Playwrights Projects 2021

Seven online workshop readings of New Canadian Plays by members of the Alberta Theatre Projects Playwrights Unit

Apr 16 – May 28, 2021

Alberta Theatre Projects presented Playwrights Projects 2021 from April 16 – May 28, 2021. Playwrights Projects is seven weeks of concurrent digital workshops, featuring seven online workshop readings of plays by members of the Playwrights Unit.

Workshop reading presentations took place on the Zoom platform.

This event has passed, but keep scrolling to check out the Past Workshops Readings

Past Workshop Readings:

Ten   by Jason Maghanoy

Mira is beautiful. Palestinian. A PHD in clinical psychology and one of the most famous political commentators in the country.
Ten follows Mira as she navigates her way through today’s explosive political landscape, with each scene being a different “rule for life.” Mira celebrates human beings: Our complexities, flaws and contradictions. And she believes that our existence can’t possibly be politically correct.

When she is invited to give a live interview on one of the largest social media platforms in the world she receives a death threat warning her about appearing… that there will be consequences.

Ten follows the aftermath of the interview and examines the relationships that inform her controversial views on men, women, power and the future of our culture.

Audience Considerations: This presentation contains content that may be triggering to some individuals. TEN contains discussions of sexual violence and predatory behaviour.

Featuring: Abraham Asto, Deena Aziz, Kristy Benz, Filsan Dualeh, Maya Green, Tenaj Williams & Kiana Wu
Director: Dylan Trowbridge
Dramaturg: Elizabeth Kantor
Stage Manager: Ruby Dawn Eustaquio
Playwrights Unit Director: Trevor Rueger

Area 33   by Natalie Meisner

Chloe lost her mother to addiction and has since been raised by her Uncle who, recognizing her talent with numbers and computers, has involved her in increasingly dodgy aspects of his business as a buyer and seller of lobsters.  This has made her something of a pariah in the village.  It isn’t unusual for her to be “buzzed” by pick-up trucks as she walks along the road. One such day, short on hope for the future and doubtful about the existence of intelligent life on earth, she steps into a local joke: The Shag Harbour UFO* museum. The curator, Evelyn is like no other adult she knows.  She does not offer counselling or advice. She is not even particularly pleasant. Perhaps for this reason they become friends.  But Evelyn herself has a secret: She is an undercover officer working with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to investigate fraudulent seafood sales.

Area 33 is about trust, lobsters and the search for signs of intelligent life one summer at the Shag Harbour UFO Museum.

*The Shag Harbour UFO Incident Society is a real place.  It is located in an aging yellow Captain’s house on the lighthouse route of N.S.  

Featuring: Helen Belay, Devin MacKinnon & Julie Orton 
Director & Dramaturg: Pamela Halstead
Stage Manager: Ruby Dawn Eustaquio
Playwrights Unit Director: Trevor Rueger

Strife   by Matthew MacKenzie – Friday, Apr 30 at 7:30pm MDT

Matthew MacKenzie’s Strife will feature five indigenous artists reading excerpts from this script in development. This is an inside look at the process of how an idea is translated into a play, and how a new story is created.

Featuring: Zach Running Coyote, Russell Keewatin, Tracey Nepinak, Valerie Planche & Michaela Washburn
Director: Keith Barker
Dramaturg & Playwrights Unit Director: Trevor Rueger
Stage Manager: Ruby Dawn Eustaquio

The Gig   by Mark Crawford – Friday, May 7 at 7:30pm MDT

Three drag queens have been hired to perform at a private function. The catch? Tonight’s event is a campaign fundraiser for a Conservative politician. As the queens struggle to agree on how to proceed, the campaign manager and rookie candidate attempt to send a message of inclusivity and hope to their voters. Throw in an unimpressed venue technician and a long-standing MP who’s been forced into retirement and honey, this gig will have you “gagging!” Politics! Sibling rivalry! Wigs! The Gig is a contemporary comedy that asks: what do we do when we don’t see eye-to-eye?

Mark Crawford is also the playwright of The New Canadian Curling Club, produced at Alberta Theatre Projects in 2019.

Featuring: Thom Allison, Mark Bellamy, Natascha Girgis, Stephen Hair, Karen Johnson-Diamond, Laura Parken & Marshall Vielle
Director & Dramaturg: Trevor Rueger
Stage Manager: Ruby Dawn Eustaquio
Playwrights Unit Director: Trevor Rueger

Go for Gold, Audrey Pham   by Camille Pavlenko – Friday, May 14 at 7:30pm MDT

It’s 1988. Perms are in, Tab is out, and Calgary hosts the Winter Olympics. Audrey Pham represents Canada in the ultimate glam sport of Ski Ballet. Unfortunately for Audrey, the athlete’s village was not built large enough to accommodate everyone and she is billeted at the hands of a generous, sport-loving soul: Birchwoman; the notorious wicked witch of West Kensington. Can Audrey keep up her rigorous training schedule while having to navigate the hoarders-esque paradise of “BIRCHWOMAN’S: fine hippie emporium and curiosity shop” on her once in a lifetime quest for the Gold?

Featuring: Christian Goutsis, Elinor Holt, Bianca Miranda & Mike Tan
Director & Dramaturg: Shari Wattling
Stage Manager: Ruby Dawn Eustaquio
Playwrights Unit Director: Trevor Rueger

What’s Your Deal?   by Andrea Scott – Friday, May 21 at 7:30pm MDT

Winsome is a Black woman in her forties living in small-town Ontario. One year ago, her young son went missing. Within the town and community, there has been an ongoing search for the missing boy. That is until a famous gameshow host, also from that community, passes away. Upon returning home from grief counselling one day, she notices all the posters for her missing son are being replaced with posters for a fundraiser for the colon cancer society – in the name of the deceased game show host.

What’s Your Deal? explores grief, race in a small town, and ultimately the value of a human life.

Featuring: Peter N. Bailey, Devon Dubnyk, Katherine Fadum, Helen Knight & Monice Peter
Director & Dramaturg: Trevor Rueger
Stage Manager: Ruby Dawn Eustaquio
Playwrights Unit Director: Trevor Rueger

Ai Yah! Chop Suey   by Dale Lee Kwong – Friday, May 28 at 7:30pm MDT

Jade Wong accepts a ticket for a free, all-inclusive cruise. She doesn’t realize it’s a lesbian cruise, or that her cabin mate is a lesbian she has a crush on. Find out what else Jade discovers on board, and about herself when she is forced to face the facts of her sexual orientation. Jade’s journey continues when she is forced out of the closet to her traditional Chinese-Canadian parents during Chinese New Year. What is thicker, love or soy sauce? Don’t miss this coming out comedy with a cultural twist, Ai Yah! Chop Suey. 

Ai Yah! Chop Suey is based on the podcast Ai Yah!  Face the Facts produced by the Alberta Queer Calendar Project 2020, and Ai Yah! Sweet and Sour Secrets developed and produced by Lunchbox Theatre in 2018.

Featuring: Nadien Chu, Daniel Fong, Jesselle Laurén, Mike Tan and Selina Wong
Director & Dramaturg: Trevor Rueger
Stage Manager: Ruby Dawn Eustaquio
Playwrights Unit Director: Trevor Rueger