The Ottawa Little Theatre EODL One-Act Festival Entry
Since 2002, the Ottawa Little Theatre (OLT) has regularly entered a production into the EODL (Eastern Ontario Drama League) One-Act Play Festival. This is in addition to the OLT entering one of the main-stage productions into the EODL Spring Festival of full-length plays.
OLT’s participation in the EODL Festivals revives an association that began in 1933 when the Dominion Drama Festival (a national gathering of community theatres) was founded at the Little Theatre. It took place in Ottawa for the next five years after which it was hosted by a different Canadian community theatre each year.
The OLT’s play entry into the EODL One-Act Festival is generally chosen from among the winners of the OLT National One-Act Playwriting Competition founded in 1937. The OLT organizes workshopped readings of the winning plays each April under the guidance of a professional dramaturge. The playwrights (from coast-to coast in Canada) are invited to participate in the rehearsals.
Directors of the plays for the Workshop are chosen by the Season Planning Committee from interested members of the OLT Directors List, usually on a first-come, first-served basis. If no director from the list is available, then the Season Planning Committee may widen the offer to Associate or Assistant Directors or other volunteers.
The director is given the option of holding open auditions or choosing his/her cast by invitation. (Actors can express their interest to the Season Planning Committee through firstname.lastname@example.org and names will be passed to the directors for consideration.)
The semi-staged readings of the winning plays of the National Playwriting Competition are performed for the public in the OLT’s Janigan Studio around the third or fourth weekend in April.
If the Learning and Special Events Committee then selects one of the winning plays from the National Playwriting Competition Workshop for entry into the EODL (and requests the rights from the playwright) then the director of that play (if he or she is on the Directors List) will likely be given first right of refusal to mount a full production. The director has the option of retaining some or all of the workshop cast, or of auditioning or inviting new actors.
The Learning and Special Events Committee might consider other one-act plays for entry into the EODL Festival instead of, or as well as, a selection from the National Playwriting Competition. These could be scripts submitted by playwrights to the OLT (which are considered along with full-length plays for the mainstage season) or from projects proposed by the OLT volunteer body.
Examples of the latter are OLT volunteer Tim Ginley’s play Deliver’d From Nowhere entered in 2009, and OLT volunteer Brian Cano’s adaptation of Steven Leacock’s Behind the Beyond entered as part of the OLT’s 100th anniversary activities in 2012.