Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Browsing Our Bulletin Board

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

Coming Up from Theatre Ontario

Theatre Ontario's "Taxes for Theatre Artists" workshop
Check out all of our upcoming Career Stream and Creator Stream workshops.

Upcoming on The Bulletin Board

  • Deadline for submissions of 10-minute plays for Kitchener-Waterloo Little Theatre’s March Madness is today.
  • Deadline for organizations to register to apply for Ontario Trillium Foundation Seed Grants is today.
  • Deadline for applications for Ontario Arts Council’s Theatre Projects grants is February 1.
  • Deadline for applications to direct Dancing at Lughnasa with Toronto Irish Players (non-paying) is February 1.
  • London Community Players “New Stage” workshop series on theatre fundamentals for adults new to the stage begins February 4.

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, 30 January 2018

The Secret Life of Theatre Ontario

Megan Indovina

Get to Know Me

Ciao! My name is Megan and I am a student at Michael Power St. Joseph Secondary School. For the past four months I have been a Co-op student at Theatre Ontario. If you don’t know what Co-op is, I’ll give you a briefing: Co-op is when a student goes to a workplace environment to potentially see if they want a job in that position, industry or environment. Co-op is a great way to network, venture out into a career position and just gain experience working in a work environment.

These past four months have been amazing. The staff at Theatre Ontario has been warm, welcoming and friendly. They welcomed me into their organization with open arms. Through this time I have learned more about theatre, in general, and I have learned more about Theatre Ontario. I have learned what Theatre Ontario does for the community, its innovative programs and services, as well as its core values: connectivity, diversity and opportunity.

I have definitely learned more about what type of position, industry and environment I would like to work in. I would like to work in the playwright side of theatre and eventually move to screenwriting and directing for film and television. I believe that both of those industries allow me to be open and expressive in my writing as well as have full control of what I want the world to see. 

My favourite movies include The Fast and The Furious series, the X-Men series, the Transformers series, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, 10 Things I Hate About You, A Walk to Remember, The Avengers series—basically any Marvel movie—and almost every action/romance/comedy movie. My favourite television shows include Friends, That '70s Show, Stranger Things, The Good Doctor, Sense8 and the list goes on and on…as you can tell, I watch a lot of Netflix.

I also have a passion for music. I have played the violin for five years and hope to pursue the guitar and piano soon. I wish to pursue music specifically in pop, country and rap song-writing and DJ-ing. I have a great passion for EDM-pop music. My musical influences include singer-songwriters Shawn Mendes, Justin Bieber, Lauv, Logic, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt, and The Chainsmokers.

The Holiday Christmas Party

The Holiday Christmas party this December 2017 was a huge hit in Suite 350 on 401 Richmond Street West. Everyone from Suite 350 was invited to participate in Susan Flemming’s A Very Little Christmas Play. Flemming’s play is all about the unexpected and the hilarious when an amateur production takes place in the town of Pritchard’s Corners. The whole event was secretly planned by staff from Playwrights Guild of Canada and the mystery was left up to the tenants of Suite 350, which included Theatre Ontario, the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts, and the Associated Designers of Canada.

As everyone gathered in the board room we were told of this mystery play and all the excitement to be unraveled. All acting and stage roles for this play were chosen at random when you walked through the door into the holiday party and let me just tell you, that’s where the fun started. 

Actors and stage crew were given their script for the first time so there were bound to be some mistakes, to say the least! A few words were jumbled, props were interesting, and the costumes were very confusing, but overall, everyone was well-adjusted to their scripts, roles and costumes. 

The play was unlike anything I had ever seen. Even though staff members of Playwrights Guild of Canada, Theatre Ontario and the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts were basically thrown into the play and given everything right up front, it was a memorable—and very interesting—afternoon. Everyone enjoyed themselves very much and I can tell that the members of Playwrights Guild of Canada set the bar very high for the next Christmas party because that would be hard to beat.

We will have to see until the next Holiday Christmas Party!

Monday, 29 January 2018

ONstage Openings for the week of January 29

ONstage Now Playing in South Central Ontario
If/Then at Theatre Aurora
This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages

In Central Ontario

Feb. 1, The Children's Hour at Owen Sound Little Theatre

In Eastern Ontario

Feb. 1, Marion Bridge at Belleville Theatre Guild [with a preview on Jan. 30]
Feb. 1, On a First Name Basis at Studio Theatre Perth

In Northwestern Ontario

Feb. 2, The River at Magnus Theatre (Thunder Bay) [with a preview on Feb. 1]

In South Central Ontario

Feb. 1, Clybourne Park at Theatre Erindale (Mississauga)
Feb. 2, I'll Be Back Before Midnight at Theatre Burlington

In Southwestern Ontario

Feb. 2, Blackbird at Theatre Aquarius (Hamilton) [with previews from Jan. 31)
Feb. 2, In-Laws, Outlaws, and Other People (That Should Be Shot) at Elora Community Theatre (Fergus)
Feb. 2, On a First Name Basis at Elmira Theatre Company
Feb. 2, Strangers Among Us at Theatre Sarnia

In Toronto

Jan. 30, Acha Bacha at Theatre Passe Muraille with Buddies in Bad Times Theatre [in previews]
Feb. 1, Beauty and the Beast at NAGs Players
Feb. 2, The Addams Family at Scarborough Music Theatre [with a preview on Feb. 1]


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

Friday, 26 January 2018

Ontario Off Stage

ONstage Now Playing in Toronto
Calpurnia from Nightwood Theatre
Andrew Moodie, Don Allison
Photo by Dahlia Katz
by Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager

Conversation Starters


Behind the Scenes at Ontario’s Theatres


In Case You Missed It

Thursday, 25 January 2018

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 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: Harveen Sandhu

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

Harveen Sandhu will train in directing, artistic direction, and producing with John Van Burek at Pleiades Theatre in Ottawa

January 14, 2018


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: Helen Monroe

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

Helen Monroe is training in directing with Richard Rose and Esther Jun at Tarragon Theatre in Toronto

(January 11, 2018) I can’t believe it is time for me to write my second, mid-way point journal entry for this project. I can’t believe it’s halfway through. I’ve been thinking a lot over the last week about what I wanted to write about, what I had learned, but unfortunately tech week and previews left little space in my brain for anything other than Hamlet, Hamlet, Hamlet. The show opened last night, and I am sitting here reflecting and feeling a little sad to say goodbye to such a beautiful show. 

It’s been a tough week in the Toronto Theatre community. We’ve been hit with some hard truths and while I think they will ultimately make us a stronger, safer community, it still hurts. My mentorship grant program at Tarragon Theatre over the last few months has been about studying and shadowing Richard Rose, the artistic director. I was learning from him what it means to be a director, but after this week, I think I am actually learning what it means to be a leader. 

Albert Schultz was the artistic director of Soulpepper Theatre. He was supposed to be a leader. He was supposed to create and foster a community of artists full of growth, discovery, joy and beauty. Instead, he used his power to create a circle of fear and abuse. I am starting to realize that the pressure I put on myself to make honest, powerful and thought-provoking art, should be nothing compared to the pressure I put on myself to keep my fellow artists safe and happy. It’s not just about me and my artistic journey, it’s about the kind of community I want to live and work in. It’s about the kind of people I want to surround myself. As a director, I see now, that that responsibility falls on my shoulders. 

The cast and crew of Hamlet worked so hard to put forward a show that we could all be proud of. We spent hours and hours nailing down every last light cue, soliloquy and backstage costume change. It was very inspiring to see us all lift each other up, and to see Richard lead the group with strength and grace. We had beautiful opening, but across town a show that should have opened at Soulpepper was not taking place. Those artists, I know, worked just as hard as ours, but due to the failure of their leadership, a beautiful play will never be seen. It breaks my heart, but it also resolves me to work harder. I will be a better director and a better leader because of these last few weeks. For that, I am eternally grateful.

-Helen Monroe

Related Reading:

  • Helen Monroe’s first report
  • (ED. NOTE: You can read the response from the Theatre Ontario Board of Directors to the lawsuits filed by members of the theatre community against Albert Schultz and Soulpepper Theatre Company on our website.)
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: ted witzel

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

ted witzel will train in artistic direction with antoni cimolino at the stratford festival

(january 5, 2018) one of the challenges of artistic leadership that fascinates me most is the balance that has to be struck between visioning for the long-term while remaining dexterous and flexible enough to respond to rapid shifts in the zeitgeist, and new ideas that can be brought forward by collaborators, global politics, or just something you see on the way to rehearsal one day. 

it’s one of the things i love most as a director—trying to steer towards an opening night with a larger vision in mind, while having to work fast on my feet and hear what my collaborators are offering, let go of precious ideas that seemed oh-so-brilliant in that design session a few months back, and accept the fact that the props department has been troubleshooting the helicopter for 6 weeks but it just won’t fly. you measure the vision against the present moment and you make a choice—“whatever, let’s just put it on the end of a stick and have an SM cross with it. it’ll be great.”

during the rehearsal period for ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL in high park a couple years back, i woke up one day to the nauseating news that 50 queers, women, and POCs had been massacred in orlando. with the same kind of gun that we were using a replica of in the show’s climactic gay-bashing scene. we were about to start tech and i had to make a quick call. i didn’t want to shy away from the discussion of toxic masculinity and latent homophobia that was central to the way we were reading the play, but i also didn’t want to horrify anyone. it was already pushing the envelope for a family shakespeare experience, and all of a sudden that gun felt tacky and opportunistic. but did the whole scene, the whole concept have to go? in the end, we re-worked the scene, got rid of that gun, kept it brutal enough that it wasn’t avoiding the problem. and maybe that was the right choice. maybe it was still too much too soon. maybe nobody but us made the connection between the two events. i don’t know.

on any given day, i’ve got a different (somewhat tired) working metaphor for the director’s role. right now, i’m thinking about the director-as-navigator. you chart the course, know your destination, and deal with hazards, obstacles, inclement weather, and maybe even an unexpected rescue mission along the way. you’ve also got to take a bunch of people with you and hope they don’t puke, fall overboard, or get scurvy.

artistic direction works in much the same way i think. the difference being the size of the boat. and everyone knows that big boats don’t turn as fast. 

i’m thinking about this as i prepare to head to the stratford festival with the support of theatre ontario and the metcalf foundation, to spend a season working with artistic director antoni cimolino. and stratford is a juggernaut, as the canadian fleet goes. 

the size of the institution is a big part of why i wanted to go to stratford. over the last year, i’ve had some time to reflect, and i’ve been thinking a lot about the role of our major institutions in the context of canada’s artistic ecology and our broader culture and economy. i have a lot of questions and ideas about how big organizations can adapt to the current moment, a moment of massive cultural upheaval. i wonder how institutions—and the people at their helms—can not only anticipate, but also help define the function and value of art to the culture we are in the midst of becoming.

i approached antoni with my desire to spend some time working with him last year, because in the two seasons i spent working at stratford as an assistant director, i deeply admired his leadership style. like many artists, i wrestle with a healthy skepticism of institutions—and a simultaneous desire to be involved in and supported by them. at stratford, i was impressed by the fertile, open artistic environment that i saw antoni working to foster. i respect how conscientious he is about taking care of everyone who works there, and the seriousness with which he takes the organization’s long-term health. it seemed to me that he viewed a compassionate workplace, artistic integrity, responsible fiscal stewardship, and equitable casting and hiring practices as equally essential to the organization’s success, now and decades into the future. 

i feel beyond lucky, not only that antoni agreed to the proposal, but that i’ll be joining stratford at a moment of enormous change—for stratford, for the theatre industry, and for our culture and economy—and that antoni has asked me to take an active role with him as stratford navigates this change.

there is the charted course: stratford is in the midst of a great deal of change, mostly the result of long-term visioning on antoni’s part. over half the funds for a new tom patterson theatre are in place, and the approvals process is in motion. he’s been working hard to bring stratford’s programming, casting, and hiring criteria into the 21st century, and has been actively trying to improve diversity in the company. and antoni is 5 years into a 10-year mandate, and is looking to set goals for the coming 5 years while reviewing the success of the strategic plan put into place when he became artistic director. i’ll be assisting him in programming the 2019 season, and working to support his process of reviewing the past five years and setting a strategic path for the next 5, as well as working with him and other members of his team to imagine how this new building can be activated.

there are the usual obstacles: theatre’s perpetual and ongoing struggle to assert its value to canadian audiences, under the pressure of the twin forces of globalism and digitization that are disrupting every aspect of the economy as we know it—particularly how we consume and interface with culture, media, and art. it’s obvious that our institutions are going to have to make substantial systemic changes or risk going the way of sears.

but there is a changing environment to consider: last year’s election result suddenly changed the nature and the subjects of conversation that audiences want to and need to be having. most theatres had already locked in a great deal of programming for the current season by then. it’s hard to turn these institutions on a dime.

Stratford
and above and beyond that, there are sudden storms: i went to stratford today to pick up the keys for my apartment and have a quick chat with antoni about how we’ll start on monday. driving down the 401, i listened to the CBC interview with the 4 women who are speaking out against a culture of egotism, abusive power, and misogyny at soulpepper. it’s a game-changer for all institutions, regardless of how they have treated sexual harassment and abuse in the past, and what changes were already in motion. this is a moment when institutions need to show leadership in demonstrating a radical culture shift, and immediately. from the conversation we had this afternoon (before albert schultz had even resigned, which he did later in the day), it is clear that this is going to impact the year’s work for all of our theatre institutions. 

antoni has asked me to consider specifically what i hope to learn this year for monday. i have a lot of small scale questions about the points of intersection between programming, budgeting, board governance, donor relations, vision planning, hiring, infrastructural projects, and economic relations with a community. but my biggest question right now—and the one that makes me so thrilled to be joining stratford at this moment in antoni’s mandate—is about the mechanisms of change in our institutional structures. how do we identify and prioritize changes that need to be made? who do you ask to design alternatives? how do you implement it strategically and smoothly—and when, if ever, does it need to be violent and sudden? and how do you do it quickly enough that you can get ahead of the game and start defining the course, rather than just playing catch-up? how do you steer a ship this big and not get scurvy cause you never slept and forgot that vitamin C was part of a balanced diet?

Related Reading:

  • (ED. NOTE: You can read the response from the Theatre Ontario Board of Directors to the lawsuits filed by members of the theatre community against Albert Schultz and Soulpepper Theatre Company on our website.)
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: Sara Topham

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

Sara Topham will train in teaching Pure Movement with Shona Morris at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London UK


(December 30, 2017)  In a few days I will be flying to England to pursue my Professional Theatre Training Program mentorship opportunity—two weeks of intense observation and exploration at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. My mentor will be Shona Morris, who is currently Lead Movement Tutor at RADA, and who has worked in many major theatrical training institutions in the UK, and coached on productions all over the world. To say I am excited would be a major understatement!

When I came into the professional theatre world I had a 4-year acting degree and over fifteen years of ballet training. One of the challenges I faced as I moved out of being 'a dancer who wanted to act' towards being an actor (who could still dance!) was that all the skill I had amassed during those years at the ballet barre was dictating my movement in a way that limited me as an actor. Early on in my time at Stratford I worked with a wonderful Alexander coach who said to me: "It's not about getting rid of all that learning, because that learning is valuable; it's about making it a choice rather than a habit." I worked really hard at that, but as anyone one who has made the transition from dancer to actor knows, it's not an easy path, and often times the difficulty was that although I was eager to work at reconnecting with my body outside of the confines of ballet technique, I didn't know what to do in a practical sense to work on it. Then I met Shona Morris. 

Agamemnon at the Stratford Festival
Photo by Terry Manzo
Shona came to Stratford from England to work on a trilogy of Greek plays at the Studio Theatre. A single company was working on various versions of the Orestia story and my main role was to play Cassandra in Agamemnon. I was terrified. I remember, before rehearsals started, opening the play to read it and being so scared I immediately closed it again. Then we got to the first read through and I sat on my hands the entire time; I felt paralyzed by the scale of it. Up until that point I had really only played parts that were within my realm of experience (or at least the well-developed imaginative experience of my childhood—I played a lot of princesses!), so to take on the journey of a prophetess in the grip of visions who would eventually foresee her own horrific demise and walk willingly into it was intimidating to say the least. Shona, however, was not in the least intimidated or paralyzed—the whole project was right in her wheelhouse. Lucky, lucky me. We worked privately several times a week, and she was also in the rehearsal hall a great deal of the time observing and supporting. She seemed to be able to almost get inside my body and reprogram my circuits! It was miraculous to me that I was able to find a way of moving that was so deeply connected to my centre and also freed me to fall into Cassandra's experience and energy. David Latham's vibrant and dynamic rehearsal process allowed me to integrate this new way of being in my body with the text, and helped me to work towards serving the storytelling with every word and gesture.  That role changed the course of my career, changed how people saw me as an actor, and my work with Shona was a huge part of that. 

Shona and Sara
Over the years since then Shona and I have had the chance to work on many, many projects at Stratford and our relationship continued to deepen and grow not only as teacher and student, but as mentor and mentee, and also as friends and colleagues. I now use what I learned from her in every part I play; and even on a project she isn't  involved with, I often talk with Shona over email when I come across some challenge I'm not sure how to work through, and her advice is always impeccable and profoundly helpful. In 2014 I went to England to work with her on a play and during that time we began to talk seriously about finding a way to help me acquire the skill necessary to teach the method that is the foundation of her work, which is called Pure Movement (more on that later.) I had already begun to do quite a lot of teaching between acting contracts (and continue to do so), and inevitably I use the things I learned from her to help and support the actors in my charge. But I am always aware that there are gaps in my understanding of the work, particularly when I am confronted with someone whose challenges and needs are very different than mine. 

RADA has given me unprecedented access to the institution. I will be observing Shona in her first, second, and third-year classes, as well as having the chance to attend some rehearsals where she will be working on Greek Chorus. Different beings and bodies respond differently, and watching her deal with students with a variety of skills and experience, some with a natural aptitude for the work and some who need more help to connect to it, will give me enormous insight into Pure Movement work from a teaching perspective as opposed to the acting perspective. She and I will also have time to discuss the pedagogy, and explore building lesson plans and ways of structuring a syllabus which will be invaluable in terms of increasing my understanding of how to transmit the work and pass it forward. I have so many questions that I can't wait to find the answers to! Or more likely, as is often the case in the theatre, find answers will lead to more questions! I am thrilled to be embarking on this adventure.

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: Howard J. Davis

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


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

(December 17, 2017) I am ready to begin a very exciting venture under the support of the Theatre Ontario Professional Theatre Training Program to train in direction and design under a powerful team steered by Peter Hinton (direction) with Beth Kates (lighting and video design), Michael Gianfrancesco (costume and set design) and Michael Hart (Stage management) on the new Canadian work about Mabel Gardiner Hubbard, the wife of Alexander Graham Bell. The show is called Silence and is written by Trina Davies premiering at the Grand Theatre in London, Ontario in January 2018.

To date all my professional theatrical experiences has been self-initiated and I have learnt on the job. This training program feels like the opportune moment to take a back seat and observing masters in their craft. Almost like a revisit to theatre school this is a natural progression to building my practice and allowing me to be schooled in the creative side of theatre which I feel is naturally where I see my career leading while also continuing as a performer in theatre and film. Adaptation has been a word I firmly hold to in my development as an emerging artist and opportunities like this cannot be done without the generous support of programs like this.

Photo by Scott McKowen
The artists I have the luck of working with on this show have beautiful aesthetics and a commitment to elevating theatrical narratives through their craft. It is my intention to be able to direct a designer but also know how a designer caters to a directors artistic needs in my future endeavours. 

There are technical skills I am hoping to gain through the utilization of film in theatrical productions. Observing the collaboration between Beth Kates and Michael Gianfrancesco is also key in how video and lighting can complement with set and costume design as well as learning QLab and the implementation of film.

My job will be to help in the preparation of the rehearsal to ensure a clear, concise and productive process, to provide necessary information for table work and be an aid in presenting the premiere of this new Canadian work. Language is a key part in this narrative and working with deaf artists is something I will be observing acutely. How a director navigates the bilingual nature of a process like this is paramount, as well as in navigating this short turnaround of rehearsal without a hindrance to detail and precision. I have no doubt of Peter's abilities to do this given his discipline, inclusivity and sensitivity to subjects and attention to details.

As an actor, to date, I have professionally played two characters who have disabilities. The first was at Ryerson Theatre School where I played Tiresias in Moira Buffini’s Welcome to Thebes. The second was professional in 2015 when I played a blind lover in the Canadian play Bombay Black. The irony of both of these characters was that although they could not literally see, figuratively they had more world view and capacity of sight than most around them. 

As actors we rely so much on the visceral and sensory experience and these theatrical journeys were an awakening in my understanding and sensitivity to those communities that I was able to explore. Communities that work so hard to make it through our world that is, sadly, inaccessible for most to navigate.

A world with no hearing is an alien experience to me and as an artist and musician I cannot imagine a life without sound. Ironically the majority of my job on Silence is to watch and listen, something antithetical to the subject of deafness that the play explores. It is important to have great sensitivity toward projects that deal with subjects that I am unfamiliar with and being introduced to the deaf community is something I am looking forward to. Also as a creator of theatre patience and observation is key in the process.

Work like this allows me to have practical hands-on experience but also to observe seniors artists at work objectively, and how they interact in their professional creative relationships while working through roadblocks and artistic struggles and achieving the victories when it is successful.

As a multi-disciplinary artist, learning and elevating my artistry in team-building is a daily ritual of mine particularly on this show in order to learn how theatrical elements are built not in isolation but in partnership with each other. Watching and learning how designers navigate dialogue with a creative director—from the realization to the execution of a new Canadian story—is invaluable for me as someone who wants to both direct and design. 

The biggest takeaway this opportunity allows for is the expansion of my understanding of disabilities and enhance my sensory skills used and involved in the creative process in order to maximize my creative kinesphere.

Mabel Hubbard Bell and Alexander Graham Bell
Photo courtesy NGS archives
As I look into the world that Trina explores in the play I am struck by how Alexander Graham Bell’s and his contemporaries’ innovations around communication during the 19th century radically changed the modern world we live in today. If you drive the 2-hour drive it takes to witness the natural phenomenon of Niagara Falls, you can imagine yourself in a world that Mabel Bell inhabited before it was encircled by the commercial capitalist world of iHOP, Starbucks and casinos. Mabel Bell saw the world through curious eyes and wonder and was unfortunately labelled as someone disabled which Alexander tried to hide from the world.

Perhaps it is time that we don't look at invisible disabilities as disabilities at all, but as an opportunity to explore the world in a different way. To not take for granted what you have is crucial. Being rendered deaf could open our eyes and other senses to more opportunities lost to the naked eye. Posing a loss as a positive could perhaps save us all.

We cannot understand the condition of others until we immerse ourselves in their lived experience. Those who no longer hear have not lost their hearing but have gained their deafness.

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.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Browsing Our Bulletin Board

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

Coming Up from Theatre Ontario

Theatre Ontario's "Writing Theatre Reviews
for Online Publications" workshop
Check out all of our upcoming Career Stream and Creator Stream workshops.

Upcoming on The Bulletin Board

  • ArtsBuild Ontario is hosting a Creative Space Rentals workshop on January 25 in Hamilton.
  • Jumblies is hosting its next Artfare Essentials intensive for artists interested in understanding principles and practice of community-engaged artists beginning January 26 in Toronto.
  • Deadline for submissions of 10-minute plays for Kitchener-Waterloo Little Theatre’s March Madness is January 31.
  • Deadline for organizations to register to apply for Ontario Trillium Foundation Seed Grants is January 31.
  • Deadline for applications for Ontario Arts Council’s Theatre Projects grants is February 1.

New on The Bulletin Board

  • London Community Players is launching their “New Stage” workshop series on theatre fundamentals for adults new to the stage, beginning February 4.
  • Great Canadian Theatre Company invites applications for the Shannon Reynolds Memorial Endowment Fund Internship, from Canadian artists who self-represents as female, is based in the National Capital Region, and seeks a paid, mentored theatrical internships in an area of theatre design. The deadline is February 16.
  • SuperCrawl in Hamilton invites submissions from theatre artists for SuperCrawl 2018—an annual outdoor art and music festival featuring creative, compelling and unique environments and experiences for festival-goers. The deadline is February 16.
  • Thatz Showbiz invites applications from aspiring theatre artists aged 13-18 for their free “3 Plays in 30 Days” project. The deadline is May 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, 23 January 2018

Sharing Passion for Performance at Next Generation Showcase

by Rachel Kennedy, Professional Theatre and Education Manager

Theatre Ontario has hit the ground running in 2018, with our 24th annual Next Generation Showcase! Over the course of two days from January 14-15th we welcomed 270 emerging professionals to take the stage in the Al Green Theatre before an audience of established producers, artistic directors, agents and casting directors. As in previous years, we were blown away by the talent and dedication that continued to pour from the theatre’s wings. Our industry guests were treated to a plethora of different monologues, songs and approaches to storytelling, but every performer had one thing in common – a determination to share their passion for performance with everyone in attendance.

Next Generation Showcase Warm-Ups
One of my favourite things about Showcase is that the schools are given very loose parameters for showing off their students’ work. Each group is given 2.5 minutes per student, leaving the structure of their stage presentation open to be filled in whatever way the school sees as the best fit for their class. This results in monologues, medleys, dance numbers, scenes and a different energy coming with each group that takes the stage. I can only guess how much this variety is appreciated by the industry members who sit through upwards of 130 auditions per day during this event! Needless to say, we try to keep the coffee flowing, but it is truly the energy of the students that keeps everything rolling from 9am until our nightly networking parties. 

On Sunday night our post-audition party (sponsored by Randolph College) included an industry fair which showcased different companies with opportunities for emerging professionals. Joining us this year we had representatives from AFC, ACTRA, Factory Theatre, George Brown College, TAAS (Toronto Association of Acting Studios) and Toronto Monologue Slam. Once introduced I don’t think that many of these representatives had a free moment for the rest of the night, as students eagerly gathered to hear about the best ways to get their feet wet in the professional world. 

Next Generation Showcase Panel
Sponsored by Meridian Artists
After the networking party we brought students back down to the Al Green Theatre for our Panel Discussion “The Business of Casting” (sponsored by Meridian Artists.) Moderated by producer/director/playwright/actor Andrea Scott, our panel consisted of Kevin Frank (Artistic Director, Second City Training Centre), Karen Glave (Stage, TV and Film Actor), Kishwar Iqbal (Partner, Gary Goddard Agency), and Beth Russell (Casting Director, Stratford Festival). For the first 45 minutes Andrea was at the helm and the group discussed topics including what the panel would change now about the casting business, tips for a successful audition, and myths about the profession that they want to dispel. At 8:15pm Andrea handed the reigns over to the audience and after some initial hesitation the questions flowed easily until our cut-off at 9:00pm. Some highlights that I took away from the discussion were the freedom that self-tapes are providing artists who don’t wish to live in major city centres, the importance of preparation for every audition, and a great quote that Kevin shared with us—“ success is not final and failure is not fatal.”  (Speaking of which, I failed to write down who this quote is originally from and Google is unsure of its origin, so Kevin has now gained credit for it in my eyes.)

Given the recent flow of accusations regarding harassment and abuse in the entertainment industry and educational institutions, Theatre Ontario wanted to take the opportunity to arrange a group discussion between school representatives, Intimacy Directors International (IDI), CAEA, and a few other special industry invites. This is a piece of a much bigger pie, so please keep your eyes peeled for more information on what came out of this roundtable discussion. However, I think it’s important for now to celebrate the openness and eagerness that all school representatives brought to the table for this session. It is inspiring to see the passion and determination that is being harnessed into the fight to protect and prepare emerging actors for changes in the professional world.

Next Generation Showcase Networking Parties
Sponsored by Sheridan College and Randolph College
So with this (and a few well-deserved hours of sleep) we launched into day two of Showcase 2018 and another round of fabulous auditions! Beginning with our New Faces independent artists on Monday morning, we hit the ground running toward another shift in tempo as our Musical Theatre programs began taking the stage. As always, each performance brought something new and spectacular to the table and we hope that everyone involved is proud of the work that they shared. On Monday night the energy at the networking party (sponsored by Sheridan College) was palpable as all in attendance celebrated the success of the past two days.

The excitement and relief was well-deserved, and I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped to make this event a success for another year whether it was as a sponsor, performer, volunteer or industry guest. This event is built on collaboration and celebration, and we couldn’t do it without all of your help.

Now as I sit back in our office at 401 Richmond St West, I am already looking forward to next year’s Showcaseour 25th annual event!! If you still haven’t had enough of Showcase for this year, stay tuned for a blog post from University of Alberta’s Kiana Woo to hear about her experience!

Monday, 22 January 2018

ONstage Openings for the week of January 22

ONstage Now Playing in Eastern Ontario
Murder on the Nile at Domino Theatre
Susan Hazel, Sydnee Wilson, Jarret Hains
This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages

In Toronto

Jan. 25, Trap for a Lonely Man at Stage Centre Productions

In South Central Ontario

Jan. 25, Entertaining Angels at Burl-Oak Theatre Group (Oakville)
Jan. 25, If/Then at Theatre Aurora

In Southwestern Ontario

Jan. 25, Venus in Fur at Kitchener-Waterloo Little Theatre
Jan. 26, Gloria's Guy at Guelph Little Theatre


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

Friday, 19 January 2018

Ontario Off Stage

by Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager

It's a week after Next Generation Showcase, and starting next we'll have some of the stories from the event.  We start with a big thank-you to our volunteers, our supporters, and our staff.

Conversation Starters


Behind the Scenes at Ontario’s Theatres


Migrations


In Case You Missed It

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Meet Our Youth Advisory Committee for 2018

Our Youth Advisory Committee is focused on creating greater accessibility to youth interested in a career in theatre.

The goal is to achieve a greater connection with youth already engaged in theatre across the province, to examine ways to engage more youth in the province in theatre, and to help foster the next generation of theatre practitioners, professionals, and patrons across the province.

We’re pleased to welcome the members of our 2018 Youth Advisory Committee:
  • David Beisel (Co-Chair)
  • Kelsey Dann
  • Blaine Dickens
  • Deanna Galati (Co-Chair)
  • Ava Patterson

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Browsing Our Bulletin Board

Upcoming opportunities 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

Artist-Educator Training at Young People's Theatre
  • Deadline for registrations for Young People’s Theatre’s next Artist-Educator Training (running February 1 and 2 in Toronto) is January 19.
  • ArtsBuild Ontario is hosting a Creative Space Rentals workshop on January 25 in Hamilton.
  • Jumblies is hosting its next Artfare Essentials intensive for artists interested in understanding principles and practice of community-engaged artists beginning January 26 in Toronto.
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, 16 January 2018

Apply to the Professional Theatre Training Program

Are you an artist seeking financial support for professional development or a "change of direction" in your career?

Submissions are now open for the March 1, 2018 deadline for our Professional Theatre Training Program (PTTP). The Professional Theatre Training Program (PTTP) offers financial support for unique and flexible training with a chosen mentor in any theatrical discipline (except performance.)

Planning an application? Watch our FAQs video about PTTP.

Related Reading

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

Monday, 15 January 2018

ONstage Openings for the week of January 15

This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages
ONstage Now Playing in Toronto
The Liar at The Village Players, Bloor West
Photo by Robert Rayfield

In Southwestern Ontario

Jan. 19, Silence at The Grand Theatre (London) [with previews from Jan. 16]
Jan. 19, Nurse Jane Goes to Hawaii at London Community Players [with a preview on Jan. 18]

In Toronto

Jan. 17, Calpurnia at Nightwood Theatre / Buddies in Bad Times Theatre [currently in previews]
Jan. 18, A Delicate Balance at Soulpepper Theatre [currently in previews]
Jan. 19, The Crucible at Hart House Theatre
Jan. 19, Omission at Alumnae Theatre Company

In Central Ontario

Jan. 19, Play On at Northumberland Players (Cobourg)
Jan. 19, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at Peterborough Theatre Guild

In Eastern Ontario

Jan. 18, What a Young Wife Ought to Know at Great Canadian Theatre Company (Ottawa) [with previews from Jan. 16]
Jan. 18, Murder on the Nile at Domino Theatre (Kingston)

In South Central Ontario

Jan. 19, Quartet at The Curtain Club (Richmond Hill)
Jan. 19, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Theatre Unlimited Performing Arts (Mississauga)


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

Friday, 12 January 2018

Ontario Off Stage

Fatimah Younge
by Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager

From Theatre Ontario

  • We are excited to welcome Fatimah Younge, who joined our staff as our Operations Coordinator this week.

Conversation Starters


Behind the Scenes at Ontario’s Theatres

  • Kevin Loring—the first Artistic Director of the new Indigenous Theatre at the National Arts Centre—spoke about his work preparing for the inaugural 2019-2020 season in an interview with Patrick Langston (Ottawa’s ArtsFile).
  • The Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts is hosting a “Community Consultation about Gender in the Dora Mavor Moore Awards” on January 30th, discussing how the performance award categories might “better acknowledge artistic practices that move beyond the gender binary of ‘Outstanding Performance of a Male/Female.’ (Theatre Ontario de-gendered our Festival Awards last year.)

Migrations

  • Essential Collective Theatre in Niagara announced new Artistic Director Colin Bruce Anthes (an alum of our Professional Theatre Training Program), and new General Manager Rebecca Walsh, effective February 1, 2018.

In Case You Missed It

Thursday, 11 January 2018

The Business of Casting: A Panel for Theatre Ontario’s Next Generation Showcase Participants

We are hosting a panel discussion on "The Business of Casting" for participants in Next Generation Showcase, featuring esteemed professionals all working in theatre, film or television.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Corrine Koslo. Kevin Frank, Karen Glave, Kishwar Iqbal, and Beth Russell will join us as panelists. The panel follows the networking party on Sunday, January 14 at 7:30pm.

Our panelists will discuss their artistic journeys; the challenges that exist in the industry, and tips for navigating the ever-evolving world of early-career acting. Bring your most burning questions!

The panel is sponsored by Meridian Artists.

Learn more about Theatre Ontario’s The Business of Casting panel at Next Generation Showcase

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Browsing Our Bulletin Board

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

Coming Up from Theatre Ontario

RSVP for Next Generation Showcase
Check out all of our upcoming Career Stream and Creator Stream workshops.

Upcoming on The Bulletin Board

  • Deadline for submissions for 4th Line Theatre’s Ontario Arts Council Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators is January 12.
  • Daniel Saioni is holding a Script Supervision Intensive Weekend for stage managers interested in translating their skills into the film industry on January 13 and 14.
  • Deadline for registrations for Young People’s Theatre’s next Artist-Educator Training (running February 1 and 2 in Toronto) is January 19.

New on The Bulletin Board

  • Kitchener-Waterloo Little Theatre invites script submissions for March Madness, their annual theatrical competition. The submission deadline is January 31.

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