Public Reading of Barbed Wire

Reserve early! Seating is limited.

Date: Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Time: 7 PM
Venue: PWM Studio, 7250 Clark St Suite 103, Montreal, QC  H2R 2Y3
This is a FREE event. Donations are welcome at the door.


A strand of barbed wire has started to grow inside you. You’ve got about an hour before your lips are sewn shut. What will you say while you still have the time? What will be your last word?

So it attacks us when we censure ourselves in front of someone else, is that it? It assaults us when we hold back our opinions? We’re condemned for this! Seriously? I blow on my wounds to help them heal.


Reference to racially motivated rape, strong language and violent imagery.

About the Translator

Johanna Nutter is a performer, creator, and curator of live arts.

In 2015, she started creature/creature, consolidating her passion for blurring lines between established divisions.

As an actor, she’s distinguished herself in leading roles at both Centaur (Good People) and La Licorne (Les Évènements).

She won the Cole Foundation and PWM’s Emerging Translator Award for CHLORINE (Florence Longpré & Nicolas Michon), which she also produced and directed (Centaur, Brave New Looks). She attended PWM’s translation residency in Tadoussac, working with Linda Gaboriau on Mon frère est enceinte, the French version of her international hit solo, My Pregnant Brother. It played in both languages at La Licorne, where it was awarded the Cochon d’Or for Meilleure production de la relève 2011-2012 and went on to tour throughout Quebec, across Canada, and to Scotland, England, and Belgium. She has also translated texts by Étienne Lepage, Guillaume Corbeil, and D. Kimm.

She is currently working on translations of two recent solo creations, OSCAR: girl gone wilde (with Joseph Shragge, Jamais Lu 2019), and Tree Hug (Art in the Open, PEI 2019), as well as continuing her work with Algonquin art star Nadia Myre,  STRIKETHRU (Phénomena, Origins, UK 2019), going up at the MAI in May. She is the founder of Espace Freestanding Room and former curator of the Wildside Festival.

Creative Team

Les Barbelés written by Annick Lefebvre

Translation by JOHANNA NUTTER


Translation dramaturgy by MAUREEN LABONTÉ


Translation commissioned by PWM and developed through PWM’s Cole Foundation Translation Graduate Program.

This reading is supported by

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Impact Creation – It Takes a Village Crossword

Here is our gift to you, our community: a year-in-review PWM crossword puzzle!

This puzzle is about all of us, together. It shows how interconnected we all are, and how it really takes all of us to make new and engaging works for the stage. It really takes a village to create Theatre!

It is also a contest: If you choose to submit a correctly completed puzzle by December 31, 2019, you will be entered for a chance to win a tarot card reading by PWM’s very own Jesse Stong – Get your predictions for 2020! You can submit your entry by clicking the submit button after filling it online, or if you choose to print it, send us a picture of the completed puzzle here.

It is not meant to be an easy task and will test your knowledge. You will have to look things up, and you should probably subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media for the free hints we will drop over the month of December!

Edit January 8, 2020: The contest is now over! If you are curious, you can download the answers to our 2019 crossword here, and learn about all PWM and its partners did in 2019!

Demystifying the Dramaturgical Process

What elements make for a positive dramaturgical process?

This December 3rd, PWM invites the community to join us in a reflection on this theme.

Event host Jesse Stong will introduce three exceptional dramaturgs – Jessica Carmichael, Diane Roberts and Katalin Trencsényi – who have been invited to speak to the community about a process they found stimulating, interesting, or positive in the creation of new work:

Jessica Carmichael

Jessica Carmichael is a mixed non-status Abénaki/Euro director, actor, dramaturge, playwright, and educator. “As a mixed non-status Abenaki and Euro artist, one of my over-arching goals, regardless of the project, is to explore non-traditional and non-hierarchical storytelling methods. My training is within the Western Canon of work and methodologies, and my current work both expands and pushes against this training. My heritage encourages me to look at Non-Western storytelling and the post-colonial implications of the canon today, as well as experiencing land/s as an embodied teacher in how we approach form and content for creation.”

Diane Roberts

Diane Roberts is an accomplished director, dramaturge, writer and cultural animator who has collaborated with innovative theatre visionaries and interdisciplinary artists for the past 30 years.
Diane’s celebrated Arrivals Legacy Project, developed during her 7-year tenure as Artistic Director of Urban Ink productions in Vancouver BC, has birthed new Interdisciplinary works across Canada, throughout the Americas, in the UK, Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. This work has allowed her to articulate, cultivate and realize a vision for theatre that encourages African and Indigenous ways of knowing as a stepping stone to creative expression.

Katalin Trencsényi

Twenty-five years ago, the late Flemish dramaturg Marianne Van Kerkhoven wrote: “… a production comes alive through its interaction, through its audience, and through what is going on outside its own orbit. And around the production lies the theatre, and around the theatre lies the city, and around the city, as far as we can see, lie the whole world and even the sky and all its stars. The walls that link all these circles together are made of skin, they have pores, they breathe.” With this, she drew attention to dramaturgy’s responsibility as a critical practice to engage with and interlink art and society. Through examples brought from my native country, Hungary, I would like to talk about how essential this macro dramaturgical aspect of our work is today.
Katalin is a dramaturg and researcher, based in London, and is the author of Dramaturgy in the Making. A User’s Guide for Theatre Practitioners (2015).

The speakers’ presentations will be followed by a break-out session in round-table format, facilitated by PWM Vice-President of the Board Tiffanie Guffroy, giving guests the chance to share their own experiences in creating new works and to identify some common elements present in the positive dramaturgical process.

This free gathering is open to the public and meant for sharing experiences, inspiring each other, and developing pathways to best practices in dramaturgy in the constantly changing world of theatre creation. We hope you can join us!

Date: December 3, 2019
Time: 7pm-9pm
Location: 7250 Clark Street, Suite 103 Montreal, (QC) H2R 2Y3

PWM is committed to making our events as inclusive and accessible as possible to enable all individuals to fully participate. Out of respect for those with allergies and environmental sensitivities, we ask that you refrain from wearing strong fragrances. To request an accommodation or for inquiries about accessibility, please email or call us at 514-848-3685.

Please note that space is limited, so make your reservations early!

Public reading of a new translation – The Retreat (La Retraite)

Come join us. Seating is limited.

Date: Friday, November 29, 2019
Time: 7 PM
Venue: PWM Studio, 7250 Clark St Suite 103, Montreal, QC  H2R 2Y3
This is a FREE event. Donations are welcome at the door.


Shirley arrives in a place far removed from the rules of the World. A place where she is assigned a new personality. A place where she plays games, watches animals, regulates her emotions, and devotes herself to rigorously doing nothing.

“lots of people dream of a place like this
you’re very lucky
so many people want out of the world
and yet
nobody wants to die”


Characters in the play discuss suicidal thoughts.

Creative Team

La Retraite written by GABRIELLE CHAPDELAINE

Translation by DAVID GAGNON WALKER, recipient of PWM’s 2019 Cole Foundation Mentorship for Emerging Translators.

Translation dramaturgy by MAUREEN LABONTÉ

Directed by ROSE PLOTEK


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A PWM | BTW Double Bill at the MAI!

For the first time ever, Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal & Black Theatre Workshop will be presenting 2 one-act plays in a special Double Bill presentation at the MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels).

The plays are written by two alumni of BTW’s Artist Mentorship Program, and were developed through our very own Young Creators Unit.

Show Dates

Tuesday December 10 @ 7:30pm
Wednesday December 11 @ 7:30pm
Thursday December 12 @ 7:30pm (with Talk-Back)
Friday December 13 @ 7:30pm
Saturday December 14 @ 7:30pm
Sunday December 15 @ 3pm

MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels)
3680, rue Jeanne Mance, Montreal QC



  • 20$ Regular
  • 17$ Students

Buy tickets online here

Tickets are available at the door, cash only.

Or, purchase in advance at:

Reservations: 514-932-1104 /
*Group Bookings Available

School bookings:

Dark Red by Willow Cioppa

Calliope is a young woman on the cusp of a complete meltdown. Alone in her apartment, she writes a single letter addressing every man she’s ever fucked, blurring them all together to create one beast, representative of all her trauma. Addressing this man in a vulgar, crass, and brutally honest text, Calliope unravels her experiences of heartache and abuse, searching for closure in songs, books, memories, and liquor. Dark Red is a viscous, textural exploration of what it means to lick our own wounds and heal ourselves, moving past our brokenness and reclaiming our pain in order to move forward. 

Cry Baby by Kalale Dalton-Lutale.

So you have these memories, right? And they’re all sort of hanging above your head like a tangled mobile. Pieces of songs that remind you of your dad in college, the smell of chlorine, your mother’s hand writing, a card you made for your sister.

In Kalale Dalton-Lutale’s Cry baby we watch as a young woman unravels. Relying on her personal archive as source material, Dalton-Lutale’s work offers the audience a non-linear piece of theatre.  By resurrecting the archive, she unveils the framework of love that has shaped her into the person she is today. Prompted by falling in love for the first time, the playwright reflects on her own Blackness, family, and womanhood. Cry baby asks us “how can we be whole when a part of us is missing?”

About the Cast and Crew

Willow Cioppa

Willow is an interdisciplinary artist and playwright whose work focuses on the nuances of sexuality, trauma, self-reflection, femininity, Blackness, and their undying love for rap music. They are currently earning their Bachelor of Fine Arts at Concordia University in Art History & Film Studies with a minor in Sexuality. They are an alumni of Playwrights Workshop Montreal’s Young Creators’ Unit, as well as Black Theatre Workshop’s Artist Mentorship Program. Born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario, their work has taken on many faces since childhood; from diaries, to painting, to illustration, to moody poetry written in dark spaces, and here, to play-writing where their aim is to create decadent visual, auditory, and written landscapes.

Kalale Dalton-Lutale

Kalale is a writer and performer from Toronto. She has performed in Pervers/Cite, Montreal MonoChrome, Playwrights Workshop Montreals’ Young Creators Unit Showcase, The Revolution They Wrote Theatre Festival, and KillJoy’s Kastle: A Lesbian Feminist Haunted House in Toronto and Los Angeles. Her play Pinky Swear (Geordie Productions) was nominated for two Montreal English Theatre awards; Outstanding New Text, and Outstanding Emerging Artist. Pinky Swear (Geordie Productions) was also nominated for a Tom Hendry award in the inaugural Theatre for Young Audiences category. Kalale is currently studying playwriting at The National Theatre School of Canada where she is developing a number of new works.


Jesse is a graduate of playwriting from the National Theatre School of Canada, and received his Masters in Art Education from Concordia University. An award-winning artist and educator (2016 Michaëlle Jean Foundation Award), specializing in teaching performance, writing, and puppetry. He was most recently lead puppeteer/manager of children’s programming for media-giant WatchMojoas well as associate curator for the National Arts Centre disability-arts summit. He continues to be a freelance creator/dramaturge based in Montreal, as well as proud director of Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal’s Young Creators Unit, where he has mentored over a 100 emerging theatre artists over the last five years. He is also currently entering his second year as director of PWM’s New Stories Project – training and supporting storytellers with intellectual disabilities.

Tamara Brown – DIRECTOR, Dark Red

Tamara is a Montreal-based actress, singer, director, and poet with a love for storytelling, geekery, and social justice. Co-founder of Montreal’s Metachroma Theatre, her favourite acting credits include The Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God (Black Theatre Workshop/Centaur Theatre/NAC), Richard III (Metachroma Theatre), Robin Hood (Geordie Productions), Da Kink In My Hair (Theatre Calgary/NAC), and for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf (Soulpepper). As a director, her work has been seen across Montreal as well as in Toronto, Winnipeg, New York, and Stratford. You can see her directing debut in French next summer with Théâtre des Petites Lanternes in Sherbrooke, Quebec. 


Rebecca, originally from Toronto, moved to Sherbrooke to study English Literature and Drama at Bishop’s University (2015), where she fell in love with the magic of theatre. Interested in furthering her studies she moved to Montréal where she completed the Production Design and Technical Arts program at The National Theatre School of Canada (2018). Since graduating, she has been fortunate enough to work with both established and emerging artists across Canada as a stage manager, production manager, technical director, tour manager, and lighting designer. Her recent credits include managing a national tour of La Bohème (Against The Grain Theatre, 2019)  through twelve cities spread across four provinces and one territory and production managing James and the Giant Peach (YES Theatre, 2019), and the Montréal St-Ambroise Fringe Festival (2019).


Being born and raised in Stratford, Ontario forged in Kelsey a lifelong passion for theatre and she is proud to bring that passion to Montreal. She is a stage and tour manager who has worked from coast to coast on productions of all scales: Geordie Theatre’s 2Play Tour, A (musical) Midsummer Night’s Dream, Rosalynde (or As You Like It) (Driftwood Theatre), Miststim (Red Sky Performance), Far From The Heart/Loin du Coeur (Sheatre), Canadian Badlands Passion Play, Merry Wives of Windsor, Henry V (Perchance Theatre, Newfoundland), and Waiting for Godot (The Stratford Festival). She is a proud graduate of Mount Allison University: B.A. Drama, and current graduate in residence.

Double Bill is co-presented in partnership with Black Theatre Workshop.

Announcing the Participants: Interdisciplinary Writers’ Lab

Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal is pleased to welcome a new group of artists to the Interdisciplinary Writers’ Lab.

Curated and led by dramaturg Sarah Elkashef, the Interdisciplinary Writers’ Lab is an opportunity for artists with diverse practices to share processes of creation and development. Aimed at fostering conversation and collaboration across disciplines, the Lab meets every six weeks to share work and feedback. In addition, one-on-one dramaturgy, exploratory workshops and residencies are integrated as the individual projects evolve over a sustained period of time. Disciplines have included visual arts, circus, performance art, theatre, puppetry, dance, playwriting, animation and astrophysics. 

Find more information about the participants below.


Claudel Doucet

Claudel Doucet Headshot

Claudel is an artist whose career was fostered in the culture of contemporary circus. She researches risk in bodies and presences to weaken facades and explores the forces that stretch, between violence and tenderness. She looks at the ineffable, the delicate and the vertigo which in turn unites us or confines us to solitude. Co-created with Cooper Lee Smith and Félix-Antoine Boutin, her latest project “Se prendre” is an apartment performance that blurs vertigoes, voluptuousness and bitterness. She collaborates as a director at the National Circus School of Montreal and in various projects including Zip Zap Academy (Cape Town) and Uniarts (Stockholm). In 2017, she created QUE NOUS SOYONS, a collaborative in situ project co-produced by the 7 Fingers and LA SERRE – arts vivants. A graduate of ENC (Montreal, 2004), she is the co-founder of the Cie du Poivre Rose (Brussels).

Burcu Emeç

Burcu is a performance maker and live artist. Her approach is discovery-based and sensorial, frequently playing with collage and searching for transdisciplinarity. Her work interacts with fields of social commentary, movement, theatre, installation and active listening, and often uses an image, object or memory as a departure point for creation. Burcu’s collaborative and independent works have been presented in Montreal, Toronto and Germany; at OFFTA, SummerWorks, MAI, Eastern Bloc, Never Apart, Studio 303 and ZH Festival. Recent accolades include the Grolsch Hybridity Award, MainLine Creativity Award, Frankie’s Best English Production nomination, and 5 META nominations. Burcu is also a coordinator at the artist-run centre Articule.

Soleil Launière

Pekuakamiulnuatsh originaire de Mashteuiatsh sur les rives du lac pekuakami, Soleil Launière vit et œuvre à Tiöhtià:ke (Montréal). Artiste multidisciplinaire alliant le chant, le mouvement et le théâtre tout en passant par l’art performance. Elle entremêle la présence du corps bi-spirituel et l’audiovisuel expérimental tout en s’inspirant de la cosmogonie et l’esprit sacré des animaux du monde Innu. Elle exprime en actes une pensée sur les silences et les langages universelle.

Clea Minaker

Clea is a performer, director, designer and interdisciplinary artist who trained at the International Institute of Puppetry Arts in Charleville-Mézières, France (2002-2005). Clea explores an interest for shadow, light, live projections, object creation, as well as the poetics of manipulation, and corporeal gesture. She works in theatre, live music, opera, dance, film, visual art, and community arts. She has created works for the N.A.C Orchestra, The Banff Centre, IF! Istanbul, Festival Casteliers; and collaborated with Feist, Atom Egoyan, So-called, Kid Koala and more. Clea was awarded the 2009 Siminovitch Protégé Prize for Theatre Design by prize laureate and puppeteer Ronnie Burkett.

Helen Simard

Helen Simard is a Montréal-based choreographer, rehearsal director, and dance researcher. After working with Solid State Breakdance for 12 years, an artist collective that combined street and contemporary dance, she switched gears in 2012 to lead her own artistic projects. Her current choreographic research explores the codes and aesthetics of rock music, creating lively, interactive, performances that challenge the conventions of stage dance forms: her most recent work, REQUIEM POP, premiered at Agora de la danse in April 2019. She is currently writing her first play When your baby dies. Helen holds a BFA (2000) and MA (2014) in contemporary dance.

The Lab is led by Fatma Sarah Elkashef

Sarah Elkashef

Sarah is a theatre artist, primarily a dramaturg, working in new play development and interdisciplinary creation. At PWM, she leads the Interdisciplinary Writers’ Lab in addition to collaborating on plays in development. Sarah also works at the National Theatre School of Canada as a dramaturg and teacher. Sarah recently co-created a circus show for families Eat Sweet Feet, and continues to work on High Z, an immersive performance installation for planetariums based on the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe. Prior to settling in Canada she was the Senior Reader at Soho Theatre in London, U.K. Sarah has also been an associate producer, company manager, literary associate and more in New York City. She is a graduate of Warwick University in English Literature and Theatre (U.K.), has an M.A. in Theatre from Hunter College (CUNY, NYC), and a Graduate Diploma in Communications from Concordia University (Montreal, Canada).