WESTERN CANADA THEATRE’S 40th ANNIVERSARY COMMISSIONS
WCT is celebrating our anniversary by offering three 40th Anniversary Commissions. In January, WCT announced a call for submissions of interest from B.C. Theatre Creators. We received over seventy-five proposals from playwrights across the province. We were truly overwhelmed by the abundance of exciting project ideas submitted by B.C. playwrights in every stage of their writing careers, from emerging to established. “After much consideration, we decided on three exciting projects to commission that felt like a great fit for WCT,” says Artistic Director Daryl Cloran. “We are very proud to announce Western Canada Theatre’s 40th Anniversary Commissions.”
Following are excerpts from submissions by the selected playwrights:
Kamloopa by Kim Harvey
Three urban Indigenous women travel to the largest Pow Wow on the West Coast: Kamloopa. These women are on a quest, gathering their answers to find what it means to be an “Indian” when you don’t know your language, you can’t dance traditionally and you don’t even know where you come from.Kim says, “I’d like the opportunity to explore and share, that as tragic as colonization has been, cultural revitalisation is filled with humour if we just let ourselves experience it that way.”Kim Harvey is an actor, director, educator and emerging playwright. She is from the Tshilqot'in, Syilx, Kutenai, Dakelh and Canada Nations.
Enemy of the People by Amiel Gladstone and Veda Hille
A new musical adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s political classic. Set in modern day, a small city struggles with what to do with the information that their main source of revenue is not only bad for the environment, but also toxic to humans. If they shut it down, the town dies; if they continue and do nothing, people will get deathly ill.Funny, lively, provocative, populist and political. Ami and Veda are the creative duo behind the recent musical phenomenon Onegin, and the wildly popular Craigslist Cantata (with Bill Richardson).
The Smallwood Solution by Jordan Hall
A dark comedy that tackles nursing home abuse and the fraying fabric of Canada’s social security net. Destitute widow Ruthie Smallwood finds herself consigned to the woefully underfunded Trent Residential Care Facility. Ruthie is determined to rise above her less-than-ideal circumstances, but when a prank on a cruel staff member backfires horribly and ends in a nurse’s death, Ruthie puts the tragedy she has inadvertently caused to good use - turning it into an opportunity to draw attention to the woeful conditions at Trent. Jordan Hall’s recent plays include: the award-winning Kayak and How to Survive an Apocalypse.
Each of the three projects will receive a commissioning fee and a workshop reading of their first draft, along with the potential for further funding and future development.
We were also extremely proud of the number of exciting submissions from local Kamloops playwrights. In support of our local writers, next season we will launch the inaugural WCT Playwrights Unit. The Unit will consist of four Kamloops-based playwrights who will meet throughout the 2016-17 season with Artistic Director Daryl Cloran to advance their writing on projects, discuss playwrighting and form creative partnerships.
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