Exploring Micro Performance


Now accepting applications for our next training session with Sherry Yoon (Boca del Lupo)

Dates: March 20 to 24, 2017
Time: 10AM to 4PM
Location: PWM
Fee: $50 (Fee is not a barrier to anyone who might be interested/eligible)

In this Exploring Practice Intensive, Sherry Yoon will guide artists through a process that focus on the development and creation of Micro Performance incorporating her curatorial lens for Boca del Lupo’s Micro Performance Series. As co-founder and current artistic director of Boca del Lupo, the Micro Performance Series evolved out of the hugely popular HIVE initiative offering audiences and artists a portal to an exciting and a rapidly growing genre in contemporary performance. The performances explore the intimate relationship between audience and performer, providing a deeper impact and connection to the material through the inherent nature of intimacy and proximity. This emerging global trend in contemporary performance practice cuts across disciplines; from theatre and dance to new media, live art and interactive technology. Each project in the Micro Performance Series asks the audience, which is rarely more than 30 at a time, to completely immerse themselves in a world of the artist’s creation.     

Application guideline: To apply for this training, please submit a cover letter stating your reason’s for participating in this Exploring Practice Intensive; a résumé and biography. Please include a project idea, inspiration, outline of script, or excerpt. Please note that your project can be in the early stages of development.
Please send applications to: emma@playwrights.ca
Subject line: Exploring Practice Intensive with Sherry Yoon
Application deadline: March 10, 2017 at 5PM


Sherry Yoon has directed and co-created more than 35 productions, some examples include: Fall Away Home, a site-specific performance in Stanley Park, Photog,a mash up between photography and verbatim text, and a generative installation, The Perfect Artist. Currently she is working on Expedition, an iterative piece that explores climate change and Red Phone a participatory performance between two phone booths.

During her tenure as Artistic Director of Boca del Lupo the company has received numerous awards including the Rio Tinto Alcan Performing Arts Award, Jessie Awards for Outstanding Production, Design, Actor, Ensemble and Critic’s Choice Innovation Award. Her productions have toured festivals and venues across Canada, Europe and Mexico. She’s the curator of the Micro Performance Series and Vancouver Art Gallery’s summer FUSE. Recently she launched the 3.7% initiative; an advocacy group for ethnically and culturally diverse female artists. Upcoming projects include: Red Phone tour, directing Shylock at Bard on the Beach and King of the Yees at the National Arts Centre.

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An exploration of the puppetry creation process

Exploring Practice with Clea Minaker

Now accepting applications for our next training session with Clea Minaker

Dates: February 20th to 24th, 2017
Time: 3 PM to 6 PM
Location: PWM
Fee: $45 (Fee is not a barrier to anyone who might be interested/eligible)

This 15-hour workshop explores the interdisciplinary nature of the puppetry creation process while initiating participants to fundamental aspects of the form. Through exercises and personal creations, participants will explore the performing object as both an interpretive tool, and an aesthetic gesture. The Puppetry arts are often described as sitting at the crossroads between the visual and performing arts. Both in traditional forms, and in contemporary experimentations, puppetry combines elements of physical and embodied research, with aesthetic and material research.

As all materials possess a distinct poetic, and expressive force, they also offer distinct dramaturgical possibilities. In the ‘theatre of materials’ we often speak of visual dramaturgy. Dramaturgies that are not subordinate to written text, but that operate freely, in parallel to it. Through the elaboration of a unique scenic and movement vocabulary, a ‘world’, complete with its own system of meaning is constructed. As the performer skilfully guides the gaze of the audience towards that which is to be seen, she is complicit with, and integral to, the dramatic action that is unfolding.

When developing puppetry and image-based performance work, the creation process inevitably reflects the interdisciplinary nature of the form, wherein design and performance, dialogue continuously. This workshop proposes to explore the dialogue.

Application guidelines: To apply for this training, please submit a cover letter describing your interest in the sessions, a biography and CV
Please send applications to emma@playwrights.ca
Subject line: Exploring Practice with Clea Minaker
Application deadline: February 10, 2017 at 5 PM


A performer, designer, director, and puppeteer, Clea Minaker brings the language of contemporary puppetry arts to collaborations across multiple disciplines: theatre, music, opera, dance, film, and community arts. She has created commissioned, collaborative works for: Istanbul Independent International Film Festival IF!; with Hajra Waheed at ART Dubai; The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego; Festival Casteliers, Stravinsky’s ‘Firebird’ with the N.A.C Orchestra, and at ‘Convergence, An International Summit on Art and Technology’ at The Banff Centre. Other notable collaborations include: the creation of shadow stage show for Feist, ‘The Reminder Tour’, ‘Nufonia Must Fall’ with Kid Koala, ‘Tales from Odessa’ with So-called and shadow design for Atom Egoyan’s ‘Salomé’ at the Canadian Opera Company. In 2013, Clea premiered her first solo creation, ‘The Book of Thel’, at Lachapelle Scène Contemporaines in Montréal. Clea has been a guest instructor, director, and artist-in- residence at: Concordia University Theatre Department, Mcgill University English Department, The University of British Columbia, Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies. She has directed at Geordie Theatre, and worked with community arts companies, Shadowland Theatre, Jumblies Theatre, and Nunavik Theatre Arts.

Clea was a puppeteer and puppet designer for the short film, ‘Higgelty Piggelty Pop! (or there must be more to life)’ directed by the Montreal film duo Clyde Henry (produced by N.F.B, Warner Bros). Clea was awarded the Siminovitch Protégé Prize for Theatre Design in 2009, by Siminovitch prize-winner and puppeteer Ronnie Burkett. Clea Minaker trained at the L’École Nationale Superieure des Arts de la Marionnette (2002 -2005) located at the International Institute of Puppetry Arts in Charleville-Mezieres, France.

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Contemporary American Theatre

Exploring Practice with Jonathan Garfinkel

Now accepting applications for our next training session with Jonathan Garfinkel

Dates: June 6, 8, and 9, 2016
Time: 4PM to 7PM
Location: PWM
Fee: $45 (Fee is not a barrier to anyone who might be interested/eligible)

While there’s plenty of America we get in television and film, there’s a lot in Canada we don’t get exposed to theatre-wise. Come join Jonathan Garfinkel for a workshop in exploring contemporary American dramatists. Playwrights we’ll read and discuss include Annie Baker, Suzan Laurie Park, Connie Congdon, Quiara Alegrí, and Ayad Akhtar. Included in the discussion will be talks about what theatres are producing the most exciting work and where. We also hope to skype-in American playwright Connie Congdon for some “on the ground” insights.

Application guidelines: Please send a cover letter describing your interest in the sessions, a biography and CV.
Please send applications to emma@playwrights.ca
Subject line: exploring practice Jonathan Garfinkel
Application deadline: May 17, 2016 at 5PM


Jonathan Garfinkel is a writer currently based in Montreal. He is the author of a book of poems, Glass Psalms (2005, Turnstone Press), as well as the internationally acclaimed memoir Ambivalence: Crossing the Israel/Palestine Divide (2008, Penguin Canada/Norton USA). Jonathan has written non-fiction for The Globe and Mail, Walrus, PEN International, Eighteen Bridges and Tablet Magazine. His plays have been produced throughout Canada and Europe and include The Trials of John Demjanjuk: A Holocaust Cabaret and House of Many Tongues, nominated for the 2011 Governor General’s Award. Jonathan co-wrote The Road To Paradise with Christopher Morris. Jonathan’s latest play was his adaptation of Rawi Hage’s novel Cockroach. It premiered at ATP in March 2016. He teaches playwriting at the National Theatre School of Canada.

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Alternative Narrative

Exploring Practice with Brain Drader

Now accepting applications for our next training session with Brian Drader

Dates: February 29 to March 3, 2016
1PM to 5PM; 1PM to 4PM on March 3
$45 (Fee is not a barrier to anyone who might be interested/eligible)

Theatre is still a language-based art form, but the tools we use to tell our stories are constantly expanding and evolving, as is the form itself. The Alternative Narrative workshop is an exploration of what ‘narrative’ is, and the different ways that narrative is communicated and revealed, including imbedded narrative, the non-linear story, and subverting narrative, as well as forms that are more often thought of as the purview of other mediums, such as visual, experiential, physical, and musical narrative. This will be a practical workshop; we will be writing, and building stories with other tools, as we explore narrative outside of the dialogue-centric model most often associated with theatre.

Application guidelines: Send a cover letter describing your interest in the sessions, a biography and CV
Please send applications to sarah@playwrights.ca
Subject line:
Exploring Practice with Brian Drader


Brian Drader is an actor, writer, dramaturge and artistic administrator. He has acted in over seventy professional theatre productions across Canada, as well as numerous films, television projects, and radio dramas. His plays have been produced in Canada, the United States, and Europe. Awards for his writing include the Herman Voaden National Playwriting Award, the Philadelphia Brick Playhouse New Play Award, and the Lambda Literary Award for Drama (USA), as well as nominations for the Governor General’s award and the McNally Robinson Book of the Year. Published work includes THE NORBALS, PROK and LIAR (Scirocco Drama), and CURTSY and TO BE FRANK (Signature Editions). A short film, IRIS AND NATHAN, won the National Screen Institute Drama Prize. Commercial engagements include writing the audio components for Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology (with Jodi Essery) and video components for Star Wars Identities, both touring museum exhibitions (gsmprjcts/Lucas Films/National Geographic), dramaturge for Cirque du Soleil’s MJ ONE at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, and dramaturgical support for the upcoming 2017 revamp of The Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa.

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Creating Documentary Theatre for the Contemporary Stage

Exploring Practice with Annabel Soutar

Now accepting applications for our next training session with Annabel Soutar

Dates: November 30 to December 4, 2015
Time: 3PM to 6PM
Where: PWM
Fee: $45 (Fee is not a barrier to anyone who might be interested/eligible)

Annabel Soutar will illuminate the process by which she and her company, Porte Parole, a Montreal-based bilingual theatre company, create and producedocumentary plays about important social issues that resonate on our contemporary stages.

Participants will be mentored by Annabel while building their own short documentary texts that tackle the topic of climate change. Research and writing activities will include examining media reports about the United Nations COP21/CMP11 global climate change summit in Le Bourget, France (Nov 30-Dec 13, 2015), interviewing people on the streets of Montreal about their sense of urgency (or lack thereof) with regards to climate change, and investigating each participant’s personal relationship to the topic.  The objective of the workshop is to learn to create dramaturgical structure out of verbatim documentary material, and how to link the personal and the political to build dynamic plays that have a wide social scope.

Submission guidelines: Please send a cover letter describing your interest in the sessions, a  biography and CV
Please send applications to emma@playwrights.ca
Subject line: exploring practice Annabel Soutar
Application deadline: November 9, 2015


Annabel Soutar is a playwright, director and theatre producer. In 2000 she founded the theatre company Porte Parole Productions in Montreal with actor Alex Ivanovici and she has acted as Artistic Director of the Company since its inception. Annabel was born and raised in Montreal. She studied English and Theatre at Princeton University in New Jersey where she completed her degree in 1994. While at Princeton, under the tutelage of renowned American playwright Emily Mann, Annabel learned about the documentary approach to theatre and since 1998 she has been applying it to plays she produces in Montreal. Her original plays, November, 2000 Questions, Santé!, Seeds, Import/Export and Sexy béton have been mounted in Montreal at the Monument-National, Place des Arts, Espace Go, and at the Segal Centre for the Performing Arts. Watershed premiered in Toronto this past August and is now touring.

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Game Writing for Playwrights


Now accepting applications for our next training session with Jill Murray

Dates: November 16-20, 2015
Time: 10AM to 6PM
Location: PWM
Fee: $50 (Fee is not a barrier to anyone who might be interested/eligible)

Game Writing for Playwrights is a core storytelling workshop exploring the intersection of games and theatre. The world of gaming is introduced via the creation of individual board games and through the use of an on-line program called Twine to develop video game stories. The participants work purely with narrative (not graphics content) and Twine allows them to structure story in a way that will work for the interactivity of video games exploring the cause and effect of choices in a world with a multiplicity of options.

Application guideline: To apply for this training, please send a letter describing your interest in this Exploring Practice Intensive and a CV
Please send applications to emma@playwrights.ca 
Subject line: Exploring Practice Intensive with Jill Murray


Jill Murray writes for video games and young adult novels. She won a 2013 Writer’s Guild Award for Excellence in Game Writing and felt nearly as giddy as she does any time a teenage reader tweets at her to say they like one of her books. In the past, Jill has been a blogger, a front end web developer, culture festival pr person, and a theatre student. She is the keeper of the one true secret about how these things are linked together. (The answer involves coffee farms, so you know that’s a long story.)

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