The 40th Anniversary Banff Playwrights Colony wrapped up in late April and its artists have returned to their homes and theatres across Canada and the United States.
During three weeks in April, plus the two-week Retreat in February, 30 theatre artists attended the Playwrights Colony, which offered key creative time to 13 playwrights working on 14 plays, hosted three American artists, conducted more than 25 readings and workshop sessions with The Colony acting company, and spread the word about The Colony widely via daily tweeting (search #playwrightsColony2013 for posts and photos), and a dozen excellent Banff Blog posts.
Here is a quick review of the fantastic projects worked on during The Colony. For further information on each, click the link and/or contact Brian Quirt to request a copy of the script.
Meg Braem’s The Cut Grass Carnival is the beautiful story of four lost souls who battle hunger, doubt and each other to make it big on the depression era carnival circuit. Meg completed two new drafts during her time at The Retreat and The Colony.
Pierre Brault arrived at The Colony with a few scenes and departed with a first full draft ofThe Last Spartan, his powerful and often hilarious new work set in ancient Sparta examining the value and power of the arts in society.
Wanda Graham refined her first draft of Stealth Strike and used a reading to develop an agenda for draft two of this remarkable piece investigating the dark inner drive of a military perfectionist.
Greg MacArthur worked on a post-production draft of The Missionary Position and wrote super-smart revisions based on hearing the draft of this exploration of contemporary missionaries trying and failing to help in the aftermath of a third world natural disaster.
Anita Majumdar spent a week on her feet creating three new choreographic scenes for her Bollywood-infused play Same Same But Different and preparing her next workshop draft prior to going into production next winter at Theatre Passe Muraille and Alberta Theatre Projects.
Greg Moss, our visiting writer from Albuquerque, New Mexico, worked with Woolly Mammoth dramaturg Miriam Weisfeld and wrote 110 pages to kickstart his new playTomorrowland, a wild look at the history of the future and how we make both.
Motion used several readings to closely examine the structure and one specific scene in her lyrical drama 4our Woman, which captures pivotal moments in the lives of four generations of women.
Mieko Ouchi wrote act one of Makepeace, about a Canadian woman working on the first election in Iraq after the invasion in 2005; and completed the first draft of I Am For You, a play for teen audiences premiering this fall at Concrete Theatre that uses stage combat to look at what happens when a student teacher breaks up a violent physical fight between two high school girls.
Emily Pearlman wrote a new draft of Collapsible exploring the violence of decision making through a re-imagining of the judgment of King Solomon – two women lose their children in a flood and only one is found.
Evan Placey fine tuned the structure of Scarberia, a play for teen and adult audiences, tightening the poetry and rhythm of the language of this crackling story of teens, murder, and time travel.
Kerry Sandomirsky explored new material for her solo play Wobble, developing a haunting section of text to complement the core material she arrived with.
Jovanni Sy wrote a second draft of his Hong Kong-set murder mystery Nine Dragons for a reading, and developed an agenda for upcoming workshops in Toronto and Calgary.
Colleen Wagner spent two weeks at The Retreat working through two drafts of her potent and moving post-genocide play The Living.
Thank you to all the playwrights for their exceptional work, and for the community that they shared with one another during the Colony. And also to our great Colony Acting Company: Sheldon Elter, Tracey Ferencz, Kris Joseph, Richard Lee Hsi, Monice Peters, Pamela Sinha, and d’bi young. We were also enriched by the contributions of our guest dramaturgs: Stephen Colella, Kim Collier, Katrina Dunn, Laurel Green, Mel Hague, Guillermo Verdecchia, Miriam Weisfeld. And a final thank you to Associate Dramaturg Leora Morris, who brought grace and great organization to every aspect of this year’s Colony.
In the final week, we celebrated playwright Tom Hendry’s crucial contribution to establishing The Colony in 1973 by reading his play 15 Miles of Broken Glass. It was a fitting way, 40 years later, of acknowledging one of th
e many, many artists that have helped shape the Banff Playwrights Colony.
Director, The Banff Playwrights Colony
P.S.: details of the application deadline and process for the 2014 Colony will be available in June 2013. Join our contact list for more details.