Vern Thiessen is one of Canada’s most produced playwrights. His work has been seen across Canada, the United States, and Europe. Vern is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award for Outstanding New Play, the City of Edmonton Arts Achievement Award, and the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama. Vern received his BA from the University of Winnipeg and an M.F.A. from the University of Alberta. He currently lives in Edmonton, where he is the artistic director of Workshop West Playwrights’ Theatre.Learn More
Theatrefront is dedicated to stretching the boundaries of the human experience through theatre. Founded by Artistic Director Daryl Cloran, the Theatrefront ensemble crosses borders to create unique dramatic work. We cross geographic borders to develop new work in collaboration with artists from other countries. We cross borders between artistic mediums to create theatre infused with music, movement, and media. Theatrefront’s work is self-devised and created collaboratively by the ensemble—a core group of theatre professionals who risk, innovate, and experiment together.Learn More
- Theatre Ontario is an umbrella organization serving all practitioners of theatre in Ontario—professionals, amateurs, educators, students, artists, technicians, directors, producers, writers, and communities of all types. In 2011, Theatre Ontario celebrates forty years of service to Ontario. View our website at www.theatreontario.org for a full range of services offered. Learn More
One of Canada's pre-eminent play translators, Shelley Tepperman is also a dramaturg with a long history in Canadian theatre specializing in script development, project development, and translation for the stage. She translates from French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese and her more than thirty play translations—three of which were nominated for Canada’s prestigious Governor General’s Literary Award—have been produced on CBC Radio and on stages throughout North America and the United Kingdom. Recent translations include Jennifer Tremblay's The List (La liste), The Carousel (Le carrousel), and The Deliverance (La Délivrance); Wajdi Mouawad's Pacamambo, Tideline (Littoral), Alphonse, and Wedding Day at the Cro-Magnons' (Journée de noces chez les Cro-magnons); and Molière by Sabina Berman. Shelley spent several years working for CBC Radio Arts and Entertainment. She also works in documentary film and television as a writer, director, and story editor.
Samah Sabawi is a Palestinian-Australian-Canadian playwright and poet. Her plays Cries from the Land and Three Wishes had successful runs in Canada, and Tales of a City by the Sea enjoyed a sold-out world premiere run at Melbourne’s La Mama Theatre in Australia, an Arabic premiere at the Alrowwad Cultural and Theatre Society in Palestine, and was selected for the Victorian Certificate of Education Drama and Theatre Studies Playlist, 2016. Sabawi’s poems feature in anthologies including With Our Eyes Wide Open (West End Press, 2014), Gaza Unsilenced (Just World Books, 2015), and I remember my name (novum publishing, 2016). In 2016 Sabawi received an Australian Postgraduate Award to undertake a PhD by creative project at Victoria University.Learn More
- Rita Shelton Deverell, C.M., Ed.D. is a theatre artist, broadcaster, university professor, and television producer/director/writer. Deverell has received numerous awards, including two Geminis, the Black Women’s Civic Engagement Network Leadership Award, and was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2005 for her pioneering work in broadcasting, notably the founding of Vision TV and mentoring her Aboriginal successor at APTN National News. She has served on several boards of directors, among them Obsidian Theatre Company, Creative Women’s Workshops Association, and OCAD University. Learn More
- Actor/director R.H. Thomson has been working for almost thirty years in theatre, film, and television. Winner of a Gemini, a Genie, and a Dora Mavor Moore Award, Thomson has achieved recognition through a series of diverse and memorable roles in all three mediums.
Born in Toronto, Thomson graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Science and then went on to theatrical training at the National Theatre School in Montreal, and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in England. His interests have led him to host CBC’s Man Alive series as well as advocating for cultural sovereignty and diversity on both national and international levels. Learn More
Dubbed by Time Out London as “Canada’s coolest poet,” Priscila Uppal is also a playwright, essayist, and fiction writer. Among her publications are ten collections of poetry, including Sabotage, Traumatology, and Ontological Necessities (Griffin Prize finalist); the novels The Divine Economy of Salvation and To Whom It May Concern; and the memoir Projection: Encounters with My Runaway Mother. Her works have been published internationally and translated into many languages. 6 Essential Questions is Priscila’s first play. She lives in Toronto and teaches at York University.Learn More
- Oren Safdie is a Canadian playwright and screenwriter. His plays include Jews & Jesus, Fiddler Sub-Terrain, Hyper-Allergenic, Broken Places, Laughing Dogs, La Compagnie, and Private Jokes, Public Places. His play The Last Word had its debut Off Broadway in 2007. La Compagnie was later turned into Fashion Avenue, a pilot for CBS. Safdie also wrote the 1998 film You Can Thank Me Later, based on his play Hyper-Allergenic. He co-wrote the 2007 Israeli film Fresh Wrinkle. Safdie's latest play is The Bilbao Effect. He is married to actress/playwright M.J. Kang. Learn More
Nigel Spencer has published seven books of translated work by Marie-Claire Blais, three of which have won the Governor General’s Literary Award. His previous work includes subtitling and co-scripting films, acting, directing, teaching, educational research and training, and journalism. Recently, he has translated several plays, including two by Evelyne de la Chenelière, and is currently working on Elvis and Dolores by first-time author André Pronovost.Learn More