The Banff Centre Announces $25,000 Playwriting Competition

by NationTalk on March 8, 20082685 Views

Media Release
For immediate release
March 7, 2008

The Banff Centre announces $25,000 playwriting competition
To celebrate its 75th Anniversary, The Banff Centre announces a national competition to commission a full-length play. The award, totaling more than $25,000, will also mark the 35th Anniversary of the Banff Playwrights Colony.One of the richest and most significant commissioning and development opportunities to benefit the Canadian theatre community in recent years, the 75th Anniversary National Playwriting Commission Competition is open to established Canadian playwrights working in English or French. The Banff Centre will present the successful playwright with a $20,000 commissioning award, a two-week writing retreat at the Centre’s Leighton Artists’ Colony during the 2008 / 2009 season, and two residencies with the Banff Playwrights Colony for playwright and dramaturge in 2009 and 2010. It is intended that the resulting work will premiere at the 2010 Banff Summer Arts Festival.

“The Banff Centre has a long and rich history of supporting the creation of new Canadian theatre, from our beginnings in 1933, when Banff offered a single drama program,” says Sarah Iley, vice president, programming at The Banff Centre. “After more than three decades of nurturing play creation through the Playwrights Colony, we felt it was appropriate to celebrate our 75 years by inviting playwrights across Canada to submit proposals for this commissioning opportunity. We are excited by the prospect of seeing their creative approaches to this challenge, and to working with the selected playwright to develop a wonderful new work for the theatre.”

As part of the commission, The Banff Centre will seek a significant production partner to ensure further production opportunities for the work. If the commissioned playwright is Francophone, the Centre will look for a producing partner in Quebec to premiere the play in French, and will arrange for translation to premiere the play in English in Banff.

Projects submitted for the Competition will be adjudicated by a jury chaired by Kelly Robinson, director of Theatre Arts at The Banff Centre. Serving with him will be playwright John Murrell, artist emeritus at the Centre; Linda Gaboriau, translator and dramaturge; director and dramaturge Brian Quirt; and the two co-directors of the Banff Playwrights Colony, translator and dramaturge Maureen Labonté and Bob White, artistic director of Alberta Theatre Projects. .

The Banff Playwrights Colony is a partnership with Alberta Theatre Projects. Established at The Banff Centre in 1973, it has evolved into one of the most significant opportunities for new play development in Canadian theatre. The program allows playwrights to develop new work with on-site dramaturges and a small resident company of actors and readers. Alumni of the Banff Playwrights Colony include Sharon Pollock, Morris Panych, Mieko Ouchi, Tomson Highway, Michael Healey, Brad Fraser, Mary Walsh, and last year’s winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama, Colleen Murphy.

In 2008 the Colony will also feature a senior-playwright-in-residence: Daniel MacIvor. He will be at The Banff Centre as a Paul D. Fleck Fellow, a prestigious fellowship established by the family of the late Paul D. Fleck, a former President of the Centre, to honour his memory while supporting senior artists in their creative work.

The Banff Centre’s 75th Anniversary events are generously supported by the Kahanoff Foundation.

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For more information on the 75th Anniversary National Playwriting Commission Competition:

For more information on Theatre Arts at The Banff Centre:

Media Contact

Jill Sawyer
Media and Communications Officer, The Banff Centre

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