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Theatre Creators’ Reserve supports local playwrights

Five local playwrights were among recipients of Ontario Arts Council grants toward development of their theatre projects.

The Theatre Creators’ Reserve program works at arms length through the Ontario Arts Council. The applications were made through the Festival Players of Prince Edward County.

The Theatre Creators’ Reserve program engages professional theatre companies to review and support work by Ontario playwrights. Grants are intended to fund writing time and development model or process being undertaken. Projects can be anywhere from the embryonic, earliest research stage, to the final edit/draft stage.

“Each year we receive applications from artists right across the province. It was a joy this year to see so many local applicants and a privilege to be able to support them in their work,” said Sarah Phillips, Festival Players’ artistic director. “Creating new work is an investment. By the time a piece of theatre gets to the stage it may have been months or even years worth of work to get it there. Every little bit helps.”

Recipients include local artists Conrad Beaubien, Krista Dalby, Daiva Johnston, Suzanne Pasternak and Marion DeVries. Beau Dixon, whose play Beneath Springhill: The Maurice Ruddick Story wowed audiences as part of Festival Players’ soloFest in 2015, was also supported.

Festival Players will celebrate its 10th anniversary season in 2016, of bringing high-calibre professional theatre to the region.

“The selected works explore everything from a mysterious murder, to an historical landmark, to the rise and fall of a small-town Ontario rock and roll band and span the genres from musical to comedy to drama,” said Phillips. “It’s possible that the (grant recipients’) shows could end up part of future seasons but the support is not dependant on that, nor are the artists obliged to offer the shows to us to produce.”

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