ENTRY DEADLINE IS DECEMBER 31.
The Canadian Playwriting Competition is open to original scripts of drama or comedy, either full-length or one-act. Deadline for entry is December 31 annually. Independent jurors will decide upon winners in each category with a prize of $1,000 awarded for the chosen full-length, $750 for the one-act, and $500 for a script of special merit. In addition, one of the three winning plays may be chosen to be workshopped at Theatre BC’s Mainstage being held in Port Alberni, BC from July 3 – 11, 2020. This choice will be made at the discretion of the judges.
For detailed information about the current round of the Playwriting Competition, click here.
Theatre BC’s Mainstage 2019 in Port Alberni is now in the history books, and by all accounts, it was a very successful one indeed! Adjudicator Dean Paul Gibson was exemplary in his handling of our performing clubs, and in educating & entertaining those attending the coffee critiques. Our adjudicators are asked to make difficult choices in selecting the awards from a wide field of excellence on display throughout the week. Here are the Thespian Awards as presented at The Italian Hall in Port Alberni on the evening of July 13, 2019:
- Bill Elliot Award for Best Performance by a Youth or Notice, sponsored by TBC North Island Zone:
Aiden Oorebeek, “Late Company” by Theatre Kelowna Society, OKZ
- Best Set Decorating and Properties, sponsored by Theatre BC:
Greg Jones, Lisa Eckert, Vera Kahan & Irene Suessenwien, “The Diary of Anne Frank” by Nanaimo Theatre Group, NIZ
- Best Costume Design, sponsored by Doug Perri & Norman White:
Sheila Fremont-Male and Lorna McLellan, “The Diary of Anne Frank” by Nanaimo Theatre Group, NIZ
- Best Set Design, sponsored by Powerhouse Theatrical Society:
Jamie Regier, “Cherry Docs” by Williams Lake Studio Theatre, CIZ
- Best Sound Design, sponsored by The Italian Hall:
Alex Leary, “Cherry Docs” by Williams Lake Studio Theatre, CIZ
- Best Lighting Design, sponsored by Christie Lites Sales:
Cathy Hamm, “Cherry Docs” by Williams Lake Studio Theatre, CIZ
- Best Ensemble, sponsored by Courtenay Little Theatre:
“Dancing at Lughnasa”, Langley Players Drama Club, FVZ
- Best Supporting Actor, sponsored by Theatre BC:
Dean Chadwick in “The Diary of Anne Frank” by Nanaimo Theatre Group, NIZ
- Best Supporting Actress, sponsored by TBC Central Interior Zone:
Wendy Karpuik in “The Diary of Anne Frank” by Nanaimo Theatre Group, NIZ
- Best Actor, sponsored by TBC Okanagan Zone:
Chris Froese in “Late Company” by Theatre Kelowna Society, OKZ
- Best Actress, sponsored by Naesgaard’s Farm and Market:
Melissa Kahan in “The Diary of Anne Frank” by Nanaimo Theatre Group, NIZ
- Best Director, sponsored by Nanaimo Theatre Group:
Brian Haigh, director of “Late Company” by Theatre Kelowna Society, OKZ
- Burnaby Award (Runner Up), sponsored by Langley Players Drama Club:
“The Diary of Anne Frank” by Nanaimo Theatre Group, NIZ
- Best Production, sponsored by The Graphics Factory:
“Late Company” by Theatre Kelowna Society, OKZ
Two non-adjudicator Thespian Awards are also presented each year at Mainstage:
- Backstage Cooperation Award, sponsored by TBC North Island Zone, as selected by ADSS Backstage Coordinator Melissa Lowe and TBC technician Andrew Taylor:
Nanaimo Theatre Group (NIZ), “The Diary of Anne Frank”
- Darrell Phillips Workshop Play Award, sponsored by Theatre Kelowna Society, as selected by Workshop Play instructor Nicolle Nattrass:
Bronwyn Hall and Dennis Szalai, “Annapurna”, Bridge to Broadway, PRZ
Certificates of Merit were also presented by Dean Paul Gibson, as follows:
- Most Inventive and Ambitious Production: “Age of Arousal” by Opening Nite Theatre Society, FVZ;
- Outstanding First Time Direction: Colleen Byberg, “Hidden In This Picture” by Well Planned Theatre Company, NSZ;
- Outstanding Contribution to a Production: Ami MacFarlane for Projection Design, “The Diary of Anne Frank” by Nanaimo Theatre Group, NIZ;
- Outstanding First Time Set Design and Decoration: Kaymia Wheat, “Between The Sheets”, Stage North Theatre Society, PRZ;
- Best Self-Choreographed Dance Sequence: Mort Paul and Torrey Clark, “Stones In His Pockets”, Ladysmith Little Theatre, SIZ.
In Theatre BC’s 2019 Graphic Competition, the following certificates were awarded:
- Best Poster – Powerhouse Theatrical Society – A Christmas Carol. Designer Chris Gallagher – Mecca Arts
- Best Program (Specific Production) – Powerhouse Theatrical Society – Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Designer Arta Adams
- Best Season Brochure, Program, Press Kit – Courtenay Little Theatre, 2018/2019 Season Brochure. Designer – Linda Hampshire
The judge in this year’s competition was Melissa Martin, who writes “I am Canadian born, but grew up in New York, I finished my schooling in Ohio, at Dayton University with a BFA ; concentration in Commercial Design, specializing in Graphic Design. After moving back to Vancouver in 1987, I began freelancing as a Graphic Artist, my passion! Although the world of design has changed significantly since I was in school; we were not taught on computers, but rather cut and paste ideas and thoughts all by hand, a whole other world! Some of my other work included being an Art Director for two major Vancouver Art Publications and designing corporate identities for real-estate marketing packages as well as for major corporations. In 1993 I opened my own Interior design business, while I am also currently the Arts Administrator and Executive Director for the Community Arts Council of the Alberni Valley. Working for the Community Arts Council enables me to also design all our publications for events and programs as well as all marketing for the Art Centre.”
Congratulations to all the participants and award recipients, and we’re all looking forward to Mainstage 2020 from July 3 – 11 in Port Alberni again, with adjudicator Fran Gebhard.
At Theatre BC’s 2019 Annual General Meeting, held July 13 in Port Alberni at The Capitol Theatre, the following executive officers were acclaimed with their nominations and no nominees from the floor:
- President – Doug Perri, North Shore Zone
- Vice-President – Sheryl-Lynn Lewis, Central Interior Zone
- Recording Secretary – Andrea Mallett, Central Interior Zone
Our newly elected executive committee members will serve two-year terms in their offices, and they join the officers below, who have one year remaining and will be due for election at the July 11, 2020 AGM also to be held at The Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni:
- Vice-President – Allison Haley, Central Interior Zone
- Vice-President – Adele Kuyek, Okanagan Zone
- Treasurer – Jacqollyne Keath, North Island Zone
Theatre BC thanks Peter Wienold from the North Island Zone who served as President for the past three years, and will continue in the next year as Past President. We also thank Christine Daley who has retired as zone chair in the Okanagan.
Congratulations to the winners of this year’s annual Theatre BC Playwriting Competition:
- Full Length Play: “Boom Baby” by Natalie Meisner
- One-Act Play: “Castle on the Farm” by Alaina Baskerville-Bridges
- Special Merit: “Where The Wind Carries Us” by Andrew Lee
Finalists and runners-up included “Trudeaumania” by Daniel McLeod, and “The Wrong Bashir”by Zahida Rahumtulla.
Theatre BC will feature the One-Act Play winner, “Castle on the Farm” by Alaina Baskerville-Bridges in our New Play Workshop at Mainstage this summer in Port Alberni. Workshop instructor Kathryn Shaw will take participants through the script, with a focus on acting and directing.
The New Play Workshop will be held over three days from July 10 – 12, 2019. More workshop details and online registration will be available soon.
Full Length Play: “Boom Baby” by Natalie Meisner
Dr. Natalie Meisner is a full Professor in the Department of English, Languages, and Literature at Mount Royal and a celebrated Canadian Author. Her stage plays have won numerous awards, been produced across the country, and been featured in Canadian anthologies. She is member of Eastern Front Theatre’s Playwright’s Unit where Boom Baby will receive its world premiere next April. Speed Dating For Sperm Donors will be published by Playwright’s Canada Press in 2020. Her new play Area 33 is currently under development with DMV Theatre and supported by the NAC Collaborations Program. Meisner’s books, Double Pregnant: Two Lesbians Make a Family, My Mommy, My Mama, My Brother & Me, Growing Up Salty, Legislating Love: The Everett Klippert Story, take on social justice themes with warmth and humour. Her collection of poetry, Baddie One Shoe (Frontenac) is an ode the renegades past and present who fight the power with laughter. Meisner’s areas of specialization include creative writing, drama, theories of comedy /laughter and glbtiqa+ literatures. She hails from Nova Scotia and is a wife and mom to two great boys.
One-Act Play: “Castle on the Farm” by Alaina Baskerville-Bridges
Alaina Baskerville-Bridges is a writer living in Victoria, BC. She holds a creative writing degree from the University of Victoria where she studied playwriting under Joan Macleod. Her play, Turn to Me, was featured in the Victoria Cold Reading Series in 2017. Her play, Castle on the Farm, was featured in the Spark Festival Emerging Playwright’s Cabaret at the Belfry Theater in 2018. She has had her fiction shortlisted for ROOM magazine.
Special Merit: “Where The Wind Carries Us” by Andrew Lee
Andrew Lee is an award-winning playwright from Hamilton, Ontario. Eleven plays he wrote or co-wrote have made it to the stage. He is a member of the Theatre Aquarius Playwriting Unit. In 2017 Andrew won the Hamilton Fringe New Play Contest and in 2016 won the Theatre BC Special Merit Prize. He makes his home with his awesome wife and favourite writing collaborator, Katrine, and his amazing daughters — Nora and Iris.
Theatre BC recognizes the lives and contributions of those members who have passed away recently on our In Memoriam page.