Trafalgar 24 raises $20,000 for Driftwood Theatre

Emerging creator Hannah Rittner selected as the 2019 Beyond The Bard resident playwright

On Friday, March 8 Driftwood Theatre kicked off its 25th season with yet another extraordinary TRAFALGAR 24, the most unique site-specific theatre event around. Over the course of one day, 24 theatre artists from across Ontario descended upon Trafalgar Castle to write, rehearse and perform six new plays set within the rooms, halls, nooks and crannies of Whitby’s very own 19th century castle.

The 24-hour event was capped off by an evening of public performance featuring Driftwood’s signature Trafalgar 24 Silent Auction and dessert reception. The event raised nearly $20,000 in support of Driftwood Theatre’s upcoming 25th annual Bard’s Bus Tour featuring William Shakespeare’s magical (musical) A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

By jury selection, emerging Toronto playwright Hannah Rittner was selected from among six participating playwrights to receive a five-week paid residency with Driftwood Theatre to develop her short play, I Am Amazed And Know Not What To Say, which was created specifically for the event. Mr. Rittner will work this summer alongside Driftwood’s company of artists to revise and expand her script, with dramaturgical support, rehearsals and public readings.

When I first heard of this opportunity, I felt like it was unlike anything I had gone after before – all night writing and putting something up on the spot amidst the distinct environment of the Whitby castle,” writes Ms. Rittner. “I look forward to discovering my relationship to this place by looking deeply into the past in order to create a sensuous, beautiful, and emotionally riveting experience for the audience.”  

The TRAFALGAR 24 jury consisted of Toronto producer Derrick Chua, Cameco Capitol Arts Centre (Port Hope) Artistic Director Susan Ferley, Living Room Arts Studio Executive Director Mary Krohnert, Driftwood Theatre Artistic Director Jeremy Smith, OnStage theatre critic Joe Szekeres, and special audience guest Sherry MacLeod.

Participating TRAFALGAR 24 artists were remaining playwrights Wallis Caldoza, Matth Hertendy, Rebecca Ostroff, Polly Phokeev, Melissa Taylor; directors Courtney Ch’ng Lancaster, Katrina Darychuk, Claren Grosz, Mark McGrinderLeighton Alexander Williams, and Alison Wong; and performers Belinda Corpuz, Sarah Deller, Oliver Dennis, Andrea Houssin, Megan Miles, Dan Mousseau, Rose Napoli, Andy Pogson, Anand Rajaram, Jamie Robinson, Neta J. Rose, and Hillary Warden.

TRAFALGAR 24 was hosted by performer and award-winning Artistic Director (Bad Hats Theatre) Fiona Sauder.

TRAFALGAR 24 is proudly supported by leading partners RBC Foundation (RBC Emerging Artists Project), Deighton Associates (Castle Sponsor) and HMA The BENEFITS People (Reception Sponsor), and performance sponsors Mason Bennett Johncox, Lloyd’s Pest Control, W.B. White Insurance and Nice Bistro.

Driftwood Theatre is generously supported by the Ontario Arts Council. The Bard’s Bus Tour is grateful for the ongoing support of Tour Sponsor Ontario Power Generation.

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