Salt

Thrilled to be directing the premiere production of Erin Vandenberg’s Salt. We’re a week deep into rehearsals and I am astounded by the team we’ve assembled. For more information about the production, please visit Lark & Whismy’s website.

[giant gap from January 2016 to now to be filled in shortly. Highlights include: a staged reading of Robert through Driftwood Theatre, working with YPT’s Writers’ Block, writing a new play called Christmastown as part of the Thousand Islands Playhouse Playwrights’ Unit, and completing a pilot for a new dramatic series with my exceptionally talented friend, Rebecca Hales called Harbinger.]

 

 

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2015 Year in Review

Failing to update one’s website for months at a time comes with the perk of being able to recap all at once. 2015 was a year of transition, re-connecting with the artistic community in Toronto, while maintaining and creating new connections on the West Coast. Thank you to all of the beautiful people in my life who supported me this year, through the celebrations, and the difficulties. Some highlights from 2015:

 

FEBRUARY

Participating in Trafalgar 24 was one of my best decisions in 2015. Sure, I’ll spend the night in a castle and write a ten minute play, sleep for a few hours, then come back to castle to see it performed in front of an audience. A terrifying and invigorating experience, the piece I wrote, Robert, won the Jury Selection that night and was invited to participate in Driftwood Theatre‘s Beyond The Castle program. More on this later.

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Steven Gallagher, Andrew Scanlon and Julia Lederer rehearse Robert, at Trafalgar 24. Photo: Dahlia Katz

 

APRIL

Almost, Again was produced in Chilliwack as part of Fraser Valley University Theatre Program‘s Directors’ Festival. April 22-26. I really wish I’d been able to see the production, but am so happy that Jack and Ginger had another chance to make it right.

 

JUNE

The Way Back to Thursday toured to Vancouver as the Lead Presentation in the In Tune Festival. It felt great to connect with a new audience, and to re-envision the piece in a more intimate venue.

My play-in-development A Funeral Party became a finalist for the Safe Words New Canadian Play Award. As such, it was one of four plays to receive a reading in front of an audience at the Tarragon Theatre. I was fortunate to have the talent of Shauna Black and Jeff Miller giving life to the characters, with Steven Gallagher at the helm as director.

The Concessions received a Jessie Richardson Award nomination for Outstanding Original Play. I was thrilled to be in Vancouver for the celebration. We also received nominations for Lighting (Adrian Muir) and Supporting Actress (Marilyn Norry).

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Marilyn Norry and I at the Jessies. She was nominated for her role as Julie in The Concessions.

 

JULY

Wait, a short piece originally presented at the Brave New Play Rites festival at UBC was invited to participate in TheatreSKAM’s Skampede. It was a pleasure to direct Laura Anne Harris in another solo piece, and to direct my own work for the first time in a number of years. It was a truly beautiful event, and one in which I was proud to take part.

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Laura Anne Harris in Wait, a celebration of anticipation. Photo: Stuart Paisley

 

AUGUST – DECEMBER

I arrived home from my West Coast adventures to fantastic news — I was awarded a Playwright in Residence grant from the Ontario Arts Council to continue working with Driftwood Theatre on Robertthe play I first wrote overnight in the castle in February. I spent a week in August on tour in Prince Edward County getting to know the company and their work, and have since been developing the script in preparation for a week-long workshop in January. I ruminate on the process in this  blog post. 

I’ve also had the pleasure of working with eight talented young writers as the facilitator of Young People’s Theatre’s Writers’ Bloc program. We have been meeting weekly to develop skills and share work, and in the new year, they’ll be focusing on a single piece for presentation in March. It has been a great pleasure to connect with YPT and this amazing group of writers.

 

2016… 

There will be a public reading of Robert on January 23, 2016 at the Social Capital Theatre, starring Julia Lederer and Mark McGrinder, under the direction of Jeremy Smith, Driftwood’s Artistic Director. This will be the culmination of a week-long workshop. I’m so looking forward to spending time in a room with these people, and this play. Tickets are available now!

Beautiful BC

The west coast continues to be extremely good to me, with two upcoming productions –

Almost, Again – my comic one act, originally produced at the Toronto Fringe in 2010, is getting a second life this April in Chilliwack as part of Fraser Valley University Theatre Program‘s Directors’ Festival. April 22-26. Really wish I could be there to see a new Jack and Ginger take the reins.

The Way Back to Thursday will be touring to Vancouver this June as part of the In Tune Festival. We’re thrilled to be bringing the production to a wider audience, and I’m personally very excited to share the work with my Vancouver friends who spent all last fall listening to me talk about it. Tickets are already available!

News

I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve been invited to participate in the Stratford Festival’s Playwrights Retreat this September. For three weeks I’ll be immersed in the Stratford community, taking in shows, and connecting with other playwrights. And most importantly, have the time and space to begin work on my next project! I’ve been attending productions at the Festival since I was a child, so to say this is a ‘big deal’ for me is a severe understatement.

The Concessions had a great run in Vancouver! I was spoiled with friends and family flying in from New York to Huron County, Calgary, Winnipeg, and Toronto. Apart from the rehearsal process, which was like watching a dream grow stronger every day, my favourite part of the experience was engaging with audience members, either formally in a Talk Back session, or in the lobby post-show. It was wonderful to hear what people were connecting to, and how varied those responses and reactions were. An unbelievable learning experience. Thanks again to Touchstone Theatre, Playwrights Theatre Centre, and Firehall Arts Centre for making it happen.

Rob Kempson, writer of The Way Back to Thursday, which I directed at Theatre Passe Muraille in January, was nominated for a Dora Award for Best New Musical. Congratulations, Rob!

I am now the proud recipient of my Masters of Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia. My feature length screenplay, Almost, Again was accepted as my thesis and I am grateful to Peggy Thompson, my thesis advisor and Martin Kinch, my second reader, for all of their support and constructive feedback. Now I will continue working with Producer Alexandra Breede and her support network at the National Film and Television School in the UK to get it into production!

Almost, Again received an Honourable Mention in the Women in Film and Television Screenwriting Competition this winter.