Playwrights Theatre Centre


Call for Submissions: Block A


We are calling for submissions for our most popular program for emerging artists: Block A.

Block A is for artists who write for all kinds of performance, including script driven theatre, from spoken word to performance art to songs – we’ve even had a few screenwriters. We’re looking for writers who want to learn classic playwriting skills to help them build story and action. The content and flow of Block A depends on the varied interests of the writers and the senior playwright mentor, who integrates their own practices and inspirations into the sessions. The writers discuss the fundamentals of writing for performance in a variety of styles, and explore imagination-stimulating writing exercises to expand their craft. They learn from each other and get a sense of the collaborative nature of theatre making.

There will be two sections of Block A in 2017/18.

The Fall cohort of six writers meets for ten weeks beginning in mid-October with mentor mia amir. mia’s emphasis is interdisciplinary immersive approaches to writing and performance for the development of theatre grounded in complex worlds and characters, which allows us to explore the most intimate questions as an extension of the urgent times we face.

The Winter cohort meets for ten weeks beginning mid-January with mentor David Geary. His emphasis is on honing the tools of story structure and dialogue to create emotionally impactful theatre. He also welcomes screenwriters and fiction writers because the tools he offers apply to all forms of story.

If you have no preference of cohort, please let us know that.  To be in Block A, you must be able to attend the majority of 10 evening sessions, usually on Mondays beginning at 6 pm.

Your submission should include:

  • a short sample or samples of your work (can be spoken word, a monologue, short play – we encourage writers in all forms to apply).
  • a letter telling us how you expect Block A to assist you with your writing/theatre making.
  • a resume with your creative experience.

You must be a member of PTC to submit. There is a fee of $250 plus GST for Block A, payable on acceptance. If the fee is an obstacle, or if you have other questions, please get in touch with

Submissions must be received no later than July 28, 2017. We will let you know by the end of August whether we can include you in one of these two cohorts.

To apply, go to

mia susan amir
is a community-embedded writer, interdisciplinary performer, curator, and educator. Born in Israel/Occupied Palestine, she has lived most of her life in Vancouver, BC, unceded and occupied territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and Tsleil-Waututh. For nearly two decades she has used creative practice in grassroots efforts towards environmental and social justice. mia is the Creative Director of The Story We Be and a Co-Convenor of The Dreaming Wakefulness Collective where she teaches creative writing, and creative-political praxis. She also teaches creative nonfiction and memoir in Continuing Studies at Langara College.

David Geary is a playwright, screenwriter, fiction writer, dramaturg and educator. He teaches film studies at Capilano University. He’s been the Senior Lecturer in Scriptwriting at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand; the dramaturg/director for Native Earth workshops in Toronto; and has led Block A for PTC for four years. Last season he also collaborated in mentoring the Julius Caesar Project with PTC, The Cultch and Western Gold as well as working as a dramaturg with several writers. David believes storytelling and scriptwriting are muscles that are best developed through exercises. His yogic mantra is – Life is short, stretch it – and he writes haiku on twitter @gearsgeary.