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Seventeen Playwrights Selected From 60 Applicants Across Canada to Take Part in Three-day, Bilingual Workshop

August 22, 2005

TORONTO – The Elinore and Lou Siminovitch Prize in Theatre today announced the Canadian playwrights selected to participate in an all-expenses paid Master Class workshop from August 26 – August 28 with the 2002 Siminovitch Prize winning playwright, Carole Fréchette. The seventeen participants were chosen from sixty applicants from every region across the country.

“Based on the impressive submissions we received, it is clear Canadian playwrights are full of spirit and motivation, but are looking for inspiration and encouragement to further grow and develop their craft,” said Ms. Fréchette. “Many playwrights told us they are at a point in their careers where they are ready for the next stage – to take their writing to another level.”

The Siminovitch Master Class was introduced last year by BMO Financial Group and Theatre Ontario and was designed to celebrate one of the prime motivations behind the Siminovitch Prize: the importance of mentorship within the theatre community. This year’s workshop builds on the success of last year’s Master Class that was led by Daniel Brooks, the 2001 Siminovitch Prize-winning director. Last year’s one-day workshop for twelve directors has been expanded this year to three days, with seventeen playwrights and will be bilingual.

“Because writing is a solitary activity, playwrights have few occasions to share their individual insights and experiences with each other. They’ve told us they are eager to escape the isolation of the writing process to connect with their peers from across the country, to share ideas and experiences.”

Ms. Fréchette will focus the session on the germination of a play, what she refers to as ‘before the white page’. She will explore how a play begins, as well as how ideas are born and nurtured.

“Participants will be diving into something completely new,” said Ms. Fréchette. “They will be asked to come to the Master Class with an idea, a starting point – a word, phrase or image. I will share my thoughts based on my own writing experiences and I will invite the participants to discover their own impulses to create.”

“My hope is that every playwright will have a first page of a new play by the time they leave the workshop,” added Ms. Fréchette.

Playwrights selected to participate in the 2005 Master Class in Playwriting

Sharon Bajer, Winnipeg
Suzie Bastien, Montreal
Nicolas Billon, Montreal
Martin Boileau, Montreal
Krista Dalby, Toronto
Michael Gauthier, Montreal
Marcia Johnson, Toronto
*Kevin Kerr, Vancouver
Celia McBride, Whitehorse
Kathleen Oliver, Vancouver
Marilyn Perreault, Montreal
Kilby Smith-McGregor, Toronto
Annabel Soutar, Montreal
*Eugene Stickland, Calgary
Sally Stubbs, Vancouver
Jackie Torrens, Halifax
Paula Wing, Toronto
 
*2005 Siminovitch Prize nominee

The Siminovitch Prize has partnered with the Playwrights Guild of CanadaPlaywrights’ Workshop Montreal and Centre des auteurs dramatiques (CEAD) to run the workshop. Thanks to the Canada Council for the Arts, all travel expenses for workshop participants will be covered.

Joining Ms. Fréchette on the jury to select the Master Class participants was Paula Danckert, Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal, Nadine Desrochers, Centre des auteurs dramatiques (CEAD) and Andrew Soren, Siminovitch Prize in Theatre.

Jury members were looking for playwrights with a personal vision and a level of experience who would benefit from working with Ms. Fréchette and who would complement the other participants. To be considered, applicants submitted a resumé with a cover letter highlighting their playwriting experience and the kind of instruction they seek.

Siminovitch Prize in Theatre
The Siminovitch Prize in Theatre was introduced in 2001 and dedicated to renowned scientist Lou Siminovitch and his late wife Elinore, a playwright. Sponsored by BMO Financial Group, Canada’s richest annual theatre arts award honours professional directors, playwrights and designers by acknowledging excellence and encouraging further exploration in Canadian theatre. The winner receives $100,000, of which $25,000 is awarded to a protégé or organization of the winner’s choice.

Contacts: 
JoAnne Hayes, Toronto, joanne.hayes@bmo.com, (416) 867-3996
Lucie Gosselin, Montreal, lucie.gosselin@bmo.com, (514) 877-1101
Laurie Grant, Vancouver, laurie.grant@bmo.com, (604) 665-7596

Additional information on the selected playwrights is available upon request

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