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Call for Submissions: National Queer & Trans Playwriting Unit



Zee Zee Theatre is leading a consortium of ten national producing companies searching for five playwrights working towards their best and most ambitious work to date for this first ever, entirely 2SLGBTQQIA+, virtual playwriting unit resulting in a canon of new Canadian intersectional plays being developed for production.

Reliable internet and Zoom access are essential for this initiative. If this poses a concern please bring it to our attention and we will work to connect you to a local organization that can host the meetings.

The consortium is made up of ​​Gwaandak Theatre (Whitehorse), Zee Zee Theatre (Vancouver), the frank theatre (Vancouver),  Theatre Outre (Lethbridge), Persephone Theatre (Saskatoon), Theatre Projects Manitoba (Winnipeg), Native Earth Performing Arts (Toronto), Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (Toronto), Imago Theatre (Montreal), Neptune Theatre (Halifax). Learn more about the consortium partners here.

Each playwright will work in collaboration with a dedicated dramaturg identified from their own needs assessment. They will meet weekly alternating between their dramaturg and the full unit, thereby offering each other collegial insights and support. 

The unique length and depth of the program as well as a significant financial investment allows the playwright to manage the trajectory of their play with committed and long-term dramaturgical, administrative, and communication support from the consortium as well as a commitment by the individual companies that each one of the five plays created will be picked up for brief additional development and ultimate path to production in a future season.

Over the course of the ten months, you will have opportunities to engage with each of the ten companies, having access to the artistic leadership as well as being asked to provide one Community Offering (workshop, artist talk, reading) per month to one of the companies via Zoom. 

At the end of each month during the unit there will be an Open House artist discussion with the full unit and their dramaturgs welcoming in audiences and stakeholders to look back on the month’s work. 

The program provides: 

  • $2,000/month for the 10 months of the unit, 
  • Dramaturgical support,
  • One week workshop with a cast of actors and director, 
  • Hybrid public reading of the play in person (as public health orders allow) with stakeholders Zooming in from other cities, 
  • A consortium of theatre makers developing their networks, creative practices, and projects in conversation with each other, to provide a more comprehensive support and feedback network than any one individual as well as deep connections to ten producing companies and their audiences across the country.

The deadline to apply for the program is July 5, 2022. 

Who should apply?

Emerging and mid-career writers with a specific project in mind. 

Zee Zee Theatre is based in on the traditional, unceded, and occupied territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, but locations of the workshops and readings will be in various other cities determined by the eventual makeup of the unit. 

Participants must be permanent residents of Canada. 

Zee Zee Theatre is continuously working to make all our programs accessible. We encourage writers with a lived experience of disability to apply for all of our programs. We are also an equity-seeking company, with a history of working with artists from numerous communities. We are dedicated to creating spaces within which Indigenous, Black, people of colour, 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, and people with intersectional identity perspectives can lead and create. Flexible timing, virtual sessions, attention to time of day and duration of work can all be designed with the artist to maximize creative satisfaction. 

All artists, contractors, staff and volunteers must adhere to Zee Zee’s Community Guidelines.

The Unit is led by Vancouver’s Playwrights Theatre Centre’s Dramaturg, Creative Engagement, Joanna Garfinkel, and each of the five participating playwrights will be matched with one dramaturg to work with for the duration of the ten month unit. 

Application materials

  1. A letter detailing: 
  • What are you currently seeking to move your practice and project ahead? 
  • What cohort/peer collaborations and conversations are you interested in forging? 
  • What are your most compelling questions right now as a playwright? 
  • What current and ongoing commitments and obligations do you have? 
  • What obstacles are currently in between you and your goals? 

2. A pitch detailing your specific project: Either a short (500 word) description or a 5 minute maximum video submission of the idea that you want to focus on during the Unit. Include any co-producing relationships, community or peer collaborations in place, or previous development history if applicable. Commissions from or for other companies are not eligible. 

3. A recent, completed, full-length work, play, performance, installation, documentary, that you feel represents you as an artist and can demonstrate a history of completion. 

4. Your theatre resume/CV. 

5. If there is any other context or content that you would like to provide, please include it in the format that makes sense to you. And if you prefer an alternative means of applying, please contact Zee Zee directly.

When you’re ready to apply

Please combine all materials into one PDF, and email to producer@zeezeetheatre.ca including “Unit Application” in the subject line. 

Please apply by July 5, 2022. Artists will be notified by September 1st, 2022 with the Unit beginning October 3rd, 2022.