PLAYWRIGHTS GUILD OF CANADA ANNOUNCES THE SHORT LISTS FOR ITS 2014 TOM HENDRY AWARDS

The short list for PGC’s Carol Bolt Award, as well as the Stage West Pechet Family Comedy & Musical Awards were released September 29th by their respective juries:

CAROL BOLT AWARD – 2014 SHORT LIST

This award is given annually for the best work by a PGC-member that has premiered in the past year. JURY: Yvette Nolan (Chair), Jacob Zimmer,Glenda MacFarlane, and Brian Dooley.

Sean Dixon (ON) for A God In Need Of Help,

Matthew Heiti (ON) for Mucking In The Drift, and

Colleen Murphy (ON) for Pig Girl

STAGE WEST PECHET FAMILY MUSICAL AWARD –2014 SHORT LIST

This award is given annually for a new musical work by a PGC-member, which has not yet had a premiere production. JURY: Jonathan Monro (Chair), Katrina Dunn, Joseph Trefler, and Bruce Ruddell.

Sara Farb (ON) for Bremen Rock City,

(composer/ lyrics Colleen Dauncey & Akiva Romer-Segal)

Amiel Gladstone & Veda Hille (BC) for Onegin and

Lezlie Wade & Daniel Green (ON) for The Remarkable Journey Of Prince Jen

STAGE WEST PECHET FAMILY COMEDY AWARD– 2014 SHORT LIST

This award is given annually for a new comedy by a PGC-member, which has not yet had a premiere production. JURY: Elvira Kurt (Chair), Lib Spry, Caleb Marshall, and Camyar Chai.

Jordan Hall (BC)for How To Survive An Apocalypse,

Marcia Kash & Douglas E. Hughes (ON) for Something Fishy

Lea Daniel & Gary Kirkham (ON) for Pocket Rocket

SYNOPSES OF SHORTLISTED PLAYS

Click on the names below to view the playwrights’ bios and purchase their plays.

CAROL BOLT AWARD FOR PLAYWRIGHTS:

Sponsored by Playwrights Canada Press, Professional Association of Canadian Theatres, and Playwrights Guild of Canada.

A God In Need Of Help  by Sean Dixon - 1606 and Europe is at war over God. Venice’s four strongest men are charged with transporting a holy painting across the Alps to Prague. On their way, they are set upon by Protestant zealots—their escape is attributed to a miracle. Through this mystery Sean Dixon challenges the role of faith at the dawn of the Age of Reason.

 

Mucking In The Drift by Matthew Heiti   - Bert Pilgrim has come unstuck in time, ageing back and forth between the young baseball star who won it all in one perfect summer, and an old man, strapped into a wheelchair, slowly losing his mind. Only the story, his yarn, holds it all together. Mucking in the Drift is a dark Vaudevillian comedy about a man searching for relevance in the chaos of a changing world.

Pig Girl by Colleen Murphy - For eighty-five minutes a Killer holds a Dying Woman captive in a secluded barn. Their names say it; there is no escaping the horrific conclusion.

In the empty space on either side are the Dying Woman’s Sister and a Police Officer.Their action spans nine years as the sister beats her head against a police force agonizingly slow to investigate the disappearance of marginalized sex workers.

The play gives a fictional victim’s story back to her as she fights to refuse the inevitable.It will not help her, but her heroic defiance gives voice to thousands of women whose lives or spirits have been lost to violence.

STAGE WEST PECHET FAMILY MUSICAL AWARD:

Sponsored by Stage West Theatre Restaurants.

Bremen Rock City by Sara Farb, Colleen Dauncey (music), and Akiva Romer-Segal (lyrics) - Jack is a donkey with big dreams of becoming a famous rock star. After finally deciding, guitar in hoof, to leave his farm in search of fame and fortune in Bremen Rock City, Jack meets Duke, a muzzle-bound drummer and killer lyricist; Lex, an acerbic, musically gifted street cat who can shred the bass; and Simon, a meek young rooster with a jaw-dropping singing voice. Together, they form a band -- The Strays -- and head to Bremen Rock City for its Battle of Bands. But soon, Jack starts to get swept away by the glamorous life, trading in his friendships for snacks, hugs, and rock and roll. It takes an unexpected heart-to-heart from his idol, rock legend Spike, to make Jack realize that selling out wasn't worth losing his friends over.

Onegin by Amiel Gladstone and Veda Hille (composer) - The show is immersive for performers and audience. The characters move throughout the audience, and there isn’t a traditional divide between stage and front of house. The style is period costumes, but contemporary treatments. The sound uses period instruments at times, but is very now – amplified, microphones visible. The language mixes formal and colloquial. We identify with these characters – though they come from a different period, they have the same thoughts and desires as we do now.  We are looking at our own time, but using 19th century Russia as the way in.  The focus is on music, performer and light. We want to include the audience in the story and involve their imaginations.

The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen by Lezlie Wade and Daniel Green (composer)(ON) – Galvanized into action by a mysterious old man, the young Prince Jen leaves the safety of the Celestial Palace to save the Kingdom of T’ang from destruction. On his journey for answers he learns what it truly means to be a ruler and how the foundations of friendship can provide even greater gifts than ever imagined.

STAGE WEST PECHET FAMILY COMEDY AWARD:

Sponsored by Stage West Theatre Restaurants.

How To Survive An Apocalypse by Jordan Hall - Jennifer and Tim have life figured out: slick jobs, a cushy downtown loft, and a marriage so simpatico it's sickening— at least until they attend an exclusive lecture on climate change and leave convinced that their trendy lifestyle is about to come to a screeching halt.

With the End clearly inevitable, Jen and Tim start prepping to be the winning-est couple in the post-Apocalypse. How hard can it be? They'll stock supplies, learn to farm and hunt and make their own frappuccinos— except it turns out skinning your own game isn't as easy as ordering brunch, and magazine editing and video game design aren't survival skills.

Ultimately, in the face of an Apocalypse that might not happen at all, Jen and Tim must instead confront the prospect of life going on, and whether or not they can face it together.

Something Fishy by Marcia Kash & Douglas E. Hughes - In the sleepy town of Port Walmsley, Ontario, on the northern shore of Lake Erie, local hero Raymond Bream is making his triumphant return to his hometown.  Raymond’s running for Prime Minister, and he’s come to town to make a major announcement that promises to put his campaign over the top and win him the majority he so fervently desires.  Meanwhile, the incumbent Prime Minister has sent a couple of henchmen to town to prevent Raymond from making his announcement - by any means necessary.  The showdown between the two camps takes place on the stage of the local community centre, home of the Port Walmsley Players, an amateur theatre troupe who are about to open their latest production, a British bedroom farce.  As the world of politics collides with that of community theatre, everyone is forced to don disguises and take on new roles, and suddenly no one is who they appear to be.  Will Raymond make it to the podium to make his speech, or will the Prime Minister’s hatchet men win the day?  And will the five actors playing the fourteen characters in this play make it to the final curtain before one of them keels over from exhaustion?

Pocket Rocket by Lea Daniel & Gary Kirkham - Four street hockey buddies, three boys and a girl, gather for a game. It is 1967, Canada’s Centennial, the last year of the NHL’s original six and the summer of love. A new kid, an immigrant from Pakistan, moves into the neighbourhood. As he joins the game he becomes a catalyst for change. The play follows the five friends over a thirty year period against the backdrop of a changing country. It is a quintessentially Canadian journey into adulthood through evolving identities, persistent friendships, and a boundless love of the game.

LIST OF THE JUROR’S BIOS

Carol Bolt Award For Playwrights – Jury

Yvette Nolan (Chair) is a playwright, director and dramaturg. Her plays include The Unplugging, The Birds (a modern adaptation of Aristophanes’ comedy), Annie Mae’s Movement, Scattering Jake, Ham and the Ram, Job’s Wife andBLADE. She has been honoured withthe Maggie Bassett Award for service to the theatre community (2007), the George Luscombe Award for mentorship in professional theatre (2011), and the Mallory Gilbert Leadership Award (2014). From 2003-2011, she served as Artistic Director of Native Earth Performing Arts. She is a past president of Playwrights Union of Canada, and the outgoing President of the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance, as well as currently on the board of the Saskatchewan Arts Alliance and Word On The Street Saskatoon Chapter.

Brian Dooley is an award winning actor and producer.  He is currently the Artistic Director of  L’UniTheatre  and Director of Play Development for The Citadel Theatre.  For over  30 years  Brian has worked throughout the country and abroad. His skills include directing, writing, producing and performing in a variety of media including radio, animation, film, television and the theatre.

Glenda MacFarlane is the Series Editor for Scirocco Drama. Glenda’s writing for stage includes the rural community-based collective creation Railroaded, the historical drama Duel At Dawn, which premiered at Young Peoples Theatre in Toronto, and two plays for ACT Theatre, R&J: Brampton and The Taming of the Dude, co-written with Dave Carley.  Glenda has also had many works produced by CBC Radio, and is the author of two non-fiction books about Saskatchewan.

Jacob Zimmer is the director of Small Wooden Shoe, a (mostly) theatre company bent on proving that good ideas are entertaining and that pleasure and thinking require each other. Jacob works in dance as a dramaturge at Dancemakers (2008-2014) and in an on-going dramaturgical collaboration with choreographer Ame Henderson. Jacob’s writing has been published in Canadian Theatre Review and C Magazine. He also does talks, independent research, consultancy and organizes and facilitates meetings. Jacob studied theatre at Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts.

Stage West Pechet Family Musical Award - Jury

Jonathan Monro (Chair) A Newfoundland-born performer and writer, Jonathan made his professional debut as a pianist at Carnegie Hall. He has been featured in over seventy productions for TV, film, and stage, including two shows on Broadway, six seasons with the Stratford Festival, The Producers (original Canadian cast), 2 Pianos 4 Hands (six productions, incl. 1st National U.S. tour), Gordon Pinsent's "Heyday" (Triptych Films), Flashpoint, Glorious (North American Premiere), and Republic of Doyle. As a composer, Jonathan has written over 20 incidental scores for plays, as well as several songs for plays and television. He has also written five original musicals: Variations on a Nervous Breakdown (4 Betty Mitchell Awards), Dream Vacation (Lunchbox), The Review (Summerworks), A Mother in Time (ATF), and A History of Summer (co-written with Adam Mathias), which was featured at last year's SummerWorks Festival in Toronto. Most recently, Jonathan wrote the score for Stratford's production of Alice Through the Looking Glass, which will be playing until the end of October. He is currently under commission for two original musicals and one screenplay, and is honoured to be the chair of this fantastic award.

Katrina Dunn is a Vancouver-based Director, Artistic Director and Producer. Now in her 18th Season at Touchstone, she has been the Artistic Director since 1997, overseeing that company's all-Canadian mandate. In 2003 she co-founded, with Norman Armour, the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival; an annual city-wide performance festival which has quickly become one of the city's most important cultural events. In 2011 she co-created the biennial In Tune Conference with the Arts Club's Rachel Ditor.  Her many freelance directing credits include work for the Arts Club Theatre Company, Bard on the Beach, and Studio 58. She has been nominated seven times for Jessie Awards in Outstanding Direction, and won twice.  In 2010 she was awarded the Bra D'Or (Golden Bra) Award by the Women's Caucus of the Playwrights Guild of Canada for her efforts to promote the work of Canadian women playwrights. 

Bruce Ruddellis a Canadian composer, arranger, playwright, music director, artistic director and record producer. His compositions for concert halls have premiered and been performed in many countries in the world. Theatre Calgary, The Vancouver Playhouse, The Belfry Theatre in Victoria and Vancouver’s Carousel Theatre have all premiered his music theatre works. Presently, his three act play: EVEREST will be directed by the Siminovitch award winning director Kim Collier and his music theatre work: 1969 is being developed and directed by Vancouver director, John Cooper.  Bruce was awarded Charlottetown Festival’s composer-­‐in-­‐residence Eric Harvie award and spent the summer creating a new work at the Festival. He has also been awarded a Canadian Aboriginal Music Award for his extensive collaborations and long association with First Nation’s music projects in Canada and the United States. For more information on Mr. Ruddell please visit: www.bruceruddell.com

Joseph Trefler is a composer-lyricist from Toronto, Ontario. He has written a number of musicals, including Underground, Salad Days, Lady Late Nite, and A Ladylike Murder. He composed the scores for Honey I’m Home!, an interactive film exhibit (Scotiabank Nuit Blanche), and The Music Box, a short dance-film that is being shown on Air Canadaflights. His latest musical, Men With Money, is currently indevelopment. Joseph is a co-founder of the Canadian Musical TheatreWriters Collective (CMTWC), which has 100 members and growing. Pleasevisit www.josephtrefler-composer.comfor more information.

Stage West Pechet Family Comedy Award - Jury

Elvira Kurt (Chair) Elvira Kurt is a Canadian Comedy Award winning, three-time Gemini Award nominated stand-up comic and Second City veteran whose credits as star, host, guest and or writer are too many to mention. Except for these: SpinOff, George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight, Cook’d, Popcultured with Elvira Kurt,The Gayest Show Ever, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Ellen DeGeneres’ HBO special, Four Weddings Canada and Q with Jian Ghomeshi.

Camyar Chai has worked in the arts for over twenty years as an actor, director, writer and producer.   Recent credits include lead roles in the acclaimed short film 'Refuge' which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. Camyar's writing work includes the political satires 'The Adventures of Ali and Ali and the Axes of Evil', and 'Ali and Ali 7, The Deportation Hearings'  co-writtten with Guillermo Verdecchia and Marcus Youssef, and published by Talon Books. He is the founder of Neworld Theatre and has earned a Master of Fine arts in Theatre Directing from the University of British Columbia. Currently, Camyar is the Arts Coordinator for the City of Richmond. For the past two years he has been writing his next play, Doost (The Friend) which is currently undergoing a workshop process with Neworld Theatre. Camyar lives in Vancouver with his biggest fans: wife Lorena and their 3 year old daughter, Tatiana, as well as his 10 year old son Elijah who laughs at the jokes no one else finds funny.

Caleb MarshallRecently announced as the new Artistic Director for The Sudbury Theatre Centre. Fredericton native Caleb Marshall spent the last five seasons as the Artistic Producer for Theatre New Brunswick where he launched TNB New Voices Opening Acts, TNB Next Stage Studio Branch and TNB Extras Reading and Presents series. He produced over 50 projects while at TNB. Prior to coming to Theatre New Brunswick, Caleb served as an Education Practitioner at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre as well as resident director for their UK/European tour of Romeo & Juliet. He holds a BFA Honors in Acting from York University, an MFA with Distinction in Theatre Directing from Middlesex University London (UK) and trained with The Stratford Festival’s Conservatory for Classical Theatre Training, Moscow’s GITIS Academy and on an International Artist Fellowship at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. Caleb has premiered roles for the National Arts Centre, Canadian Stage, The Blyth Festival, The Stratford Festival and the Old Vic in London.  He has also taught workshops at festivals in Poland and Germany as well as teaching at St. Thomas and Dalhousie Universities. Caleb is the chair of the Regional Theatres Caucus for the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT) and recently hosted PACTCON2014 in Fredericton. He’s received the Christopher Plummer Fellowship Award and was recognized by the New Brunswick Arts Board with an Excellence Award in the Arts. Select writing credits include three installments of Christmas @theplayhouse (Fredericton Playhouse), Nights Below Station Street (NBActs, Eliot Haze Playwright Development Award, Herman Voaden National Playwriting Competition Honorable Mention), R&J (Toronto Fringe, Toronto Sun Fringe “Hot Pick”) Somme Letters Home (Atlantic Fringe/George Brown Theatre School/YPT) He also adapted Hockey Dreams for the stage with David Adams Richards and a new adaptation of Miracle on 34th Street. He recently announced Theatre New Brunswick’s first ever ‘All New Brunswick Professional season,’

Lib Spry has worked for 50 years as director, playwright, teacher, performer and translator in physical, popular, TYA and site-specific theatre in Canada, the USA, the UK and France. She is founder of Straight Stitching Productions, Passionate Balance and Theatre Agile. Recent work: directing Letters to My Grandma and Where the Blood Mixes for Teesri Duniya Theatre, writing and performing her solo Trance For Matron at the 2013 Montreal Fringe, devising We Are Old! We Are Wonderful! with Montreal seniors’ group RECAA, and co-creating Luna Allison’s Falling Open.

 

 

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