NOPEning Night

We want to send out a heartfelt thank you to everyone who joined us for our NOPEning Night Celebration last night. We had a fantastic time discussing Henry Five, Driftwood, and theatre in general, and our hearts are full from seeing so many familiar faces. It was wonderful to have all of our Henry Five cast members together for the first time, and to hear some of their thoughts on the show.

Though we are missing being on the road this summer, we were so grateful for the opportunity to gather as a community and share an evening with all of you. We hope you are as excited as we are about what we have planned for the summer, and what’s to come for Driftwood in the next year. Don’t be a stranger –  we’ll be sharing Ontario Storybook prompts and Community Conversations all summer long, and we would love to hear your stories and have you join in the conversation!

Community Conversations

The time we’ve all been spending away from our regular lives has given us a chance to reflect. The theatre community, like the world at large, is undergoing a huge shift, and we’re starting to have new conversations in forums we’ve never had before. Now more than ever is the time to keep the discussion going, and we want to bring that conversation to you.

In Community Conversations, we’ll be talking with Canadian arts workers about where theatre is currently at, and where it might go in the future. Each week we’ll share a discussion on a different topic, featuring special guests and moderated by our Outreach Co-ordinator Deivan Steele.

Our first conversation took place live during our NOPEning Night Event on July 15th, with Jeremy Smith and Myekah Payne discussing Henry Five, Driftwood, and theatre in general. Throughout the summer and into the fall, we’ll be sharing a new Community Conversation Video every Wednesday starting July 29th.

Read all about our Community Conversations guests here, and check back every Wednesday for more episodes!

Future Community Conversations will include:

Who Funds Theatre, and Why Does it Matter? with Philip Akin

Why Documentary Theatre? with Andrew Kushnir and Lisa Marie diLiberto

Broadening Our Understanding of Classical Theatre – Part 1

with ted witzel and Jani Lauzon

Broadening Our Understanding of Classical Theatre – Part 2

with ted witzel and Jani Lauzon

Broadening Our Understanding of Classical Theatre – Part 3

with ted witzel and Jani Lauzon

Broadening Our Understanding of Classical Theatre – Part 4

with ted witzel and Jani Lauzon

What is Accessible Theatre? – Part 1

with Alex Bulmer and Owais Lightwala

What is Accessible Theatre? – Part 2

with Alex Bulmer and Owais Lightwala

What is Accessible Theatre? – Part 3

with Alex Bulmer and Owais Lightwala


Driftwood Theatre is looking for a producing assistant to work with us in laying the foundation for our 2021 Bard’s Bus Tour in communities across Ontario

The Bard’s Bus Tour is an annual summer Ontario tradition, touring to outdoor venues in communities across the province for 25 years.

Reporting to the Artistic Director, the Producing Assistant’s primary responsibility will be to help coordinate details of Driftwood’s planned 2021 provincial tour, working to set a touring schedule while acting as the primary liaison between Driftwood Theatre and over 25 presenting partners across the province.

The successful candidate will have: a degree of training and/or experience related to theatre producing; a high degree of professionalism and time management skills; the ability to build positive and respectful relationships with a variety of organizational partners; the ability to communicate effectively and work productively with staff, board and provincial presenting partners.

As a response to COVID 19 and to maintain the safety of all staff members and partners, this position will require the Producing Assistant to work from home with twice-weekly meetings via ZOOM.

Driftwood Theatre is dedicated to reflecting Canada’s rich diversity on and off stage in all of its work. Hiring for this position will prioritize applications from BIPOC candidates. As funding for this position is from Canada Summer Jobs, all candidates must be between 15 – 30 years of age, and must be Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or persons to whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Contract dates: Eight full-time weeks, starting as early as July 27, 2020

Salary: $14.50/hour

Candidates are invited to make application by sending a brief cover letter and resume (as one pdf file) by email to Artistic Director, Jeremy Smith (

Application deadline: July 19, 2020

Art At Home – 20 Questions with Polly Phokeev

For today’s #ArtAtHome exclusive, we get to hear from Beyond the Bard playwright Polly Phokeev!

What are you currently reading?
There are, at present, eight books on my bedside table. But the one I have to finish soonest, for book club, is The Doomed City by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky.

What inspires you to write?
Morally complicated characters, in life and in art.

Smarties or M &M’s?
I guess smarties? Honestly neither. I puked once in a car when I was five cause I ate too many M&M’s and now all candy-covered chocolates are cursed.

What’s your favourite sentence of all time?
I’ll interpret this as what’s a fave quote… “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

If you could have your work performed anywhere, where would it be?
In like a massive intricately designed mansion/warehouse/cityscape/farm/estate where audiences get to wander around, à la Punch Drunk shows.

What’s the last delicious thing you ate?
This amazing vegan kale caesar

Do you have any pets?
No, but my partner really wants a kitten so it’s just a matter of time.

Who is your favourite tv/film character?
Honestly, I just rewatched Disney’s Hercules and I think Meg is so deeply compelling, I want six spin-offs.

If you weren’t a playwright, what would you be?
Presuming I’d have had the education for this, an archaeologist. Maybe a historian?

What’s a positive aspect of self-isolation for you? Not having to make up excuses for skipping parties.

What’s a difficult aspect of self-isolation for you?
I do miss hugging my friends.

What’s your favourite cafe to work in?
Rooster, at any of their locations (King, Jarvis, Broadview)

Dogs or cats?
Both! I grew up with cats, but I know a lot of great dogs.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Write first, edit later.

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
One of the ways I let off steam is extended piano improv sessions.

How do you take your coffee/tea?
Either black or with almond milk. Sometimes honey in the tea :)

What was your first job?
A children’s birthday party entertainer. It was an education in so many skills I have now. I was a princess, mascot, staff-shirt party leader, server, custodian, manager, driver, camp counsellor, often all in one day.

What fad or trend do you hope comes back?
I straight up don’t know how to answer this question. I have lived a life utterly oblivious to what is cool.

What are some small things or acts that make your day better?
Taking some time to myself before launching into work in the morning, just to read the news and have a coffee and step out onto the balcony and water the plants.

Who is your favourite Shakespearean character?
Today, I’m thinking about Desdemona, because imagine a sequel where she gets brought back to life by a necromantic warlock and has to try and piece together her trust in humanity as she embarks on a fraught
quest for vengeance?