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
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.

Training made possible by


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
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.

Training made possible by


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 
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.)

Training made possible by


Exploring Practice with Erin Shields

Exploring Practice with Erin Shields

Adaptation for the Stage with Erin Shields

When: October 21, 22, 23 and 25, 2015
Time: 6 PM to 9:30 PM
Where: PWM
Fee: $45(Fee is not a barrier to anyone who might be interested/eligible)

Application guidelines: Please send a cover letter describing your interest in the sessions, a biography and CV to
Subject line: exploring practice Erin Shields.
Application deadline: September 25, 2015

I am preoccupied with ancient story and the reverberation of archetype through time; with the imprint of narrative in the subconscious passed from generation to generation and the ability of story to articulate our most base human fears and desires. Through a theatrical interaction with pre-existing narratives I attempt to hold these stories up to the light and examine them through a contemporary lens.

This workshop is an exploration of adapting scripts from a diverse array of source material. Through guided exercises in identifying, owning and reimagining plot structure, character and image, participants will work through the process of writing an adaptation. Source material will include poetry, mythology, novels, visual art and photography.


Erin Shields trained as an actor at Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama in London, England. She then studied English Literature at The University of Toronto. Erin won the 2011 Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama for her play If We Were Birds, which premiered at Tarragon Theatre. It has been widely produced and translated into French, German, Italian and Albanian. This October, the French translation by Maryse Warda will premiere in Montreal where Erin now lives with her family. Erin’s adaptation of Ibsen’s The Lady from the Sea is currently playing at The Shaw Festival. Playwrights Canada Press has recently published Soliciting Temptation, which debuted at Tarragon last April. Erin’s play for young audiences, Mistatim, is touring North America with Red Sky Performance and will play for Toronto audiences at Young Peoples’ Theatre in 2016. Other plays include Montparnasse (with Maev Beaty and Andrea Donaldson), which won the Alberta Theatre Projects’ Enbridge playRites Award, The Unfortunate Misadventures of Masha Galinski and The Epic of Gilgamesh. She has been nominated for numerous awards including the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the K.M. Hunter Award and five Dora Mavor Moore Awards. Erin is a founding member of Groundwater Productions and a playwright-in-residence at Tarragon Theatre.


Training made possible by



Writing Home: finding story in bloodlines

Exploring Practice with Tara Beagan

Now accepting applications for our next training session with Tara Beagan

Dates: March 24 to 27, 2015
Time: 3PM to 6PM
Location: PWM
Free: $45 (Fee is not a barrier to anyone who might be interested/eligible)

Participants will mine their own blood history to find how personal and ancestral experiences are reflective of the bigger picture of which they are a part. It is an exploration of how the personal is political, and how the theatrical forum is ideal for this way of telling. The sessions will be framed by the facilitator’s belief that the work must have a vitality, a theatricality, and be of import. Art costs the creator while creating. The basis of this is finding the core of a story that is important to the writer/creator. Offering this personal historical story through theatre makes the presence of the creator and audience essential and powerful. This workshop is taking the initial steps to work towards truly theatrical scripts.

Application guidelines: Please send a cover letter describing your interest in the sessions, a biography and CV.
Applications should be sent to
Subject line: Exploring practice with Tara Beagan
Application deadline: March 13, 2015 at 5PM


Tara Beagan served as AD of Native Earth Performing Arts for 3 years. Prior to this, she was an actor, director, dramaturg, Community Liaison, Playwright-in-Residence, and an Artistic Associate for NEPA. As a playwright, she has been in residence at Cahoots Theatre and the National Arts Centre. Three of her twenty plays are published, and two have received Dora Award nominations, among them commissions from Theatrefront, KICK, mysterious entity, and Praxis. As an actor, Beagan has received Dora and Betty award nominations, and has appeared on CBC radio and TV. She has directed five productions and is co-founder/director with Andy Moro of ARTICLE 11. ( 2014 saw the premiere of In Spirit through NEPA, a co-pro of Dreary and Izzy at Gateway, Persephone and SNTC (via partners WCT), and Signal Theatre’s Michael Greyeyes helmed A Soldier’s Tale.

Training made possible by


Writing for Young Audiences with Dean Fleming

Exploring Practice with Dean Fleming

Writing for Young Audiences

Dates: March 5 and 6, 3pm to 5pm & April 6 and 7, 3pm to 6pm
Free: $45 f(Fee is not a barrier to anyone who might be interested/eligible)

This exploration will focus on guiding emerging and experienced playwrights in looking at what it means to write for theatre for young audiences. What is happening across the country and who is doing what? What are the different themes that one might explore? How does one decide what age to write for and how does this affect what you are writing, the language you use and who might be interested in producing it? We will talk about the responsibility you take on when writing for young audiences and how responsibility cannot turn into preachy theatre.

Most importantly we will discuss that writing for young audiences means that you are writing for an audience with the most vivid imagination of all but also for an audience that, when lied to, will disregard what you are giving them but when taken on a journey, will embark more fully than anyone could have expected.

Submission guidelines: Please send a cover letter describing your interest in the sessions, a biography and CV.
Subject line: exploring practice Dean Fleming
Application deadline: February 18, 2015 at 5PM


Dean Patrick Fleming was appointed the Artistic Director of Geordie Productions in 2005, taking over from Geordie’s Founding Artistic Director, Elsa Bolam.  In his time at Geordie he has worked to uphold the mandate of creating thought provoking and engaging theatre for young people as well as working to expand the reach of the company’s work throughout Canada. For Geordie, he has directed, among others, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Shared Account, The Little Prince, A Christmas Carol, Smokescreen, Beethoven Lives Upstairs and Choe’s Choice. Other favourites include Apple, Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, Metastasis, Chain of Ruin and V-Cards.

As an artist outside of his leadership role at Geordie, Dean has worked in Montreal and toured across the country and into the United States performing for thousands of people. He has directed over fifty productions, some of which have toured to different regions in Canada. Dean has a BFA from Concordia University in Performance, has taught at Concordia University, ASM Performing Arts and continues to teach at the National Theatre School in Montreal.  He has been awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contribution to the Arts.


Training made possible by