Canadian Plays Recommended by Playwrights - By Kate Hennig

About Kate Hennig

Kate is a diverse, multi-award-winning theatre artist, with over thirty-five years of professional experience as a performer, including seasons on Broadway, with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and with both the Shaw and Stratford Festivals. Kate received the 2015 Christopher Plummer Award for Excellence in Classical Theatre. Kate is currently writing two companion pieces to The Last Wife: The Virgin Trial (which will premiere at the Stratford Festival in 2017) and Father's Daughter. The trilogy is a contemporary feminist imagining of the Tudor queens Katherine Parr, Mary I, and Elizabeth I. Kate’s other playwriting includes: Wilde Tales - an adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s stories for children, premiering at the Shaw Festival in 2017; The Eleventh David - based on 9th century Japanese poetess Ono No Komachi; Waterworks - an epic family drama about the infectious nature of lies, set during the flu pandemic of 1918; More - a pre-industrial-age story of the culture of infertility.Kate lives and writes in Stratford, Ontario, Canada. www.katehennig.com

Website:  http://www.katehennig.com Canadian Plays Recommended by Playwrights

I don’t get out much. I mean…I do…but I live out of town and work as an actor, mostly at the Shaw and Stratford Festivals, and also in the wonderful communities across this country that have vibrant and vital regional theatre. I miss a lot of fantastic new plays because…well, you hear it from actors all the time: when you have one night off a week it’s really hard to spend it in a theatre. Even harder when it’s January and snowing and a two hour drive each way. Excuses. Excuses. Seana McKenna sees EVERYTHING, so—Ha! Anyway. Here are six plays that I have missed, and am very sorry about missing…so I want to see them done again…because I need another chance! 

 

1. Ellen Close (with Braden Griffiths) - My Family and Other Endangered Species

An adaptation of Carla Gunn's novel Amphibian, which received the 2014 Calgary Critics' Award for Best Play and a Betty Mitchell nomination for Outstanding New Play. Published by Playwrights' Canada Press.

 

Ellen was a student of mine when I taught at NTS. I am intrigued by the way her brain works. I would love to see any of the plays she has written which have done so well in Calgary.

 

To inquire about the rights to the play,  please contact Playwrights Guild of Canada:

monique@playwrightsguild.ca

 

 

2. Lisa Codrington - The Adventures of the Black Girl in her Search for God

an adaptation of the short-story by Shaw, it was the lunchtime play in the 2016 season at the Shaw Festival, and a huge hit; unpublished.

 

I was in the Groundswell playwrights’ unit with Lisa as she was developing Cast Iron. She was, like, twelve or something. She has such a clear, accessible, and passionate voice. I would see anything she has written, but am especially disappointed that I missed her response to this Shaw piece.

 

To inquire about the rights to the play,  please contact Playwrights Guild of Canada:

monique@playwrightsguild.ca

  

3. Jordi Mand - Between the Sheets

premiered in 2012 as part of Nightwood Theatre’s ’12/’13 season in Toronto and has since been produced both nationally and internationally.

 

Jordi was also a student of mine at NTS in the same class as Ellen Close. Another astounding mind, heart, and human. Jordi is the kind of artist who makes you lean in, ask questions, and enjoy the mystery of her insight.

 

To inquire about the rights to the play,  please contact Playwrights Guild of Canada:

monique@playwrightsguild.ca

 

4. John Murrell - Democracy

Canadian Authors Association’s and the Writers Guild of Alberta’s Best Play Awards in 1992; published in 1991 by Talonbooks

 

John Murrell (sorry, John) is now like a grandfather of Canadian theatre. Having seen so many of his plays, and enjoyed his friendship, I am so sorry I missed his play about the humanity and inhumanity of war.

 

To inquire about the rights to the play,  please contact Playwrights Guild of Canada:

monique@playwrightsguild.ca

 

 

5. Yvette Nolan (with Kennedy C. MacKinnon, adaptation of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar)  - Death of a Chief

originally produced by Native Earth and the NAC in 2008; as far as I can tell, unpublished.

 

After participating alongside Yvette in a fantastic class in aboriginal movement, as part of The Lab at the Stratford Festival in 2016, I want to know more of her ideas about Shakespeare and the expression of his plays through an aboriginal voice.

 

To inquire about the rights to the play,  please contact Playwrights Guild of Canada:

monique@playwrightsguild.ca

 

 

6. Guillermo Verdecchia and Marcus Youssef - A Line in the Sand

winner of a Chalmers Best New Play Award in 1997; published by Bizbooks

 

I saw Adventures of Ali and Ali and the aXes of Evil by these two (with Camyar Chai) in the early 2000s. That rare and wild experience was all I needed to become a fan of their work for life, and to regret even more missing their previous collaboration.

 

To inquire about the rights to the play,  please contact Playwrights Guild of Canada:

monique@playwrightsguild.ca

 

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