Who We Are


Team

CLICK ON THE PICTURES TO LEARN OUR STORIES.

Fatma Sarah Elkashef
Artistic Director

sarah@playwrights.ca

Alanna Wrenshall
Managing Director

alanna@playwrights.ca

Leila Ghaemi
Artistic Producer & Young Creators Unit Dramaturg

leila@playwrights.ca

Aki Matsushita
Dramaturg

aki@playwrights.ca

potatoCakes_digital
Digital Dramaturgs

potatocakesdigital@playwrights.ca

Jesse Stong
New Stories and Queer Reading Series Dramaturg

jesse@playwrights.ca

Heather Eaton
Programs and Development Manager

heather@playwrights.ca

Val Boisvert
Administrative Coordinator

val@playwrights.ca

Headshot photography by Emelia Hellman. Heather Eaton’s headshot by Nasuna Stuart-Ulin, Aki Masushita’s by JB Proulx. Val Boisvert’s headshot by Tobrook Photography.


History

1963

PWM is founded by Western Quebec Division of the Dominion Drama Festival.

PWM was the brainchild of Canadian playwrights Dan Daniels, Carol Libman, Eve Sevack and John Whalen, with the support of theatre artists Norma Springford and Doris Malcom of the Quebec Drama Association, and actors Walter Massey and Victor Knight. The organization’s first mission was to tackle the then scarcity of English-Canadian plays and playwrights. Soon after its conception, PWM became a leading voice in the creation of new plays.

1970

Roy Higgins’ leadership.

Under Roy Higgins’ artistic direction in the seventies, PWM took steps toward becoming a producing theatre and purchased a building in Old Montréal. However, the tension between production and development became too great and the project was dismantled.

1975

Bob White becomes PWM’s first Dramaturg-Artistic Director and turns focus to dramaturgy.

With a stance of protecting the development process from production pressures, Bob White strengthened the organization’s focus on dramaturgy and development. Subsequent Artistic Directors Per Brask and Brian Richmond continued to build on this legacy and worked to expand the organization’s reach from coast to coast.

1981

Translation programming is added.

Artistic Director Rina Fraticelli added translation to PWM’s programming, advancing the organization’s artistic practice and expanding PWM’s reach.

1984 – 1998

Leadership changes.

Michael Springate, Svetlana Zylin, Michael Devine, and Peter Smith succeeded Rina Fraticelli as Artistic Directors, each contributing to PWM’s profile both locally and nationally.

1998

Strengthening of focus on dramaturgy and translation.

Artistic Director Paula Danckert increased PWM’s artistic stability by introducing the permanent position of Dramaturg-in-Residence. In 2006, with support from Briony Glassco, she established the Glassco Translation Residency in Tadoussac.

2007

Emma Tibaldo becomes Artistic and Executive Director.

During Emma Tibaldo’s tenure as Artistic and Executive Director, PWM created more permanent staff positions – including ongoing contracts for dramaturgs. Many new programs were introduced, such as the Cole Foundation Mentorship for Emerging Translators, the professional development workshop series “Exploring Practice”, the Young Creators Unit, digital dramaturgy programming, and the Gros Morne Playwrights’ Residency.

2018

PWM ends membership structure.

Having worked for years toward a comprehensive curatorial model for the selection of projects, the decision was made in 2018 to officially transition PWM away from the membership model. This shift enabled PWM to better support the evolving artistic community and collaborate more effectively with emerging and established artists alike.

2021

Fatma Sarah Elkashef becomes Artistic Director. 

After a period of introspection led by PWM’s Board of Directors in collaboration with Arts Consulting Group, PWM’s staffing structure shifted to better support the organization and introduced a co-leadership model. Fatma Sarah Elkashef, Artistic Director, and Lesley Bramhill, Managing Director, were established as the first co-leadership team. During this year, PWM launched the first call for applications for Dramaturgical Collaboration and deepened the organizational commitment to accessibility, equity, diversity and inclusion. 

2022

Anne-Sophie Grenier becomes the Managing Director.

Joining Fatma Sarah Elkashef to co-lead the organization, Anne-Sophie Grenier was introduced as the Managing Director. 

2023

PWM turns 60! 

Over the past 60 years, PWM has collaborated on the development of more than 1800 new works for theatre and performance. PWM continues to strengthen, develop and celebrate relationships with collaborating artists through its ongoing programming.

Our journey is far from over. PWM remains steadfast in its mission to centre artists, to explore new horizons in playwriting, performance, and dramaturgy, and to work collaboratively with artists in shaping the future of theatre. As we reflect on the past 60 years, we look forward to the many more years of innovative artistic collaborations that lie ahead. We continue to stand side by side with the artistic community, celebrating their ingenuity, and supporting their creative endeavours.


Group of 5

Header image for the Group of 5 webpage. Name of the group and image of the Firestation 14, expected home of the group.

What is the Group of  5?

The Group of 5 is a collective of 5 professional independent English-language theatre companies seeking to share a creative and administrative space to establish a sustainable arts ecosystem. The Group of 5 aims to provide its members with a permanent and viable infrastructure – a physical space – where members can share resources, create, and grow our community.

Who is in the Group of 5?

The five dynamic theatre companies in the Group of 5 are:

What guides the Group of 5?

The vision for the Group of 5 is to sustain the development and presence of professional English-language theatre in the Quebec and Montreal arts landscape. The collective would galvanize exchanges and resources sharing among its members – both past and present–with the aim to strengthen the English-language minority community and expand upon the scope, inclusivity, and vibrancy of Quebec theatre.

We believe a shared space and the resulting collective ecosystem will expand the boundaries of theatrical creation.

The Group of 5 is radio-controlled by the following five principles:

  1. BEING LEADERS in the community
  2. BUILDING a collective infrastructure
  3. SECURING a foundation for English-language theatre in Montreal
  4. PROMOTING exchange and cooperation between artists
  5. EXPERIMENTING with new technologies
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