Introducing the Cole Foundation Mentorship Emerging Translators

Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal and The Cole Foundation are thrilled to announce the participants to this year’s Cole Foundation Mentorship for Emerging Translators, Rhiannon Collett and Elaine Normandeau.


Rhiannon Collett

Headshot of Rhiannon Collett
Photo credit: Yuula Benivolski

Rhiannon Collett (they/them) is an award-winning non-binary playwright, performer, director and translator based in Montreal and Toronto. Their work explores the ritualization of grief, gender performativity, queer/trans identity and the psychological effects of sexual objectification.

Selected playwriting credits include Miranda & Dave Begin Again / Miranda et Dave recommencent encore (2016 Playwrights Guild of Canada RBC Emerging Playwright Award, presented in French at the 2019 Festival du Jamais Lu, and the 2020 Festival les Petites Formes, Martinique); Wasp (commissioned by Nightswimming, presented at the 2019 Rhubarb Festival, and developed at the Stratford Festival Lab), The Kissing Game (commissioned by Youtheatre and Young People’s Theatre, developed at the 2018 Banff Playwrights Lab, produced by Youtheatre, awarded the META for Outstanding New Text 2019); Tragic Queens (commissioned and devised with CABAL Theatre/Wildside Festival 2018); There Are No Rats in Alberta (created as a part of the 2017-18 Buddies in Bad Times Emerging Creators Unit, presented at the Rhubarb Festival 2018 ), and the English language translation of Chienne(s) by Marie-Eve Milot and Marie-Claude St-Laurent (in development with BoucheWHACKED! Theatre Collective). Rhiannon’s work is funded by the Toronto
Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.

Rhiannon was a guest artist at the LungA festival in Seyðisfjörður, Iceland and artist-in-residence at the Mauser Eco House in Costa Rica. They are a graduate of Generator’s Performance Criticism Training Program, Buddies in Bad Times Emerging Creators Unit, Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal’s Young Creators Unit and Black Theatre Workshop’s Artist Mentorship Program.

Rhiannon is a settler in Toronto, on the traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, the Huron-Wendat and the Haudenosaunee peoples, and in Tiohtià:ke (Montreal), on the traditional, un-ceded territory of the Kanien’kehá:ka people.

Play in translation: Ces regards amoureux de garçons altérés by Éric Noël

Elaine Normandeau

Headshot of Elaine Normandeau
Photo credit: John Lederman

For 25 years, after studying law and then theater, Elaine Normandeau has worked as an assistant director and stage manager in French and English theatre.

During these years, she had the privilege of working on landmark productions such as Le Procès and Siegfried by Wagner directed by François Girard, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Le misanthrope directed by Michel Monty, Belles-Soeurs directed by René Richard Cyr, Intérieur and Au coeur de la rose directed by Denis Marleau, Variations énigmatiquesUn fil à la patte and Equus directed by Daniel Roussel,  Une musique inquiétante/Old Wicked Songs directed by Martin Faucher, Waiting for the Barbarians and Amadeus directed by Alexandre Marine and Top Girls directed by Micheline Chevrier. In 2017, Elaine Normandeau participated as linguistic director in the film  Hochelaga, terre des âmes by François Girard, immersed in Mohawk and Anishnaabe cultures. She also works as a translator and creates surtitles for the theatre.

Play in translation: Muliats by Charles Bender, Charles Buckell, Marco Collin, Xavier Huard, Natasha Kanapé Fontaine et Christophe Payeur (le collectif)


The translation of new work for the stage is a core part of our programming. Since its inception in 2013, the Cole Foundation Mentorship for Emerging Translators (formerly Cole Competition for Emerging Translators) has been guiding the next generation of translators from French into English. 

With the expert guidance of acclaimed translator Maureen Labonté and in partnership with the Cole Foundation, PWM has built a program that mentors emerging translators through every stage of the process. The successful candidate receives a $1,000 honorarium and an eight-month mentorship with Maureen Labonté which includes a workshop with actors and a public reading.

More details about the program available here.

This program is a partnership between
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