From April 27, 2SLGBTQ+ emerging and mid-career theatre makers from across Canada are invited to submit applications by July 5, 2022 for consideration in the new mentorship and play creation program. The selection process will see five artists announced in September 2022 to participate in a 10-month process, during which they will receive living wage compensation and one-on-one mentorship as they write a new work. The developed plays will be performed live and streamed online in September of 2023.
In addition to Zee Zee Theatre, the national consortium members include the frank Theatre (Vancouver), Gwaandak Theatre (Whitehorse), Theatre Outré (Lethbridge), Persephone Theatre (Saskatoon), Theatre Projects Manitoba (Winnipeg), Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (Toronto), Native Earth Performing Arts (Toronto), Imago Theatre (Montreal), and Neptune Theatre (Halifax). The consortium will act as a selection committee in identifying the five artists to participate in this first unit.
“Art has the power to elevate voices and ideas that can change the world. Now, more than ever, the arts sector needs to prioritize those who have been systematically left out of the conversation,” says Cameron Mackenzie, Zee Zee Theatre’s Artistic and Executive Director. “The impacts of this project will be far reaching and numerous: For the playwrights, it offers growth, stability, and a national platform for their voice and stories to be heard. For the consortium companies, it creates a new body of work and connects them with vital queer and trans communities. For our sector as a whole, it offers new representation and reflection in ways that are meaningful and non tokenizing.”
The inspiration for the Queer and Trans Playwriting Unit occurred when Zee Zee Theatre identified a gap existing in the Canadian theatre landscape. When seeking programming for their own season led to many conversations with other curators, producers and presenters across the country who were consistently struggling to find works emerging from and representing queer and trans communities. The underrepresentation of such works in Canadian theatre means that Canadians belonging to the 2SLGBTQ+ community do not have
adequate opportunities to see themselves, their lives or their families reflected on stage.
This lead Zee Zee Theatre to the building of the first-ever National Queer and Trans Playwriting Unit that establishes a new model for play creation and dissemination, leading to more equitable representation of 2SLGBTQ+ artists and stories on Canadian stages – ultimately strengthening the bonds of professional artists and collaborators across the country, while furthering equality for all queer and trans people.
For more information and to apply to the National Queer and Trans Playwright Unit, visit: zeezeetheatre.ca