Thursday, 11 October 2012

Alberta's On Fire!!!

A couple of weeks ago, Alberta Playwrights' Network held a board retreat to discuss the current state of the organization and to plan for the future. On a couple of occasions it was mentioned by various members sitting around the table "What a hotbed of new play development Alberta is."

Well wouldn't you know it...we've been proven right!! The Governor General's Literary Awards for Drama were announced on October 2 and the nominees include

Catherine Banks for It is Solved by Walking                                   
(Playwrights Canada Press; distributed by University of Toronto Press)
Trina Davies for The Romeo Initiative                                           

(Playwrights Canada Press; distributed by University of Toronto Press)
Karen Hines for Drama: Pilot Episode                                                     

(Coach House Books; distributed by LitDistCo)
Cathy Ostlere and Dennis Garnhum for Lost: A Memoir                         

(Scirocco Drama, an imprint of J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing; distributed by University of Toronto Press)
Anusree Roy for Brothel #9
(Playwrights Canada Press; distributed by University of Toronto Press)
What is outstanding about this list of plays (besides the plays themselves) is that 4 of the 5 plays have roots in Alberta, and more specifically Calgary.
Catherine Banks' It Is Solved By Walking had its premiere production in Calgary, produced by Urban Curvz Theatre. The Romeo Initiative and Drama: Pilot Episode premiered at Alberta Theatre Projects Enbridge playRites Festival in 2012. Karen Hines, who is from Calgary, also won the 2012 Betty Mitchell Award for Outstanding New Play for Drama: Pilot Episode. Lost: A Memoir by Cathy Ostlere and Dennis Garnhum was premiered at Theatre Calgary in 2011. 
As if that wasn't enough, John Murrell (an Honourary Lifetime Member of Alberta Playwrights' Network) was also nominated in the Translation category for his translation of Thinking of Yu by Carole Frechette, which also premiered at Alberta Theatre Projects Enbridge playRites Festival. 
This is pretty amazing and points to the fact that we are a "hotbed" of new play development. This province offers some of the greatest resources for new play development in the entire country and Alberta Playwrights' Network is proud to be a part of those resources. As we begin to envision the future of the organization we are incredibly buoyed by the fact that we have such an outstanding record and history of play development in this province. 
Congratulations to all of the writers and producers of these great NEW works!! 

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