PGC Announces the Recipients of the 2016 Tom Hendry Awards!

October 31st, 2016 – Women Playwrights Prevail at the 2016 Tom Hendry Awards


Playwrights Guild of Canada (PGC) proudly announces the winning playwrights for its 2016 Tom Hendry Awards. The recipients for the Carol Bolt Award, the RBC Emerging Playwright Award, as well as the Stage West Pechet Family Comedy & Musical Awards were announced last night at the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto.

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Carol Bolt Award Winner – Lisa Codrington

Presented for the best work premiered by a PGC-member in the past year, the 2016 Carol Bolt Award was granted to Lisa Codrington for Up the Garden Path. Jury: Vern Thiessen (Chair), Hope McIntyre, Amy House, and Jivesh Parasram.

Sponsored by: Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre, Playwrights Theatre Centre, Saskatchewan Playwrights Centre, Pat the Dog Theatre Creation, Playwrights Canada Press, and Playwrights Guild of Canada

RBC Emerging Playwright Award Winner – Rhiannon Collett

Presented for the best play by a PGC-member who is an emerging playwright, the 2016 RBC Emerging Playwright Award was given to Rhiannon Collett for Miranda and Dave Begin Again. Jury: Marilo Nunez (Chair), Alexis Diamond, Ryan Griffith, and Sherryl Melnyk.

Sponsored by: The RBC Emerging Artists Fund

Stage West Pechet Family Musical Award Winner – Kent Staines, along with Akiva Romer-Segal and Colleen Dauncey

Presented to a PGC-member for best musical in development, the 2016 Stage West Musical Award was bestowed upon Kent Staines, along with Akiva Romer-Segal and Colleen Dauncey for Prom Queen. Jury: Beau Dixon (Chair), David Abel, Tracey Power, and Joe Slabe.

Sponsored by: Stage West Theatre Restaurants

Stage West Pechet Family Comedy Award Winner – Kristen Da Silva

Presented to a PGC-member for best comedy in development, the 2016 Stage West Comedy Award was granted to Kristen Da Silva for Gibson & Sons. Jury: Diane Flacks (Chair), Philip Adams, Micheline Chevrier, and London D’Arrigo.

Sponsored by: Stage West Theatre Restaurants


Winning Play Synopses:

Carol Bolt Award for Playwrights:

Up the Garden Path by Lisa Codrington - It's the late 1960s and Canada has just begun opening its doors to migrant farm workers from the Caribbean. Rosa, a young seamstress living in Barbados finds herself homeless. In an attempt to find a new life she disguises herself as a man and travels to work on a farm in the Niagara Region. Besieged by a ghost from the war of 1812, an aspiring actress, a demanding boss and culture shock - Rosa has to navigate this new land called Canada.

RBC Emerging Playwright Award:

Miranda and Dave Begin Again by Rhiannon Collett – Miranda is curating a used underwear archive. Her boyfriend Dave is stalking women - experimentally. Her sister Eden is tired of giving blowjobs. Is this the end or just the beginning?

Stage West Pechet Family Musical Award:

Prom Queen by Kent Staines along with Akiva Romer-Segal and Colleen Dauncey – Prom Queen the musical is based on a true event in the life of Marc Hall, the gay Oshawa teenager who took the Catholic School Board to court when they refused to allow him to take his boyfriend to the senior prom.

It’s graduation time and Marc Hall wants nothing more than to take his boyfriend to the senior prom. The only problem is that the Principal and the Catholic School Board trustees won’t allow it under any circumstances. The media swarms and a flamboyant lawyer with his own agenda turns Marc into an unlikely activist for gay teens everywhere. The Supreme Court gets involved and now all eyes are on Marc. But will he have the courage to face the battle ahead?

In stepping from the shadows, Marc Hall does what any good hero does. He fights for a cause and in so doing ends up changing his world. It’s not just his story, but the story of all those whose lives he’s affected. Everyone struggling to fit in. To belong. To be loved.

Stage West Pechet Family Comedy Award:

Gibson & Sons by Kristen Da Silva – Helping his father save their struggling small-town funeral home has gotten in the way of Harry Gibson's love life. Desperate to settle down, he turns to an unconventional method of meeting a woman: an online Russian bride service. When his bride Katya arrives, with her acerbic sister Eva in tow, the Gibson family is thrown into a tailspin. Harry needs to convince his traditional father that he knows what he's doing, convince his friends and family that he hasn't lost his mind, oh...and explain to his bride-to-be that their marital home will be shared with the dearly departed. Gibson & Sons is a comedy about family, love and making all kinds of relationships work...Even the unexpected kind.


Playwright Bios:

Lisa Codrington is a Toronto-based actor and writer. She holds a BA in Criminology from the University of Manitoba and a BFA in Acting from Ryerson University. Lisa’s writing has been published by Playwrights Canada Press, McGraw-Hill Ryerson and Canadian Theatre Review. Selected writing credits include The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God (Shaw Festival); Up The Garden Path (Obsidian Theatre); The Aftermath (Groundswell Festival – Nightwood Theatre, Femfest – Sarasvàti Productions); The Colony (Opera To Go – Tapestry Opera); Skylar (Sunday Showcase – CBC Radio) and Cast Iron (Nightwood Theatre/Obsidian Theatre; Frank Collymore Hall, Barbados, WI). Lisa has also contributed to collaborative works The Postman (Appledore Productions – Panamania);Opera on the Rocks (Ambient Opera Society – Toronto Fringe) and The Demonstration (Theatre Direct). She has been playwright in residence at Canadian Stage, Theatre Direct, Nightwood Theatre, Blyth Festival and most recently the Shaw Festival. Lisa is a recipient of a Harold Award, Ryerson University’s Isadore Sharp and Jack McAllister Awards and co-recipient of the K.M. Hunter Theatre Award. She was also shortlisted for the inaugural Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award and the Governor General’s Award for Drama. Most recently, Lisa finished writing the libretto for an adaptation of Jonathan Swift’s satirical essay A Modest Proposal with composer Kevin Morse. Currently she is working on a new play about running.


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 out of Nightswimming Theatre's 5x25 initiative.

Rhiannon is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Gender Rubble, a feminist performance collective. A workshop production of her play, Miranda & Dave Begin Again, won 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 and Playwrights' Workshop Montreal. Originally from North Vancouver, she was awarded the Jack Shadbolt Award for Multiple Arts Excellence in 2013.


Kent Staines has been working in the Canadian entertainment industry for 30 years as an actor, director and writer. His acting credits include leading roles in theatres across the country as well as work in film and television. Early playwriting credits include Hero Bound, Tina’s Room and Speedy Creek -- an adaptation of Chekhov’s Three Sisters, set in a trailer park in Saskatchewan. Kent is currently developing Prom Queen: The Musical alongside lyricist Akiva Romer-Segal and composer Colleen Dauncey.****

Screenwriting credits include Prom Queen: The Marc Hall Story (Tapestry Pictures / CTV), Spirit Bear: The Simon Jackson Story (Screen Door / CTV), MVP: The Secret Lives of Hockey Wives (CBC series co-created with Mary Young Leckie), Chateau Laurier, co-written with Emily Weedon (Geneva Film Co/BravoFact) and the feature film Anxietyville, co-written with Patrick Crowe (Xenophile Media).

****  To hear sample selections from  Prom Queen: The Musical


Kristen Da Silva  is a playwright and actor. She has a background in improv and sketch comedy development and performance as a founding member of the Vanier Improv Company and sketch groups Rocket-9 and Gazebo Pals.

She has been working in theatre for over 20 years in production and artistic roles, including several turns as a director. She was the 1999 recipient of the VCP Aspiring Directors award for her work on Richard Keats' Apartment of Doom.


Her first play Book Club premiered August, 2015 at Hamilton Theatre Inc, produced by There's a Production in partnership with August Theatre Co.

She lives and writes in Oakville, Ontario.




Thank you to everyone who came out to the 2016 Tom Hendry Awards. See you next year!


To see pictures from the event, please go to our Facebook Page.