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Panel Discussion About the Role of Audiences

February 6, 2024
Job Type


When should the playwright consider the audience of their play? What are the advantages and disadvantages of writing for a specific audience? How is language influenced by different audiences? Should the playwright ignore the audience altogether? Facilitated by PARC’s Interim Artistic Director and award-winning playwright, Santiago Guzmán this panel will discuss the role of audiences in the process of writing a play.


Marie Beath Badian

Marie Beath [pronounced Mary Beth] Badian is a Filipino-Canadian playwright, writer and performer.

Her plays Prairie Nurse and The Waltz are part of The Prairie Trilogy, a multi-generational trilogy spanning fifty-years, set in rural Saskatchewan. The third play, The Cottage Guest, is in development. All three are commissioned by The Blyth Festival.

Her other plays include The Best Friend Blanket Fort Show [Young People’s Theatre], The Making of St. Jerome [Next Stage Theatre Festival, Dora Mavor Moore Award nominated], Mind Over Matter [Convergence Theatre], and Novena [UnoFestival Victorial].

She has been commissioned by Prairie Theatre Exchange, The Blyth Festival, Young People’s Theatre and The Stratford Festival. She is published by Playwrights’ Canada Press and Scirocco Drama.

Her radio work includes audio dramas of Prairie Nurse and Novena for CBC Radio and writing for the CBC show Outfront. She was a writer for the series Topline on CBC Gem.

Marie Beath has developed work in the playwright units of Cahoots Theatre Company, Tarragon Theatre, Soulpepper Playwrights Circle and The Factory Theatre. She was the Playwright-in-Residence at fu-GEN Asian-Canadian Theatre Company, Project:Humanity and The Blyth Festival.

She is a two-time alumnus of The Playwrights Lab at The Banff Centre For Arts and Creativity and holds a BFA in Theatre Performance from Toronto Metropolitan University [formerly Ryerson University].

Her directing and dramaturgy credits include URU by Julia Lederer [Humber College], Reverend Jonah by Paul Ciufo [Blyth Festival – nominated for a Governor General’s Award], and Future Folk by Sulong Collective [Theatre Passe Muraille].

Performance credits include Through The Bamboo [Toronto Fringe Patron’s Pick], The Age of Arousal [Factory Theatre], The Monster Under the Bed [Young People’s Theatre], Schoolhouse [The Blyth Festival], Conservatives in Love [Next Stage Festival, Toronto and New Stages Theatre, Peterborough], I Met a Bully on the Hill and Andrew’s Tree [Theatre Direct Canada].

Marie Beath spent two seasons as Director of the Blyth Festival Young Company, two seasons as Co-Director of Youth Programs at Nightwood Theatre and two season as Associate Artistic Director/Associate Artist at Theatre Direct Canada. She spent five seasons as the Program Director for the Play Creation Unit at Carlos Bulosan Theatre. She has taught at Humber College Theatre Arts Performance Program and Randolph College for The Performing Arts.

Marie Beath has worked with a several Outreach and Education Programs including Cahoots Theatre Projects/Crossing Gibraltar, Children’s Peace Theatre, The Paprika Festival, Theatre Revolve, Theatre Passe Muraille, Roseneath Theatre and Young People’s Theatre. She has served on several arts juries including Summerworks, The Playwrights Guild of Canada, The Toronto Arts Council, The Ontario Arts Council and The Manitoba Arts Council. She is a member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada and the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association.

Makambe Simamba

Makambe K Simamba is a multiple award-winning playwright and actor. Select stage acting credits include The First Stone (New Harlem Productions), Serving Elizabeth (Thousand Islands Playhouse), GIANT (Ghost River Theatre), Winners and Losers (Chromatic Theatre), Bea (Sage Theatre), inVISIBLE (Handsome Alice Theatre) and SIA (Pyretic Productions). On screen, she can be seen in projects such as Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Titans, True Dating Stories and more.

As a playwright, her solo work includes the multiple Dora Award-Winning Our Fathers, Sons, Lovers and Little Brothers, A Chitenge Story and Makambe Speaks. Makambe’s works in progress have been supported by The Stratford Festival, Banff Playwright’s Lab, Downstage Theatre, Alberta Theatre Projects, b current performing arts, Citadel theatre, Obsidian Theatre, and Green Thumb Theatre.

Makambe was the 2020/21 Urjo Kareda Artist in Residence at the Tarragon theatre, and the co-host of Cahoots Theatre’s Blackstage Pass Podcast.

Makambe’s intention is to be of service to her community through her ability to tell stories.

Frances Končan

Frances Končan (she/they) is an Anishinaabe and Slovene playwright currently living in Vancouver, British Columbia, within the shared, unceded, ancestral territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. Originally from Couchiching First Nation, they grew up on Treaty 1 territory in Winnipeg, Manitoba and attended the University of Manitoba (BA Psychology) and the City University of New York Brooklyn College (MFA Playwriting). They are currently Assistant Professor of Playwriting at the University of British Columbia. Select plays include: Women of the Fur Trade, Space Girl, and zahgidiwin/love.

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