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.

Audition Notice: King Henry Five

Driftwood Theatre Group invites submissions from performers for King Henry Five by William Shakespeare.

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

Rehearsals for King Henry Five will begin in June 2022 in Picton, Ontario, with public performances planned between July 19 – August 14, 2022 (with a possible extension to August 21). During the tour, Toronto will serve as the point of origin. The Bard’s Bus Tour contracts equity artists under the ITA as a ‘G’ House.

Driftwood Theatre welcomes applicants from all backgrounds who reflect the many communities that make up the province of Ontario. In particular, we will prioritize and consider first 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 production itself, please feel free to reach out to Producer, Ella Kohlmann at for accommodations. 


  • Hal/Henry V: A young and sometimes reluctant member of royalty, Hal struggles to reconcile their friendship with Falstaff against their responsibilities as a future king. Hall is quick witted and a natural leader. Masculine, male-presenting, he/him pronours. Age range 20-30.
  •  Quickly: The plain-speaking owner of the Boar’s Head Tavern, Quickly is quick to laughter and has a special kind of love/hate relationship with Falstaff. Any gender. Age range 40-50. Other roles include King Henry IV.
  • Poins: A lifelong rogue and friend to Hal and Falstaff, Poins is in love with Quickly. Any gender. Age range 30-40. Other roles include Hotspur.

King Henry Five. Driftwood approaches Shakespeare’s history plays for the first time as we adapt three of Shakespeare’s scripts (Henry IV pts 1 & 2, Henry V) into a single narrative using only five actors to tell the story of King Henry Five. Set in a contemporary Canadian patio bar, King Henry Five focuses on prince Hal’s questionable friendship with Falstaff as it comes up against Hal’s priorities as a leader and future king. This is a powerful story about community, the families we inherit and those we choose, and the legacies we leave behind.

How to submit:

Please click here to submit your application using Google Forms. You will be asked to provide the following as a single PDF (File name format: FULL_NAME_HENRY_AUDITONS.pdf):

  • A brief, one-page cover letter indicating the role you’d like to be seen for, tell us what interests you about the project and working with Driftwood, and tells us about your relationship to music, what instruments you play and your vocal range if applicable
  • Headshot
  • Acting CV

Candidates selected for an audition will be expected to prepare two contrasting Shakespeare monologues and a song of their choice.  All auditions will take place using the ZOOM virtual-meetings platform.

Both CAEA members and non-CAEA members will be considered. All performers cast will be engaged under an Equity form of contract. Electronic submissions only. All applicants will be contacted upon receipt of their submission, and again by early April regarding the status of their application.

 The deadline for submissions is Friday, February 25, 2022 at 5pm.

Ticketing: Our New Vision for Accessible Theatre

Since Driftwood’s inception over 25 years ago, we’ve held fiercely to our belief that theatre should be accessible to everyone, no matter where you live or how much money you have in your pocket. But the world has changed a lot since 1995, especially so in the three years since we’ve last toured. The reality is that touring free or Pay What You Can professional theatre productions is just not feasible in 2022.

Today, there are also health and safety considerations that our communities, our artists and our staff rely on us to make in order to keep them informed and minimize contact. The old ‘pass the pink bag of joy’ version of admissions collection is no longer safe.

And so, for the health of our organization and the health of our communities, Driftwood Theatre is introducing a new ticketing model, a bridge between Driftwood’s original mandate and the realities of an increased need for health and safety measures as well as greater fiscal responsibility.

Pay What You Can AFFORD

We still feel very strongly that a single set ticket price just isn’t for us. So here’s the plan:

Inspired by the groundbreaking work of industry peers Why Not Theatre (check them out, they’re awesome), in 2022 Driftwood will introduce Pay What You Can AFFORD, a ticketing system for all future productions whereby audiences can select from one of four set admission prices: $5, $35, $50, $75.

Audience members are encouraged to select and pay the price which suits their budget. Whether you’re a bustling family with little to spend on those extracurriculars or a bachelor/ette with cash burning a hole in your pocket, there’s a ticket price within that range for you.

However, we realize that for some even $5 presents a significant barrier to participation, and so we’re looking to the kindness of our communities to help keep Driftwood truly accessible for everyone.

Theatre for Everyone: Community Tix

They say “it takes a village” and we couldn’t agree more. Making sure that theatre is accessible to those who need it most is a community effort. Working with partnered organizations in communities across our touring area, Driftwood is creating a Community Tix program to offer free theatre where it’s really needed.

Every PWYCA ticket purchased at the $75 level unlocks two free tickets. These community tickets flow into one of two pools: at the point of sale the purchaser can decide if the tickets will go towards a partnered organization in their own community, or be distributed at Driftwood’s discretion to a larger pool of organizations province-wide. By purchasing your ticket at the $75 level you will have a direct hand in helping two other people see the show.

Get Your Tickets Early

We’re strongly encouraging guests to buy their tickets in advance. Advance ticket sales serve as an important source of revenue to help keep the ‘wheels on the bus’ and they’re also an important tool in keeping communities safe and informed. We’ll be able to keep better track of, and communicate with, audience members in the case of potential gathering limitations, cancellations, emergencies or for contact tracing where needed. 

We can’t wait to gather with you again this summer and look forward to coming together as a community to share affordable, accessible theatre with everyone in Ontario.

See you on the road,

Jeremy Smith, Artistic Director

Call for Submissions: The Onion Cellar

Driftwood Theatre Group invites applications from diverse storytellers for a new project led by Ahmed Moneka.

Truth spoken has the ability to heal. Truth guarded has destroyed civilizations.

With the generous support of Nightswimming Theatre and in partnership with Driftwood Theatre, actor, musician and creator Ahmed Moneka is engaging in a new project to explore our human need to share and experience stories as a process of healing, breaking down barriers, and building community.

The Onion Cellar imagines a tavern in the city of Toronto where no food or alcohol is served but where, through the cutting and peeling onions, guests are prompted to shed tears, share stories and begin a process of healing.

In Moneka’s vision, The Onion Cellar (based loosely on a chapter of German novelist Gunter Grass’ ‘The Tin Drum’) is a vital story, a response to circumstances and technology that have robbed us of our ability to truly commune and share openly with each other across cultures, beliefs and experiences. The Onion Cellar is envisioned as a collectively-created, world-fusion musical celebrating openness, storytelling and community.


We are looking for six theatre artists, preferably with a strong connection to music, to engage with us in a process of story sharing and creation over a potentially long-term project (pending funding).

For this current phase of supported work, we are conducting two meetings with each artist lasting approximately 90-120 minutes each. In the first session the artist will share one or more personal stories. Between the first and second session will be a period of writing by Mr. Moneka. At the second session each artist will be asked to respond to and engage with the writing. Each session will take place over Zoom.

From Mr. Moneka, “we are asking you to bring your most treasured self and your radical truth and in return, we will provide a humble honouring and gratitude for your rawness and vulnerability”.


What follows is a suggested breakdown of artists. However, we are committed to reflecting Canada’s rich diversity in all aspects of our work. We encourage and welcome applicants from all backgrounds and will prioritize applicants who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, Women, Gender minorities, 2SLGBTQ+, d/Deaf, Disabled/People with Disabilities, and/or Neurodiverse.

  • Artist 1. Trans-identifying individual, any gender. 20-30
  • Artist 2. Asian individual, any gender. 20-40.
  • Artist 3. Black individual, cis female. 50-60.
  • Artist 4. Indigenous individual, any gender. 20-40.
  • Artist 5. A widow or single parent, any gender. 20-40.
  • Artist 6. Caucasian individual, cis male. 40-60.

Again, these are suggestions only, if you don’t see yourself reflected above but feel that you have a story to share, we’d like to hear from you.

Please submit a letter of interest, photo & resume in a single pdf format to Driftwood Theatre at In the letter, please provide any details about yourself you are willing to share and express, in some way, your connection to story or storytelling. Please also indicate your connection to music, what instruments you play (if any), and vocal range (if you know it).

Please note: we encourage everyone with an interest to make an application. Musical ability would be great, but it is not mandatory. First and foremost, we want to hear your story.

Both CAEA members and non-CAEA members will be considered. All artists will be engaged under a workshop contract through the Independent Theatre Agreement (CAEA). Electronic submissions only. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

No agency submissions please. Agents, please encourage your clients to self-submit.

COMPENSATION: Compensation will be $250/session ($500 total).

The deadline for submissions is February 14, 2022, at 12pm.