On Tuesday, February 23, 2021, Studio Theatre, the Playwrights Guild of Canada, and the Centre des auteurs Dramatiques hosted a free conversation among anglophone and francophone Canadian playwrights and a playwright from the United States. Playwrights read excerpts of three recent projects and discussed theatre-making in their countries before the pandemic, during it, and envision what this time away from in-person performance might mean when artists and audiences return.
Support for this event has been provided by The Embassy of Canada in Washington.
Brittany K. Allen is a Brooklyn-based writer and actor. She is a proud member of Ensemble Studio’s Theatre’s Obie-winning Youngblood collective, an alumna of the Emerging Writers Group at The Public Theater, and was a 2017 Van Lier New Voices fellow at the Lark. Her play Redwood (2017 & 2020 Kilroys List) received its world premiere at Portland Center Stage in 2019, and will appear in upcoming seasons at the Jungle Theater and Ensemble Studio Theatre. She’s developed work at Manhattan Theatre Club, Ars Nova, the Lark, and Kansas City Repertory Theatre, and currently holds commissions from Playwrights Horizons, Manhattan Theatre Club/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Studio Theatre, and Portland Center Stage. Her writing has been supported by residencies at SPACE on Ryder Farm and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Her prose appears or is forthcoming in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Catapult, Kenyon Review Online, and Longreads, among other places.
Keith Barker is a member of the Métis Nation of Ontario. He is a playwright, actor, and director from Northwestern Ontario, and the current Artistic Director at Native Earth Performing Arts in Toronto. Winner of the Dora Mavor Moore Award and the Playwrights Guild’s Carol Bolt Award for best new play, Keith was also a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for English Drama in 2018 for his play, This Is How We Got Here. He received a Saskatchewan and Area Theatre Award for Excellence in Playwriting for his play, The Hours That Remain, as well as a Yukon Arts Award for Best Art for Social Change. His new short zoom play, in a little plastic bag, in a tiny little jar, on a mantel in the house will premiere as part of the Stratford Festival's Viral Transmissions Series that will be found on the stratfest@home site in the coming months. His audio play, Every Minute of Every Day will premiere as part of Factory Theatre's You Can't Get There From Here podcast play series in March 2021.
Rhiannon Collett (they/them) is a playwright, performer, and translator working on the unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh nations. They are interested in interdisciplinary creation processes, sexual labour, gender performativity, and science fiction. Selected playwriting credits include Miranda & Dave Begin Again (Playwrights Guild of Canada RBC Emerging Playwright Award/Festival du Jamais Lu), Wasp (Nightswimming/Rhubarb Festival), The Kissing Game (Youtheatre/Young People’s Theatre/Maison Théâtre), Tragic Queens (CABAL Theatre/Wildside Festival), Girlfriend (Young People’s Theatre). Most recently they were awarded the Montreal English Theatre Award for Outstanding New Text for their gay revenge drama, The Kissing Game.
Marie-Claude St-Laurent is a performer, author, and feminist activist. She is also co-editor at La Nef, Éditions du remue-ménage and co-artistic director of Le Théâtre de L’Affamée with Marie-Ève Milot. Together they have authored nine plays, including Débranchée (Unplugged) finalist for the Prix Louise-LaHaye (2017) and Guérilla de l’ordinaire, finalist for the Prix Michel-Tremblay (2019). Her television appearances include a starring role in the popular youth show Vrak la vie and the more recent L’écrivain public and Les Sioui-Bacon. Stage works include Guérilla de l’ordinaire, Chienne(s), Toc Toc, Grease, and Aller chercher demain. Member of the ESPACE GO committee Chantier Féministe and collaborator in the research study conducted by the Réseau québécois en études féministes (RéQEF).