Mentorships Set to Connect PGC Members in 2017

Mentorships Set to Connect PGC Members in 2017
 

January 3, 2017 - Playwrights Guild of Canada (PGC) is delighted to announce that three mentorships for playwrights have been set up for 2017! This is an increase in mentorship for our members as PGC has provided one or two annual opportunities in the past. PGC has partnered with The Prairie Theatre Exchange in Manitoba for one mentorship and The Workshop West Playwright's Theatre in Alberta for another. The third mentorship opportunity was funded by the RBC Emerging Artists Fund and was granted to the RBC Emerging Playwright winner at the 2016 Tom Hendry Awards. 

The Prairie Theatre Exchange teamed up with PGC to connect two playwrights in Manitoba and chose Karen Press as their mentee. Originally from Alberta, K.I. Press lives, writes, and teaches writing in Winnipeg. Her most recent book of poetry is Exquisite Monsters (Turnstone Press, 2015). Karen chose Debbie Patterson as her mentor and the two will work together throughout the year. Debbie Patterson is a Winnipeg playwright, director and actor. She is an alumnus of the National Theatre School of Canada, a former Artistic Director of the Popular Theatre Alliance of Manitoba and a founding member of Shakespeare in the Ruins (SIR).

The Workshop West Playwright's Theatre selected Joëlle Prefontaine as the mentee for this opportunity and Joëlle asked for the mentorship of Yvette Nolan. Actor, educator, director, singer, dancer and writer, Joëlle has left her mark on stages from Victoria to Ottawa. Presently, Joëlle is pursuing her Masters of Fine Arts in Theatre Practice at the University of Alberta. Playwright, director, dramaturg, actor, and educator, Yvette Nolan has contributed substantively to the creation and performance of Aboriginal Theatre in Canada.

At PGC's latest Tom Hendry Awards, Rhiannon Collett was announced as the recipient of the RBC Emerging Playwright Award. As part of this award, Rhiannon receives mentorship from a PGC member of her choice and Erin Shields has accepted this role as Rhiannon's mentor for a 6-month work period. Rhiannon is a queer-identified playwright and performer based in Montreal, whose work explores misogyny, sexuality and ritual. She is the first artist to be commissioned out of Nightswimming Theatre's 5x25 initiative and is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Gender Rubble, a feminist performance collective. Erin Shields is a playwright and actor who won the 2011 Governor General's Award for her play If We Were Birds. She trained in acting at Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama in London, England and is a founding member of Groundwater Productions through which she creates, develops and produces much of her work.

 

Congratulations to the three Mentorship teams:
The Prairie Theatre Exchange Mentorship:
Mentee: Karen Press 
Mentor: Debbie Patterson

The Workshop West Playwright’s Theatre Mentorship:
Mentee: Joëlle Prefontaine
Mentor: Yvette Nolan

The RBC Emerging Playwright Award Mentorship:
Mentee: Rhiannon Collett 
Mentor: Erin Shields

 

Biographies of the Mentorship Teams:

Karen Press

Originally from Alberta, K.I. Press lives, writes, and teaches writing in Winnipeg. Her most recent book of poetry is Exquisite Monsters (Turnstone Press, 2015). Her books have been shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Memorial Award and the ReLit Award for poetry. She has an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Ottawa. She is a distance student in the UBC Creative Writing MFA, where she has studied playwriting, screenwriting, comics, and writing for children and young people. 

 

Debbie Patterson

Debbie Patterson is a Winnipeg playwright, director and actor. Trained at the National Theatre School of Canada, she is a founding member and current artistic associate of Shakespeare in the Ruins, served as Theatre Ambassador for Winnipeg’s Cultural Capital year and as Artistic Associate at Prairie Theatre Exchange. She was the U of W Carol Shields Writer in Residence 2012 and Playwright in Residence at Theatre Projects Manitoba in 2014/15 and is currently a member of the PTE Playwrights Unit. Playwriting credits include Sargent & Victor & Me, the musical Head, Candy From a Baby, and Molotov Circus. In 2014 she was honoured with the United Nations Platform for Action Committee’s annual Activist Award. She is a proud advocate for disability arts through her work with her new company Sick + Twisted Theatre. She lives in Winnipeg with her family: Arne MacPherson, Gislina Patterson and Solmund MacPherson.

   

Joëlle Prefontaine

Joëlle Préfontaine’s first play Récolte premiered at L’UniThéâtre (Edmonton) in the fall of 2013. Prior to its premier, it was presented as a staged reading at Les Zones Théâtrales, the Francophone equivalent of The Magnetic North Festival, in Ottawa. In June 2014, Récolte was nominated for an Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award in the category of Outstanding New Play. This marked the first time in the history of the Sterling Awards that a bilingual French based play was nominated for its writing.

Native of Legal (Alberta) Joëlle is a graduate of the University of Alberta’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting program. She also holds a diploma in Theatre Performance from Red Deer College. Actor, educator, director, singer, dancer and writer, Joëlle has left her mark on stages from Victoria to Ottawa.

Presently, Joëlle is pursuing her Masters of Fine Arts in Theatre Practice at the U of A with a focus on Immersive Pluri-lingual Theatre for Youth. In partial completion of her thesis, Joëlle’s new play Huh?! will be performed in Edmonton in May 2017.

 

Yvette Nolan

Yvette Nolan is a playwright, director, dramaturg and educator, born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, to an Algonquin mother and an Irish immigrant father. She was the first ever Writer-in-Residence at Brandon University in 1996. From 2003-2011, she served as the Artistic Director of Native Earth Performing Arts in Toronto.

 

Rhiannon Collett

Rhiannon Collett is a queer-identified playwright and performer based in Montreal, whose work explores misogyny, sexuality and ritual. She is the first artist to be commissioned through Nightswimming’s 5x25 initiative.

Rhiannon is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Gender Rubble, a feminist performance collective (www.genderrubble.ca).  Her first play, Miranda & Dave Begin Again, recently won the Playwright’s Guild of Canada RBC 2016 Emerging Playwright Award, as well as the Segal Centre Award for Most Promising English Theatre Company at the 2016 Montreal Fringe. Rhiannon is a member of Playwrights' Workshop Montreal’s Young Creators Unit, and in 2014-15 was a part of Black Theatre Workshop’s Artist Mentorship Program. She has had the opportunity to read excerpts of her work with companies including Nightwood Theatre, Imago Theatre, Black Theatre Workshop & Playwrights' Workshop Montreal. Her essays and poetry have been featured in The Globe & Mail, Intermission Magazine, Bad Nudes and OMEGA by Metatron. Originally from North Vancouver, she was awarded the Jack Shadbolt Award for Multiple Arts Excellence in 2013.

 

Erin Shields

Erin Shields is a Montreal based playwright and actor. She won the 2011 Governor General's Award for her play If We Were Birds, which premiered at Tarragon Theatre where she is currently a playwright-in-residence. If We Were Birds has been widely produced and translated into French, German, Italian and Albanian. Erin is co-Artistic Director (with Andrea Donaldson) of an independent theatre company, Groundwater Productions, which recently produced Beautiful Man at The SummerWorks Festival. Erin’s version of Ibsen’s The Lady from the Sea was part of The Shaw Festival’s 2015 season andSoliciting Temptation premiered at Tarragon in 2014. She has two plays for young audiences currently touring North America: Mistatim with Red Sky Performance and Instant with Geordie Productions. Erin’s latest play, The Millennial Malcontent, will premiere at Tarragon Theatre in 2016. Erin has been nominated for numerous awards including the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the K.M. Hunter Award and five Dora Mavor Moore Awards.