Meet the Participants in the Fall Cohort of Block A 2022

We are pleased to introduce you to the Block A Fall 2022 cohort. These 12 writers will work with mentors David Geary and Nicola Harwood for ten weeks starting this October.

The writers working with David are Andy Kalirai, Ashley Chodat, Jessica Harvey, Krystal Kavita Jagoo, Marya Folinsbee, and Reese Cowley. The writers working with Nicola are Brenda Prince, Cole Vandale, Franki Katz, Mónica Perea, Rayne Weinstein, and Yasmin Tayob.

Block A focuses on opportunities for emerging writers and theatre creators to develop the basic tools of plot, characterization, and dialogue while exploring the elasticity of theatrical forms. They will work on their own projects while offering and receiving support from a talented cohort. Block A provides a supportive environment, offering resources to develop a socially-conscious theatre practice.

Mentor Bios:

David Geary is a playwright, screenwriter, fiction writer, LMDA dramaturg and educator. He teaches in the IDF Indigenous Digital Filmmaking program 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 led Block A for PTC for five years. He also collaborated in mentoring the Julius Caesar Project with PTC, The Cultch and Western Gold. David believes storytelling and scriptwriting are muscles that are best developed through exercises that take us into new territory. His yogic mantra is – Life is short, stretch it – and he writes haiku on twitter @gearsgeary. (Photo by Taehoon Kim)

Nicola Harwood (she/they) is an Anglo queer writer, theatre and interdisciplinary artist. Her plays, performances and installation projects have been produced in Canada, Europe and the USA and she has facilitated many art, writing and theatre projects with youth, elders and community members. Writing projects under construction include Blue Monkey, a play, and Bitten, a mixed genre book. Recent installation projects include Summoning, No Words, (2017) an interactive sound installation built out of the female voice and High Muck-a-Muck: Playing Chinese (2014) an artist / programmer collaboration which won the 2015 UK New Media Writing Prize. Her memoir about queer family, Flight Instructions for the Commitment Impaired, was published by Caitlin Press in 2016. She is grateful to live and love on the ancestral and unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. nicolaharwood.com

Photo – Top row, left to right: Andy Kalirai, Ashley Chodat, Jessica Harvey, Krystal Kavita Jagoo, Marya Folinsbee and Reese Cowley. Middle row, left to right: Brenda Prince, Cole Vandale, Franki Katz, Mónica Perea, Rayne Weinstein and Yasmin Tayob. Bottom row: David Geary and Nicola Harwood.