January 25th – March 12th
PGC is serving the perfect snack to keep you fed creatively this winter. ‘Craft Bites’ is a new online series where dynamic pairings of playwrights come together to share their work and unique writing styles. These bite-size treats are sure to add inspiration to your palate and help you stay connected with your community. Register below to attend our upcoming FREE events!
Tuesday, March 9th
Join this enticing dialogue between playwrights Ellen Denny & Erin Jones as they share bite-size excerpts from their own work and engage in conversation about writing a one person show. Register for this FREE event HERE.
Ellen is a Toronto-based playwright and actor who has worked across Canada. Her contemporary comedy Pleasureville premiered at Halifax’s Neptune Theatre in 2019. Recently, Ellen was a 2020 finalist for the Cayle Chernin Award (Theatre) for her in-development solo show Project Qyzra, which will be featured at University of Toronto’s Festival of Original Theatre in 2021. Through Musical Stage’s Launch Pad program, Ellen was book writer for musical What Goes Up (premiered in ‘RePrint’ at the Globe and Mail Centre) alongside songwriting team Colleen Dauncey and Akiva Romer-Segal. Ellen has been commissioned to create short works for Live Bait Theatre’s Social Distancing Short Play Festival and Driftwood Theatre’s Trafalger 24, and is a current member of Driftwood’s Beyond the Bard Playwrights Unit. Ellen has multiple projects in development, including Wonder, a play about her great-great-aunt Harriet Brooks, Canada’s first female nuclear physicist. As a performer, Ellen has worked with companies including NAC English Theatre, Mirvish, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Citadel, and the Segal Centre. She received a Dora nomination for her portrayal of Alice in Life After (Canadian Stage) and was named one of Now Magazine’s Breakthrough Toronto Stage Artists (2017). During the pandemic, Ellen co-created and starred in february: a love story – a romantic comedy about dating six feet apart – with Emilio Vieira. The piece can be viewed virtually from February 14 – March 7 at februarytheplay.com.
I am an actor, writer, digital storyteller and aspiring director. I have performed on stage across the GTA and have supported the performing arts behind the scenes with publicity, articles, newsletters, grant writing, board governance, photography, Director hiring committees, Respect in the Workplace committees and more. I most recently served as Assistant Director on The Cripple of Inishmaan which received several nominations and awards. My recent script Lovingly Yours, Olive is now featured in the Toronto Fringe Next Stage Community Booster Series! This down time during Covid has been a great opportunity to look at developing my skills in directing and writing.
Tuesday, March 9th
Join this enticing dialogue between playwrights Richard Lee Kitchen & Kirsten Van Ritzen as they share bite-size excerpts from their own work and engage in conversation about writing comedy. Register for this FREE event HERE.
RICHARD LEE KITCHEN
I have a BA (Journalism), MA (Communication) and an MBA. I don’t have an MFA in theatre but hope my classes with writers Bob Shacochis, Janet Burroway, Marlon Barton and Peter Huggins or the workshops and Master Classes with Joseph Chaikin, Steve Dietz, Roland Tec and Andrea Lepcio provide credibility. The play I’m submitting, Hearing Art, was written based upon seeing the Van Gogh exhibit in Toronto years ago. The play was originally written featuring a deaf character and was one of two plays selected for a staged reading Tallhassee Theatre New Play Project. I recently revised it to focus on a hard of hearing character. I’ve written nine full-length plays, three one-act plays, fourteen ten-minute plays and nine screenplays. My first play, JoJo Mama and the Voodoo Queen received a Panelist Favorite Award from the late Michael Warren Powell at a Last Frontier Theatre Conference and was a runner up at the Dallas Theatre Festival. A screenplay version was a finalist at the Lonely Seal Film and Music Festival last year. The festival director asked to represent the screenplay at film markets prior to COVID-19. My short plays, Fortune Kooky and Fourth-Quarter Pick-Up, were produced at the Tampa Bay Theatre Festival in 2017 and 2019. The director/producer, Jeff VanDavis, optioned the Fourth-Quarter Pick-Up for film production later this year. I’ve attended the Stratford Festival for many years. My comedy, SOS (Swans of Stratford), and my book Online with God (G-Mail) The Ultimate Icon were conceived and completed at Stratford.
KIRSTEN VAN RITZEN
Kirsten Van Ritzen is a PGC playwright, actor and comedienne who has performed across Canada and the U.S. She now lives in Victoria. Her solo play ALL MY DAY JOBS has been produced in several cities and is published in ONE FOR THE ROAD (Signature Editions). RADIOLAND ’48 was selected for staged readings at Lunchbox Theatre Calgary, Theatre One Nanaimo and virtually on The Canadian Play Thing. Other works for the stage include several one-woman shows (writer/performer), the satirical one-act SOLO JOURNEYS, and the full-length musical drama MAD LADY: PEEL THE FUNNIEST WOMAN IN THE WORLD. Screenwriting credits include the thriller ROADKILL a short-film now in post-production, and the Cinespark Pitch Fest finalist comedy TAKE ME AWAY. Kirsten has written several sitcom pilots and is currently working on a Rom Com. She is author of the humour novel THE COMEDY DIVA DIARIES (iUniverse). Kirsten has performed hundreds of improv and comedy shows, and more than fifty plays at theatres across Canada. She has appeared on Netflix, Disney, Hallmark, Lifetime, APTN and CBC. She is a founding member/co-creator of Canadian Comedy Award-nominated Sin City Improv Serial troupes in Toronto and Victoria, and was nominated for an ‘M’ Award Top Comedian. For the past ten years, her day job was teaching standup comedy to ordinary, terrified folks who had a sense of humour and a dream. She is passionate about jazz dance and has been dancing her way through the pandemic. www.kirstenvanritzen.com
Tuesday, March 9th
Join this enticing dialogue between playwrights Virginia Page Jähne & Stephen Near as they share bite-size excerpts from their own work and engage in conversation about writing drama. Register for this FREE event HERE.
VIRGINIA PAGE JÄHNE
Virginia completed her BAH in Theatre at the University of Winnipeg with a concentration in directing, and was awarded the gold medal for highest achievement in Theatre. Her play, RinseWashRepeat, had its first public reading at the 2019 Prairie Theatre Exchange Festival of New Works. While working toward her MA in the Department of English, Theatre, Film & Media at the University of Manitoba, she was awarded the 2019/2020 C.D. Howe Fellowship in Creative Writing. Most recently, she successfully defended her MA creative thesis, a play titled The Far-off Edge of Things, which confronts the intersection of disability and climate change. Her interest in disability stems from her real-life role as a full-time caregiver to her husband who has Parkinson’s Disease. She will graduate with an MA in February 2021.
Stephen Near is a writer working in Hamilton. His plays have been performed across Canada at various theatres and festivals including the Ottawa Fringe, the Toronto Fringe, the Hamilton Fringe, New Ideas, and Summerworks. He is a graduate of York University (BFA), the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (B. Ed) and the MFA Creative Writing program at the University of Guelph. He is a member of the Playwright’s Guild of Canada, the Theatre Aquarius Creator’s Junction and Playwright’s Unit and an alumnus of the Sage Hill Writing Experience and the Banff Centre. Stephen is co-founder and playwright-in-residence of Same Boat Theatre in Hamilton.
Wednesday, March 10th
Join this enticing dialogue between playwrights Stephen Orlov & Diana Tso as they share bite-size excerpts from their own work and engage in conversation about writing drama. Register for this FREE event HERE.
Stephen Orlov is an award-winning dramatist, whose plays have been showcased in such theatre centres as London, Chicago and Montreal, where he resides. He co-edited with Melbourne-based playwright, Samah Sabawi, Double Exposure: Plays of the Jewish and Palestinian Diasporas, the first anthology worldwide of drama, prose or poetry by Jewish and Palestinian writers, which won Canadian Association of Theatre Research’s biennial Patrick O’Neill Award for best English play anthology of 2016 and 2017. His plays include award-winning Isolated Incident (with Rahul Varma); Salaam-Shalom; Freeze, his box office hit at Montreal’s Centaur Theatre (Guernica Editions); Bow Ties: A Dramatic Encounter between Words and Music (with cellist Karen Kaderavek); Sperm Count, finalist of the 2018 inaugural Drama Prize of the Québec Writers Federation (Playwrights Canada Press); and its critically acclaimed sequel, Birthmark, which Teesri Duniya Theatre premiered in November of 2018. Stephen has served as playwright-in-residence at the Centaur, Vice-President of Playwrights Union of Canada, President of Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal, and more recently on the executives of Playwrights Guild of Canada and Playwrights Canada Press. He is a former chairperson of the Department of Humanities at John Abbott College and now leads workshops on script writing, most recently for PGC, Québec Drama Federation, the National Arts Festival of St. Lucia, and the Osher Institute at Dartmouth College. He is now writing with the support of a Canada Council grant, Engagement, Birthmark’s sequel and the third of his Dual-Diaspora Trilogy.
Diana Tso is a theatre artist, playwright, storyteller & artist in education. She’s a graduate of the University of Toronto in English Literature & of Ecole Internationale de Théâtre de Jacques Lecoq in France and is a theatre faculty member at George Brown College. Her Red Snow Collective, which creates theatre drawn from eastern and western storytelling aesthetics, focuses on empowering women’s voices and re-imagining mythologies through the female perspective www.redsnowcollective.ca Her play, Red Snow, inspired by the survivors of the Rape of Nanking in WWII, produced in association with Aluna Theatre and directed by Beatriz Pizano, premiered in Toronto in 2012, followed by its international premiere at the Shanghai International Contemporary Theatre Festival in China. Her play, Comfort, inspired by the resilience of women in war, premiered in Toronto 2016, directed by William Yong and was nominated for the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding music composition. Her Spring Moon, commissioned and produced by Mix Company Theatre, premiered in 2017 and was inspired stories of grandmothers and granddaughters. Her Monkey Queen, inspired by Wu Cheng’en’s 16th century epic of monkey king, re-imagined through the female warrior, premiered in November 2018. Currently she’s writing, carried by the river, a story about six women connected by a river, inspired by the ethnic minorities of China. She believes storytelling can initiate change, celebrate life, rediscover and re-envision the present as a collective community, by connecting with our traditions, histories and mythologies. Her plays are available at PGC’s Canadian Play Outlet HERE.
Wednesday, March 10th
Join this enticing dialogue between playwrights Beau Dixon & Jan Taylor as they share bite-size excerpts from their own work and engage in conversation about writing theatre for young audiences. Register for this FREE event HERE.
Beau is a self-taught, multi award-winning Actor, Composer, Playwright and Sound Designer. Selected theatre credits: Ghost Quartet, Road To Paradise (Crow’s Theatre); Marjorie Prime, The Father (Coalmine Theatre); The Colour Purple (Neptune Theatre); Hamlet, Harlem Duet, Next To Normal (Tarragon Theatre); Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, 27 Club, Secret Chord (Soulpepper Theatre); Mockingbird (NSTF/Factory); Don’t Dress For Dinner (Thousand Islands/WCT/Gateway); Farewell, My Lovely (Vertigo Theatre/Arts Club Theatre); Motherf@#! er With The Hat (Alberta Theatre Projects); As You Like It/ Titus Andronicus (Canstage/Shakespeare In High Park); Othello (Mysterious Entity); The Real McCoy (4th Line Theatre). Selected writing credits: Bloom: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Fable (4th Line Theatre) Beneath Springhill: The Maurice Ruddick Story (Lunchbox Theatre/ Festival Playhouse/ Thousand Islands), From Here To Africville, Once A Flame (Factory Theatre), Other People’s Heaven, Freedom Bells (Heritage Pavilion Stage). Nominations and awards: Two Dora Mavor Moore Awards (Best New Play, Best Individual Performance), Betty Mitchell nomination for Best Male Performance for his one-man-show, Beneath Springhill: The Maurice Ruddick Story. He also received two Toronto Critic’s Award (Best ensemble for Ghost Quartet, and Male lead in a musical for Passing Strange) and a Dora Award nomination for Best Leading Male in a Musical for Passing Strange (Obsidian Theatre/Musical Stage Co.) In 2011, Beau was inducted into Peterborough’s Pathway of Fame for his leadership in the arts. He is also a KM Hunter Award Finalist for 2016. He has three recorded solo albums under his name. www.beaudixon.com
Jan Taylor is a long-time freelance director, playwright, educator and producer in the Edmonton area. For the last 15 years, she has been the Artistic Director of Kompany Family Theatre and in that capacity has written and directed many productions, primarily musicals, including, Alberto the Dancing Alligator, Bones in the Stones, The Wizard that Was and Was Not…, Fiddle Cat, In True Pirate Fashion, and the very popular Squealy-Moo Children’s Theatre Series.
Wednesday, March 10th
Join this enticing dialogue between playwrights Ryan Griffith & Melissa Major as they share bite-size excerpts from their own work and engage in conversation about writing comedy. Register for this FREE event HERE.
Ryan Griffith is a playwright from Lower Woodstock, New Brunswick. A graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada, Ryan enjoys performing and writing for theatres across Canada. His play FORTUNE OF WOLVES was recently published by Playwrights Canada Press. His short play SHEPODY, RAGE AND WOLFE was featured as part of the National Elevator Project Plays produced by Theatre Yes in Edmonton and Halifax, and his original plays RETURNING FIRE and A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE MARITIMES AND EVERYWHERE ELSE, as well as his adaptation of Alistair MacLeod’s THE BOAT have been recently produced by Theatre New Brunswick. Currently, he is working as the Artistic Director for the Next Folding Theatre Company in Fredericton, NB. (www.nextfolding.ca)
Melissa Major has been working in theatre and dance on almost 100 productions across Canada, USA, Hong Kong, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and India. She has a nice little collection of awards and university degrees including an MFA in playwriting and poetry from University of Guelph. She is the founder and Creative Director of The Cheshire Unicorn. More info at www.cheshireunicorn.com.
Thursday, March 11th
Join this enticing dialogue between playwrights Rick Chafe & David Copelin as they share bite-size excerpts from their own work and engage in conversation about writing comedy. Register for this FREE event HERE.
Rick Chafe is a playwright and screenwriter. In 2019 he celebrated the release of the feature film STAND!, a musical co-written with writer/composer Danny Schur; the stage play STRIKE! (Rainbow Stage), also co-written with Schur; Red Earth (One Trunk Theatre), a graphic novel for stage co-written with Kristian Jordan from a story by Andraea Sartison and GMB Chomichuk; and the publication of Marriage: A Demolition in Two Acts (Playwrights Canada Press). Two new plays to have premiered in 2020, Five Moments (Theatre Projects Manitoba), and Both Alike in Dignity, co-written with Yvette Nolan (Prairie Theatre Exchange) have been delayed by COVID-19. Other selected plays include: The Secret Mask for Prairie Theatre Exchange (2013); Beowulf’s Daughter for Two Planks and a Passion (2011); Shakespeare’s Dog for Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre – National Arts Centre (2009) and The Odyssey for Shakespeare in the Ruins (2001). His television credits are: head writer on the 13-part series NEXT! (APTN); Script Consultant on Indian City: Stories from the Street (Global); story editor on In Valhalla’s Shadows (in development, Blue Prairie Productions). He is a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama (The Secret Mask), winner of the Chris Johnson Award for Best Manitoba New Play (The Secret Mask), and a nominee for the Siminovitch Prize for Theatre.
David Copelin‘s produced plays include A Clean Breast, The Angel Capone, Bella Donna, Coming Up for Air, Mind Over Matter, That Other Thing, and a popular translation of Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi. A graduate of Columbia University and the Yale School of Drama, David has been a resident dramaturg at the Mark Taper Forum, Arena Stage, New Dramatists, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He has also taught playwriting and other theatre subjects at several universities in the U.S. and Canada. David is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, the Playwrights Guild of Canada, and Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas. His current projects are Broken Water, a family drama, and Quicksand, a political play. A dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada, David lives in Gibsons, British Columbia. He is represented by Michael Petrasek at Kensington Literary in Toronto.
Friday, March 12th
Join this enticing dialogue between playwrights McKenna James Boeckner & Alison Lawrence as they share bite-size excerpts from their own work and engage in conversation about writing drama. Register for this FREE event HERE.
MCKENNA JAMES BOECKNER
McKenna James Boeckner (he/him or they/them) is a queer playwright and writer serotinously transplanted from Thunder Bay, Ontario. They are pursuing a Ph.D. Degree in Creative Writing from the University of New Brunswick on the traditional unceded territory of the Wolastoqiyik people. Their current research and writing interests are geared towards fairy tales as vehicles to explore historical and contemporary masculinity. Their most recent play, A Real Boy—live-streamed as part of the Plain Sight Theatre Festival and directed by Spearhead Theatre in October 2020—narrates a contemporary adaptation of Pinocchio set in Northwestern Ontario by way of examining what it means to be or become a “real boy” today. To learn more about their writings, follow them on social media or check out their website at www.memoirsofasodomite.com.
Alison Lawrence is a playwright, actor and independent theatre producer. She co-wrote the cult hit play bittergirl, the book Bittergirl: Getting Over Getting Dumped (published by Penguin Canada, Plume U.S. and Distribuidora Brazil) and Bittergirl – the Musical which has been produced in every major regional theatre across Canada since its debut at the Charlottetown Festival in 2015, where it returned by popular demand in 2017. Her other plays include Piece by Piece, produced in Toronto and as part of the New American Voices series in London, England; and The Thing Between Us (short-listed for the Playwrights Guild of Canada’s Carol Bolt Award). Alison also wrote the critical and popular hit The Catering Queen, which she also starred in, and And All For Love, which was developed by and premiered to sold-out houses at the National Art Centre’s English Theatre in Ottawa. Alison’s personal essays have been published across Canada in the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail and the National Post, and The Catering Queen and bittergirl are both published by Scirocco Drama. Her play The Right was developed with the In Development Program of Toronto’s Studio 180 Theatre. She is an alumna of the Banff Playwrights Lab and a MacDowell Fellow (New Hampshire, USA). Her play Too Close to Home opened and closed at Theatre Orangeville on the March 13 2020 due to COVID-19. Her yet-to-premiere play Packing Up was part of the NAC’s #CanadaPerforms pandemic relief livestream series from St. John’s NFLD.
Friday, March 12th
Join this enticing dialogue between playwrights Katia Café-Fébrissy & Dave Deveau as they share bite-size excerpts from their own work and engage in conversation about writing theatre for young audiences. Register for this FREE event HERE.
Katia Café-Fébrissy is an award-winning Writer, Director and Playwright who tells stories on screen and on stage. Katia came to the world of theatre from film. Her directorial credits range from cinema verite, experimental docs and docu-drama to VR projects, corporate and institutional films to music video, episodic web series, short narratives and theatrical plays. Her most recent theatrical credits were as a Director on the Obsidian Theatre Company project, 21 BLACK FUTURES, and also as the Playwright and Director of NONA’S MALAIKA produced by Shakespeare in Action. Her play RHYMES WITH VINEGAR created for young audiences has been developed with the support of the Ontario Arts Council and Roseneath Theatre. She’s also working on a new play, A SUMMER WITH MY KAREN thanks to the support of the Ontario Arts Council and Nightwood Theatre. Katia is a member of the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC), the Playwrights Guild of Canada (PGC) and the French Language Writers’ Guild of Canada (SARTEC). She’s also a member of the National Association of Independent Francophone Filmmakers of Canada (FRIC), the Francophone Media Arts Centre (LABO) and Théâtre Action. Besides, she’s an alumna of Women in the Director’s Chair and Director’s Lab North, and has recently joined the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Committee to the Board of Directors of the DGC. Katia holds an M.A. in Literature and Languages from the Université of Paris VIII, France as well as a postgraduate Diploma in Documentary Filmmaking from the Varan Doc Film Centre, France.
As an award-winning writer, Dave Deveau investigates queer themes that speak to a broad audience. His work has been produced across North America and in Europe. He is the Associate Artistic Director of Zee Zee Theatre, a Vancouver-based company that amplifies voices from the margins with a focus on LGBTQ2S+ work. Zee Zee has premiered his plays Nelly Boy, Tiny Replicas, the critically-acclaimed My Funny Valentine (Sydney Risk Prize, Jessie Nomination, Oscar Wilde Nomination – Dublin), Lowest Common Denominator, Elbow Room Café: The Musical (with Anton Lipovetsky), Dead People’s Things and Holiday at the Elbow Room Café. He is devoted to developing intelligent, theatrical plays for young people that foster conversation. His plays for young audiences include Out in the Open, tagged (Dora nomination) and Celestial Being (Jessie Nomination) for Green Thumb Theatre and Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls (Dora nomination) for Roseneath Theatre. He is currently working on commissions for Zee Zee Theatre, Arts Club, Carousel Theatre for Young People, Vancouver International Children’s Festival and Nashville Children’s Theatre. In total, his plays have been nominated for 21 Jessie Awards (Vancouver), 4 Ovation Awards (Vancouver) and 4 Dora Awards (Toronto). Before the pandemic, he was scheduled to embark on a five-city tour with his husband and son in their all-ages drag-theatre hybrid show Parents Are A Drag. He is represented by Marquis Literary. He is published in Scirocco’s Fierce anthology and his first book called CISSY: Three Gender Plays is published by Talonbooks. www.davedeveau.com
Friday, March 12th
Join this enticing dialogue between playwrights Leanna Brodie & Joanna Gosse as they share bite-size excerpts from their own work and engage in conversation about writing comedy. Register for this FREE event HERE.
Leanna Brodie is a Canadian playwright, translator, and librettist whose work has been performed from Montréal to Austin to Auckland. The Vic, For Home and Country, The Book of Esther, and Schoolhouse are published by Talonbooks: Schoolhouse is being produced in 2021 by Nova Scotia’s Two Planks and a Passion. Ulla’s Odyssey, her Flourish Prize–winning opera with Anthony Young, toured the UK for two years with OperaUpClose. Brodie is also a leading translator of contemporary Québécois playwrights, with five scheduled premieres in the 2019-20 season alone: Annie Broccoli’s Stella and the Time Machine Journey (Lune Rouge, Arlington, TX); Joe Jack et John’s Violette (Espace Libre, Montréal, QC); David Paquet’s Wildfire (Upstream Theater, St. Louis, MO) and The Shoe (The Cherry Artspace, Ithaca, NY); and Sébastien Harrisson’s From Alaska (Ruby Slippers/Gateway Theatre, Vancouver, BC). The latter two translations were finalists for the 2020 Tom Hendry Awards. Brodie’s translation of Philippe Soldevila’s ambitious Trilogy of an Emigration will get a Zoom reading this month from BoucheWHACKED! Theatre. She is currently an Artistic Associate at Vancouver’s Ruby Slippers Theatre and an MFA candidate at the University of Calgary. www.leannabrodie.com
Joanna is a singer/actor/dancer/writer from St. John’s, NL and currently living in Montreal. Her first play, Dear Dollface, was performed at the Vancouver Fringe and St. John’s Fringe 1998-99. Her first novel, LIAR, was published in 2000 and her second novel, THE DEAL, was published in 2016 (both available at Amazon.com). In 2016 her play, The Lie Speaker was chosen by Infinitheatre for the first cohort of The Unit and given a staged reading at Centaur Theatre. Her musical, The Dream Weaver is currently being workshopped with CMTWC (Canadian Musical Theatre Writers Collective). Her second musical, Mabel’s Bed, and third novel, Ferry Too Far, are in development. See Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/thejoannagosse