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.