Trafalgar 24 Call for Playwrights

La version française suit

Challenge: Write a play in eight hours, overnight, in a castle. 

Reward: Immediately see your play staged (did we mention in a castle?) and the chance of a professional residency to develop your work.

Driftwood Theatre is currently accepting applications from Canadian playwrights for our next Trafalgar 24 play-creation festival, taking place over the course of 24 hours between March 7 and 8, 2019.

Trafalgar 24 is a festival of site-specific theatre created in a 24-hour period where 24 professional playwrights, directors and actors convene upon a 19th century castle in Whitby, Ontario to write, rehearse and perform six short site-specific plays.

We are interested in submissions from professional new generation playwrights under the age of 35 who identify as emerging, having had a small history of professional presentation, workshopping or publication: artists who are geographically, economically and culturally diverse who are interested in exploring the dialogue between the urban and rural communities in our great province. Applications are encouraged from English and/or Francophone playwrights from across Ontario. All selected playwrights will receive a honourarium for their participation in Trafalgar 24.

This is a juried festival. One participating T24 playwright will receive a paid residency to further develop their work, including dramaturgical support, workshops, public readings in Ontario communities and the potential optioning of their work for future production as part of Driftwood’s annual Bard’s Bus Tour.

Playwrights are invited to make application by forwarding a brief covering letter and resume (as one PDF file) and a sample of work (5 pages maximum, preferably in dialogue form) to Artistic Director, Jeremy Smith (

Application deadline: December 15, 2018.


Défi : écrire une pièce en huit heures, la nuit, dans un manoir.

Récompense : voir sa pièce montée sur-le-champ (dans un manoir!) et la chance de remporter une résidence d’écriture professionnelle.

Driftwood Theatre reçoit présentement les candidatures d’auteurs.trices dramatiques pour l’édition 2018 de Trafalgar 24, festival de création de nouveaux textes qui se déroule sur 24 heures du 7 au 8 mars 2019.

Trafalgar 24 est un festival de théâtre in situ dont les textes sont créés en 24 heures par 24 auteurs.trices dramatiques, metteur.e.s en scène et comé professionnel.le.s qui se rassemblent dans un manoir du 19e siècle à Whitby, Ontario pour écrire, répéter et présenter six courtes pièces écrites précisément pour les lieux.

Nous portons une attention particulière aux auteurs.trices professionnel.le.s des nouvelles générations qui ont moins de 35 ans qui se disent de la relève et dont les textes ont déjà été explorés en laboratoire, montés ou publiés dans un contexte professionnel ; des artistes de la diversité géographique, économique et culturelle qui souhaitent explorer le dialogue entre les communautés urbaines et rurales de notre grande province. Nous encourageons les candidatures d’auteurs.trices francophones et anglophones de partout en Ontario. Un honoraire sera versé à chacun.e des auteurs.trices retenu.e.s pour Trafalgar 24.

Ce festival sera évalué par un jury. Un.e auteur.trice du T24 se verra offrir une résidence rémunérée afin de poursuivre le développement de son texte avec appui dramaturgique, laboratoires et lectures publiques dans des communautés ontariennes avec la possibilité de voir son texte monté dans le cadre de la tournée annuelle Bard’s Bus Tour de Driftwood.

Les auteurs.trices sont invité.e.s à faire parvenir une lettre de présentation et un curriculum vitae (en un seul fichier PDF) ainsi qu’un échantillon d’écriture (5 pages maximum de préférence en forme dialoguée) au directeur artistique Jeremy Smith (

Date limite pour soumettre votre candidature: 15 décembre 2018.

Driftwood’s looking for board members!

Hop aboard the Bard’s Bus and help make theatre for everyone in Ontario as a member of Driftwood Theatre’s Board of Directors

Driftwood Theatre believes in accessible, professional live theatre for everyone in Ontario: no matter where you live or how much money you have in your pocket. On the road since 1995 visiting communities across the province, Driftwood is Ontario’s leading outdoor summer touring theatre company, performing for over 100,000 people in city parks, campus fields, schools, heritage museums and public squares.

As a prospective director of this registered charity, you’re a tireless ambassador for accessible culture, ready to engage in governance, fundraising, visioning and hands-on assistance in your area of expertise and at events.

In 2019 Driftwood celebrates its 25th anniversary and we are particularly looking for board members with expertise in fundraising and accounting/financial management who will help us shepherd some exciting opportunities to build a financial base for the company’s future.

The board currently meets six times per year in the GTA, but we welcome interest from anywhere in the province. Though in-person attendance at meetings is preferred, attendance by Skype or conference call is possible when necessary.

Dedicated to reflecting Canada’s rich diversity on and off stage, Driftwood encourages applicants of all backgrounds regardless of age, disability, ethno-cultural identity or gender.

Term begins January 2019.

To express interest or for more details, please contact Lee Bolton, General Manager: , 416-605-5132.

Die, Imposter, Die

A second blog from Driftwood’s 2018 Playwright in Residence, Alicia Richardson as she continues to work on her play, Solve for X

Sometimes there’s a strange comfort in failure. Sure, initially it sucks. But then there’s some relief. You don’t have to fulfill the expectation of greatness. Success means that you have something to lose and people who will shake their heads and smack their teeth at you when you screw the pooch.* At least when you fail it’s definite, there’s closure. With success, you’re on the wave for however long the surf’s up. There’s really no telling when you’ll wipe out.

Take my case, for example. About a week after getting this gig, uneasiness washed over me: whatever I write has to be great. Regular ol’ “good” just ain’t gonna cut it. This needs to justify the government dollars that are funding this residency. “Artist-in-Residence” sounds so fancy, man! So freaking legit. Am I gonna have to make statements and talk about my “process”? I don’t even know what my process is!**

What if my win was just a fluke? I won the audience vote by four people. Four. Things could’ve easily gone another way. I didn’t even vote for myself because I was so certain that I didn’t deserve to win. There were much more established playwrights in the competition; one of whom has a degree in playwriting for crying out loud! Yet I, the hamburgler, crept away with what I thought belonged to someone else.

After all, I’m just an actor. I’m not even a real writer. But that’s not true. I’ve been writing since I was a teenager: fiction, essay, spoken word, and yes plays too. I thought that what I wrote wasn’t that big of a deal, so my words would spend an eternity in a graveyard of old notebooks. No one reads my work, no one can judge it. But as Marianne Williamson so beautifully wrote, “Your playing small does not serve the world.” No one reads my work, no one can be inspired by it. I can do for someone else what Suzan-Lori Parks and James Baldwin did for me.***

When I think of writing as something I do to serve a bigger purpose, that’s how I kill my inner critic. Suddenly it’s not about being good enough or fighting impostor syndrome. It’s not even about me. It’s about creating more leading roles for black actors. It’s about making women agents of the narrative and not just victims of it. But underneath the revolution of it all, each play I write is a love letter to a member of my family.

Solve for X is part of an ongoing conversation with my brother, about how we can learn to thrive in a system that seems built to destroy us. We’ve learned to negotiate with humor because joy seems to be the biggest resistance we’ve got. Maybe one day he’ll see a production of this show. The thought of his big, baritone laughter filling the air…that’ll be all the confirmation I need.


*But would they really? I mean, people who love and support you are rooting for you. And who cares about the haters? Well you’re not even famous enough to have haters, let’s be real. By you, I mean the proverbial “you” of course…

**Does eating my feelings count?

*** That’s a reach cuz they are both pretty epic. But you feel me, right?}

Alicia Richardson is Driftwood’s 2018 Playwright-in-Residence, working on her play Solve for X, which was first written for Trafalgar 24, 2018. 

Driftwood Audiences Know About Love

At each of our 26 performances of Shakespeare’s “Rosalynde (or As You Like It)” we handed paper hearts to our audiences and invited them to share their thoughts on love – a poem, some advice, how they met their love. Those who also wanted to share their email address were entered to win a “Heart’s Desire Gift Crate” of fantastic Ontario artisan gifts. (More on that later.)

We had no idea what would happen. More than 200 submissions later, we have learned a few things about our audiences, and about love.

To begin, there are some darn well-read folks out there. People submitted poetry and quotes from sources ranging from Leonard Cohen to Lord Byron, from Ed Sheeran to the Bible, from T.S. Eliot to Joni Mitchell, from Rumi to the Beatles to Burns – and of course, Shakespeare.

A wealth of wisdom was also shared, coming from singles, newlyweds and couples who have been together for more than five decades! Some of our favourites:

“Always believe in good intention.”

“ Listen more, criticize less.”

“ Never share a toothbrush.”

“ Don’t look for it, let it happen.”

“ Love is a dance. As time goes by the music will change. Try not to step on each others’ toes.”

As for romantic tales –there were so many. From the couple who met at an age when 7 years was too much of an age difference, were apart for 33 years and then found each other again to the pair who met at the Molson Indy (he still revs my engines!) to the smart sax player who serenaded his way into his wife’s heart, there are some beautiful and funny stories of love out there.

Thank you all for sharing your warmth and humour, and to quote one of our wise audience members, “Don’t forget to make time for love!”