Call for writers and new scripts

  • Nov. 23, 2011 6:13 p.m.

Scripts at Work invites new and emerging writers from Central Alberta to register for its 2011/12 series.

Scripts at Work is a playwriting series that mentors Central Albertan playwrights by providing play development assistance from professional dramaturges and directors.

Through Scripts at Work, playwrights develop new work, build relationships with professionals in the theatre industry and share their work with audiences through an annual Festival of New Plays in Red Deer.

Interested writers can register for playwright circles and submit new plays to the annual play competition.

The playwright circles run from Dec. 11 to April 5 at Red Deer College, and the application deadline is Dec. 5.

In ‘Circle One’, entry-level playwrights develop a one-act play. Participants meet for six sessions over five months and will be guided through the first draft of a new work. The cost is $50.

In ‘Circle Two’, emerging or experienced playwrights familiar with the basics of writing for theatre will receive dramaturgical input to support the writing of a full-length play.

Participants will meet six times over five months. Cost is $100.

Gordon Pengilly will oversee both playwright circles this year.

Pengilly is the author of more than 50 plays for television, film, radio and the stage that have been produced across Canada, in the U.S. and Japan. He is the recipient of the Writer’s Guild of Canada Jim Burt Prize, the BBC International Radio Drama Prize and the W.O. Mitchell Book Prize.

For the play competition, the submission deadline is Dec. 15.

The submission fee is $10 per play.

Plays for the Scripts at Work Playwright Competition must be one to 45 minutes in length (maximum 30 pages).

A jury made up of community and literary professionals will select a

number of plays for development and winning playwrights will receive professional development from dramaturges and directors from Alberta and a public reading of their work during the Festival of New Plays next April.

Professional dramaturges Conni Massing and Trevor Schmidt will be in attendance. Massing is an award-winning writer for the theatre, film, television and radio. She teaches playwriting at the University of Alberta and previously served as playwright-in-residence at Theatre Network, Playwrights Workshop Montreal and the National Theatre School of Canada.

Schmidt is the artistic director of Northern Light Theatre. He is also a performer, set and costume designer and a published playwright. He has twice received the Sterling Award for new play, and his plays have been produced across Canada and in Australia.

Since 2004, Scripts at Work alumni have gone on to work in professional theatre as writers, directors and actors.

For more about Scripts at Work and full submission guidelines, visit