Each year, PTC welcomes a small group of professional Canadian playwrights to join us for a short-term residency in Vancouver. WrightSpace (formerly the Colony – see below) is led by PTC’s seasoned dramaturgs Heidi Taylor and Kathleen Flaherty with this year’s guest dramaturg Lindsay Lachance. PTC works with each participant to create a process tailored to their play, which may include workshops with actors, dramaturgical sessions, studio work, or design consults. Participating playwrights have the opportunity to meet and mingle with other participants of WrightSpace. All WrightSpace playwrights receive a stipend for the duration of the program. Applicants from outside Vancouver receive accommodation and per diems as well as travel assistance.
Playwrights Theatre Centre is continuously working to make all our programs accessible. We encourage writers with a lived experience of disability to apply for all of our programs. Flexible timing and location, virtual sessions, attention to time of day and duration of work, and flexible stipend plans can all be designed with the artist to maximize creative satisfaction.
Renaming the Colony
PTC’s Colony began 12 years ago – the same year Heidi Taylor joined the company – as The Process. Martin Kinch, PTC’s Literary Manager & Executive Director, initiated the Colony in response to the needs he saw in the playwriting community – an urban retreat that would connect writers from across the country to each other while diving deeply into process with actors and dramaturgs. From a residential event on Granville Island with an ensemble of actors, the event has continued to evolve. We’ve hosted guest dramaturgs from across the country, and a bigger ensemble of creators to move the work forward – from puppeteers to magicians, designers to hən’q’əmin’əm’ translators. In 2015 we launched our ACK Lab process at the Colony, investing in PTC’s inclusion practice with a focus on intersecting with disability. Over 20 Colony projects have gone on to production, and new creative relationships and national connections have been forged.
This year, we felt discomfort inviting artists to join the “Colony.” The problematic nature of the word “Colony” wasn’t a new question. Can this word be used neutrally in 2017 in Canada? As we continue to interrogate PTC’s role in changing Canadian society, we are learning to de-centre settler experience. It’s a small part of the large work that needs to be done culturally – not a substitute for the work that needs to be done politically. Whatever the positive connotations of birds or artists, it’s true that may of our ancestors were colonizers, and that we live, and PTC operates, on unceded territory.
And so we are unveiling WrightSpace, a new name for this core program. It’s an echo of our 2014 program, the WriteSpace residencies, with a twist.
We focus on our collaborators as makers – wrights – and the space we create together as a place of possibility.
With thanks to Martin Kinch for his original vision, and to all the participants in the Colony. Welcome to WrightSpace.