All rights, including publication, professional or amateur stage rights, motion picture, lecturing, recitation, public reading, radio broadcasting, television, video picture or sound recording, and all other forms of mechanical or electronic reproduction, existent and not yet invented, such as CD-ROM, CD-I, DVD, information storage and retrieval systems, and the rights of translation into foreign languages, are retained by the author.
For more information about Canadian copyright law, visit the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO):
Digital scripts are sold with the intention that they will be used on a pay-per-use basis.
If digital scripts are being distributed to students in a manner in which students can keep copies after the completion of the course, then new scripts/licenses would need to be purchased for new users, in the same way that if students took home a paperback book, then new ones would need to be purchased for new users.
Educators are required to take reasonable measures to prevent the copying or distribution of scripts outside of the confines of the course.
Purchasing one copy of the script with the intention of disseminating it to any number of people is in violation of Canada’s copyright laws.
The fair dealing provision in Canada’s Copyright Act permits the use of “short excerpts” of copyrighted work for educational purposes. Find a breakdown of fair dealing here.
You can also use this Fair Dealing Decision Tool offered by The Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) to help determine “whether a specific intended classroom use is allowed by the Fair Dealing Guidelines”.
Any group wishing to perform a play for a public audience (for schools, this includes for classes other than the one performing the play) must apply for the performance rights and pay royalties. Find out more information and how to apply here.
PLEDGE stands for “Production Listing to Enhance Diversity and Gender Equity” and pledgeproject.ca features a searchable database listing plays written by Canadian women, two-spirit, trans, and non-binary creators with a cast size of six or more performers. This criteria is key as plays produced at schools usually need large cast sizes given the number of students involved.
Playwrights Guild of Canada and the Canadian Play Outlet are pleased to offer sample copies of scripts written by our members.
Conditions apply, read more about the program and fill out a request form here.
The Canadian Play Outlet is a theatre bookstore operated by the Playwrights Guild of Canada featuring over 2000 plays by Canadian playwrights, in both paperback and digital formats.
Visit the store’s website here.
If you would like to stage a play, you need to get the playwright’s approval, and pay for the right to perform the play. PGC can help with our Non-Professional/Amateur Rights Program.
Read about how the program can help a school wishing to produce a Canadian play here.
Plays By Theme
The Canadian Network for Arts & Learning (CNAL) is a membership organization dedicated to spreading awareness about and advocating for arts education in Canada. The Network hosts conferences and events and offers resources on their website.
CTEC welcomes anyone and everyone who is working to create great theatre artists at any age and in any discipline: actors, designers, directors, technicians, and more. They host a yearly educator conference, online discussions and lectures, as well as curate a list of educator resources available on their website.
Mandated to use the arts to empower students, youth and adults to express themselves through the creative process, and in so doing, engage diverse communities in thought and collaboration. Offers workshops, training and resources.
The Canadian Association for Theatre Research is a non-profit organization founded in 1976 to support and encourage research in theatre and performance studies in Canada, with a special interest in Canadian work. Our membership includes scholars, students, and theatre professionals from around the world who are leading developments in our field.
Resources for Theatre Educators: Highlights of recent content on teaching and theatre education, with an eye to how we reimagine learning with the evolving pandemic. HowlRound is a free and open platform for theatre makers worldwide that amplifies progressive, disruptive ideas about the art form and facilitates connection between diverse practitioners.
The NAC helps students and teachers across Canada bring the performing arts alive through workshops, performances, artist residencies and professional development. Explore the NAC’s free performing arts resources for teachers, students, families and the public, including curriculum guides, podcasts, videos, articles and more.
Theatrefolk believes that theatre has an essential place in schools. They publish plays for student performers and have many resources for drama educators. Their resources include standalone programs for your classroom, exercises and articles, and conversations with drama teachers.
Established in 1995, VIBE Arts is an award-winning charitable organization committed to providing children and youth in under-resourced communities with high quality community and school based arts education. With a 20 year trajectory, VIBE Arts has become one of the most celebrated community arts organizations in Toronto.
Access Copyright is a non-profit, national organization representing tens of thousands of Canadian writers, visual artists and publishers, and their works. Access Copyright provides licensing services to educators and learners across Canada in elementary and secondary schools, independent and tutorial schools, post-secondary institutions and adult language learning centres.
The Canadian Musical Theatre Database features a catalogue of Canadian musicals and their creators, serving as a platform to improve the artistic lives of musical theatre creators, educators and producers across Canada.
The Educational Theatre Association of Canada is an organization dedicated to ensuring every student has access to theatre taught by qualified educators as a vital part of a well-rounded education. This organization hosts conferences, is involved in advocacy work, makes awards, scholarships, and grants available, and more.
Also visit the Educational Theatre Association’s Learning Centre here.
Each year the Manitoba Association of Playwrights invites high school students to submit short plays for the High School Playwriting Program. A panel of theatre professionals select the successful applicants. The playwrights work with professional dramaturgs (a playwright’s best friend and help mate) to help develop their play further, in a safe and supportive environment, through rewrites and workshops with actors. The program culminates in public readings.
This is an excellent opportunity to experience a professionally guided play development process, to work with young actors-in-training (the selected playwrights’ peers and future collaborators), and to see your play performed before an audience of friends, family, and invited theatre professionals.
The Dramatists Guild recognizes that theatre educators have a vital role in the theatre industry. By teaching today’s students, educators are training tomorrow’s industry leaders. DGA wants to support educators in this complex and important task, by providing them with the resources necessary to inform and educate students about the rights of dramatists.
Visit the DGA website for guides, toolkits, and ideas for drama curriculum.
Each issue will take you behind the curtain to meet Scirocco Drama playwrights, talk about books, share insights from educators, and keep you up to date on events, productions, awards and other interesting news.
Playwrights Canada Press is a publisher of new Canadian plays. They offer a number of resources to educators, ranging from kindergarten to post secondary, on their website which is linked above.
Talon’s dedication to the publication of more than five decades of excellent Canadian literary work, created through an unbroken line of internal mentorship and succession of ownership in the company, has earned this publishing house the privilege of being one of the pre-eminent independent Anglophone literary presses in Canada.
Playwrights Guild of Canada’s online bookstore featuring over 2000 plays by Canadian playwrights, this unique browsing experience has been designed keeping in mind passionate theatre lovers, theatre professionals, students, emerging playwrights and those who are new to this vastly diverse and imaginative world of Canadian plays. The collection keeps growing and showcasing new plays, both published and unpublished.
Located in the Arts Department of the Toronto Reference Library, this index is nothing less than a window on the production histories of professional theatre in Canada! Whether a Canadian play, or one by a foreign playwright, if it has been performed on a Canadian stage, the Production Index records its premiere run as well as its revivals. While not a complete record of all Canadian productions, it is amazingly extensive and a quick way to find information.
Since 2007, Mount Allison University (Sackville, New Brunswick) has housed the PARC Library of Atlantic Canadian Scripts. The library contains over 350 Atlantic Canadian scripts, both published and unpublished. In addition to full scripts, the library also features anthologies of monologues and scenes, reference materials, histories, as well as some digital media and a collection of posters, programs and other memorabilia. PARC members, students, professors, potential producers and the public alike are all welcome to use the library.
This award-winning digital library has been created as a response to the need for a high-quality online research tool for drama and literature students, professors, and teachers. It is the only resource to combine exclusively available playtext content and scholarly publications with filmed live performances, film adaptations, and audio plays.
ADEL inc, a virtual bookstore created by the Quebec Association of Dramatic Authors (AQAD) in collaboration with the Quebec Society for Collective Management of Reproduction Rights (COPIBEC). This communication tool makes accessible French, Quebec and Canadian dramatic texts of which 80% are not published and circulate with difficulty in the form of “typescripts”.
Francophone, Quebec and Canadian playwrights have therefore taken the necessary steps to give you access to their texts and allow you to discover their rich repertoire. You can read their texts online for free and then, if you wish, obtain authorization to print them inexpensively wherever you are around the world.
Disclaimer: Playwrights Guild of Canada (PGC) is a national arts service organization mandated to engage with and grow an active Canadian writing community. We promote Canadian plays around the world to advance the creative rights and interests of professional Canadian playwrights. The views of organizations cited herein are their own. The opinions of PGC as an association remain neutral.