The conversation starts here. Join us in the lively discussion of all things theatre.
The conversation starts here. Join us in the lively discussion of all things theatre.
UNSCRIPTED: Mermaid Spring links The Public Swoon’s performative work with the social handcraft that is a parallel thread in their exploration. Collaborating fibre artist Heather Cameron led a visible mending workshop as part of the Unscripted series in March. Heather Cameron is a visual artist of settler heritage, living in…
In our latest installment of our Playwright’s Process series, we chatted with playwright Zahida Rahemtulla, whose play, The Frontliners, will premiere at the Waterfront Theatre in November 2022.
We connected with Argel, one of our current ECD producer-playwrights, to hear about his creation process, his work on The Parallel Project, and his vision for theatre.
In preparation for UNSCRIPTED: Mermaid Spring, our Dramaturg, Creative Engagement, Davey Calderon, caught up with fibre artist Heather Cameron.
“I Cannot Lie to the Stars That Made Me” meets the need for shared experience by rooting itself to a living embodiment of community in the choral presence, and reminds us of the body frequently, “a guide to moving and healing for women of colour.”
Playwright’s Process is a new blog series inspired by Marcel Proust Character Questionnaire, where we introduce you to playwrights and theatre artists that are creating exciting new works. We ask them to choose seven questions from our list that resonate with them. Our first theatre artist for the series is Kagan Goh, a multidisciplinary writer and mental health advocate based on unceded Coast Salish territories.
PTC caught up with Tai about her writing journey, Metis storytelling and her self-made career.
What is the artist’s role with activism and politics? How do we start tackling social and political issues with our art? Are there best practices when making art as activism? PTC Dramaturg – Public Engagement, Davey Calderon and playwright Pedro Chamale dig deep into these questions and more.
Often we want to reach out to strangers from other experiences: is there a best practice for that? We asked MSG Lab Emerging Dramaturg Jesse del Fierro for their perspective on the subject.
María Escolán and Dominique Wakeland interviewed each other about PTC’s Dramaturg Launch Pad, theatre, holding each other accountable, and the joy of not knowing.
Davey’s personal reflections on online security – an unlikely dramaturgical device – in the making of UNSCRIPTED: yellow objects
PTC AED Heidi Taylor talks with dancer/choreographer/teacher Amber Funk Barton about the creation of her piece How to Say Goodbye, which gained new meaning in the context of the pandemic, coupled with Amber’s decision to leave her company, the response. after 13 years.
Scott Button reflects on Queer history and storytelling through the lens of adapting his play Night Passing into an audio drama.
Joanna asks: What is the capacity of theatre, or really of any art, to effect social action?
In the days after experiencing Japanese Problem at the barns at Hastings Park, Kathleen had heard from Joanna that the piece that Universal Limited created on the subject of the Japanese Canadian incarceration during WW2 had significantly steered her dramaturgical practice going forward.
A conversation between PTC’s Dramaturg, Creative Engagement – Joanna Garfinkel and Fringe New Play Prize Winners JK JK, Jenny Larson and khattieQ, about the making of Catalina La O presenta: Ahora Conmigo in a constantly changing world.
Kathleen Flaherty (Dramaturg Emeritus/Project Dramaturg) talks with Davey Calderon (Dramaturg, Public Engagement) about how he keeps track of what his body does as he devises new work through exercises and improvisations.
Kathleen finds three big takeaways from her eight years as Dramaturg at PTC.
In December of 2019, PTC’s WrightSpace residency program put Catherine Joell MacKinnon and Heidi Taylor in the Studio for 10 days to work on Catherine’s play Inaudibility World. This was PTC’s first engagement with a bilingual ASL/English work. Dramaturg Kathleen Flaherty sat down with Heidi Taylor to talk about the Inaudibility World workshop and some of the discoveries she and Catherine and the team made during those ten days in December.
Dramaturg Kathleen Flaherty interviewed Elysse Cheadle, the Writer/Director of High Water, about the unique dramaturgy of this creation in a fish tank.
In the late winter of 2020, Kathleen Flaherty asked Fay Nass, Artistic Director of the frank theatre company, for an interview about the company’s plans for their project called “Diaspora” (then just finished phase one of its process). That request led to a fascinating conversation that went much further than the project. Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic, the project is taking on new form and content.
Playwright/director Rzgar Hama, Artistic Director of Sky Theatre, is never idle. Over the last year, he put together a cohort of refugees to share their stories in a three-phase project whose first phase finished in January 2020. Dramaturg Kathleen Flaherty asked Rzgar to talk about the project just as he was ramping up for Phase Two.
PTC, in partnership with the GVPTA (Greater Vancouver Professional Theatre Association) asked María Escolán to reflect on her experience participating in Coyuntura 2020: An International Latinx Theatre Gathering. Coyuntura was sponsored by the Canadian Latinx Theatre Artist Coalition (CALTAC) and SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs (SFUW).
Dramaturg Kathleen Flaherty interviews the curators of DBLSPK, a series of events responsible for raising some fascinating questions about language and meaning in theatre.
During the last year, Japanese-Canadian multi-disciplinary theatre artist June Fukumura has been developing a new practice in dramaturgy, both at Banff Playwrights Lab and as the first ever MSG Emerging Dramaturg supported by Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre and PTC. Kathleen Flaherty sat down with June to ask her about this new(ish) arrow in her professional quiver.
Pritchard believes that the investigation of dramaturgy and curation is fundamental to the continued transformation of the theatre industry. This is a reprint. This article was first published by ArtsHub on Friday 15 February, 2019.
After attending her first LMDA conference in 2019: “Crossing Borders, Pt.2”, Daniela Atiencia reflects on the role of the dramaturg in fostering positive social change.
Lili Robinson is the creator/playwright of Mx, the project that won our hearts and minds in the 2019 Fringe New Play Prize competition. As we prepare for the launch of this new work on September 6 and as we solicit entries for FNPP 2020, we asked Project Dramaturg Joanna Garfinkel to interview Lili about how she perceives the process from this point just before final rehearsals begin.Joanna Garfinkel
In October of 2018, Reneltta Arluk and Patti Flather took part in a research project facilitated by Nightswimming’s Pure Research wing. They were interested in discovering how languages, specifically Indigenous languages known to few people, could be part of theatrical presentations. They created and refined several live experiments to carry out over a few days. Kathleen Flaherty interviewed Reneltta and Patti about the project.
This piece, A Look into Theatre’s FutVRe by Carly B. Johnson, was originally published on HowlRound Theatre Commons (howlround.com/look-theatres-futvre), on April 18, 2019. Johnson explores the possibilities of burgeoning VR and AR technology to expand upon and enhance theatrical experiences.
This essay, published 30 years ago in the Canadian journal Theatrum, authored by two dancer-choreographers and a dramaturg: Denise Fujiwara, Tama Soble, and DD Kugler, is a pioneering document, one of the first case studies describing the working processes of dance dramaturgy, around the time when this “new craft” was just emerging.
In our random occasional “What do dramaturgs do?” series, PTC Dramaturg Kathleen Flaherty talks about two of her more unusual company collaborations.
Heidi Taylor shares her experience as a learner and observer at SOUND OFF, Canada’s national festival dedicated to the Deaf performing arts, presented by Workshop West Playwrights’ Theatre at the Chinook Festival in Edmonton, Alberta.
We asked WrightSpace 2018 Guest Dramaturg Jiv Parasram to write a piece about his experience in the program. This is Jiv’s thought experiment.
Reflections on Deaf theatre in our country after attending The Awakening Deaf Theatre in Canada conference in November 2018.
In this reprint from Got Your Back. Heidi Malazdrewich talks about shifting to a more feminist process as a director, and creating a safe space for her actors
Can developing an autobiographical play be legitimate research? Tetsuro Shigematsu holds up his play “Empire of the Son” to the academic lens for consideration.
In this piece by Katherine Swimm, reprinted from HowlRound, she discusses how working closely with the projection designer from the beginning of development of the play “Ripe Frenzy” resulted in a unique production with a deep connection between the design and the script.
In this video interview, Fringe New Play Prize winners Sara Vickruck and Anais West share their thoughts about the development of their slam poetry musical “Poly Queer Love Ballad”.
A chat with Rzgar Hama about the premiere of the English language version of his play “Soldierland” (The Annex May 18-24, 2018).
Project Dramaturg Joanna Garfinkel and Fringe New Play Prize winners Sara Vickruck and Anaïs West share thoughts about the development of “Poly Queer Love Ballad” and the unique relationship between songwriting, slam poetry and playwriting.
Veronique West reflects on the concepts of truth and fiction in her family history, her life and her art.
How deep can a fraud go? Tim Carlson – writer and host of “Victim Impact: The Fraudcast” – discusses the impetus behind this podcast series about one of the largest fraud schemes in Canadian history and how tunnelling ever deeper into the layers of the case altered his perceptions of victims, criminals and human nature.
We checked in with the playwrights involved in MSG Lab – VACT’s program that supports new theatrical work by emerging and mid-career Asian Canadian artists – to find out about their experience with their PTC dramaturg.
by Leanna Brodie Beijing, June 2017: Of all the possible barriers to researching a play about Arthur Miller in China, I didn’t think that one of the most pressing ones would be figuring out how to cross the street. Jovanni – my partner in this project, as in life –…
Playwright/actor/director/producer Pedro Chamale shares his experience of discovering more about himself and his Latinx identity at the El Encuentro del las America 2017 conference in Los Angeles, CA.
PTC’s Kathleen Flaherty was having one of many passionate and enlightening conversations with theatre maker (and PTC Associate 2010 -13) Lisa C. Ravensbergen when Lisa spoke briefly about asking a director whether she was to portray a character as white. Kathleen admits that the idea was so startling to her that, at first, she didn’t stop to inquire. Later, Lisa agreed to talk about what she meant and we have edited that conversation for sharing.
Lindsay Lachance, Guest Dramaturg for WrightSpace 2017 (the recently renamed Colony) , introduces a discussion of her experience and understanding of Indigenous dramaturgies.
Playwright Dave Deveau returned from the ASSITEJ conference in South Africa with fresh excitement about the power of theatre for young audiences. Kathleen talked to him about the conference and TYA in general. ASSITEJ is the acronym for the French name of the International Association of Theatre for Children and…
The winners of the 2017 Fringe New Play Prize – lee williams boudakian, Kamee Abrahamian and Anoushka Ratnarajah – have been working with Associate Dramaturg mia amir on their play Setting Bones for the last seven months. Anoushka shares the challenges and deep explorations embedded in creating this far-reaching and personal work.
In Facing the Fuck-Ups (originally published Jan. 24, 2017 on SpiderWebShow, a knowledge commons by and for the theatre community), Debbie Patterson talks about her journey to fully incorporate her disability into her theatre work, including discussion of internalized ableism, common disability narratives in popular culture and, perhaps most importantly, how to fail.
Elaine Avila is just finishing her three years as a PTC Associate with a July workshop of her play Fado. This essay, which we consider a stellar example of the kind of dramaturgy playwrights engage in, was originally published as part of a blog salon called “Stages of Resistance”, curated by Caridad Svich for The Lark Theatre. The series welcomes reflections on themes related to making work for live performance in political and aesthetic resistance to forms and systems that oppress human rights and censor or severely limit freedom of expression.
Originally published on Ruby Slippers’ Flying Monkey blog, here Heidi Taylor talks about her own experience with disability and the broader issues of inclusion in theatre.
Playwright/director/teacher David Geary responded to a query in the LMDA digest about post performance feedback sessions, whether they are useful and how they should be conducted.
Block A winter session mentor Joanna Garfinkel is experimenting with bringing this cohort of writers into PTC’s Test Kitchen for physically-based work to help with script writing. We asked her to share her thoughts about this unique process.
Both Melanie Yeats and Kathleen Flaherty attended the PuSh Festival workshop Page to Stage: The Craft of Adaptation with Vincent Murphy in late January 2017. Murphy offers what he has learned and taught about adaptation-specific strategies for theme, dialogue, character, imagery, storyline, and action. Belinda Bruce and Kathleen Flaherty asked Melanie to share her thoughts on the workshop.
Sometimes we neglect to honour and celebrate our theatre mentors and elders while they are among us. We feel this keenly at the passing of the indefatigable, the inspiring, the irreplaceable Joy Coghill. Kathleen had some enviable opportunities to collaborate with Joy, so we asked her to do put some of her feelings into words.
PTC’s Dramaturgy & Programming Intern, Davey Calderon, is often in the studio these days developing a new theatrical creation. We know how eclectic and interesting his training and influences are, and we are intensely curious about the sounds coming from the Test Kitchen, so Kathleen asked him to share something about the work and his unique process with us.
Heidi Taylor reveals the inner workings of PTC’s Company Collaborations – how projects are chosen and what happens behind the curtain.
Thoughts about working with the Cantonese language after a decade in self-exile. In part two of this two-part series, Derek Chan, co-artistic director of rice and beans theatre, reflects on the experience of translating Jovanni Sy’s hit play A Taste of Empire from English to his first language, Cantonese.
Derek Chan shares his thoughts on rekindling his relationship with the Cantonese language through translation of Jovanni Sy’s play “Taste of Empire” from English to Cantonese.
This is the second of a series of notes by Deneh’Cho Thompson on creating and developing his Fringe play. Deneh won the Fringe New Play Prize based on a statement of intention and some writing on a piece called “The Girl Who was Raised by Wolverine”.
An in-depth look at PTC’s process for creating an accessible online presence.
How does Jordan Hall engage with comic forms in her new play “How to Survive an Apocalypse”? Embedded critic Kelsey Blair investigates.
How to Survive an Apocalypse by Jordan Hall is the winner of the 2016 Flying Start Program, a collaboration between PTC, Touchstone Theatre and the Firehall Arts Centre. The 18-month development process for a new play culminates in a first production at a PACT theatre. The play opens June 2…
In this reprint from Howlround, PTC Associate Elaine Avila talks about her path to playwriting, her Azorean-Portuguese roots and telling stories missing from the stage. Playwright Elaine Avila’s grandfather, João Henrique Avila, was one of the first photographers in his village Ribeiras, Pico, in the Azores, Portugal. He came to…
This is the first of a series of notes by Deneh’Cho Thompson on creating and developing his Fringe play. Deneh won the Fringe New Play Prize based on a statement of intention and some writing on a piece called The Girl Who was Raised by Wolverine. It was apparent that…
Sometimes it happens that a new year begins with new projects at PTC. Dramaturg Kathleen Flaherty burbles through the office about two of her fresh collaborations. Unsolicited, she declaims quotes from obscure sources without context, which prompted us to ask for more detail about the sometimes confounding origins of her newest theatrical musings.
November 14, 2015: Shawn Macdonald invited me to speak to participants in LEAP, which he runs with Christine Quintana at Vancouver’s Arts Club Theatre. It’s a training unit for playwrights ages 15–23, culminating in public readings in April–May. [I draw a straight chalk line across the floor between the students…
We continue our series about this unique version of the Writers’ Colony, featuring brief interviews with the participating artists. PTC is convening its ninth annual Writers’ Colony in Vancouver, December 2-12, 2015 with playwrights Janet Hinton, Heidi Janz and Adam Warren. Also collaborating on Colony 2015 as dramaturg/directors are the…