Scroogissimo! on YouTube

Scroogissimo for Christmas:
Free YouTube Premiere, December 11, 7:00 pm. Scroogissimo launches on the Artword Theatre Channel on YouTube on December 11 at 7:00 pm.

Ron has finally finished editing the video of Scroogissimo, shot and recorded by Gabe Etele at Artword Artbar on December 13, 2018. It was a great performance, and the video version is really good (Ron says modestly).

Here’s the link:

Click on the link on December 11 at 7 pm (Hamilton time). There will be a half hour of live chat. Judith and Ron will be there, chatting from Rome (1:00 am). Charly will be there and other Artword people.
Then at 7:30, the movie starts and we’ll watch it together. It runs about 1 hour 40 minutes.

If you like it (and you will) please click the Like button. And Subscribe to the Artword Theatre Channel. (It helps us a lot with YouTube.)

After the premiere, Scroogissimo will be permanently available on the Artword Theatre Channel, along with other full Artword plays and performances, trailers and samplers.

And everything on the channel is free to watch.


Scroogissimo is Artword Theatre’s hit show based on “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. Written by Ryan Sero and Charly Chiarelli. Directed by Ronald Weihs, produced and designed by Judith Sandiford.

Charly plays “Ebenezu Scroogie”, a Sicilian Hamiltonian who hates Christmas (bah, umbago) and terrorizes his clerk, Bob Cratchit, played by Jon-Gordon Odegaard. His nephew Fred is played by Jay Shand.

The Ghost of Christmas Past is played by Pamela Gardner.

The Ghost of Christmas Present is played by Paula Grove.

Val Kay plays the Ghost of Christmas Future, as well as Mrs. Cratchit.

See the full story of this production in the 2018 Scroogissimo post.

Judith and Ron nominees for City of Hamilton Arts Awards 2021

… And the winner is Tom Wilson, Hamilton local hero, musician and artist.

“2021 Arts Awards Short List: Lifetime Achievement Award nominees Judith Sandiford & Ronald Weihs.

Judith Sandiford, an artist and designer, and Ronald Weihs, a playwright and director, have been creating original theatre and promoting the arts for thirty years. Their projects include Artword Artists Forum, Artword Theatre, Artword Gallery and Artword Artbar, a welcoming environment for theatre, music, dance and visual art in Hamilton.”
The other nominee in this category is the renowned musician and author Tom Wilson.

“A panel of 45 local artists and arts professionals evaluated 122 public nominations for the 2021 Arts Awards, shortlisting 37 nominees to move forward for final adjudication for an award. … Award recipients in all categories will be announced via online presentations during Hamilton Arts Week (June 3 to 12, 2021). 
“Creator Award
(28 shortlisted): Conferred to individual artists and artistic collectives (including bands) working in any artistic discipline and at any career level.
Arts Champion Award (7 shortlisted): Honours the work of arts sector volunteers, advocates, or board members who are essential in supporting success in the arts community.
Lifetime Achievement Award (2 shortlisted): Recognizes those who have contributed substantially to the artistic vitality of the city over the course of a career.

Here are some photos from our various adventures in theatre
(not a whole lifetime, just the bit since 1994). But it does include three facilities for performance, over 26 or so years.

#1. Artword Theatre at 81 Portland Street Toronto, 1994 to 1999. (left)

#2. Artword Theatre at 75 Portland Street, Toronto, 1999-2006. Proud of our small-budget high-standard 150-seat theatre, plus art gallery and 60-seat studio theatre. This was a make-over of our landlord’s garment factory.

#3. In Artword Gallery, the lobby of Artword Theatre, 75 Portland Street, Toronto, from 1999-2006.


#4. Out in front of Artword Artbar on Colbourne Street at James, for “Open Streets”, back when street festivals were home-made:
Ron on fiddle, Judith with a microphone, and pals Charly Chiarelli on harmonica and Venesio Salvo on guitar.

Final concert Hill Brothers videos

Artword Artbar closed it doors forever just before Covid slammed into our lives. Talk about timing! November 17, 2019, the Hill Brothers Bluegrass Band played our final concert to a sellout crowd. The musicianship is brilliant: Randal Hill (mandolin), Rocky Hill (guitar), Tim McDonald (banjo), Greg Street (bass). Videos of that final concert are now on the Artword Theatre YouTube channel. Beautifully shot, with excellent sound quality, by Gabe Etele (CMNIproductions).

Two sample songs for starters.

Sample song from the first set. “It Ain’t Nothin”,
sung by Rocky Hill:







Sample song, second set, “Crossties on a Railroad”
sung by Randal Hill:







Full videos of the first set and the second set.

Part One: Full video of the first set







Part Two: Full video of the second set:

What’s up with Artword Theatre?

* We’re both working on several projects.
* We mostly stay at home (we’re fine).
* Artword Theatre’s online “Walter” is doing well, many likes and over 500 views.
* Ron is busy acquiring many new skills to create on-line video theatrical projects.
* We’re both paying attention, in different ways, to the strange world we live in now.

Walter: by David Laing Dawson, March 4-13, 2020 [Mar 14 cancelled]

“My name is Walter James Cross, and I have schizophrenia.”

Walter, a new Artword Theatre production, starring Sean Emberley, written by David Laing Dawson, directed by Ronald Weihs, soundscape by Dave Gould, produced by Gallery on the Bay and Artword Theatre. March 4-14, 2020. Venue: St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church (St. Andrew’s Hall), 70 James St South at Jackson.
Performance dates:
March 4 to 7 at 7:30 pm. March 11 to 14 at 7:30 pm, $20.
PLUS matinees PWYC, Sat Mar 7 and Sat Mar 14 at 2:30 pm.
[March 14 shows cancelled due to Cover-19 concerns.]
Call 905-543-8512, or email for ticket reservations.

“… I take out all my friends and place them on the table in front of me and I line them up like a lot of little soldiers and I read the labels over and over again:  Chlorpromazine, perphenazine, Olanzapine, benztropine, clonazepam, diazepam, lorazepam, amitriptyline, paroxetine….
the zeens, the teens, the pams, and the peens….
the zeens, the teens, the pams, and the peens … “

David Laing Dawson (playwright) is a psychiatrist, formerly medical director Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital, the co-owner of Gallery on the Bay and the author of six novels, four non-fiction books, and ten plays. He co-authors a blog on mental health, mental illness, politics and life, on WordPress called Mind You.

Playwright’s Statement about Walter: “Walter James Cross is a fictional character and my invention. Yet I invented nothing he says or has experienced. These are an accumulation, a synthesis, of much of what I have heard from people suffering from schizophrenia over the past 50 years. The suffering is real, the experiences are real, only the form of story telling is invented by author and director.
I first wrote this script as a film, produced and broadcast on TVO almost 20 years ago. Ronald Weihs has re-imagined Walter as a live performance.”  David Dawson, March, 2020.

Director’s Statement: This production initiates a new phase for Artword Theatre. Judith Sandiford and I have been doing theatre together since 1980. In 1993, we started a small theatre called Artword Theatre, and in 2000 we opened a much larger complex with two theatre spaces and an art gallery. We lost that theatre to condo development in 2006. In 2007, we moved to Hamilton, and in 2008-9, we put on four plays at the Pearl Company. In 2009, we started Artword Artbar, and put on plays there for ten glorious years. Then it was time for a change. We sold Artword Artbar and started looking around.
We are delighted to have found St. Andrew’s Hall at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church. The people here are friendly and accommodating, and the building is a treasure. We’d especially like to thank Rev. Fred Shaffer, David Church, Christina Babcock and Ruparian “Syd” Sydney for making us feel at home.
We have begun an informal ongoing collaboration with David and Marlaise Dawson, of Gallery on the Bay. Walter is the third play by David that I have directed, and there is a new musical in the works for the fall. Stay tuned.                 Ronald Weihs, March, 2020



Cancelled! Charly’s Piano – 2020 Toronto Storytelling Festival

NEWS March 14, 2020. The Toronto Storytelling Festival has just been cancelled, due to Covid-19 concerns.

Charly Chiarelli has been invited to bring the Artword Theatre production of Charly’s Piano to the 2020 Toronto Storytelling Festival. So Ron and Charly and Judith will be on the road (not very far). We will do the Fringe 2019 version of the show, with projections. Our date is Tuesday March 24, 2020  at 8:30 pm.

The venue is the Alliance Française, 24 Spadina Road, one block north of Bloor in Toronto: