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About Festival
ACT-CO is the Association of Community Theatres-Central Ontario. We are a not-for-profit umbrella organization for 46 member 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 about 40 - 45 productions entered in Musical, Drama and Comedy categories. 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 winning this award has the privilege to represent our ACT-CO region at the annual Theatre Ontario Festival in May.
ACT-CO Theatre Ontario Festival Entries
Each year, ACT-CO Festival Adjudicators select the winners of Best Production in 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 can take their show to the TO Festival (often quite a distance away), the Adjudicators, at their descretion, choose an alternate. Click here for the chart.
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 (as it has been 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 award was added, and an additional THEA was added to the Best Producton (one statue for the Group, and one for the Producer(s) each of the three categories, bringing the total to 50.

In 1980 THEA's cost $15 each to cast and produce; in 2006, $51.47; in 2011, $65.82, and in 2015 they cost $78.93 each. The 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 1500 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: 16   THEAs Awarded: 50  
  * For Best Production, one THEA is awarded to the Group,
and an additional THEA is provided for the Producer(s).
Festival & Gala Vers 8.2 May 16, 2016
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