Scripts At Work features work by local writers

Three local writers paired with professional theatre artists to develop plays for the ninth season of Scripts at Work (SAW) will share new work at the end of April.

Lani Ledingham, Tessa Simpson and Keri Halfacre were selected as this year’s winning playwrights in the annual SAW Playwright Competition.

Brave New Plays runs April 27 starting at 7:30 p.m. in Studio C of Red Deer College’s Arts Centre.

The three local women have been working with dramaturg Heather Inglis and local actors to hone their craft and develop new, original stories for the theatre. The plays will be directed by award-winning theatre artist Trevor Schmidt.

“SAW is a gift to Central Alberta writers,” says Inglis. An award-winning director, producer and dramaturg, Inglis has made a career out of helping new work find life in the theatre. Inglis has experience on over 40 productions, many of which have been new Canadian work.

“I love meeting emerging playwrights and watching their scripts grow through the process,” she notes. “Scripts at Work is a vital and important force in developing Central Albertan artists.”

Ledingham, who is participating in SAW for the first time describes the opportunity of working closely with Inglis as incredibly valuable. “The feedback and theatrical experience was exactly what I needed, whether I plan to do more playwrighting or use creative writing in another field.”

She is currently developing her play Walk Across the Room, a WWII drama inspired by a true love story.

Simpson, is developing her play Man on the Moon.

“Working with actors from the community has broadened my view of what’s here in Red Deer and what we can create,” she says. In her play, a middle-aged man seeks help from the place he knows best: his local bar.

Halfacre was selected to participate in the workshop for her play When Someone Knows Your ‘Usual’. She chose to participate in SAW to join her two loves: theatre and writing. “The highlight has been the opportunity to discuss ideas out loud,” says Halfacre. “I’ve gained a better sense of how important it is to make everything serve the story.”

The event is open to the public. Tickets are $10 and are available at the door.