Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal announces the upcoming departure of Executive & Artistic Director Emma Tibaldo

It is with gratitude for her dedication to the organization and the theatre community, that our Board of Directors announces the upcoming departure of long-standing Executive and Artistic Director Emma Tibaldo. After 13 years at the helm of the organization pushing the boundaries of dramaturgy, Emma will make way for a new generation of leadership.

“Emma’s impact on the Canadian theatre stage is immeasurable. At Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal, she has collaborated with hundreds of artists and spearheaded the development of innovative works across the nation. Her tireless dedication to supporting artists and bringing unheard stories to life is a true inspiration,” says Board President Naïma Kristel Phillips. “I particularly appreciate Emma’s ability to build community and make artists feel at home. Along with the team at PWM, she has created a space that welcomes and celebrates the voices of creators who might otherwise be overlooked. We see this leadership transition as an opportunity to build on Emma’s legacy and continue to delve deeper as PWM leaps into the future.”

Emma stepped into the Executive and Artistic Director role in early 2008. During her time at PWM, she successfully transformed the organization from a member-based service organization to a nationally-mandated theatre development centre, further expanding its mandate to support interdisciplinary performance. Emma has worked with playwrights from across the country, building lasting dramaturgical relationships, and bringing countless new Canadian works to life. She continued to grow PWM into an organization dedicated to discovery and experimentation. 

As Artistic Director, Emma established the Gros Morne Playwrights’ Residency, in collaboration with the CEAD, bringing French and English playwrights together to write, dream, share and create, and the EstérELLE residency, focused on the development of new plays by English Language Québec female playwrights. Emma is a staunch supporter of theatre translation, further developing the Glassco Translation Residency in Tadoussac which, to date, translated 63 plays for the stage, and launching the Cole Foundation Mentorship for Emerging Translators, set up to identify and mentor the next generation of translators. 

“Sometimes you just need to leap into the unknown—now is that time for me.” Emma says, “I made this decision knowing that the organization was ready for new leadership. The company has grown, the process of dramaturgy has deepened, and the studio has finally come to completion. The relationships I have developed while at PWM have inspired and sustained me. I am incredibly grateful to our General Manager Lesley Bramhill, Dramaturgs Fatma Sarah Elkashef, Jesse Stong, and Maureen Labonté, our incredible staff-current and past, tireless board, and the innumerable artists and community members who have all carried PWM with me. Thank you. Deeply. PWM is the sum of the incredible humans who have called it home. I can’t wait to see what happens next. Magic exists, because creators dare to dream.”

Just last year, Emma was the recipient of the Elliott Hayes Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dramaturgy. This prestigious accolade demonstrates that the international community, too, took notice of the work she accomplished during her tenure at PWM.

On Emma’s time at the organization, Lesley Bramhill, PWM’s General Manager says: “Emma’s dedication for emerging and established artists alike is remarkable. I will continue to be inspired by her leadership, passion and care. As PWM’s GM, I witnessed the impact she made on our local and national theatre community. The organization Emma nurtured for over a decade is growing strong, and we at PWM are so grateful and honoured to continue the legacy of her work.”

Further details about the next stage of Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal’s leadership will be announced in the coming weeks. A leadership search is currently scheduled for late spring-summer 2021. The Board of Directors is working together with Emma on a transition plan taking into account her current dramaturgical relationships at PWM, and providing for moments for her to return as a dramaturg in 2021-2022, and beyond. 

In the meantime, a huge thank you to Emma and the staff for their commitment to PWM, their accomplishments, and the growth we experienced under her leadership. She has all of our love to carry into the next chapter of her career. 

Our position against anti-Asian racism

Stop Asian Discrimination

Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal condemns anti-Asian systemic racism and all forms of racist violence against Asians, Asian-Americans, Asian-Canadians.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, anti-Asian rhetoric has escalated in North America, as we witnessed racially-motivated hate crimes all over Canada and the U.S. In Montreal alone, police recorded 22 crimes specifically targeting Asian people between March and December of last year — 19 more than the year before. In Vancouver, anti-Asian hate crime incidents rose by 878% compared to last year, from 9 to 88. And this does not take into consideration the cases of aggression against the Asian community that have not been reported to authorities. 

Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal joins the thousands of people who marched in downtown Montreal last Sunday to honour the lives and grieve the losses of Xiaojie Tan, Delaina Ashley Yuan, Paul Andre Michels, Daoyou Feng, Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim and Yong Ae Yue.

We stand in solidarity with our Asian community members – artists, workers, audiences and friends, whose contributions make our work possible. We express our unwavering support for the work needed to create a safe and inclusive environment in the Montreal theatre community, and stand with all creators fighting for social justice and equity.

Finally, Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal condemns the Quebec government’s continued denial of systemic racism in Quebec, as voiced by Premier Francois Legault in 2020 and recently by the newly appointed Minister Responsible for the Fight Against Racism, Benoît Charette. PWM will be following the work of Quebec’s anti-racism committee critically.  


We also encourage our community members of all backgrounds, but especially those who benefit from racial privilege, to educate themselves on the long history of systemic anti-Asian racism in Canada. Folks wishing to learn more and contribute to local resources are invited to look at the list below.

Report a racist incident, consult anti-racism education resources, and celebrate Asian-American people at Act2endracism.

Visualize the spectrum of experiences felt across Asian Canadian communities during the COVID-19 pandemic by visiting covidracism.ca. The documentation collected through the project will inform future efforts for collective action against anti-Asian racism and xenophobia.

Read the resources put together by Project 1907, a grassroots group made up of Asian women seeking to elevate underrepresented and undervalued Asian voices in mainstream political, social and cultural discourse, including amplifying the voices of women.

Peruse the Represent Asian Project, a website celebrating, advocating and elevating Asian representation in various fields.

Participate in the bilingual Facebook group Groupe d’Entraide Contre le Racisme Envers les Asiatiques au Québec, a platform for mutual aid. The group advocates informative and constructive exchanges.

Scaffolded Anti-racism resources (an extensive list of resources organized by stage).

Anti-racism resources for white people (another comprehensive list of resources).

APPLY NOW: Building Your Grant Proposal with Jesse Stong

*UPDATE*
Application deadline extended until Friday April 23, 2021.

Using innovative and interactive activities, Jesse Stong (Art educator / Playwright / Dramaturg) will support emerging artists as they develop strong applications for their own future project grants.

From seeding and exploring initial ideas to developing dynamic writing samples, participants will have the opportunity to elaborate and articulate project outlines with realistic timelines and budgets. By the end of these hands-on sessions, each participant will leave with their own completed first draft of a grant proposal, as well as strategies on seeking diverse sources of funding, independent fundraising strategies, and guidance on partnerships-building strategies for the future life of their proposed project.


Schedule:

(2-part group session)

Part 1 – Wednesday, May 5th
10am-2pm

Part 2 – Thursday, May 6
10am-2pm

In addition to the group sessions, individual or smaller group calls may be scheduled based on the participants’ availability.

Location:

The workshop will take place remotely via video-conferencing software.

Contact harris@playwrights.ca for any questions about setting up for the workshop.


Topics Covered

  1. General grant writing tips/cautions
  2. Stress and time management/infusing grant writing into your artistic practice
  3. Hands-On Project Proposal Building (developing treatment, describing project)
  4. Creative Activities (exploring innovative grant writing processes)
  5. Expressing authentic need and attracting support
  6. Group Brainstorm Sessions (exploring ideas, developing proposals further in the workshop)
  7. Editing and Increasing Impact (How to sharpen your grant)
  8. Action planning/specific measurable steps towards grant submission
  9. Ongoing Discussions/Group Sharing of Resources/Sources of Funding

Expectations

  • Please come to the workshop with a project/residency idea they are genuinely interested in developing a grant proposal for (the idea can be fully developed or a seed of a new project)
  • Be prepared to support the ideas of others/contribute to the group discussions.
  • Expect to leave with a clear plan to complete your grant application.

Application Instructions

  • Please attach a bio and/or CV as well as a brief paragraph detailing your interest in the workshop.
  • Send applications to harris@playwrights.ca with subject line: Exploring Practice with Jesse Stong.
  • Apply before  5 PM on April 23, 2021
  • Due to the revised format of the workshop, the number of participants may be limited to ensure that each participant gets the most out of the workshop.

About the workshop leader

Headshot photograph of Jesse Stong
Photo by Nasuna Dawn

Jesse Stong is a proud father of twins, a graduate of Playwriting from the National Theatre School of Canada, and received his Master’s in Art Education from Concordia University. He is an award-winning artist, dramaturg, and educator.

Over the years, he has supported over 100 emerging Canadian storytellers as director of our Young Creators Unit.  He also leads our New Stories Project for artist with different abilities.

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.

Presented in collaboration with
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This workshop is financially supported by
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Staged reading of Behaviour

Poster for the play Behaviour. A collage of photographs representing a woman is on the forefront of a pastel background on which we can discern a city skyline
Coming up March 20th and 21st 2021, join us for the staged reading of Behaviour, produced by Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal and presented by the Segal Centre For Performing Arts!

An exploration of gender, power, labour and abuse, Behaviour, written by Darrah Teitel and directed by Emma Tibaldo, will be read on-site at the Segal Centre on March 20-21, and live-streamed to the public. 


Dates

Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 5 PM.
Re-streamed at 8 PM.

Sunday, March 21, 2021 at 4 PM.

Tickets

All tickets are Pay What You Can.

A donation will be made to the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal and Chez Doris matching the amount collected via ticket sales.


“One of the smartest plays to respond to the #MeToo movement”

– Kelly Nestruck (The Globe and Mail)

“One of the most important, powerful, traumatizing, and simply essential plays happening right now.”

– Ryan Pepper (Capital Critics Circle)

“Behaviour unsettles and forces us to question ourselves and our compliance with existing structures.”

– Patrick Langston (ArtsFile)

Behaviour is the story of Mara, a woman who seems to be living her dream: she has a career in politics where she is making a difference, and she’s in love with an artist who challenges norms. But what lurks underneath is devastating. With humour, precision, and unrelenting honesty, Behaviour probes at what we accept as normal. The play challenges our acceptance of existing structures, exploring the interplay between power and abuse. Behaviour reflects the world as we experience it, where speaking out against sexual abuse is the abnormal act.

This play comes at a time when dismantling gender and labour hierarchies has never been more important. Teitel has set her play on the Hill, where workers are particularly vulnerable to power imbalances. Behaviour shouts out against the normalized silence against abuse, to the point that Teitel says, “what is abnormal is speaking out against it.” This reading, then, is an attempt to say out loud what usually remains unspoken.

The play premiered at the Great Canadian Theatre Company, co-produced with SpiderWebShow. The script was developed in collaboration with Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal through a variety of programs, including the Gros Morne Playwrights’ Residency.

About the Playwright

Headshot portrait of Darrah Teitel

Darrah Teitel is a Canadian socialist and a playwright, currently living in Berkeley California as the 2020 Peleh International Artist in Residence. Her most recent credits include The Omnibus Bill (Counterpoint Players, May 2019) Behaviour (GCTC, 2019) Corpus (Teesri Duniya 2014, Counterpoint 2014) The Apology (Alberta Theatre Projects 2013, Next Stage Festival 2011) Marla’s Party (SummerWorks 2008) the CBC radio drama Palliative (2007) She Said Destroy (National Theatre School of Canada, 2007). Darrah was the GCTC’s Playwright in Residence in 2015 and 2017, during which her two most recent plays were written. Her journalism, fiction and poetry have appeared in various periodicals and journals throughout the country. Darrah is the winner of several awards, including the 2011 Canadian Jewish Playwrighting Award, and the 2007 Canadian Peace Play Prize. Her plays have received nominations for Dora, Betty Mitchell, Rideau and META Prizes for Outstanding New Plays. Darrah also works for Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights and is a founding member of the Courage Coalition and a proud member of Independent Jewish Voices. 

About the Director & Dramaturg

Headshot portrait of Emma Tibaldo
Photo by Bernardo Fernandez

Emma Tibaldo became Artistic and Executive Director of Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal in early 2008.  In 2020, she was the recipient of the Elliott Hayes Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dramaturgy.

In addition to collaborating dramaturgically on plays through her work at PWM, she has directed new Canadian plays across the country such as Winter’s Daughter by Jesse Stong, SCUM: A Manifesto by S.E. Grummett and Caitlin Zacharias, Okinum by Emilie Monnet (co-director), Miss Katelyn’s Grade Threes Prepare for the Inevitable by Elena Belyea, The Baklawa Recipe by Pascale Rafie, Refuge by Mary Vingoe, Falling Trees by Megan Coles, Model Wanted by Step Taylor. In 2005, she co-founded Talisman Theatre for whom she has directed award-winning production That Woman by Daniel Danis, Down Dangerous Passes Road by Michel Marc Bouchard, and The Medea Effect by Suzie Bastien. She has just completed work on Skin, a new performance piece with the interdisciplinary company The Bakery, livestreamed during the Centaur’s Wildside Festival in January 2021.

Next she will be co-directing a radio play for Imago theatre, Ringtone, by Audrey Dwyer.

She has been a guest artist at the National Theatre School and Concordia University. Emma is a graduate of Concordia University’s Theatre Department and the National Theatre School of Canada’s Directing Program.

She feeds her inner (and outer) punk rocker by playing in the family band The Tibaldos and The Dépanneurds.

Cast & Crew

Amelia Sargisson

Headshot portrait of Amelia Sargisson

Mara

Victor Trelles

Headshot portrait of Victor Andres Trelles Turgeon

Evan

Erin Shields

Headshot portrait of Erin Shields

Jordan

Felicia Shulman

Headshot portrait of Felicia Shulman

Lydia | iTrance | Police

Emily Soussana

Headshot portrait of Emilie Soussana

Production Designer

Luciana Burcheri

Headshot portrait of Luciana Burcheri

Stage Manager

potatoCakes_digital

Digital Dramaturg Collective

Presented by
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Digital Dramaturgy Initiative — Apply to the Montreal residency

Logo of the Digital Dramaturgy Initiative on top of Montreal skyline
Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal is now accepting applications for a week-long residency, within the Digital Dramaturgy Initiative, to take place from April 26th to May 1st, 2021

WHAT IS THE DIGITAL DRAMATURGY INITIATIVE?

Following the first iteration of the project at the Blyth Festival pre-pandemic, the Digital Dramaturgy Initiative (DDI) is a collaboration between Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal, Playwrights Theatre Centre, Manitoba Association of Playwrights and the Blyth Festival.

Logo of the Digital Dramaturgy Initiative

The pandemic has accelerated our use of digital tools.  However, knowledge and financial gaps are still with us. With this reality in mind, we designed three locally based residencies designed to investigate and expand our collective vocabulary with digital technology.

These three distinct week-long residencies have been designed to allow for a deep investigation and articulation of two main questions:

  1. Where are the literacy gaps in managing the processes and systems in the integration of digital components?
  2. How to best organize creative relationships to maximize expertise in the collaboration process?

THE MONTREAL RESIDENCY

Covid and its impact on live arts : how do we share and grow work in process. 

APRIL 26 – MAY 1, 2021

Creating theatre inside a pandemic – how to use the tools available, what is possible, and what have we learned so far? How can we use this knowledge to create a more accessible platform for theatre? What can we take back into live theatre?

Organized by Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal, the Montreal residency is looking for theatre performance projects that were conceived for the stage but that now need to be transformed for a digital audience; as well as projects conceived for the new Digital reality. The project may be at any point in the process of creation.

The residency will focus on working with collectives or individuals to discover the possibilities available for the transformation of the work through technology, to a digital platform. This project is funded by the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Literacy Fund, as such, an important component of the work is the dissemination of knowledge and expertise. To this end, applicants must be willing to share parts of their creative process and knowledge gained through the residency. DDI and participants will negotiate fair Intellectual Property rights for educational, non-commercial dissemination of exploratory work undertaken during the residency, an example of which can be found here.

Auxiliary programming over the course of the workshop week will include collective investigations into both traditional and emerging digital tools and technologies, exploring the vocabulary needed to collaborate in digital integration and exploration, and looking at case studies from Canadian and international initiatives.  

Each participating artist will receive a $750 honorarium and is expected to be available for the 5 days of the residency.

We are continuously working to make all of our programs accessible. We recognize that the identity of each person is fundamentally plural, multidimensional, changing and evolving.
We are committed to working with artists to create spaces within which Indigenous artists (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit), racialized artists (including recent immigrants), members of the 2SLGBTQQIPAA+ communities and/or neurodiverse and disabled artists as well as artists living with chronic illness and chronic pain can create.

APPLICATION PROCESS

To apply, please complete the online application form. During the application process, you will be asked to include the following:

  • A description of the project (max. 500 words);
  • An artistic statement in relation to the integration of digital tools;
  • The names of the project’s collaborators, and their creative disciplines;
  • The stage of the work in progress;
  • Your dramaturgical questions being investigated, or what you are investigating;
  • The technologies you are presently using for the project (if any);
  • The technologies you wish you had access to for this project (if known);
  • The knowledge gaps (if you know them) in relation to transforming the work to a digital platform;
  • Any documentation you deem appropriate to the project, sending video files as links.

Audio or video applications are welcomed.

The deadline to submit applications is March 8, 2021 at 5:00PM EST. All applicants will be notified of the results. 

This project is a partnership between
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PROJECT SUPPORTED BY THE CANADA COUNCIL FOR THE ARTS
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Introducing PWM+MAI joint support artist Tanha Gomes

Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal and MAI (Montréal, Arts Interculturels) are thrilled to announce the inaugural season of PWM + MAI joint support for artists interested in working with a dramaturg with artist Tanha Gomes and her project Wreaths of Ashes!

THE ARTIST

Headshot of artist Tanha Gomes
Photo by Daniele Barroso

Visual artist and cultural worker, Tanha Gomes has worked in several artist-run centres and art galleries in Montreal. Since 2011, she has been involved in initiatives that bring art to communities with people of all ages.

Born into a multicultural family in Brazil, she moved to Canada as a teenager and has since lived between these two worlds. Her immigration experience leads her to explore the links between displacement, death and memory. Fascinated by the traces of personal history on people’s bodies and trajectories, she uses photography in order to conduct intimate and delicate explorations of identity. She seeks to create contemplative works using time as raw material, often with long exposures that require bodies to remain still. Tanha’s images are marked by a performative aspect, through simple imprints or a promise of movement. Recently graduated from a master’s degree in Arts Education, she aspires to develop her artistic practice around cultural identity.

THE PROJECT

A sensitive exploration of the links between memory, absence, ritual and mourning, Wreaths of Ashes will consist of a video and photo installation nourished by a series of creative workshops with the public. The installation plunges the spectator into a multi-channel video lasting over an hour, played in a loop, alongside by a photo mural of the objects produced during the workshops. 

History of the wreaths

The project is inspired by a story told to Tanha by her mother. Following the death of a young cousin in the 1950s, the women of the family started to regularly pay tribute to their deceased loved ones by making funeral wreaths from plastic flowers. A few days before the Day of the Dead, they would gather around a table during tea time to weave these wreaths, which became portraits of the deceased, displaying their favourite colours and referenced their lives and some of their features. 

Tanha is the first artist supported by the PWM+MAI joint support for artists program. Over the duration of the program, she will benefit from personalized support for her project, a $5,000 fund allocation, training and reflection opportunities, access to the MAI rehearsal studios, and 30 hours with a dramaturg.

THE PROGRAM

The PWM + MAI joint support accompanies creators on their journey to develop a project and explore their practice. It is aimed at artists encountering structural and systemic obstacles to their full participation in the arts because of their claimed identity and/or perceived identity in society. 

More details about the program available here.

We are so proud to support the development of Tanha’s project, and wish her an exciting creation!

This program is a partnership between
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Project supported by the Government of Quebec as part of l’Entente sur le Développement Culturel and the City of Montreal, and by the Canada Council for the Arts
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