Trafalgar 24 & Beyond the Bard Playwrights Unit Call for Playwrights

It all starts with writing a play overnight in a castle, but continues with an eight-month process of supported development and the chance for a paid five-week residency as you explore your writing process.

Driftwood Theatre is currently accepting applications from Canadian playwrights for our Trafalgar 24 play-creation festival (March 5 & 6, 2020) and Beyond the Bard Playwrights Unit.

Trafalgar 24 is a festival of site-specific theatre created in a 24-hour period where six emerging playwrights each write a short site-specific play set in a 19th century castle in Whitby, Ontario. Each play is then immediately rehearsed and performed that day.

As a juried festival, Trafalgar 24 selects one participating playwright to receive a paid residency to explore and expand their work, including dramaturgical support, workshops, and a public reading in the spring of 2021. The remaining five playwrights will constitute Driftwood Theatre’s Beyond the Bard Playwrights Unit, meeting regularly in group and one-on-one meetings over eight months to refine their short scripts. These shorts scripts will be performed prior to select performances of Driftwood’s summer Bard’s Bus Tour in 2021.

We are interested in submissions from professional playwrights under the age of 35 who identify as emerging, having had a small history of professional presentation, workshopping or publication. Our focus is on regional 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. Participation is paid through honourarium and/or residency fees.

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 EXTENDED: January 1, 2020.


Écrivez une pièce de théâtre dans un manoir la nuit, puis poursuivez l’expérience grâce à un appui au développement de huit mois et la possibilité d’une résidence payée de cinq semaines afin d’explorer votre processus d’écriture.

Driftwood Theatre reçoit présentement les candidatures d’auteurs.trices dramatiques pour Trafalgar 24, festival de création de nouveaux textes qui se déroule sur 24 heures (du 5 au 6 mars 2020), et son cercle d’auteurs Beyond the Bard.

Trafalgar 24 est un festival de théâtre in situ de 24 heures où six auteurs.trices dramatiques, écrivent chacun.e une courte pièce sur mesure pour une des salles d’un manoir du 19e siècle à Whitby, Ontario. Chaque pièce est ensuite répétée et présentée le jour même.

Le jury du festival récompensera un.e des dramaturge du T24 d’une résidence d’écriture rémunérée afin qu’il.elle poursuive le développement de son texte, y compris un appui dramaturgique, des laboratoires et une lecture publique au printemps 2021. Les cinq autres dramaturges formeront le cercle d’auteur Beyond the Bard de Driftwood, et profiteront, sur huit mois, de plusieurs rencontres de groupe et individuelles afin de peaufiner leur courtes pièces. Ces textes seront joués avant certaines représentations de la tournée estivale du Bard’s Bus Tour de Driftwood en 2021.

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 de dramaturges francophones et anglophones de partout en Ontario. Les dramaturges retenu.e.s pour Trafalgar 24 se verront récompensé.e.s d’un honoraire et/ou d’une résidence d’écriture rémunérée.

Les dramaturges sont invité.e.s à faire parvenir une lettre de présentation et un c.v. artistique (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 dépôts de candidature : 1 janvier 2020.

William Shakespeare’s A Christmas Carol Cast Announcement

What the Dickens? Three Scrooges to appear in Driftwood Theatre’s William Shakespeare’s A Christmas Carol by Ian Doescher

In one week, Driftwood Theatre’s holiday edition of Play in a Pub hits the road with a Christmas classic of Shakespearian proportions. William Shakespeare’s A Christmas Carol will be performed December 10 – 15, 2019. Driftwood is excited to announce that not one, not two, but three different Scrooges will take to stages in three breweries and pubs in Peterborough, Whitby and Toronto, backed up by the original 2018 ensemble.

Appearing as Scrooge are Canadian theatre luminaries Deborah Drakeford (Soulpepper Theatre, ARC Theatre; taking the stage December 10), Michael Hanrahan (Soulpepper Theatre, Neptune Theatre; taking the stage December 11) and Philip Akin (Obsidian Theatre, Shaw Festival; taking the stage December 15).

Guiding the Scrooges through their redemptive journeys are Steven Burley (Founding company member, Driftwood; The 39 Steps, Bruce County Playhouse) as Benedick Cratchit/Prospero/Mercutio, Madeleine Donohue (Early August, Lighthouse Theatre Festival; Dial M for Murder, Watermark Theatre; The Tempest, Driftwood) as Falstaff/Benvolio/Lady Macbeth/Juliet, longtime Driftwood friend and Living Room Community Arts Studio Executive Director Mary Krohnert as Beatrice Cratchit/Puck/Rosencrantz/Miranda, and Jamie Robinson (Much Ado About Nothing and Measure For Measure, Canadian Stage in High Park; Risky Phil, Young People’s Theatre) as Ferdinand/Guildenstern/Romeo/Marlowe.     

With appearances by characters from Shakespeare’s most popular plays, this version of A Christmas Carol is an inventive, hilarious, and touching holiday story for the whole family, inspired by the work of Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare.

Audiences can expect to be involved in the action in this jolly, interactive holiday mash-up. At Play in a Pub audience participation is the name of the game. Audience members take the stage in a variety of walk-on roles (including Tiny Tim, Juliet’s husband Paris, the troubadour Balthasar, and the Ghost of Christmas Future) through the Memorable Character Live Auction. And you can bet there’ll be some participatory Christmas caroling along the way.

Audience members proudly displaying their holiday finery will be rewarded with nightly winners crowned during the Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest. Prize packages include local swag, gift certificates and your very own copy of William Shakespeare’s A Christmas Carol, by Ian Doescher.

In December 2018 Driftwood’s Play in a Pub had its holiday debut at Whitby’s Town Brewery to a sold out house of merrymakers. William Shakespeare’s A Christmas Carol comes from the creative mind of Ian Doescher, author of the equally mind-blowing William Shakespeare’s Star Wars series. 


Driftwood Theatre presents Play in a Pub: William Shakespeare’s A Christmas Carol by Ian Doescher

December 10-15, 2019 

Tickets $25 – $55 | This is an all-ages event.


Call for New Board Members 2020

Help bring theatre to audiences across Ontario as a member of Driftwood Theatre’s Volunteer Board of Directors

Ontario’s longest-running outdoor, touring summer theatre company is looking for new board members to help realize Driftwood’s vision of theatre for everyone in Ontario.

We welcome interest from anywhere in the province. 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.

Prospective board members are asked to fill out an online application. Submissions are due any time.


For more details please contact Driftwood’s board of directors at

About Driftwood’s Volunteer Board

Driftwood’s volunteer board is comprised of 5-8 members who are ambassadors for accessible culture, engaging in governance, fundraising, event planning, visioning and hands-on assistance. A director’s involvement focuses primarily on their area of expertise.

The board meets five-six times per year. Four regular meetings take place via video conference (March, May, September, November). The Annual General Meeting and board retreat take place annually in January/February in a location mutually agreed upon by the board.

Board members are expected to serve on at least one committee (standing committees include Finance, Fundraising, Events, Strategic Planning, Board Nominating) which meet by video conference on varied schedules.

As visionaries and leaders, board members are involved in developing and setting Driftwood’s strategic vision, ensuring growth and stability while holding true to Driftwood’s vision of accessible theatre for everyone.

As ambassadors, Driftwood board members volunteer at events including Play in a Pub, Trafalgar 24 and our annual Bard’s Bus Tour.

Anticipated amount of volunteer time (including meetings, events and tasks) is approximately 40-50 hours annually.

Terms are three years and board members are expected to serve one full term.

The nomination committee is particularly interested in candidates who: live in regional Ontario communities, with experience or expertise in marketing, fundraising, event management, networking, board governance, finance, legal and/or community engagement.

About Driftwood

Driftwood Theatre believes in accessible, professional live theatre for everyone in Ontario. On the road for over 25 years 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.

Driftwood Theatre is a registered charitable organization. Charitable Business Number: 88636 4363 RR0001.

The Dream is almost here. Reserve your seat!

Get the most out of this summer’s A (musical) Midsummer Night’s Dream by reserving your seats today: until July 25, THE EARLY BARD CATCHETH THE WIN!

A Driftwood experience is unlike any other. With actors and audience all sharing the same space under an evening sky, anything can happen! Make sure you’ve got the best seats ‘on the lawn’ this summer and reserve your seats in advance. Book your seats by July 25 and be entered into our EARLY BARD CATCHETH THE WIN contest, with nightly draws for Driftwood swag and complimentary snacks at the show!


Seats can be reserved for almost every show in Driftwood’s 25th anniversary season. We’ve asked our illustrious leader, Jeremy Smith, who has attended more Driftwood shows than anyone (except his parents), to give the low-down on why reserved seats are so awesome.

That would be Artistic Director Jeremy Smith, showing audience members first-hand the benefits of reserved seating.

Here are Artistic Director Jeremy Smith’s TOP SIX REASONS for reserving your seats in advance:
  1. Get best seats. “I like sitting a little further back in a comfy chair, but my kids love getting up close on cushions. Regardless of your preference, reserved guests are guaranteed the best seats for hearing and sight lines”.
  2. Arrive when you want. “With two young kids in tow, I can’t always get out of the house on time. If I get to the show later than I’d like, we have to sit way in the back and park my three-year old on my lap for two uncomfortable house because she can’t see over everyone else’s heads (sometimes being the boss doesn’t come with special perks).  Reserved guests can arrive anytime they like (prior to show time) and know that they’ll still have great seats.”
  3. Hassle-free seating. “You may notice a pattern here, but as the dad, I’m always carrying the furniture. That’s four chairs plus the diaper bag. With a reservation upgraded to include a lawn chair or cushion, all you need to do is show up – we’ll have your seats waiting for you.”
  4. Be in the know. “Making the trip with family in tow only to find that the show’s been cancelled is a bummer. Reserved guests are the first to know if we have to move to a back up venue or cancel a show due to poor weather. We update all reserved guests by email on the day of your show as decisions are made.” 
  5. Flexible Choice. “We do our best to make sure that the show goes on, but sometimes we have to cancel or move the show inside. Some of our back-up venues are wild – an experience unto themselves – but I’m really charmed by experiencing Driftwood under the open sky. If a show is cancelled or there’s bad weather, reserved guests have the flexibility of moving their reservation to another show or receiving a charitable tax receipt for the value of their reservation.”
  6. WIN BIG. “Who doesn’t like winning free stuff?! My kids go crazy over autographed posters and programs. Everyone who reserves a seat prior to July 25 will be entered into the EARLY BARD CATCHETH THE WIN contest. At every show we’ll be drawing a winner to receive a copy of the Dream poster signed by the cast, a copy of our 2012 Dream cast recording (sing along at home!), and complimentary snacks for the show for everyone in your reservation (max. 10 people). You won’t even have to share your free Dr. Pepper!”  

Clearly, booking your seat early is the best way to get in on the Driftwood action, so don’t delay: reserve your seats for Driftwood Theatre’s A (musical) Midsummer Night’s Dream today!


Rosalynde (2018) cast members Geoffrey Armour (left) and Ngabo Nabea (right, standing) explain the virtues of reserved seating to guests. Photo by Dahlia Katz.