The New Stories Project is a PWM storytellers unit which offers accessible creation workshops, as well as customized development labs and additional support, to emerging and established neurodivergent theatre-artists.
Launched in 2018 with the help of Les Muses (Centre for artists with intellectual disabilities), the Mackay Centre School (for children and youth with disabilities), and the West Island Association for Intellectual Handicapped (WIAIH), the project has already successfully provided 25+ neurodivergent creators and performers with professional expertise in building new pieces of theatre.
Under the leadership of dramaturg/educator Jesse Stong, a more inclusive and accessible support system for neurodivergent artists has seen new work grow from the page to the stage, fostering intergenerational exchange while creating a platform for marginalized communities to be heard and seen by wider Canadian audiences.
This season, participants from the New Stories Project have been invited to tour with PWM across the province, presenting excerpts from their works in development. These pop-up performances and talk-backs will be a chance for our artists to share their unique creations in intimate settings, and will all take place in selected community centers and schools that serve neurodivergent populations.
More information coming in January 2024.
Productions and workshops supported by the New Stories Project
by KYNG ROSE
The Blxck Cxsper universe is a multidisciplinary work of fiction based around a vigilante who questions super hero culture and the many ways it negatively affects society.
by sam melnick
The play is a look at the lives of individuals on the autism spectrum through an intersectional perspective. Topics include gender and sexual diversity, political non-conformity, and ethnicity. In a world that wasn’t built for you, how do you create a space for yourself and those you love?
by STEPHEN PATRICK BOOTH
On a small island overrun by land developers, two radically different strangers’ lives collide after an unexpected ecological disaster. Seeking safety in a bunker, they clash and connect over their shared dislike of the developers, and their conflicting dreams of a utopia where they can do more than just survive. Other Worlds celebrates their unique journeys to claim and strengthen their own self-identity, while working to make deeper connections with the outside world. A play about well-being, friendship and belonging, and the importance of community.
Writing coaches have led creative conversations with some of the original participants from the program, talking about their creative process and future dreams.
The New Stories Project with Concordia University’s Centre for the Arts in Human Development
In partnership with potatoCakes_Digital and Concordia University’s Centre for the Arts in Human Development, we supported three neurodivergent artists in building dynamic monologues, which were performed for the 2022 CAHD Fundraiser.
The New Stories Project is facilitated by arts educator and dramaturg Jesse Stong.
Jesse Stong (They/Them) is a proud parent of twins, a graduate of Playwriting from the National Theatre School of Canada, and received a Master’s in Art Education from Concordia University. They are an award-winning queer creator, dramaturg, and educator.
Over the years, Jesse has supported over 140 emerging Canadian storytellers as director of our Young Creators Unit. Jesse also leads our New Stories Project for Neurodiverse Storytellers.
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.
Current & Past Writing Coaches