadian Stage
Nov. 15, Weesageechak 30 at Native Earth Performing Arts
Nov. 17, Cake at Theatre Passe Muraille [in previews]
Nov. 17, Outside at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre
Nov. 19, Shen Development Festival at Soulpepper Theatre

ONstage Now Playing in South Central Ontario
Mambo Italiano at Whitby Courthouse Theatre

In Central Ontario

Nov. 16, The Giant's Garden at Kincardine Theatre Guild
Nov. 17, Robin Hood: The Panto at Port Hope Festival Theatre
Nov. 17, The Drawer Boy at Huronia Players (Midland)

In Eastern Ontario

Nov. 17, It Runs in the Family at Brockville Theatre Guild
Nov. 17, Shrek the Musical at Orpheus Musical Theatre Society (Ottawa)

In Northeastern Ontario

Nov. 16, Escape from Happiness at Thorneloe University (Sudbury) [with a preview on Nov. 15]

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

Thursday, 9 November 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 four stories:

The next application deadline for the Professional Theatre Training Program is March 1, 2018.

Learn more about Theatre Ontario's Professional Theatre Training Program

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: Kelly Wolf

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

Kelly Wolf trained in creation/dramaturgy with Richard Greenblatt at Tapesty Opera in Toronto


(November 3, 2018)

The last coffee. I have really been enjoying my meetings with Richard and I will miss getting together regularly to talk about ideas. Richard is so passionate about theatre; making theatre, the stories we tell, how we connect, our reasons for making it. Every conversation is full.

We met again yesterday to have a post mortem—to go over what we set out to do. As a part of my internship I was able to observe two very different processes of creation, with artists at various stages in their careers as theatre makers and storytellers. I also produced and directed a Hamilton Fringe production of a new play which Richard generously supported with his feedback.

The last project that I was able to observe, a new opera Hook Up, allowed me to see how the librettist and composer are able to work together to create the piece. I thought that this was the way it was done but apparently in opera they are typically separate disciplines. In our process both librettist Julie Tepperman and composer Chris Thornborrow were able to collaborate to create a stronger piece. They are attempting with this work to change the way opera is created and to evolve the art form. This is exciting—more blurring of the lines.

The internship has also influenced the way I work with the students I teach at Brock University. I am interested in inspiring them with the same passion for storytelling, as well as challenging the perceived silos in which we put ourselves. I think it makes us more interesting artists and the theatre is stronger for it.

I think it comes down to the storytelling. What is the story you want to tell and what is the best way to tell it? How is this production going to clearly tell the story? I don’t think I ever set out with this project to entirely shift the direction of my career. I still love being a designer and creating theatre from that angle. But I have really enjoyed being part of a process from the very beginning of creation. Most design projects don’t start that way, and I will push to be involved at earlier stages in future projects. The internship has also given me greater confidence for creating my own projects. I am about to start collaborating with a filmmaker to create a piece of site-specific theatre. We will use the Westinghouse building in Hamilton to inspire our work. I know the processes I have been fortunate to observe over the past few months to will influence the way that we work together. Richard is still creating his own projects, not waiting for someone to create something for him. I expect this will be the way with me as well. It is what makes me feel like an artist; the compulsion to make the work.  For this I am grateful.

Related Reading:

The next application deadline for the Professional Theatre Training Program is March 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: Rose Hopkins

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

Rose Hopkins is training in directing with Marilo Nunez at Theatre Aquarius in Hamilton


(October 10, 2017)

“As a director, you need to find ownership of the script,” my mentor, Marilo Nunez said. 

I felt a familiar sense of mild fear in the pit of my stomach. 

That certain fall sunlight was beaming through the windows and making my steaming cup of tea throw a shadow across Marilo’s kitchen table. Over the course of our morning meeting, binders, scripts, notes took over the entire surface. Creative chaos. I took a bite out of one of the pumpkin muffins I brought as I tried to wrap my head around this piece of advice.

Of course, it makes sense. And it’s not the first time I’ve heard it so it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. So why did finding ownership of El Retorno, the play I’m assistant directing alongside Marilo, seem like such an intimidating task this time around? Why was it one of the biggest struggles in my directing mentorship so far?

Part of it is that I already have a first impression of the production from the workshop at Why Not’s RISER Project that took place last spring.

Another part is that it’s about an event, The Return Plan (an international effort to topple the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile) that until recently, I knew very little about.

And the last, most important part is that it’s Marilo’s story. Not only is she the playwright of El Retorno but the story is largely based on her family, life and experience growing up as a Chilean exile in Eastern Europe and then Toronto.

It felt impossible that I—the Canadian-born girl who lived 20 years of her life in the same house in Hamilton—could find ownership over a story that was so far outside of my experience. But armed with an affinity for challenges and a belly full of pumpkin muffins, I threw myself into this task.

I read the script again and again. I read it as myself. I read it as each of the characters. I asked myself questions. I found answers. I imagined. I researched. And I’ve started to find a feeling of familiarity with these characters and this world. I see myself in them. I share Jaime’s sense of justice and pride for his home, I share Veronica’s need to take care of her family, and I share Marisol’s search for her own identity. 

Doing this work has been the most valuable part of my mentorship so far, which is somewhat of a surprise for me. I thought my biggest take away would be about communicating with designers and learning new rehearsal exercises and techniques. But really, my biggest take away so far has been how to read a story. I’m taking this lesson with me as we move into the final phase of rehearsal for El Retorno. Now that I know how to read the story, I’m excited to explore how we will tell it. Because that is, in essence, what a director does. Helps the audience read a story—through words, bodies, movement, light, music, and sound.  My hope moving forward is that we can do so in a way that lets the audience see themselves in it just like I have.

Related Reading:

The next application deadline for the Professional Theatre Training Program is March 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: Heather Davies

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

Heather Davies trained in artistic direction with Gil Garratt at Blyth Festival


From Blyth to Summerland (and Back Again)

(September 25, 2017)

The last few months have flown by—it’s been a busy and creative summer.

In my earlier blogs I mentioned that this Theatre Ontario PTTP grant included the opportunity for me to be immersed in a company whose values and vision I deeply admire. However, I haven’t mentioned a moment that kept ‘popping’ into my mind throughout my time at Blyth. When I first decided to learn about artistic direction I was living in the UK and visited a number ADs in an effort to secure an unpaid residency with a company. During the first interview that I had with an AD he said, “You’re mostly going to learn through ‘negatives’, you know, you’ll learn what not to do in a situation.” That perspective, although pragmatic, was a little disheartening. At Blyth, I’ve been around countless moments, examples and modes of positive theatre making and arts leadership; it’s been an inspiring experience.

Blyth Garden Party
In June, there was a flurry of activity as the two ‘early openers’ (Lombardo and Berlin Blues) moved towards their opening nights. At the same time, I was busy rewriting a draft of a stage adaptation that I’m working on, Judith (original novel by Aritha Van Herk) and preparing to go work in Summerland BC. Gil and I continued our wide-ranging conversations about arts leadership as well as the creative process on Judith and I also continued enjoying rich conversations with the Blyth staff: John McHenry (Director of Marketing), Jen Stewart (Director of Development), Lisa Harper (Audience Services Manager & Volunteer Coordinator) and General Manager Rachael King. Everyone at Blyth generously included me in conversations about their process, greatly enriching my understanding of the particulars of working within a rural setting. The challenges of finding accommodation, broadening development relationships, theatre software programs, online marketing, the delicate matrix of gala events and volunteer coordinating are a few of the topics that we dove into as the months progressed.

By early July, with two shows open, I was close to completion on a new draft of Judith. Between attending board meetings, the opening of a new building, experiencing 1200 breeding sows under one roof at a ‘shower in, shower out’ farrowing farm, numerous visits to an organic farm, ongoing discussions and soaking up the atmosphere at Blyth I also had time and space to dive into further crafting of a story that I’m passionate about. Layers of research from interviews, a wide range of reading material and visits with local farmers have all found their way into this draft.

In mid-July I headed off to Summerland BC to become the first Artistic Director of an emerging multi-discipline arts festival inspired by the renowned Canadian writer George Ryga and the practical application of my PTTP experience began! 

Summerland BC is a little larger than Blyth (population 11000), however, there are many similarities. The short version of this part of the story is that the 2017 Ryga Festival went incredibly well. We held 19 events in five days (theatre, music, spoken word, workshops and author readings), had over 50 volunteers support the festival, fantastic attendance from people throughout the Okanagan valley and there is great excitement in the community about the festival. There are many people and factors that contributed to this success; it really did ‘take a village’ to make it happen and the team in Summerland were wonderful to work with. I also recognise and am very grateful for the enriched experience that I carried from Blyth to Summerland. Blyth conversations and experiences provided an ongoing resource and inspiration for me throughout the Ryga Festival preparation and events. I’m deeply grateful to Theatre Ontario and the PTTP program for the support provided, allowing me to focus in on arts leadership in a rural setting, with its unique conversations, delights and challenges. And of course, I’m immensely grateful to Gil Garratt and everyone at Blyth for their great generosity, wisdom and expertise. 

I’m back in Ontario now and was able to see the two ‘late openers’ (Ipperwash and The Pigeon King) on the main stage last week.  Autumn is about to arrive and the 2017 season at Blyth is drawing to a close. This time, the new connections, community and friendships, skills and experience I’ve gained will continue to inform, enrich and guide the way I lead a company, engage with collaborators and community and create theatre. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity—it’s been brilliant.

Related Reading:

The next application deadline for the Professional Theatre Training Program is March 1, 2018.


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