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ACT-CO Festival & Gala
2017/2018 DOCUMENTS
Festival Pkg PDF
Festival Pkg docx
Entry Form PDF
Entry Form docx
Award Eligibility PDF
Award Eligibility docx
Award Categories
Code of Conduct
Board Duties
How to Purchase a THEA

Announcing ACT-CO Festival 2017-2018

Good day,
I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce myself, MaryAnn Swan as the new ACT-CO Festival Chair for the 2017-2018 Season. This is my third year on the ACT-CO Board, previously as a Director at Large/Drama Liaison last year and as a coordinator of the Ritz Raffle Fundraiser at the 2015 Gala. Some of you know me as a long-time member of the Curtain Club.
We say a heartfelt good-bye to Anne Currie-O'Brien as the outgoing chair for the last 8 years and thank her for the wonderful years of service and dedication. She will be missed. Anne has gifted me a well-oiled machine in the running of the Festival and I'm blessed to have such a wonderful teacher in this role.

So, with the ACT-CO Festival 2017-2018 is just around the corner, here are some important dates to remember:

Tue, Sep 12, 2017 Entry Deadline
Tue, Oct 10, 2017 Festival Opens
Sun, Dec 17, 2017 - Mon, Jan 08, 2018 Holiday Break - no Adjudications

Sun, Mar 25, 2018 Festival Closes

Sat, Apr 07, 2018 Awards Gala, Borgata Wedding & Events Centre

The ACT-CO Festival Package is now available on the ACT-CO Website in both pdf and docx form.

  • Festival Package
  • Entry Form
  • Eligibility Form
  • Feedback Form
  • Festival Awards - an information update regarding changes to the number of awards

Please contact me at with any questions you have.

NOTE: Your theatre group must renew their membership for the 2017/18 season, before the entry deadline in order to be considered for Festival. Please follow this link: JOIN ACT-CO 2017-2018 for information regarding membership renewal and get the best price by renewing before July 31, 2017 at $75.

If you are no longer one of the contacts for your group, please pass this email on to the person who is and advise us so that we can update our records.

I look forward to serving you this season!

2017/2018 ACT-CO & Theatre Ontario Festivals

ACT-CO Festival:
Tue, Sep 12, 2017: Entry Deadline
Tue, Oct 10, 2017: Opens
Sun, Mar 25, 2018: Closes

Comedy:  Heather Dick
Drama:   Brenda Kamino
Musical: Caroline Smith

ACT-CO Gala: (Borgata Wedding & Events Centre)
Sat, Apr 07, 2018

Theatre Ontario Festival May 16 - 20, 2018:
Hosted by: Theatre Ontario / WODL / London Community Players

Wed, May 16: WODL
Thu, May 17: ACT-CO
Fri, May 18: QUONTA
Sat, May 19: EODL
Sun, May 20: Awards
Mon, May 21: Victoria Day

Adjudicator: TBA

About Festival
ACT-CO is the Association of Community Theatres-Central Ontario. We are a not-for-profit umbrella organization for 46 theatre groups. Our region stretches from Oakville in the West, Bowmanville in the East, Muskoka in the North, and Lake Ontario in the South.

Our main focus is education, but we also provide various services to our member groups including input into Community Theatre at the provincial level through our membership in Theatre Ontario. We provide workshops in various aspects of theatre such as set design, producing, audition techniques, etc.

Our most visible educational activity however, is our Festival. Our festival usually has 40 to 45 productions entered as a Musical, a Drama or a Comedy. Each production entered in the festival receives an adjudication by a working theatre professional. The adjudicators attend one performance of each show in their category. Following the performance they will spend approximately twenty minutes with the general audience in a public adjudication to give a high level overview of the production and some of their observations and highlights. The adjudicator will then have an in-depth dialogue with the members of the production and the company about the performance they just viewed. This is meant to give the group ideas and suggestions on ways to move their performances forward, and continue producing top-notch theatre for both theirs and their audience's benefit.

The festival culminates each year in April at our Annual THEA Awards Gala when the adjudicators** are asked to select nominations and winners in a number of categories to recognize outstanding performances and achievements from the season. These awards, called THEAs, are presented at the Gala. A further job of our adjudicators is to select what they consider to be the best production of our Festival. The group selected will represent the ACT-CO region at the annual Theatre Ontario Festival in May.

** Neither the ACT-CO Festival Chair nor the ACT-CO Board of Directors are involved in the selection of nominations or winners. Adjudicators are hired for their theatre knowledge and expertise: the decision is theirs and theirs alone. The Adjudicators make their own decision regarding nominees and winners in their respective category. The Adjudicators then debate the merits of the best production in each category, and reach consensus in the order in which the productions will be approached to represent the region. The ACT-CO Festival Chair is present for the discussion but does not provide input.
ACT-CO Theatre Ontario Festival Entries
Each year, the ACT-CO Adjudicators, select a Best Production in each of the Comedy, Drama, and Musical categories. They then choose one of these to be ACT-CO's entry in the Theatre Ontario Festival. If none of the three Best Productions choose to take their show to the TO Festival, the Adjudicators, at their descretion, choose an alternate.

Click here for the chart of past TO Festival entries..
History of the THEA award

At the Fourth Annual Theatre Arts Ball ("The Gala") on April 12, 1980 (at the Grand Ballroom of The Sheraton Centre in Toronto) the THEA award statuette was d├ębuted. The THEA was designed by Michael Beatovich and was cast in aluminum by Dominion Regalia in Toronto (and has been cast and produced by them ever since).
Until the 2011/2012 Season, ACT-CO awarded 44 THEA's every year at the Gala. Beginning with the 2012/2013 Season, a Stage Management THEA was added, and an additional THEA was added to the Best Producton (one statue for the Group, and one for the Producer) in each of the three categories, bringing the total to 50.

Our cost to cast and produce each THEA:
1980: $15.00
2006: $51.47
2011: $65.82
2015: $78.93
The rising cost of each THEA is absorbed in the cost of producing the Festival and contributes to the fee charged for each adjudication.

We have no record of how much the original mold cost, but it is now showing quite a bit of wear (having been used to cast over 1720 THEA statuettes) and will have to be replaced sometime soon.

  THEAs are awarded for Best in the following way:  
      Comedy Drama Musical  
  * Production xx xx xx  
  Director x x x  
  Musical Director     x  
  Choreographer     x  
  Stage Manager x x x  
  Set Designer x x x  
  Lighting Designer x x x  
  Sound Designer x x x  
  Costume Designer x x x  
  Actor - Leading x x x  
  Actor - Supporting x x x  
  Actress - Leading x x x  
  Actress - Supporting x x x  
  Adjudicator Awards xxxx xxxx xxxx  
  Awards Categories: 14   THEAs Awarded: 50  
  * For Best Production, one THEA is awarded to the Group, and one THEA is awarded to the Producer(s).

When more than one, but less than five, persons are NAMED as the award winners, up to three additional THEAs may be purchased by the Group. Click here for the rules.

[ Information correct as at July 2017 ]
Festival & Gala iVers 1.0 Jul 21, 2017
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