Call for Submissions: Beyond the Bard Playwrights Unit

PLEASE NOTE: Driftwood Theatre has extended the deadline for submissions to the Beyond the Bard Playwrights Unit to Friday, March 11, 2022. 

What we’re doing:

Driftwood Theatre Group is now accepting submissions for our 2022 Beyond the Bard Playwrights Unit! This year, we are looking for early career playwrights who are interested in creating NEW short plays to be presented as part of our summer tour. Commissioned playwrights will be supported by our company dramaturg throughout the development process, and will participate in bi-monthly group meetings geared toward fellowship and professional development. Interested in the opportunity to have your work toured across Ontario this summer? Then get your application in! 

What we’re offering: 

  • A paid commission to write a 10-minute play for our 2022 season. 
  • A director and cast of professional actors made up of company members from our 2022 touring show, Henry V. NOTE: Playwrights will be made aware of the actors in their cast (max. two) before they are asked to begin writing. 
  • Ongoing dramaturgical support from our Company Dramaturg, Caitie Graham, for the duration of the Unit (April – June)
  • Bi-monthly “Fellowship Meetings” wherein the Unit convenes as a group of

artists working toward a common goal via different paths and perspectives. At these meetings, playwrights will be invited to propose discussion topics, or recommend reading material, about anything they feel is important to their artwork and/or the professional development of the group. 

We’re looking for applicants who are…

  • Inspired by the idea of creating a short play to accompany our touring production; knowing that your work will be presented publicly outdoors, at new venues each week, in different communities across Ontario, with minimal set, prop, and costume.
  • Committed to dedicating a significant amount of time to your project, and meeting mutually agreed-upon deadlines. 
  • Available to attend dramaturgy sessions, and join bi-monthly group meetings with the rest of the Unit. NOTE: While our tour and rehearsals will be in-person events, all Unit activities leading up to this stage will take place virtually.
  • ‘Early career’. By our definition, this means you have demonstrated a commitment to advancing a career in playwriting, but have not (yet) received a professional production of a full-length work. This does not include professional workshops or staged readings of works in progress. There are no age limits to apply. 

The Beyond the Bard Playwrights Unit welcomes applicants from all backgrounds who reflect the many communities that make up the province of Ontario. In particular, we will prioritize applications from artists who identify as BIPOC and/or 2SLGBTQ+. Driftwood is also committed to providing an accessible and barrier-free environment for its staff and artists. If you have questions or concerns about the accessibility of this application process, or the Unit itself, please feel free to reach out to Caitie at for accommodations. 

Given that Driftwood recently moved our office from Toronto to Picton, we are also particularly interested in submissions from Ontario artists who are based in (or have a deep connection to) communities outside of Toronto.

What to submit:

Please click here to complete our submission form. On it, you will be asked to provide the following:

  • An Artist’s CV 
  • A Letter of Interest (max 1pg, PDF) OR Applicant Video (max 5 mins) that includes…
    • A brief introduction of who you are and where you feel you’re at in your career. 
    • Why you’re applying for the BTB Playwrights Unit, and what you hope to gain from the experience.
    • What is exciting (and also challenging) to you about writing for our tour.
    • Whatever else you may think is important for us to consider!
  • A writing sample (max 10 pgs double spaced, PDF)

***Please include your full name in the title of ALL attached files. 

All applicants will be contacted upon receipt of their submission, and again by early April regarding the status of their application.

Successful applicants will be invited to a short, virtual, interview with our Artistic Director and Company Dramaturg before official selections are made.

EXTENDED DEADLINE TO SUBMIT:  Friday March 11th, 2022 @ 11:59pm

For any questions and/or requests for accessibility accommodation, please reach Caitie at

Click HERE to submit your application.