Wednesday, 28 February 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 "Launching Your Career" workshop
Check out all of our upcoming Career Stream and Creator Stream workshops.

Upcoming on The Bulletin Board

  • Magnus Theatre in Thunder Bay invites submissions from playwrights 13 to 19 for their Young Playwright’s Challenge. The deadline is today.
  • Deadline for applications for Ontario Arts Council’s Arts Service Organizations: Operating, Compass, Touring Projects, and Market Development Travel: Northern Arts grants is March 1.
  • The Young Innovators and Nightwood Theatre present the Fempocalypse 2018 cabaret night community event in celebration of International Women’s Day on March 9.
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, 27 February 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.

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: Cole Alvis

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

Cole Alvis begins training in directing with Nina Lee Aquino at Theatre Passe Muraille in Tkarón:to


(February 15 2018)

My name is Cole Alvis and I am a Métis artist based in Tkarón:to with Chippewa, Irish and English ancestors from the Turtle Mountains in Manitobah.

Being mentored by Nina Lee Aquino as she directs The Drawer Boy by Michael Healey for Theatre Passe Muraille’s 50th season is significant because of how this production may inspire the future of Canadian Theatre.

The Drawer Boy was the first Canadian play I ever read. My high school drama teacher coached me on my audition to get into the theatre program at Red Deer College and recommended I look to it for a monologue.  There I was on the prairies working on my audition piece in a Coles bookstore, doing my best impersonation of Daisy the cow. As a closeted rural Albertan growing up with cursory knowledge of my Mom’s Métis heritage this play resonated primarily because many of my aunties and uncles are farmers. It didn’t occur to me I would one day work on it and that the production would speak to various aspects of my identity.

When asked to direct, Nina Lee Aquino had yet to see or read The Drawer Boy. A prolific Canadian play about two farmers in rural Ontario, prior to this production it had not spoken to her as a first generation Filipinx-Canadian. The cast of this production includes Ojibway actor and comedian Craig Lauzon, West Indian-Canadian actor, director and writer Andrew Moodie, and queer white emerging artist Graham Conway. Nina invited these actors to bring their identities to a new interpretation of the play.

During the design presentation I was struck by the possibilities for the production on the women-driven creative team: Michelle Bensimon (sound design), Michelle Ramsay (lights) and Joanna Yu (set and costumes). These designers have been behind some of the most dynamic work in recent years, notably last season’s acquiesce by David Yee at Factory Theatre.

Nina Lee Aquino brings an artistry and rigour that will enhance what is foundational to The Drawer Boy. Hearing the first read today I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in this production where excellent Indigenous and culturally-diverse artists dive into a quintessential story, formerly reserved for white artists. I look forward to contributing to this production with its potential to make a much loved play more accessible to the diverse peoples across Turtle Island (North America).

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: 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 training in directing and designing with Peter Hinton, Beth Kates, Michael Giafrancesco, and Michael Hart at The Grand Theatre in London

(January 3, 2018)  As I take time to reflect in this process I find myself in Silence to ponder. (I know these puns might get redundant so I use them sparingly.) 

This experience so far has made me feel very torn. Watching skilled, creative artists work within the limitations of resources is both rewarding yet frustrating. On the peripheries I am observing a show being realized where the realities available to the producers are limited, and new work is trying to be executed in a three-week rehearsal period. That being said, I have no doubts that this show will come together especially with a creative team such as this.

Seeing how great artists compromise while holding on to the intention and vision of the production is so key in an experience like this and one of the biggest takeaways. How much does one take on? How much does one let go of an original idea? What breakthroughs flourish in what appear to be barriers?

My mentor Peter takes on the challenge of this show with fervency and eloquence, and as I sit in rehearsals as the interpreters transcribe his words before my eyes, I find myself realizing how important it is to be concise with our words. 

I am someone that finds I need to speak a lot or fill a space with ideas, thoughts or words. I hope in time I can narrow my words down and be pragmatic. I am starting to believe that silence can be good for us. Time to reflect, let our minds go blank and sink into our imaginations to muse. As I help mine this text in the rehearsal hall, I am keenly aware of how rich this story is in nuance, history and subtlety. Trina Davies has written a fantastic play. I am also aware of how my input is so welcomed in this room.

Sometimes a feeling of unworthiness clouds our judgement especially as an emerging artist—that what you have to say is not worth bringing up for fear of being rejected. Not in this case. My words and insight are relevant and are shared in tandem with the hearing and deaf artists through the interpreters that accompany us in rehearsal. I am amazed at the deaf artists in the show who I can only imagine are more immersed in this process than I. Not only are they watching but have to listen with their eyes.

We have six artists in the show, three of whom are hearing-impaired. The choice to have hearing actors playing deaf and deaf actors playing hearing subverts the audience’s experience as they are thrust into the reality of this story. We are told in rehearsal that at the turn of the 20th century, a deaf person would have been institutionalized for being other than normal and I am brought to the subject of Indigenous communities, Black history in Canada and subjects of oppression in our country. This play touches on many concerns. Yes Trina Davies' play is a romance, but the romance is flawed and hued with tragedy of circumstances. We cannot stay blinkered and tell stories that only make people feel good. Controversy is also paramount in charging people to make change and see the world a little differently with compassion and understanding when they leave the theatre.

I am about to enter my second week as we move into staging and teching this incredible show. I am looking forward as the designers begin their residencies and are integrated into their creative process.

After a quiet Christmas and New Year, I am ready to take on the challenges and support this group of incredible artists...I still wonder. Why do premieres of new work with Canadian content get less time to be explored and realized than other shows of an existing repertoire?

Many see New Years as a re-commitment to our goals, and I think our institutions need to make a vested dedication in our Canadian theatre scene and support Canadian material, talent and the artists that work so hard to realize these initiatives. I say this not to shame our establishments but to ask those reading this to come and share in our community and this story.

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: 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 training in teaching Pure Movement with Shona Morris at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London UK


(January 15, 2018)

The shores of Greece. 2018. Or 431 BC. Or some time in between. Or still to come. Or before our imagining. A group of people stand, feet planted in the sand. Seemingly still, and yet filled with motion. Suddenly and yet also inevitably, on a breath they raise their arms and I see what they see—ships approaching in the distance. Then again suddenly and yet inevitably, their arms fall and rise again pulling the ships to the shore. Then their bodies pitch forward as their arms fall yet again and the waves crash on the shore bringing the boats up onto the sand. As the boats land the seers reach their arms up over their heads towards the sky, the Gods, the unknown . . . and then drop them by their sides . . . and sea, sand, shore, boats and sky disappear in a breath. We are no longer in Greece, but rather in a long room on the ground floor of The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in a second year movement class.  It was one of my favourite moments in a week filled with similarly extraordinary ones and I'm only half way through my time here. 

It's been incredibly instructive and inspiring. As I mentioned before Shona and I have been working together on and off for a long time—but this is the first time I've seen her work with a group in a way that wasn't linked to a particular play. It's also, to be blunt, the first time I've seen her in a room with a group of students who are all there to learn rather than a group of actors of various ages and stages, some of whom immediately connect to the work and some of whom view it with suspicion or resistance. My first observation opportunity was with the Third Years—their first class back after Christmas break and it was what I would describe as a tuning class. Shona's teaching style is, of course, a mix of all the amazing experience she's amassed over her career both as an actor and as a teacher but the back bone of what I'm here to learn from her is the Pure Movement work she learned from Trish Arnold over their long relationship. (If you would like to know more about Trish and the development of her Pure Movement work, this is a link to a detailed obituary in The Guardian.)

A lot of people have passed through this doorway
Watching these students—who have been working with Shona (and the rest of the RADA faculty) for two and a half years—dive into the work was a wonderful way to start my journey. I started my stage life as a ballet dancer and so the structure of a dance class is something that is completely second nature to me. This is different. Doing this kind of movement for actors requires a flexibility in the structuring of the class and an ability to follow their bodies as much as your own plans. I loved knowing what her plan was, because we discussed it beforehand, and then seeing how it evolved on the floor as she guided them through the work. When we discussed the class later she shared with me that for her, a good class is always aspiring to lead to a moment of drama—and that because you never know how that will transpire, part of what you are doing when you plan a class is just making the space amenable to that possibility. And when the drama shows itself—she follows it. As I watched the rest of the classes during the week, armed with this insight, I was able to spot the moment when, sensing that drama building, she strayed from her plan in order to pursue it. Unlike a ballet class where you are often building to a final enchaînement which the teacher has set before class begins, these classes are led by the collective body and imagination of the group and it's from them that the moment of drama may be born. This has given me much to think on! I've always been very comfortable teaching period dancing—because the structure of the dance gives me the thing I am working towards; at the end of the class I want to have taught them the beginning, the middle, and the end of the dance! This work offers so much opportunity to challenge myself as a teacher, to trust myself to go off plan and follow the impulse in the room if it's leading somewhere that makes us all curious. 

Impulse is the word I hear Shona use most in the classroom. She has reiterated in a multitude of ways over the last week this central idea: "Don't obey a physical instruction, find the movement impulse." It's a way of leading the students back into their bodies, to pull them out of intellect, which is so often in the way, and into exploration and discovery. I've written down a whole host of things from across the classes that touch on this search for freedom and creativity through the body: "discoveries not decisions" being the one I love most. This came out of a class for the Second Year students who are preparing to work on Greek plays, and much of Shona's work with them will focus on the Chorus and leading them though the concepts and practices as she sees them so that they can be a living and responsive presence rather than a choreographed one. This is a scary way to work, at times, because it requires so much willingness to risk, and these students are up to the challenge. I am moved to laughter and tears as she guides them through and it's all so magically organic (to employ that terribly overused word.) They have a shared language and a capacity to connect and trust themselves and each other so when they are given a situation to inhabit they do so together—united, but not in unison. It is in this class that my favourite moment of drama happens, right at the end as she is teaching them something called The Wave. They have already been through various patterns: gathering behind each other, passing through each other, changing directions and leaders; they move through these, hesitantly at first, and then faster and more confidently, eventually becoming like a school of fish. Then each of these movements is tested by having one student as the protagonist working opposite the chorus—she moves and they, as one, respond on the impulse, together. Not predetermined, no choreography, a collective impulse that moves them all in response to the protagonist's physical offer. It's theatre magic. Then we come to The Wave. This is the simple act of spreading out into space and receding, but with their connected and collective energy it's a beautiful sight. They repeat it several times, each time understanding more and more what they are creating. And the last time Shona offers them an image from Medea, the play they will be working on: A woman in a golden shawl burning alive. They move towards her, and retreat in horror, each individual seeing the image and responding in their own time, and yet entirely together. It's breathtaking. I could see the flames. A moment of pure drama. Built out of bodies in relation to each other in space. 

Shona's drum in action
Besides watching classes I am spending hours alone in studios with Shona and her drum—her constant companion—working to understand the work in the practical and pedagogical sense. We move and discuss and examine and analyze and move again. I am beginning to understand how she structures things the way she does and why it yields such extraordinary work. She's always very clear with me that I must teach in the way that makes sense to me. Not as a replica of her, but as my own person. Which is good advice! Anyone who has been in a room with someone who is trying to lead and yet is not themselves knows it's no way to run a room. I will, however, work hard to absorb her practices because I believe in their power to transform the body and open it up to the possibilities that lie before us. I cannot possibly, in this space, describe all I am experiencing; suffice it to say that I am full to the brim with learning and cannot wait for my second week.

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: Darwin Lyons

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

Darwin Lyons begins training in directing with Ravi Jain at Why Not Theatre in Toronto


(February 15, 2018)

This blog post was written three weeks ago, before the start of Animal Farm Rehearsals.

If I had been writing this blog post one month ago, it would have gone something like this: I have admired Ravi Jain’s work for a long time, I am very grateful to receive a grant to be mentored by him, and I am excited to turn a corner in my career where I focus on directing. That is all still true. In that blog post I would not have shared my quiet hesitation of working at Soulpepper. Or the conversation with myself that said: I trust Ravi and I want to work with him, I think Animal Farm will be an exciting project, not pursuing this opportunity simply because I don’t feel that Soulpepper is a safe place doesn’t feel fair to me.

Diana Bentley, Kristin Booth, Patricia Fagan, and Hannah Miller (whose claims in their civil suit against Albert Schultz and Soulpepper I believe) have allowed me to write something different. Thank you for this opportunity. I worked in Soulpepper’s box office right out of theatre school. Through the little box office window I saw examples of a lot of the behaviour that has now come out of the shadows. It made me feel very uncomfortable. I also saw the amount of financial security Soulpepper seemed to have. The financial success of Soulpepper is one of the things that make it such a tempting place to work, our capitalist society means that we cannot survive without income. The leadership at Soulpepper can give the promise of income in an industry where there is no job security because it is financially solvent. That is an incredible amount of power. As Ravi said on Metro morning, "Soulpepper’s privilege has protected them from a lot of scrutiny."

The stories that these brave women shared struck me as both horrific and mundane. Horrific because seeing these acts in print made me recognize them as not OK, mundane because I recognize the events. I, like almost every woman I know, in any industry, have experienced my own versions of these events. This story breaks into a cross section of art, gender, artistic employment, power, job security, human resources, capitalism and non-for profit structures. I am going to focus on what it clarified for me as a woman, an artist, and someone who lives in capitalism. What started on a global scale with Harvey Weinstein getting fired was made personal to me through this story. These brave women allowed me to go through past experiences I have had with new eyes. Experiences like, for example: being inappropriately touched by a man in power, trying to complain, then being told that nothing would happen if I complained anonymously, that I would have to complain publicly for any action to be taken, knowing from observation that a public complaint would come with a barrage of shit I didn’t feel strong enough to withstand, and finally the eventual self-censoring where I convinced myself this was part of my job. I didn’t feel like I had a choice. These women allowed me to look at my past and say: it felt wrong, and it was. This has been huge.

My whole career I have had a troubling conversation with myself: I don’t want to be treated like a sexual object, but it seems like that is the only value I have. When I smile politely at advances from powerful colleagues, I am given job opportunities, when I am outspoken, I am labeled as irritating and I am not offered future jobs. I always wished that my value lay in my ideas and skills, but believing that to be true involved ignoring all the sensory input I received in the world. It seemed like my choice was be valued for my body, or don’t be valued at all.

I remember the first time I directed a play. I was in grade 12, and I was directing a sweet one-act comedy. It had a series of intricate gags that took us a while to work out. I felt comfortable leading the team, because the team was comprised of my friends, and it seemed understood that the only difference between them and myself was that I was on the outside watching, and they were on the inside experiencing. I remember hearing the audience laugh and thinking: it worked! The audience is connecting with us! This happened three months before I attended theatre school as an actor. Actually pursuing directing didn’t really cross my mind. There are many reasons for that, but looking back I think one of them was: I didn’t know how to be the one in charge, I mean I did that with my friends but… I didn’t see a path for me to do that professionally.

I came to a point in my career where I felt like my choices were: quit, stay and turn off the part of me that feel uncomfortable, or try to change the industry. Despite all its failings I still love this industry, at its best theatre is an opportunity to connect meaningfully with other humans, something I find worthwhile. Changing the status quo is harder than I imagined.

When I was able to articulate to myself that I wanted to live in a different world, in a world where my ideas and skills were valued above my body, and where I had autonomy over my body, I started to brainstorm ways I could make that happen.

Let’s take a side step. What is power? The clearest definition I have come across is: power is choice. If you are in a position of power, you get to choose the course of action. Now, people can get sneaky about the semantics of this. So let’s be clear, if one of the “choices” includes death, loss of home security, loss of food security, loss of personal autonomy or control over one’s physical body, that doesn’t count as a choice. If one of the choices includes the chooser being slightly uncomfortable, not being seen in the best light, having to work harder, or not getting exactly what they want, that is still a choice. So. If I wanted to change the status quo, I had to find a way to be the one making the choices. I began to seek out circumstances where I would have a say. Producing and directing became clear paths.

My cumulative life experience and anger at some of those experiences made me say: even if it is scary, I want a hand in making these decisions.

I went through a series of experiences where I learned on my feet, and in that learning I kept butting up against this thought: all the examples I see of people having power seem… not ideal. One person making all the decisions? There’s no way that one person isn’t going to crumble under that pressure, begin to feel like they are shouldering all the weight and stop checking their privilege. We as humans need a new system.

I started experimenting with new systems, systems of joint decision-making, collective creation, collective producing and consensus. There are many exciting artists experimenting with new systems (and have been for a long time, even if those systems haven’t always made it into the mainstream), I tried to seek out those artists to work with. This was exciting, but could at times be messy. A new system requires more time than the shoestring budget of indie theatre can often afford. Capitalism: halting meaningful progress.

I was the Artistic Producer of The Paprika Festival for two years. That is the organization with the highest profile that I’ve had a leadership position at. Paprika runs upwards of seven free programs for youth on an annual budget that is smaller than a single persons’ modest salary. So many amazing staff work and have worked there and give so much more than they are paid to give. We do that because we consider the work extremely worth doing, but time and again we are limited by our budget. There are moments I wasn’t able to live up to my ideal of leadership because there was too much to pay attention to and too few resources. As I was in the position of leadership, I know I had the most power, I know those slip-ups were my fault. Ultimately I couldn’t continue and stay healthy.

Around this time a play I co-created and co-produced was accepted into Why Not Theatre’s Riser Project. I had met Ravi ten years before; he was leading an educational exchange to Nairobi, Kenya that I was participating in. The Riser Project is an example of what I had seen when I first met him, a constant nudging of the status quo. There aren’t enough platforms for independent artists to make their own work? Create a platform. There aren’t enough roles for people of colour? Cast Salt Water Moon with people of colour. There aren’t enough roles for women? Cast a woman as Hamlet. And what was more I found his work artistically exciting, and it seemed financially viable. This seemed like the perfect person to learn from. I asked Ravi if I could assistant direct one of his upcoming shows if I found funding and we agreed on applying with Animal Farm, a show that deals with the innate corrupting force of power.

In the status quo rehearsal room the director has the most power. This means that even if I try to upend that dynamic as a director, I have to recognize that I am in the position that has, in the past, been the default power position, that means that it still comes with privilege. It is up to the director to make sure the room is safe. I already am a person who has a lot of privilege, and need to be constantly listening to those with less privilege to make sure that I am not blindly abusing my position. In this new moment, I am making a promise to myself (and an invitation to all my colleagues) to listen when I make a mistake and to voice when I see a mistake being made. That is the only way I see for us to use this moment for positive change.

Fast forward to now, working on Animal Farm will require me to work at an institution that I am not convinced has rid itself of its corruption, an institution that is in a moment of great upheaval, and has some very big choices to make. I won’t lie I feel trepidations. There are some great steps being taken at Soulpepper, and there is a long way to go. Now that, for the first time in my life, it seems possible to live and work in a world where women’s voices are respected I don’t want to support an institution that hasn’t. I don’t want to find myself in more situations where I feel the need to compromise my voice. But Diana Bentley, Kristin Booth, Patricia Fagan, and Hannah Miller have given me a gift, the gift is that now, when I feel that something is wrong, I know to trust myself. And that gift allows me to walk into any space and know I have a choice.

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.

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: Andrea Scott

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

Andrea Scott begins training in producing with David Auster at the Stratford Festival

(February 6, 2018)  It was roughly at this time last year that I felt that I had plateaued in my career. My last play, Don’t Talk to Me Like I’m Your Wife, had closed at SummerWorks on August 14, 2016. It was the last of three plays I’d written and produced for the festival and I’d decided that if nothing came of it I’d begin re-evaluating my career as a playwright. I gave it six months. By February 2017 I hadn’t heard anything from anyone, even after following up with all the artistic directors that had attended the play.

I realized that, while I was a competent writer, I was an even better producer and should capitalize on that skill. I met with Pat Bradley at the Ontario Arts Council to discuss my options and she pointed me in the direction of a few grants to help. The Skills & Development Grant for Indigenous Arts Professionals and Arts Professionals of Colour was due in less than two weeks. I immediately wrote David Auster at the Stratford Festival to ask if he’d be interested in mentoring me in Producing and he said yes. I then spoke to Bruce Pitkin and Rachel Kennedy about the Professional Theatre Training Program and they encouraged me to apply. Once I was awarded both grants to help me live in Stratford Ontario for three months I began wondering what mentorship would look like at the Stratford Festival.

I have only produced plays at festivals and the budgets for them have all been under $15,000. In my meeting with David in August 2017 he warned me that producing a show at the Stratford level was massively different from the festival level and I found that idea exhilarating. Producing has been a solitary pursuit for me and it will be a huge education for me to see how a producer of more than a dozen shows works within a team. Bonnie Green sat in on our first meeting last summer and I was thrilled to learn that I would get to work with her, too. 

David and Bonnie felt that my presence in the office would be a benefit to them because I have an artistic background as well as a keen interest in the business side of things. David was very honest when he said, ‘I’m not exactly sure what we’re going to do here since producing is a lot of answering emails and putting out fires.’ Yes, I remember that a lot from my last show. How does it happen at a million dollar company? I ran into Bonnie last month at the opening of Silence at The Grand Theatre and she was very excited to announce that they had a desk all set up for me. I can’t wait.

The Stratford Festival is doing fine and as diverse as the stages are I think my presence in the offices that exist ‘behind the curtain’ will be pleasant change. Most people who know me in the industry are aware of my skills as a writer and producer but what allows me to synthesize those two things into my company, Call Me Scotty Productions, is a discipline of industriousness, focus, and desire to learn as much as possible from the world of business. 

About one week ago I had a dream that David greeted me at my desk with a big, beautiful goldfish in a rose bowl. After some cursory research I found that a goldfish, in Chinese culture represents abundance and success in business.  A good omen, and one I will work towards bringing to fruition.

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.

Monday, 26 February 2018

ONstage Openings for the week of February 26

ONstage Now Playing in Central Ontario
Sister Act at Northumberland Players (Port Hope)
Photo by Sherwood McLernon
This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages

In South Central Ontario

Mar. 1, Next Fall at Theatre Aurora
Mar. 2, Drop Dead! at Beaverton Town Hall Players

In Toronto

Feb. 28, The Drawer Boy at Theatre Passe Muraille [in previews]
Mar. 1, Black Boys at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre [with a preview from Feb. 28]
Mar. 2, Tainted Justice at The Village Players, Bloor West Village
Mar. 2, Titus Andronicus at Hart House Theatre
Mar. 2, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at Scarborough Players
Mar. 3, Idomeneus at Soulpepper Theatre [in previews]

In Eastern Ontario

Mar. 1, At My Heart's Core at Domino Theatre (Kingston)
ONstage Now Playing in Central Ontario
Trudeau Stories at Theatre Orangeville

In Northeastern Ontario

Feb. 28, Hilda's Yard at Sault Theatre Workshop (Sault Ste. Marie)


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

Wednesday, 21 February 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 "Ready, Set, Show! Foundation
of Indie Producing" workshop
Check out all of our upcoming Career Stream and Creator Stream workshops.

Upcoming on The Bulletin Board

  • Deadline for applications for Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Seed Grants is today.
  • Deadline for applications for Ontario Arts Council’s Indigenous Artists in Communities and Schools Projects is February 22.
  • Drayton Entertainment is hosting auditions for its Youth Training programs in Cambridge on February 25.
  • Paprika Festival’s next Monologue Jam community event for writers under 30 interested in monologue writing is February 27 in Toronto.
  • Magnus Theatre in Thunder Bay invites submissions from playwrights 13 to 19 for their Young Playwright’s Challenge. The deadline is February 28.
  • Deadline for applications for Ontario Arts Council’s Arts Service Organizations: Operating, Compass, Touring Projects, and Market Development Travel: Northern Arts grants is March 1.

New on The Bulletin Board

  • The Very Useful Theatre Company invites submissions from playwrights and directors for the York Region Festival of One-Act Plays. The submission deadline is April 30.
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, 20 February 2018

ONstage Openings for the week of February 20

ONstage Now Playing in Central Ontario
The 39 Steps at South Simcoe Theatre (Cookstown)
This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages

In Southwestern Ontario

Feb. 20, Don't Mention My Name at actOUT! Kitchener-Waterloo Children's Drama Workshop

In Toronto

Feb. 23, [title of show] at East Side Players

In Central Ontario

Feb. 23, The Cripple of Inishmaan at Peterborough Theatre Guild
Feb. 23, Suburban Standoff at Kincardine Theatre Guild
Feb. 23, Sister Act at Northumberland Players (Port Hope)

ONstage Now Playing in South Central Ontario
Avenue Q at Whitby Courthouse Theatre

In Eastern Ontario

Feb. 23, Rumors at Smiths Falls Community Theatre


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

Friday, 16 February 2018

Ontario Off Stage

by Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager

Update on 401 Richmond


Behind the Scenes at Ontario’s Theatres


In Case You Missed It

Wednesday, 14 February 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 "Intimacy for the Stage for
Directors" workshop with Siobhan Richardson. 
Check out all of our upcoming Career Stream and Creator Stream workshops.

Upcoming on The Bulletin Board

  • Deadline for applications for Ontario Arts Council’s Ontario Arts Presenters Projects grants is February 15.
  • Deadline for application for Toronto Irish Players’ call for a director of their upcoming production of Dancing at Lughnasa has been extended to February 15.
  • Deadline for applications for Great Canadian Theatre Company’s Shannon Reynolds Memorial Endowment Fund Internship (for Canadian artists in the National Capital Region who self-represents as female seeking an internship in any area of design) is February 16.
  • Deadline for proposals for Super Crawl 2018 in Hamilton is February 16.
  • Deadline for applications for Ontario Trillium Foundation’s Seed Grants is February 21.
  • Deadline for application for Ontario Arts Council’s Indigenous Artists in Communities and Schools Projects is February 22.

New on The Bulletin Board

  • Magnus Theatre in Thunder Bay invites submissions from playwrights 13 to 19 for their Young Playwright’s Challenge. The deadline is February 28.
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, 13 February 2018

Save the Date for the Theatre Ontario Annual General Meeting

Mark Saturday, May 19, 2018 at 11:30am on your calendar for Theatre Ontario's Annual General Meeting. The meeting will be held at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, 1150 Wellington Road South, London. It will be immediately following that morning's Theatre Ontario Festival adjudication.

Learn more about Theatre Ontario's Annual General Meeting

Theatre Ontario is seeking individuals from across the province to serve on our Board of Directors.  Successful applicants will support our mission in promoting a diverse, inclusive, equitable and accessible theatre culture in Ontario.

Read the full Call for Nominations for Theatre Ontario's Board of Directors

Monday, 12 February 2018

ONstage Openings for the week of February 12

ONstage Now Playing in Northwestern Ontario
The River at Magnus Theatre (Thunder Bay)
Kevin Hare, Meredith Zwicker
Photo by Scott Hobbs
This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages

In South Central Ontario

Feb. 14, I'll Be Back Before Midnight at Markham Little Theatre

In Southwestern Ontario

Feb. 16, Blind Date at The Grand Theatre (London) [with previews from Feb. 13]
Feb. 16, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at London Community Players [with a preview on Feb. 15]

In Toronto

Feb. 12, Hooking Up: Second Base at The Second City
Feb. 14, The 39th Rhubarb Festival at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre
Feb. 15, Little Gem at Toronto Irish Players
Feb. 17, One Thing Leads to Another at Young People's Theatre

In Central Ontario

Feb. 16, Trudeau Stories at Theatre Orangeville [with a preview on Feb. 15]
ONstage Now Playing in Central Ontario
Oliver! at Kempenfelt Community Players (Barrie)

In Eastern Ontario

Feb. 14, Dead Accounts at Ottawa Little Theatre
Feb. 16, Disney's Beauty and the Beast at Seaway Valley Theatre Company (Cornwall)


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

Friday, 9 February 2018

Ontario Off Stage

by Brandon Moore, Community Theatre and Communications Manager

Behind the Scenes at Ontario’s Theatres


TO Toasts


In Case You Missed It

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Celebrate World Theatre Day with Theatre Ontario and Our Colleagues in Suite 350

Save the date for Suite 350’s World Theatre Day Open House on Tuesday March 27th from 3-6pm in Toronto.

Please mark your calendars to join Theatre Ontario, the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts, Playwrights Guild of Canada, and the rest of Suite 350 at 401 Richmond Street West as we celebrate World Theatre Day 2018 with special guests, cocktails, appetizers and more.

Keep your eyes peeled for more information coming soon about the 2018 Youth Advisory Committee’s social media campaign for World Theatre Day. Building off the success of last year’s initiative, the YAC will be collecting even more thoughts, perspectives and insights about the importance of theatre and emerging artists in our communities!

And join us in the kickoff of our 4th Annual Online Auction in celebration of World Theatre Day.

Full details of all of these events coming in March.


Related Reading

Wednesday, 7 February 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 "Voice Over" workshop with Elley-Ray
Check out all of our upcoming Career Stream and Creator Stream workshops.

Upcoming on The Bulletin Board

  • Drayton Entertainment is hosting auditions for its Youth Training programs in Penetanguishene (Feb. 10), Grand Bend (Feb. 11), and Cambridge (Feb. 25).
  • Deadline for applications for Toronto’s East Side Players’ call for directors for the 2018/19 season (non-paying community theatre) is February 11.
  • Deadline for applications for Ontario Arts Council’s Ontario Arts Presenters Projects grants is February 15.
  • Deadline for application for Toronto Irish Players’ call for director of their upcoming production of Dancing at Lughnasa has been extended to February 15.
  • Deadline for applications for Great Canadian Theatre Company’s Shannon Reynolds Memorial Endowment Fund Internship (for Canadian artists in the National Capital Region who self-represents as female seeking an internship in any area of design) is February 16.
  • Deadline for proposals for Super Crawl 2018 in Hamilton is February 16.

New on The Bulletin Board

  • The Paprika Festival in Toronto is holding Paprika Monologue Jams for writers under 30, looking to play with and develop monologue-writing. The next PMJ is on February 27. 
  • Scarborough Theatre Guild in Toronto invites applications for directors for their 2018-2019 season (non-paying community theatre). The deadline is March 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, 6 February 2018

Stories from Next Generation Showcase: A Future Bright with Possibility

By Kiana Woo (University of Alberta)

When I flew to Toronto with my classmates, I had no idea what would be in store for me. Coming from Edmonton, Alberta, meant that we had very little idea of what to expect when we visited this city. We had been planning to come to the Theatre Ontario Next Generation Showcase since our first year in the program, so it was a bit surreal to already be sitting on a plane to Toronto after what felt like no time at all. 

I was raised in Calgary and I have always had a love for performance. I started out doing competitive Ukrainian dance, but as I got older I was drawn towards the theatre. I started taking drama in junior high and my love for it grew steadily from there. Once I graduated from high school I moved to Edmonton to study Drama at the University of Alberta. My goal was always to train in the BFA Acting program and after three auditions attempts I was admitted. This program has challenged me in ways I never expected and offered me opportunities and experience I could have never even have dreamed of, alongside an incredible ensemble and wonderful professors. I have been studying drama and acting at the University of Alberta for six years now and, as I head into the final months of my acting training, I find myself nervous and excited for what the future brings. 

We landed in Toronto full of excitement. I had visited before but never with this sense of buzz and electricity. The idea that we would get the chance to perform in this city sent that familiar thrill down my spine. When we landed in the city, we were all overjoyed. 

Attendees at the Showcase Panel
This was one of the first steps out of education and into the profession and it was very exciting to be on this journey with my classmates of three years. It felt like we had come to accomplish something. I spent the first day rediscovering my love for the city. Roaming the streets of a city that seemed to buzz with possibility. That night, we went to attend the first of the networking parties. The room was full of recent grads or about-to-be grads. Some had performed that day and some were like us—waiting for their moment, wanting to scope things out and get the lay of the land for tomorrow. It was amazing to see a room full of people all filled with the same drive and passion for the arts as me. We then went to the panel discussion, and were able to see the stage that we would perform on the next day. The theatre was vast but rapidly became filled with an upbeat and hopeful energy as all the other graduates poured in. It made me excited to take the stage tomorrow. The panel was wonderful. It made this wild crazy profession we’ve chosen, seem not so impossible. The way the panelists talked about everything with such authenticity and sincerity was inspiring. It was extremely refreshing to have a panel of professionals and artists speak with such honesty. It made the reality of this profession and this kind of work sink in, made it seem like this city could become a place where I could come practice the craft I’d worked to train in all these years. 

I went to sleep that night looking forward to the morning and what possibilities it could bring. Before I knew it, it was our turn to take the stage, I remember looking out into the house and feeling ready. I could see all the possibilities that lay before me, and I was still full of inspiration from the night before. I was proud to share my work, and to allow myself to be able to take the space and own the room. I remember the joy of that morning carried us all the way to the networking party that evening where we were able to make some many new friends and amazing connections. I was extremely proud of our little group for coming so far and thriving at this event. 

Showcase Students from the University of Alberta
Since we are still in school our turnaround was incredibly quick, the next morning we were on a plane back to Edmonton to make it back in time for our final dance performance that afternoon. I remember dragging my body back to school, feeling so tired but incredibly happy and proud of what we managed to accomplish. The Theatre Ontario Next Generation Showcase was an eye-opening and joyful experience, that made me believe that my future is bright with possibility. I am so grateful for the opportunity to perform and demonstrate what I have been working towards all these years. As I continue the final semester of my studies, I feel just a little less overwhelmed by what the future might bring.

Related Reading 

Monday, 5 February 2018

ONstage Openings for the week of February 5

ONstage Now Playing in South Central Ontario
I'll Be Back Before Midnight at Theatre Burlington
D'Arcy Wilson, Terri Brunsting, Julian Nicholson, Jenn Helsdon
Photo by Rob Thorne
This week’s openings on Ontario’s stages

In Eastern Ontario

Feb. 6, Sleuth at Kanata Theatre (Ottawa)

In Northeastern Ontario

Feb. 7, Other Desert Cities at Gateway Theatre Guild (North Bay)
Feb. 9, The Invention of Romance at Sudbury Theatre Centre [with a preview on Feb. 8]

In South Central Ontario

Feb. 8, Avenue Q – The Musical at Whitby Courthouse Theatre
Feb. 9, Casting for Murder at Georgetown Little Theatre

In Southwestern Ontario

Feb. 6, What a Young Wife Ought to Know at The Grand Theatre (London)
Feb. 9, The Dining Room at Aylmer Community Theatre [with a preview on Feb. 8]
Feb. 9, Steel Magnolias at Theatre Woodstock
Feb. 10, The Show Must Go On at Oh Canada Eh? Productions (Niagara Falls) [with a preview on Feb. 9]
Feb. 10, This Will Be Excellent at Carousel Players (St. Catharines)

In Toronto

Feb. 6, Acha Bacha at Theatre Passe Muraille with Buddies in Bad Times Theatre [currently in previews]
Feb. 7, Candide at George Brown Theatre School
Feb. 9, Prohibition, the Concert at Soulpepper Theatre
Feb. 10, The Secret Garden at Young People's Theatre [with previews from Feb. 5]
ONstage Now Playing in Toronto
A Delicate Balance at Soulpepper Theatre
Oliver Dennis, Kyra Harper, Laura Condlin,
Brenda Robins, Nancy Palk, Derek Boyes
Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann

In Central Ontario

Feb. 8, The 39 Steps at South Simcoe Theatre (Cookstown)
Feb. 8, Oliver! at Kempenfelt Community Players (Barrie)
Feb. 9, The Spitfire Grill at Huronia Players (Midland)


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