in Partnership with SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts
This year’s Writers’ Colony (Dec. 6-16, 2016) brings four writers together with dramaturgs, actors, designers, and cultural consultants to crack open four scripts through bespoke dramaturgical processes. Peter Anderson (Vancouver), Sunny Drake (Toronto), Debbie Patterson (Winnipeg), and José Teodoro (Toronto) will spend ten days together to move their work to the next stage.
PTC focused on inclusive design in our 2015 Colony with three writers who have a lived experience of disability. Now we’re bringing that investigation forward with Janet Hinton (playwright, Aiming to Float, Colony 15) moving into the Guest Dramaturg chair. This year, our aim is to integrate last year’s discoveries, and to deepen our connections with the queer community, following up on conversations Kathleen Flaherty engaged in at the Q2Q conference hosted by the frank theatre. Casting for the Colony will include South Asian roles, bilingual Spanish speakers and artists with lived experience of disability.
Peter Anderson’s play Dead to the World is a poetic meditation on the end of life, a peek inside the rambling consciousness of a woman as her days wind down. Men Express Their Feelings is Sunny Drake’s comedy about two hockey dads and their teenage sons in counselling after the boys are discovered in a sexually compromising position – how different are attitudes toward sexuality and emotions between generations and cultures? Debbie Patterson describes her play How It Ends as an exploration of end of life choices, developed from verbatim, found and written text, using movement, imagery and light to speak the unspeakable. In Island, José Teodoro uses three languages (English, Spanish, Icelandic) to explore the fragile and enduring connections between people across time and space.
Previous Colony projects include: Mack Gordon’s Three Stories Up (In production with Alley Theatre and Level Headed Friends October 2016), Kendra Fanconi’s Tinkers, Tetsuro Shigematsu’s Empire of the Son, Curtis Peeteetuce’s Popcorn Elder, Dave Deveau’s My Funny Valentine, and many others.
Playwright, poet and actor Peter Anderson has authored over twenty plays, including a re-imagined version of Twelfth Night Head Over Heels, Flee (with David Hudgins and Jonathon Young), Don Quixote (with Colin Heath), The Blue Horse, The Ballad of Weedy Peetstraw, Horseplay (published in “Playing the Pacific Province”), Rattle in the Dash, an adaptation of Lysistrata and the mystery cycle trilogy Creation, Nativity & Passion (most recently produced at the National Arts Centre). Other credits include the libretto for a “micro-opera” Aftermath and a song cycle Four Horses (both with composer Jennifer Butler), and excerpted monologues published in Refractions: Solo, The Perfect Piece, and Another Perfect Piece. He’s the recipient of three Hopwood Awards for fiction and poetry at the University of Michigan, as well as numerous Jessie Richardson Awards for playwriting and acting. His plays are available at playwrightsguild.ca/playwright/peter-anderson
Sunny Drake is a playwright, theatre creator, performer and independent theatre producer. He has toured his works to a wide range of audiences in 80 venues in 55 cities across Australia, the US, Canada and Europe. His play, No Strings (Attached) has been translated into four languages. X won the 2013 SummerWorks RBC Arts Professional Award, as well as being named by NOW Magazine for Outstanding Performance and Outstanding Design. Sunny is also the Director of Emerging Creators Unit at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. He was born and grown in Australia and has been a permanent resident of Canada for over five years, based in Toronto. Sunny is currently working on two new plays, a collective creation piece and a feature length screenplay. sunnydrake.com
Debbie Patterson is a Winnipeg playwright, director and actor. Trained at the National Theatre School of Canada, she is a founding member and current artistic associate of Shakespeare in the Ruins, served as Theatre Ambassador for Winnipeg’s Cultural Capital year and as Artistic Associate at Prairie Theatre Exchange. She was the U of W Carol Shields Writer in Residence 2012 and Playwright in Residence at Theatre Projects Manitoba in 2014/15 and is currently a member of the PTE Playwrights Unit. Playwriting credits include Sargent & Victor & Me, the musical Head, Candy From a Baby, and Molotov Circus. In 2014 she was honoured with the United Nations Platform for Action Committee’s annual Activist Award. She lives in Winnipeg with her family: Arne, Gislina and Solmund.
José Teodoro is the author of several plays, including Mote, The Tourist and Slowly, an exchange is taking place. His play Steps will be published in Playwrights Canada Press’ anthology Long Story Short in November. José writes about cinema and literature for publications such as The Globe and Mail, Cinema Scope, Film Comment, The National Post and Brick. He is co-author, with Mexican photographer Laura Barrón, of Cathedral, a three-metre-long book of text and image. He has worked as story editor on several films, including Hugh Gibson’s The Stairs and Lina Rodríguez’s This Time Tomorrow. José has served on juries at numerous film festivals throughout Europe and the Americas and is a writer-editor for the Toronto, Panama and Miami International Film Festivals. Aside from his new play, Island, which will be developed at the Colony, José is also working on Nothing But Time, a book of conversations with filmmaker Peter Mettler.