The New Stories Project is a PWM storytellers unit which offers accessible creation workshops, as well as customized development labs and additional support, to emerging and established neurodivergent theatre-artists.
This season, participants from the New Stories Project have been invited to tour with us across the province, presenting excerpts from their works in development. These pop-up performances and talk-backs will be a chance for our artists to share their unique creations in intimate settings, and will all take place in selected community centers and schools that serve neurodivergent populations.
More information to come in January 2024.
The NSP takes on new participants on an ongoing basis. Read more about the current storytellers and their projects here. For more information on getting involved, contact Jesse Stong at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet the storytellers:
Stephen Patrick Booth is an actor/playwright based in Montreal who works in theatre and film. A graduate of Concordia University’s with a BFA in Theatre and Political Science. Stephen has worked with the Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre won “The Dybbuk,” VillageScene Productions on “A Twin’s Tail,” and Cote Saint Luc Dramatic/Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre on “The Producers.” Most recently, he appeared in La Tigressa Productions’ “The Autism Monologues” in the 2018 Montreal Fringe Festival.
On a small island overrun by land developers, two radically different strangers’ lives collide after an unexpected ecological disaster. Seeking safety in a bunker, they clash and connect over their shared dislike of the developers, and their conflicting dreams of a utopia where they can do more than just survive. Other Worlds celebrates their unique journeys to claim and strengthen their own self-identity, while working to make deeper connections with the outside world. A play about well-being, friendship and belonging, and the importance of community.
Aharon Elter; a transmasculine, neurodiverse, multidisciplinary artist. A white settler of Danube Swabian, Austrian, Scottish and Irish descent; living and creating in Tiohtiá:ke/Mooniyang/montréal. They are a being of dreams, regularly getting lost but always finding their way home. Often found daydreaming about atoms; the ways in which they dance, the memories they may collect and the events they witness as they exchange form becoming this then that. They create work about neurodiversity, bravery, brats, agency, belonging, grief, survival, divinity and magick.
A story about a young trans boy. His exploration and discovery of queer identity, explored through dress-up and play. Paying homage to iconic queer elders and ancestors, recognizing the lineages queer people grow from and into. A story of celebration and euphoria. With a narrative infused with somatic teaching around the embodied YES! vs. NO. Intended as a resource for continued learning and growth around queer history, community, and pride. An illustrated children’s book intended for people aged 3 to 8 years old.
Born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, I took an interest in acting since I was 11 years old. Since 2010, I’ve been a participant at Spectrum Productions, a non-profit organization that helps youths and young adults on the autism spectrum create their own original short films. I expanded my skills in acting and writing, as well as gaining new skills in editing and other film production skills. Also, I helped create and perform in many short films like Elemental Ninjas, Loss and Honour, Galactic Justice, The Illusionist, Crime Town and One Last Bowl. Outside acting and writingshow more
I graduated from LaSalle Community Comprehensive High School (L.C.C.H.S.) in 2013, where I performed many productions in its drama club, like Alice in Wonderland and a Dr Seuss version of The Christmas Carol. After entering Dawson College in its Creative Arts program, I performed with the Dawson Theatre Collective in the original plays: This is not a Drill and Homosimian. FInishing the program in 2016, I was enrolled in the CEGEP’s Professional Theater Program where I honed my skills as an actor. Throughout my time in the program, I performed in Spring Awakening, Dancing at Lughnasa, The Taming of the Shrew, Attempts on her Life, and Welcome to Thebes. Also, I assisted in other productions through backstage work. Once I completed the program in 2019, I joined ACTRA where I am currently an apprentice. In 2023, I took a class at the Montreal School of Performing Arts.
I joined the New Writers Project after meeting with a staff member in late 2021 during a community challenge with Spectrum Productions. Starting in 2022, I began working on my feature-length movie script The Fandom Wars, where it’s currently in the writing process. The Fandom Wars is about a group of friends who make their own original film after being denied by other studios to make it. Once completed, they are rejected by a studio CEO of distribution due to offensive content within the film. They begin to fight for the right to have their film released to the public. Will they be successful in getting their movie out there and change the media industry forever? The film details how the media industry isn’t the same as it used to be. It shows how the business is no longer relying on strong stories and characters, but overuse of CGI, visuals, poor portrayals of ethnic people and those with disabilities, false advertisement and cliche/scrapped story ideas. Also, it shows how the industry is constantly hiring mostly attractive people. As an actor and writer on the autism spectrum, this movie idea really hits home for me. Not many people like me get opportunities to be involved in the industry, so we try to make our own creations. However, we don’t get seen or heard much, so we try desperately to get it out there.
I wanted to become a professional actor and writer not only to do something I love, but to help those with disabilities see their dreams in the industry, regardless of the job they wish to do.
Sam Melnick is a Montreal born-and-bred emerging theatre creator and graduate of John Abbott College’s Professional Theatre program.
Sam has been involved in the community theatre scene as an actor and assistant stage manager. Sam has recently turned his hand to writing and is a member of the New Stories unit with Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal. Sam spends most of his time watching foreign films, delving into the world of electronic music-making, and hanging out with his lovable dog, Benji.
The play is a look at the lives of individuals on the autism spectrum through an intersectional perspective. Topics include gender and sexual diversity, political non-conformity, and ethnicity. In a world that wasn’t built for you, how do you create a space for yourself and those you love?
Kyng “Blxck Cxsper” Rose is a Montreal based black trans and non binary multidisciplinary hip hop artist, known for being the founder of Trans Trenderz, the world’s first record label dedicated to trans and gender non conforming musicians. Kyng has been recently featured on the Billboard Change Agents list, next to industry giants such as Jay Z and The Weeknd.show more
Kyng was introduced to the world of Montreal theatre through Sophie Gee who casted them as an actor, co-creator and sound designer in her play Levriers. They then went on to join the Playwrights Workshop Montréal’s Young Creator Unit where they started developing their own plays. When Kyng arrived at the YCU program they had performed but never written a full play. Over the process, Kyng worked on developing a biographical piece, and then started to explore fictional/fantasy multimedia piece BLXCK CASPER, a commentary on black rights, police brutality, and the intersection of trans/black identity. This play premiered at Montreal Fringe to sold out audiences, then a full staged reading presentation at PWM’s Queer Reading Series in 2022. PWM collaborated with YouTheatre to plan a full production in 2023/24. Kyng will now be supported by PWM and YouTheatre to fully develop BLXCK CASPER into a tour across English schools in Quebec and the East Coast. The play will also be filmed, and turned into a digital broadcast for an even wider audience.show less
The Blxck Cxsper universe is a multidisciplinary work of fiction based around a vigilante who questions super hero culture and the many ways it negatively affects society.
Erika Squires is a theatre artist from Newfoundland. Erika has an English degree, with a specialization in Theatre and Drama, and a diploma in Performance and Communications Media from Memorial University of Newfoundland. An emerging playwright, Erika has written three plays: Hush (for PerSIStence Theatre) Baby and Fixed (self-produced with support from ArtsNL and the CCA). Erika is an acting student at the National Theatre School of Canada.
Special explores lateral ablism following dual-protagonists Katherine (26) and Dee (17) as they struggle within the same post-secondary institution. This play challenges notions of what autism looks like in storytelling – centring two women who are successful, sexual, and sometimes ableist adults who are constantly searching for a shared language about the way they interact with, and around, their worlds.
The New Stories Project is facilitated by arts educator and dramaturg Jesse Stong.
Jesse Stong (They/Them) is a proud parent of twins, a graduate of Playwriting from the National Theatre School of Canada, and received a Master’s in Art Education from Concordia University. They are an award-winning queer creator, dramaturg, and educator.
Over the years, Jesse has supported over 140 emerging Canadian storytellers as director of our Young Creators Unit. Jesse also leads our New Stories Project for Neurodiverse Storytellers.
Jesse is an occasional content creator/editor for Moment Factory, and was recently Manager of Children’s Programming for Watchmojo.com, Associate Curator for the National Arts Centre Disability Summit, and Host of the Montreal English Theatre Awards.
Current & Past Writing Coaches