WODL holds an annual Theatre Festival in which all member groups can participate.
An invitation to enter Festival along with the application form (also available on the WODL website) is sent to all groups towards the end of the summer. Each group, entering Festival, selects a play from their scheduled season. Application forms are to be returned to the adjudications chair by the date specified, usually in the second half of September.
Pre-Festival adjudications are held from mid-October until mid-February of the following year. Theatre groups may enter their play to be either “in-Festival” or “out-of-Festival”. A group entering “in-Festival” is willing to remount their play at the WODL Festival (see below for more information on festival). Groups entering “out-of-Festival” are indicating that their production is not available for presentation at the WODL Festival. Groups entering either in-Festival or out-of-Festival are eligible for awards.
Some groups choose to request a second adjudication for another play in their season. These requests are granted if they can be fitted into the schedule of the travelling adjudicator. Only one of these adjudications can be “in-Festival”. Second adjudications have a substantially higher fee than first adjudications. While both adjudications cost WODL more than is charged to the theatre group, WODL, unfortunately, can only heavily subsidize the first adjudication. An adjudications is an excellent learning experience for the group.
From this initial process, five in-Festival productions are chosen by the travelling adjudicator to participate in the week-long WODL Festival. This is held during the School March (Spring) Break in a different member theatre each year. A second adjudicator evaluates these shows and selects individuals and productions to receive awards for acting, directing and stagecraft. Adjudicators are of the highest caliber. They offer a constructive evaluation from their point of view, of each play.
The awards are presented at the WODL Gala held on the closing Saturday evening of the Festival. All members, their friends, the public and media can purchase tickets to the Gala. Some of the awards, applicable to both in- and out-of-Festival productions, are announced in February and presented at the Gala.
During the last full weekend of July each year, WODL holds its unique Minifest Workshop.
Six participating community theatre groups produce the same one act play - on a set provided by the host group - and the result is six vastly different productions! A Workshop Leader, who offers advice and wisdom, constructively critiques each production.
The workshop is non-competitive in nature, although mocks “awards” are presented on the final evening in a spirit of fun. The intent is to encourage emerging directors, actors and technicians to participate in this learning experience and have fun doing it.
This weekend of theatre has proven very popular and participants have a lot of laughs, while learning much about the disciplines of acting and stagecraft. Plays are often original, specially written for Minifest, thus it assists in developing local playwrights.