FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: LANGHAM COURT THEATRE PRESENTS THE 2019 RISK
THEATRE MODERN TRAGEDY COMPETITION
Langham Court Theatre announces that it is inaugurating a major new
playwriting competition, the world’s richest competition specifically for
the writing of tragedy: the all-new 2019 Risk Theatre Modern Tragedy
Competition. At stake is $10,000 in prize money. The winning play will be
workshopped in Victoria, BC. A travel stipend will be offered to the winning
playwright. In addition, the winning play may be fully produced by Langham
Court Theatre as a special event.
Risk theatre is a model of tragedy developed by critic Edwin Wong. In risk
theatre, gambling acts lead to unexpected low-probability, high-consequence
outcomes. Chance and uncertainty reign supreme. Risk theatre aligns tragedy
with modern conceptions of chance by dramatizing the impact of the highly
This annual competition challenges intrepid playwrights to write 90 - 120
minute plays and closes on March 29, 2019. Entries cost $45. Full
competition details can be found at risktheatre.com. Please distribute this
release to your members to help spread the word about this exciting
For 89 years, Langham Court Theatre has presented nearly 3000 performances
with 4000 actors in over 500 shows to 250,000 guests. Established in 1929,
Langham Court Theatre is one of Canada’s most successful and longest
running community theatres. The theatre seats 177 and is located a ten
minute walk from downtown Victoria in the historic Rockland neighbourhood.
Wong believes that the time is right to reboot tragedy. After reading
Taleb’s Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan, he developed risk theatre
to align tragedy with modern concepts of chance and uncertainty. The result
is a tragic stage where every dramatic act is a gambling act and risk runs
riot. He is currently working on a book Tragedy is Risk Theatre: Gambling,
Drama, and the Unexpected. His thoughts on theatre can be found at
melpomeneswork.com. Wong received a MA in Classics from Brown University
where he concentrated on ancient theatre.
Michael Armstrong, Competition Manager
Edwin Wong, Sponsor
Keith Digby, Langham Court Theatre
The libretto, by Saskatchewan-born, Algonquin writer Yvette Nolan, is structured around the 10 sketches Shawnadithit, the last living member of the Beothuk, left behind
THE CANADIAN PRESS
Updated: June 10, 2018
ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — In 1829, a uniquely important young woman died of tuberculosis in St. John’s.
Shawnadithit was the last living member of the Beothuk — Newfoundland’s lost Indigenous tribe, who died out after Europeans brought violence and disease to the island.
She left behind drawings and records that constitute most of what we know about her people.
It is the stuff of operas — and is now becoming one.
A libretto based on her life is being developed as a co-production between the St. John’s-based Opera on the Avalon and Toronto’s Tapestry Opera.
Workshopped for the first time this month at the Arts and Culture Centre in St. John’s, Shawnadithit is to make its Toronto debut next summer.
The libretto, by Saskatchewan-born, Algonquin writer Yvette Nolan, is structured around the 10 sketches Shawnadithit left behind at the home of explorer William Cormack.
Nolan relied on historical texts, including the writings of Cormack — who founded the “Beothic Institution” and sought to preserve Beothuk history — and the work of scholar Ingeborg Marshall.
But Nolan said most of her work draws from stories found between the lines of recorded history.
“As an Indigenous person and as a feminist, it means we have to read against the grain,” said Nolan. “We have to read what’s not there. But that’s also the story of being Indigenous in this country.”
Nolan reached out to Indigenous artists from across the country, including Aria Evans, Michelle Olson, Jerry Evans, Lori Blondeau, and Jordan Bennet, to interpret Shawnadithit’s artwork for the show’s design.
“It’s so fascinating to me what she created in that little time, inside that little space,” Nolan said. “It’s not just the artifact that was left, but how it has affected us as Indigenous artists that we get to show the audience.”
It tells Shawnadithit’s story from the time she met William Cormack until her death.
The workshop paired Nolan’s writing with initial musical compositions from St. John’s-based Dean Burry.
Burry had been fascinated by Shawnadithit’s story since his childhood growing up in Gander, N.L. After taking a few runs at writing the opera, Burry asked his longtime friend Nolan to work with him.
Once Tapestry Opera came on board, they reached out to Marion Newman to star.
Originally from Vancouver Island, Newman is an accomplished mezzo-soprano opera singer of Kwagiulth and Sto:lo heritage. She wasn’t familiar with Shawnadithit’s story, but it was easy for her to find places of connection with the character.
“I think any Indigenous person has probably had that feeling, or met up with somebody who said, ‘Oh, I didn’t realize there were still Indigenous people. You’re the first one I’ve ever met.’ Like, that has happened several times in my life,” Newman said.
“The idea of actually being a people who is understood to be disappeared resonates.”
The task of bringing Shawnadithit’s story to life comes with big challenges — for starters, how to write an authentic story about a people with no surviving members to consult?
This was one of the reasons the story is based around Shawnadithit’s drawings. Artist Jerry Evans, who grew up in Grand Falls-Windsor, says consulting with other East Coast Indigenous people has been a crucial part of ensuring the opera’s authenticity, in the music and the language.
“You can look at it as being dialectic changes between us, but we have similar things, we have exact words for certain things, for animals and such,” said Evans, who is of Mi’kmaq heritage. “I think we can just look to our cousins.”
While little is known about Beothuk musical traditions, Burry says he’s approaching the composition by using natural objects to bring Shawnadithit’s world to life.
“Growing up here in Newfoundland, we certainly share the wind, and we share the tides and the rain, and so it was those sounds, those sounds that we all would have heard the same way, that I wanted to start to derive the music from,” said Burry.
Burry and Newman say Shawnadithit’s story is well-suited to opera, expressing the idea that music is the universal, emotional language that everyone can understand.
“When you think about what opera is, it’s storytelling through music with some instrumentation, rhythm, costumes, makeup, masks, what have you. Most cultures have a tradition of that kind of storytelling through music,” said Newman.
After the initial read-through, Burry will compose the majority of the opera’s music, before “Shawnadithit” premieres in Toronto next summer.
There’s still creative work to be done, but collaborators like Evans hope they will keep alive her story, and that of the Beothuk people, “so that there’s something more than that footnote.”
“They were our relations,” said Evans. “They were people. They were human beings.”
Newman says after hearing the initial soundscapes and compositions, she’s starting to feel Shawnadithit come alive.
“When the waves are pulling away, that sort of thing paints the whole picture for me — my character, where she’s from, and what her world has been,” said Newman.
“Which makes her not just a character on a page, but she’s starting to become human.”
Inclusivity Program Coordinator
Persephone Theatre, Saskatoon
Name: Robert Wyma
June 30, 2018
Plan, organize and execute Persephone Theatre’s Inclusivity Plan to provide access to our programming for persons who are deaf, Deaf, or hard-of-hearing, have impaired vision, have sensory issues, or who are in other circumstances that may present a barrier to attending the theatre.
To all Theatre Board of Directors
Following Will Brooks’ March 16th memo, a working committee comprised of representatives from Saskatoon Theatre companies and Colleen Ostoforoff from the Saskatchewan Association of Theatre Professionals (SATP) was formed to plan an information session on harassment policies for boards and board members.
The committee identified that there are varying educational needs for all areas of our theatre organizations (Board, Operational/Administrative staff and Actors). As an overarching goal, we recommend that theatre organizations work together to create policies and processes that will address harassment issues across Saskatchewan in a consistent manner.
The focus of this working committee is to provide an information session for board members that will help them understand what harassment is and what their responsibilities are with respect to harassment in our respective organizations.
The information session will explore:
- What harassment is and how it is defined, in the past and today (context/historical shift),
- Legal responsibilities of boards and board members with respect to harassment
- How boards can help ensure that theatre workplaces are safe for employees, actors and volunteers (e.g. necessary policies and procedures, conduct expectations)
- The functional and directional responsibilities of boards with respect to harassment (e.g. what role do they have, how are they expected to conduct themselves)
The proposed date for this information session is Monday, September 10th from 7:00 – 9:00 pm. The location is still to be finalized. We expect to charge a small registration fee to cover costs.
Please provide this update to your board.
To assist in our planning and to ensure we book an appropriate space, please let me know an estimate of THE number of board members who may be attending by June 30th. A request for confirmation of attendance will be included in our next email.
In the meantime, if you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact me by email or phone at (306) 242-3985.
Angie Fergusson, Treasurer, Board of Directors
Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan
Do you sometimes get caught up in day-to-day tasks and forget why you are really doing your work? Our free webinar will help you better understand your values and how they relate to more purposeful work.
A key to living and working with purpose is articulating your core values. Our values represent who we are and what is unique about us. Once we articulate these values we can harness them to create more energy and success. Living by our values creates energy as we make choices that align with a greater purpose. It can also help motivate us to embrace new challenges and opportunities. This session will allow participants to explore their own core values through guided exercises. You will learn techniques to help you put your values to work for you.
Free webinar information:
Topic: Putting Your Values to Work
Date: Thursday, June 7 at 1pm Eastern Time / 10am Pacific Time (one hour)
Cost: Free - Register Now
Skill Level: Introductory. This session will be useful to nonprofit professionals interested in bringing more purpose to their work.
Important Note: While registration is open to all, attendance is limited to the first 1,000 people to sign onto the live session. We suggest signing on five minutes early to have the best chance of getting on the webinar. If for any reason you aren't able to connect to the live presentation, rest assured you'll get the full recording by email the following day.
Not sure if you can attend the live webinar?
If you're interested in the material but can't commit to attending the live webinar, there is no need to worry - please register anyway! We will email the webinar recording and presentation slides to all registrants the day after the webinar.
Please feel free to pass this invitation on to anyone in your network you think would like to attend.
If you have any questions about the upcoming webinar, please contact me. I'm always happy to answer questions or provide more information.
Two More Grants Now Open
Creative Saskatchewan is pleased to announce the opening of two grant programs.
Business Capacity Grant
If your Saskatchewan-based business in one of our six creative sectors is up and running and ready to grow, this grant could help you expand, or become more efficient.
Deadline: July 16, 2018 at 4pm
This grant can support your effort to better understand, interpret, and capitalize on market forces affecting your creative sector.
Deadline: July 16, 2018 at 4pm
Announcement · May 18, 2018
Update from PACT on the CTA Negotiations
At the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres' Annual General Meeting May 10-12, members met on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Nation in Ottawa. The conference opened with an inspiring keynote speech by Kevin Loring, Artistic Director of the National Arts Centre Indigenous Theatre, on The Future of Storytelling. This remarkable address set the tone for one of PACT's largest and most important conferences.
During the conference, the PACT membership reviewed and discussed at length the proposed changes to the Canadian Theatre Agreement (CTA) for 2018-2021. On the morning of May 12th, the membership voted not to ratify the proposed changes to the CTA and committed to working with Canadian Actors' Equity Association (CAEA) toward a new understanding that broadens the diversity, scope of practice, and communities in the expanding theatre ecology.
There were a number of issues with the proposed changes to the CTA for PACT members including:
- House category, particularly, sharing of documentation and the category assignments to venues
- Changes to Stage Management clauses
- The creation of a new clause for Non-Standard Activities
- Proposed clauses related to Open Rehearsals and Relaxed Performances.
PACT seeks to work closely with CAEA to support the future of Canadian storytelling - reflective of the ways in which theatre is created and produced, and working not only with Euro-centric models but with an understanding of Indigenous culture and theatre-making practices.
PACT is currently in discussions with CAEA about next steps, including a return to the negotiations process, and to the process that will occur in the immediate future in anticipation of the expiry of the 2015-2018 CTA on June 24, 2018.
As Nina Lee Aquino and Mike Payette (PACT's new President and Vice-President) have said, "The discussions surrounding the evolution of Canadian theatre are as urgent as ever. Our expansive country is gifted with exceptional artists and companies whose collective voice evokes a unique potential to be a leader in the greater arts ecology. We embrace the multitude of ways in which we practice our art, but also promote and encourage all voices to be given space to create and engage community."
PACT is a member-driven organization of professional Canadian theatres that serves as the collective voice of its members.
We are a leader in the national performing arts community, and a devoted advocate for the value of live performance. Since 1979 we have focused on providing a community where theatre professionals (both artistic and administrative) can come together to discuss important issues and work together to create innovative solutions. About us →
Special Instructions to Applicants
Only short-listed candidates will be asked to provide Letters of Reference.
If you require further information regarding this competition, please contact the faculty/department you are applying to.
(Faculty and Sessional postings only)
Faculty of Media, Art, and Performance
University of Regina
Regina SK S4S 0A2
PH: (306) 585-5510
CUPE Information (CUPE postings only)
Media, Art, and Performance-Theatre
Lecturer, Theatre Department
As per URFA Collective Agreement
Duration (if term)
August 1, 2018 - June 30, 2020
The Department of Theatre invites applications at the Lecturer level for a two-year term position in Theatre Acting and Directing. The position will commence on August 1, 2018.
The successful candidate is responsible for teaching acting classes across all areas of the undergraduate Bachelor of Arts Acting program, and will be required to direct at least one department production. In addition, one is expected to teach script analysis, and one studies course in an area of interest.
Candidates must possess an MFA or PhD degree with an emphasis on acting and directing. Preference will be given to candidates with substantial teaching experience at the post-secondary level AND professional theatre experience.
Evidence of experience in directing musical theatre is required and the ability to teach across the curriculum is essential. Candidates should also demonstrate professional or teaching experience in two of the following areas; physical theatre, clown, circus, new play creation and/or self-production and should have the capacity to supervise MA and MFA students.
Required Applicant Documents:
Evidence of Teaching Effectiveness
Sample Course Outlines
Other [See Special Instructions to Applicants field on Posting]
The University of Regina is committed to an inclusive workplace that reflects the richness of the community that we serve. The University welcomes applications from all qualified individuals, including individuals within the University's employment equity categories of women, persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities, aboriginal persons, individuals of diverse gender and sexual orientation and all groups protected by the Human Rights Code.
Discover the full 2018 results of the Digital Strategy Fund
The Canada Council’s Digital Strategy Fund supports Canadian artists, groups and arts organizations in understanding the digital world, engaging with it, and responding to the cultural and social changes it produces.
A total of 45 initiatives are receiving funding this year. Close to 10 million in grants under the Digital Strategy Fund will support initiatives that gather artists, arts professionals, specialists and collaborators from a variety of backgrounds and organizations, who are collaborating on common issues or experimenting with new ideas that will impact the art sector.
See how the arts community is making the digital shift! Discover the full results.
Next deadline: October 2018
For more information about the Digital Strategy Fund:
1-800-263-5588 or 613-566-4414
1-800-263-5588 or 613-566-4414