EODL hosts two festivals a year - a full-length festival in the spring and a one-act festival in the fall. Festivals are intended as a learning experience for participants and audience alike. A professional adjudicator gives each play a public adjudication and then a more in depth private adjudication for the cast and crew. One Production from the EODL full-length festival is chosen to represent the EODL at the Theatre Ontario Festival.
The first official Eastern Ontario Drama League One-Act Festival was held in 1961. There were two one-act festivals in 1965 (one in April in Cornwall, one in November in Cobourg). (Information was verified in the Archives). The following years did not have a one-act festival at all (for various reasons): 1973, 1975, 1978 and 1980. The 1972 festival, hosted by Lakefield College School, was a non-competitive affair (no awards given). The 1974 festival was listed a a workshop - had 4 entries (no awards). Competitive one-act festivals, where awards were handed out, started in 1965. (Notes from Barbara Kobolak, EODL Historian)
The One-Act Festival takes place over three days in the fall. A maximum of nine plays are accepted on a first come first served basis. Three plays are presented on a Friday evening, three plays Saturday afternoon and three more Saturday evening. The plays must be between 25 minutes and 60 minutes. Trophies are awarded on Sunday at the Awards Brunch.
The Spring Play Festival has two formats - a hosted festival and a travelling festival.
The hosted festival takes place over five days and includes an awards brunch on the Sunday morning following the last production. Full-length plays are no shorter than 1 hour and 15 minutes. Four plays are selected by a pre-adjudication or evaluation process.
A travelling festival takes place from November 1 to the end of March. The adjudicator travels to each home theatre and provides a public and private adjudication the night of the performance. An Awards Brunch is held six weeks before the Theatre Ontario Festival and the awards are handed out. Travelling Festivals occur when a host theatre is unavailable or when EODL is hosting the Theatre Ontario Festival.
The winner of the Spring Play Festival goes on to represent EODL at the Theatre Ontario Festival held every year on the week before and during the Victoria Day weekend that is the May long weekend.
Current Full-Length Festival: 2016
Theatre Ontario Festival
The Theatre Ontario Festival is held during the Victoria Day weekend hosted each year by one of the four theatre regions in Ontario:
- Association of Community Theatres - Central Ontario (ACT-CO)
- Eastern Ontario Drama League (EODL)
- Western Ontario Drama League (WODL)
The winner of the Outstanding Production Award receives The Elsie, an award named in honour of the contribution Elsie Elizabeth Thomson made to Canadian theatre. The sculpture Nice Company represents a group of cooperating, communicating and supportive people with a leader closer by like a friend. The award was designed by sculptor Richard Kramer of Dundas. The Elsie was first presented in 1985.
Festival Awards are presented in the following categories:
- Outstanding Director
- Outstanding Performance by a Male
- Outstanding Performance by a Female
- Outstanding Performance by a Male in a Supporting Role
- Outstanding Performance by a Female in a Supporting Role
- Outstanding Visual Presentation
- Outstanding Technical Achievement
- Outstanding Coordinated Production
- Special Adjudicator Awards (5)
Current Theatre Ontario Festival: 2016
The first official Eastern Ontario Drama League One-Act Festival was held in 1961. There were two one-act festivals in 1965 (one in April in Cornwall, one in November in Cobourg). (Information was verified in the Archives). The following years did not have a one-act festival at all (for various reasons): 1973, 1975, 1978 and 1980. The 1972 festival, hosted by Lakefield College School, was a non-competitive affair (no awards given). The 1974 festival was listed as a workshop - had 4 entries (no awards). Competitive one-act festivals, where awards were handed out, started in 1965.
Notes from Barbara Kobolak, EODL Historian
All member groups are eligible to enter the festivals. The groups must have been in operation and a paid up member at least three months before the festival opens.
2016 - One Act Festival, Studio Theatre Production, Perth
2017 - Spring Festival, a travelling festival, hosted by *tba
2017 - Theatre Ontario, Ottawa Little Theatre
2017 - One Act Festival, Rural Root Theatre, Constance Bay
NOTE: Some adjudicator's pictures and profiles were taken from the Theatre Ontario website