International artists are a vital feature of the Banff Playwrights Lab, deepening the conversation about performance and extending the networking opportunities that are an important part of the Banff Centre experience. This year Canadian playwrights will be joined by eight international guest artists from Australia, Mexico, the U.K. and the United States. We’re pleased to announce these powerful artists in this newsletter.
Many thanks to our organizational partners – Melbourne Theatre Company, Tasmania Performs, Royal Exchange Theatre, Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting and the National New Play Network – for collaborating with the Lab to make these residencies possible.
Adjudication for the 2020 Lab and its focus on multi-lingual projects has introduced us to exciting artists and projects from all over Canada, working across a multitude of languages. Thank you to all applicants for sharing your work with us. Look for the announcement of this year’s Canadian playwright participants in February.
Our partnership with the Melbourne Theatre Company continues in its third year by hosting Literary Associate Jennifer Medway and playwright Andrea James (above) to work on Andrea’s current commission with MTC, The Black Woman of Gippsland. Andrea is a descendant of the Yorta Yorta and Gunaikurnai Aboriginal nations, and works as a director, playwright, producer and artistic director. Her latest play, Sunshine Super Girl, about tennis player Evonne Goolagong Cawley, will premiere at MTC in 2020.
A new partnership with Tasmania Performs brings Nathan Maynard, a Trawlwoolway, Pakana/Palawa man from Lutrawita/Tasmania, to the Lab for a residency that overlaps with Andrea and Jenni and also with Banff’s inaugural Indigenous Playwrights Circle program. Nathan recently received a prestigious playwriting award, the Balnaves Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Fellowship, to create a new work at Sydney’s Belvoir Theatre. Nathan received a Churchill Fellowship to participate in the Lab and meet artists in other Canadian cities.
The Lab continues its relationship with Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre and the U.K.’s leading theatre award, the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting, by hosting a residency for grand prize recipient Phoebe Eclair-Powell. She’ll be joined at the Lab by Royal Exchange Co-Artistic Director Bryony Shanahan as they develop the production draft of Phoebe’s Bruntwood Prize play, SHED: Exploded View.
Silvia Peláez, one of Mexico’s leading playwrights, will be returning to Banff for a second year to continue work on her trilogy about migration, Anteroom to Happiness. Silvia is a playwright, director, translator and librettist based in Mexico City. She has written more than 50 plays, and recently wrote the libretto for the chamber opera Luciérnaga (Firefly).
Kimber Lee joins the Lab with the support of the Royal Exchange Theatre to work on untitled f*ck m*ss s**gon play, recipient of the inaugural 2019 Bruntwood Prize International Award. Liliana Padilla will be at the Lab via our longstanding partnership with the National New Play Network to work on their new play about ancestry, migration, Spirit, and mystery.
Four Lab projects created by Latinx playwrights are onstage this spring: Carmen Aguirre’s Anywhere But Here (Vancouver’s Electric Company) and Broken Tailbone (Nightswimming on tour at Vancouver’s Boca del Lupo); Pedro Chamale’s Made in Canada– an agricultural operetta (Vancouver’s rice and beans theatre); and last year’s Lab Playwright in Residence Bea Pizano’s The Solitudes (Toronto’s Aluna Theatre).