Call for Submissions: The 2019 Gros Morne Playwrights’ Residency

The 2019 Gros Morne Playwrights Residency

Montréal , QC (December 3, 2018) – Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal (PWM) and Le Centre des auteurs dramatiques (CEAD) in partnership with Creative Gros Morne and the Cole Foundation, invite playwrights to submit their application for a 12-day dual-lingual residency that will welcome applications from across the country.

The Residency

The Gros Morne Playwrights’ Residency will invite 7 playwrights from across Canada to participate in a 12-day playwriting retreat in Norris Point, Newfoundland. It will be headed by two National New Play Development Centres: Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal (PWM) and le Centre des auteurs dramatiques (CEAD). These two institutions have been developing new plays for over 50 years and organizing residencies for over twenty years. This partnership makes it possible to welcome playwrights in a dual-lingual setting. English language playwrights are asked to apply through PWM and French language playwrights through the CEAD. Three artists will be selected from English language submissions, three from French language submissions. We are reserving the seventh selection for submissions from Newfoundland and Labrador.

A Place to Create

The seven selected playwrights will spend 12 days from April 17-28, 2019 at the Bonne Bay Marine Station, writing, dreaming, sharing and creating exciting new plays for the Canadian and International stage. This residency will create lasting links between theatre artists from across the country and generate discussion around the work being created in Canada. The residency will be hosted by Emma Tibaldo, Artistic Director of PWM and Paul Lefebvre, Dramaturg and Artistic Advisor at le CEAD. The Gros Morne Playwrights’ Residency will include transportation, accommodations, meals, an honorarium and dramaturgical support.

There are few places better equipped to welcome artists for a creative residency than the Bonne Bay Marine Station. It is located in a spectacular setting on Newfoundland’s breath-taking west coast, surrounded by Gros Morne National Park and within the vibrant community of Norris Point. The station is equipped with bedrooms, a kitchen, a small theatre, and places to sit and write. Tailor made for artistic residencies that inspire new work that can very well change the way we see the world.

The last two days of the residency is dedicated to sharing the work of the selected playwrights with invited students and faculty of Grenfell Campus-Memorial University. This will include readings and a symposium on contemporary theatre in Canada.

Residency Program

April 17, 2019:

Travel to Norris Point (anyone departing West of Ontario will have to add a day to travel)

April 18 to 25, 2019:

– Unstructured writing time at Bonne Bay Marine Station.

– Individual sessions with residency dramaturgs as requested by the playwright.

– Daily coming together of all participants to exchange on the process of work and the writing, based on the idea of a 5 à 7.

April 26-27, 2019:

Readings and symposium with invited students and faculty of Grenfell Campus and the surrounding community of Norris Point

April 28, 2019:

Departure for home.

Submission Guidelines

– proposal of a play in the early stages of development (first draft or slightly beyond);

– be available for the whole residency;

– be willing to participate in all activities prepared for the residency.

Submission package must include the following:
(Please submit the following as a single PDF file)

– a letter stating your interest in the residency;

– presentation of your project (maximum 1 page) with a 10 page excerpt of the play in process;

– a C.V. with a short biography (maximum 2 pages);

– a copy of your last play published, workshopped or produced.

Submission deadline is Monday, January 14, 2019 at 4 PM 

Please send English submission by email to:

Incomplete submissions will not be considered. Selection will be made by a committee set up by PWM and CEAD. We will only notify the selected applicants. This will be done on Thursday, February 8, 2019.

For more information, please contact Emma Tibaldo at

Join us for a public reading of a new translation on November 23, 2018


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Presented by Talisman Theatre
in collaboation with Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal

(Le Brasier) by David Paquet
Translated by Leanna Brodie

Dramaturgy by Emma Tibaldo
Directed by Rachel Peake
Featuring Samantha Bitonti, Adam Capriolo, Amanda Silveira and Anie Richer

Date: Friday, November 14, 2018
Time: 7PM
Venue: PWM Studio, 7250 Clark Street, Suite 103, Montreal, QC  H2R 2Y3

Limited seating. Click here to RSVP.
This is a FREE event. Donations are welcome at the door.

Synopsis :

Three very odd triplets are consumed by suffering; an unusual couple is inflamed by love; a lonely woman’s heart is kindled by forbidden desire. Somewhere between black comedy and Greek tragedy, this ferocious, poetic, and tightly structured four-hander is an epic exploration of heredity and fate that also leaves room for the individual. Doomed to the flames by their very nature, Paquet’s seemingly ordinary characters nevertheless choose to struggle against their solitude in ways that are by turns hilarious, touching, and cruel… while managing to remain both relatable and astonishing.

Leanna Brodie :

Leanna Brodie is a Vancouver-based actor and writer as well as the translator of numerous Québec playwrights, including Hélène Ducharme (whose Dora-winning Baobab continues to tour internationally after over 600 performances), Rébecca Déraspe, Catherine Léger, Larry Tremblay, Philippe Soldevila, Louise Bombardier, Olivier Sylvestre, Sébastien Harrisson, and Christian Bégin (5 Jessie Award nominations for Ruby Slippers Theatre’s Après Moi). You Are Happy, Opium_37, and My Mother Dog are published by Playwrights Canada Press. Two of her translations premiered in the 2017-18 season: Rébecca Déraspe’s You Are Happy at the Great Canadian Theatre Company, and Catherine Léger’s I Lost My Husband at Gateway Theatre (where it sold out its entire run). Current projects include Déraspe’s Gametes and I Am William; the collective creation Espoir/Espwa; Philippe Soldevila’s Conte de la neige; David Paquet’s Le Brasier; and Olivier Sylvestre’s Le Désert. Her translation of Sylvestre’s The Paradise Arms was the winner of the 2018 Safewords New Play Prize. As an actor, Brodie has been Jessie-nominated for performances in both English (Pi Theatre’s Terminus) and French (Théâtre la Seizième’s Bonjour, là, bonjour). She is currently an Associate at Playwrights Theatre Centre, co-writing Salesman in China with Jovanni Sy.


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Join us for a public reading of a new play

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I Am Byron by Don Druick

Directed by Jesse Stong

Date: Friday, November 16, 2018
Time: 7PM
Venue: PWM Studio, 7250 Clark Street, Suite 103, Montreal, QC  H2R 2Y3
This is a FREE event. Donations are welcome at the door.

Limited seating. Click here to RSVP.

About the play:

Situating Byron – a narcissist, a desperate celebrity now in a tizzy on the cusp of his quickly disappearing twenties. Situating Byron – a mind at the edge, mired in fear and confusion.

Striving, ambition, desire are at the core of our sense of ourselves; this is what we believe we can do – for better or ill – to achieve, to strengthen our lives. To make these lives of ours better, more productive, and yes, happier. To assure our position in the world as we continually confront the unkind face of a bleak universe. The melancholy of the human condition.

The failure of Byron to be other than what he would wish; on his way to a future he’s not keen to experience, but must. This is at the heart of my play, its tragedy: Byron’s regret, Byron’s relief. And like all species of tragic tropes, my play ends badly for Byron.

Don Druick:

– un montréalais – award winning playwright, translator & librettist – baroque musician – gardener and chef

In a career spanning more than 50 years, Don Druick’s plays have been produced on stage, radio and television in Canada, Europe, Japan, and the USA.

Don lives in Elmira, a small Mennonite farming town near Waterloo Ontario, with artist Jane Buyers.

Join us for a public reading of a new translation on November 14, 2018


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Presented by Talisman Theatre
in collaboration with Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal

(Minuit) by Marie-Hélène Larose-Truchon

Translated by Alexis Diamond
Translation dramaturgy by Linda Gaboriau
Directed by Emma Tibaldo
Featuring Danette Mackay, Stefanie Buxton, Marcel Jeannin, Gabe Maharjan and Diana Fajrajsl

Date: Friday, November 14, 2018
Time: 7PM
Venue: PWM Studio, 7250 Clark Street, Suite 103, Montreal, QC  H2R 2Y3

Limited seating. Click here to RSVP.
This is a FREE event. Donations are welcome at the door.

Synopsis :

As an act of resistance against a despotic government that hunts down old people and sucks their memories dry, the irrepressible Midnight keeps her mother in hiding, to protect her and her daughter and their secret world. They swap knowing smiles and lost words while braving a lack of food and light, driven mad with love, anger, fear.

This homage to a fading civilization stirs up snow and subversion, ancestral culture and instinct: craved, warped, misused, a past re-animated and electrified, just like new. 

Alexis Diamond :

Alexis Diamond is a Montreal-based playwright, opera librettist, translator and theatre curator. Her award-winning plays, operas and translations for audiences of all ages have been presented across Canada, in the U.S. and in Europe. She also collaborates with several international artists on performance-installations involving text, movement and sound. In addition to her translation of Minuit by Marie-Hélène Larose-Truchon for Talisman, she is currently working on three other translations: Petite Sorcière by Pascal Brullemans (Geordie Productions 2Play Tour), Lettre pour Éléna by Érika Tremblay-Roy (Le Petit Théâtre de Sherbrooke), and Andy’s Gone by Marie-Claude Verdier (Playwrights Canada Press). Currently the Quebec Caucus representative for the Playwrights Guild of Canada, she is co-founder of Composite Theatre Co. and a long-standing member of Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal. She has a B.A. in Creative Writing (Concordia University) and an M.E. in English Studies (Université de Montréal). 


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Join us for a public reading of a new translation on November 9, 2018 at 7PM

Clean Slate

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Clean Slate (Table Rase, premiered at Théâtre Espace Libre in their 2015-2016 season) by Catherine Chabot in collaboration with Brigitte Poupart, Vicky Bertrand, Marie-Anick Blais, Rose-Anne Déry, Sarah Laurendeau and Marie-Noëlle Voisin.

Translation by Jennie Herbin, prize recipient of PWM’s 2017 Cole Foundation Emerging Translator Competition.

Translation dramaturgy by Maureen Labonté

Directed by Leslie Baker

Featuring Stefanie Buxton, Cleopatra Boudreau, Gita Miller, Julie Trepanier, Rebecca Gibian, Anie Richer, and Brett Donahue

Date: Friday, November 9, 2018
Time: 7PM
Venue: PWM Studio, 7250 Clark Street, Suite 103, Montreal, QC  H2R 2Y3

Limited seating. Click here to RSVP.
This is a FREE event. Donations are welcome at the door.
Content Warning: This play features sexually explicit conversations.


Six friends gather at a site of their shared childhood: They drink, they laugh, but most importantly, they admit things they’ve never before had the courage to say. In a time where the heroes of the past exist less and less, the young women must support each other as they independently become the heroes they need. Inspired by the seemingly incomprehensible decision of their friend, the girls make a pact to shed their traumas and bad habits and start afresh. With the honesty and intimacy of a death bed, Clean Slate allows the audience to eavesdrop on a brave, messy, and above all authentic portrait of millennial sisterhood.

Jennie Herbin:

Jennie is fascinated by language, storytelling, and their ability to pierce boundaries, shaping collective imaginations. A Nova Scotia native, Jennie is a graduate of Neptune Theatre’s Pre-Professional Acting Training Program in Halifax. A move to Montréal in 2011 led to studies in Hispanic Literature and French Literature at McGill, and then an M.A. in Translation Studies from Concordia University. Her experience as a digital content creator and translator spans several fields.

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Lois Brown on Genius, Paper and Microphones

PWM Interview with Lois Brown

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By Harris Frost

Interdisciplinary artist Lois Brown is currently rehearsing her new piece I Am A Genius Does Anyone Here Know Me?. The piece was developed with dramaturg and PWM artistic director Emma Tibaldo and dance dramaturg Thea Patterson. Lois spoke with us in July during her studio residency at PWM.


PWM: The piece you’re working on with us right now is called I Am A Genius Does Anyone Here Know Me?, could you tell us a little bit about it?

Lois Brown: It’s gone through a couple different iterations. A couple of years ago I was calling it The Papers Improvisation. And even before that, its roots go back to when I was an artist-in-residence here at PWM. I used to write my thoughts down on paper every morning. And then I started getting more interested in the qualities of the paper and playing with it. That then lead to me becoming interested in different objects and what they might do if I tried my best not to act on them. And also I wanted to play with the microphone, so it turned into a sonic relationship.

Now, at this residency, I brought in the composer whom I’ve wanted to collaborate with for a long time. This is our first time working together. And because so much of this piece is based on the sonic relationships between different objects, it’s been really exciting to have him here.

PWM: You’ve described this piece as a combination of improvised  and scripted elements.

Lois Brown: Yeah, there are some things that I know that want to talk about. For example, I’m talking about the value of playing aimlessly. Being able to realize the genius in things when you’re not just focused on what their functions are. So I want to combine some of my skills in writing and structuring things in a theatrical way with my interest in the way that dance practitioners choreograph pieces. I’m improvising because I don’t really know what the paper will do when I do something to it, but I’ve worked with it so long that I have a good idea of what it might do.

PWM: How did you first become involved with PWM?

Lois Brown: I came here first for a very short time, through a grant from Canada Council, back when Paul Dankert was the Artistic Director. And then, several years later after I had had an accident, Emma, who was just taking over from Greg MacArthur offered me the opportunity to be the Artist in Residence. That came at the right time for me, because I wasn’t able to get around after my accident. I’ve become really attached to this organization because it’s helped me so much and it’s become a sort of home for me.

PWM: And is that experience part of the reason you’ve chosen to collaborate with us on this piece?

Lois Brown: Yeah, but also, strangely, in my community in Newfoundland, there are very few resources available to a small, independent artist. So for me to come to Montreal to rehearse is actually easier and less expensive than if I were to stay in my own city in Newfoundland.

PWM: How has it been working with your composer/collaborator James O’Callaghan over this week? Especially since you’re involving someone new in a project that you’ve been working on alone for so long.

Lois Brown: It’s really scary, yeah. Before James came in I had a meeting with Thea [Patterson] and we laid out some of the principles on which the piece was developed, what my ideas were and what I wanted my relationship to the things to be. And then, with James we started by just going through all the different objects and playing with them separately. So I would show him what I had been doing with a particular object and then he would get up and start playing with the object himself. What he did was quite different and much more sonically sophisticated.

PWM: Could you speak a little about the title of the piece? How does it tie into what you’re doing?

Lois Brown: Well, we all learn in grade school everything is made up of the same stuff, the same matter. So I use that fact as a jumping off point to examine the way in which I’m trying to control things that happen. So for example, I’m trying to tell a story with the plastic bags but if the plastic bags do something by themselves, then that becomes more important than whatever story I’m trying to tell.

And also my dad used to wear a pin that said “I am a genius” as joke, although maybe he thought he really was a genius. He really enjoyed that you never know what type of person actually is a genius. So I guess I just think that everybody’s a genius really. But also, I want to explore the connection between genius and memory. You can appear to be really smart just because you can remember a lot of things.

I Am A Genius Does Anyone Here Know Me? will be performed at the Festival of New Dance in St. John’s on October 4th.