Playwrights Retreat Call for Submissions

Driftwood Theatre is now accepting applications for its next iteration of The Gillespie House Playwrights Retreat. This brand-new offering is an entirely self-directed paid opportunity that offers time and space to Ontario theatre makers who are developing new works that are epic and mythic in nature. 

The Gillespie House Playwrights Retreat Series is one of the first initiatives born of Driftwood’s new artistic focus. After a thirty-year history of touring classical theatre across Ontario, Driftwood is changing to invest even more deeply in its community by focusing on the development of new theatrical work by Ontario-based artists. With this shift, Driftwood fully embraces the etymology of its company name: providing stability within an ever-evolving environment and building a vital framework which allows ideas to take root and grow. 

This iteration of The Gillespie House Retreat will run from June 3rd to 7th, 2024 at our partnered bed-and-breakfast in Prince Edward County; The Gillespie House. We are currently looking to support emerging and/or established Ontario-based playwrights who are exploring bold new ideas for a theatrical work that is epic or mythic in nature (whatever that may mean to the applicant). We are looking for projects that are still in an ideation phase of development that explore uncharted creative territory for the applying artist. 

What we’re offering: 

  • Travel stipend within Ontario, full accommodations and complimentary daily breakfast for the duration of your stay.
  • Access to support from our on-site dramaturg and Metcalf Intern Caitie Graham, if desired. 
  • Opportunities to enjoy optional group activities in and around Prince Edward County
  • An honorarium of $500.00

**Though lunches and dinners are not covered as part of the retreat, playwrights may opt into a grocery sharing/communal cooking schedule, or dine out in downtown PEC (3-minute walk from the premises). 

What we need from you: 

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 5mins, 1GB) that addresses the following;
    • A brief intro of who you are and what drives you as a theatre maker. 
    • A description of the project you’d like to bring to the retreat, and how you feel it connects to our mission of sharing epic and mythic stories.  
    • A description of why you’re applying for the Retreat and how you would like to use your time here.
    • Whatever else you may think is important for us to consider!
  • A writing sample from a previous work (max 10 pgs double spaced, PDF)

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

Apply byApril 18, 2024

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

The Gillespie House Playwrights Retreat 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 retreat itself, please feel free to reach out to Caitie at for accommodations. 

Gillespie House Information

The Gillespie House Bed & Breakfast is a family-run B&B in the heart of Prince Edward County. In addition to 3 private bedrooms on the second floor, there are two large communal working spaces on the main floor that playwrights can share. For photographs and more information regarding the Gillespie House’s Accessibility and Health/Safety protocol, please visit The Gillespie House website here.