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PTC Celebrates Kathleen Flaherty’s Career

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Kathleen Flaherty, PTC’s Dramaturg since 2012, will retire on October 1, 2020.

In her eight years with the company, Kathleen has helped to develop over forty plays, and supported the creative development of countless theatre artists. In the groundbreaking Theatre Conspiracy plays by Tim Carlson, Foreign Radical and Victim Impact, Kathleen brought her expertise in documentary and theatre together, while investigating new territories in game structure and emergent narrative. She shepherded Associates Dave Deveau, Elaine Avila, Jovanni Sy, Leanna Brodie, and Veronique West through their winding theatrical and writing explorations. She worked with SNAFU Dance Theatre, Tara Travis, Derek Chan, and Deneh Cho’ Thompson on their Fringe New Play Prize winners. Her short-term relationships through WrightSpace morphed into ongoing consultations with several playwrights including Sunny Drake (Men Express Their Feelings) and Tai Amy Grauman (You Used to Call Me Marie).  She collaborated on Flying Start productions The Concessions by Briana Brown and How to Survive an Apocalypse by Jordan Hall. Her company collaborations ranged widely, from the Geekenders’ multi-threaded Alice in Glitterland, to Macromatter’s High Water, to Weaving Reconciliation: Our Way by Renae Morriseau, Rosemary Georgeson and Savannah Walling, to the verbatim courtroom drama Irreparable Harm? by Mairy Beam.

Her investment in community created an enduring relationship with the Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House, where the Roots and Seeds podcast was born. She brought her decades of radio experience into play in podcast workshops for the community, and as a co-producer and creator of the Fraudcast, a podcast companion to the Victim Impact production.

Kathleen’s leadership of PTC’s Blocks program saw an explosion of interest in Block A, growing the emerging writer mentorship from six to twenty-four per season. Block SAT with Rohit Chokhani, and Block V with Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre deepened the company’s allegiances with writers from the South Asian and Asian Canadian diaspora. In the midst of her trailblazing creative endeavours with the company, she contributed wisdom and management vision, and a dedication to documenting the work of the company through our Dialogue blog.

As Kathleen transitions to her freelance practice, she will see out the creative trajectory for Pedro Chamale’s Made in Canada: An agricultural operetta, and Veronique West’s Szepty/Whispers. She is also leading on a new publication foregrounding PTC’s dramaturgical processes.

“Kathleen joined PTC when I was just finding my feet in my own new role leading the company. I could not have asked for a better creative partner. Kathleen’s big heart and incisive mind have been instrumental in bringing the company to its current incarnation. Her impact on me as an artist, leader and friend has been monumental. It’s nerve-wracking to think of a PTC without Kathleen, so I am relieved and excited to set forth on our next act together, where her focus can be entirely creative. As the many writers she has impacted at PTC have said: I love you Kathleen.”
– Heidi Taylor, Artistic & Executive Director

“Everyone who has had the privilege of working with Heidi Taylor will nod knowingly when I say that my time at PTC has made me a better dramaturg and a better person. The ethos, values and rigour of PTC have refreshed my mind and my spirit; what a gift to have had this experience!  I will miss many things, not the least of which is the sudden swivel of office chairs and the declaration, “I’ve been thinking…” that started so many moments of cogitation and revelation. Thank you Heidi. Thank you PTC.”
Kathleen Flaherty