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This season, to celebrate GCTC's 40-year history of producing great Canadian plays, we decided to hold a playwriting contest.
The idea came up at the GCTC's 40th Anniversary Committee. This hard-working group of volunteers were brainstorming ideas about how to recognize the company's remarkable past and connect these memories with an exciting future to come.
Thinking about what ideas I could contribute, I was interested in acknowledging GCTC's influence on my own career. As a young theatre maker fresh out of university, I found a home with the Influx unit – a group set up by the company to support emerging artists working on new plays, with the support of Intern Dramaturg at the time Jordana Cox and dramaturg Patrick Gauthier. The unit was instrumental in connecting me with the local professional community and nurturing my voice as a playwright. As a theatre educator, I am also interested in facilitating opportunities for other people to find their voice. I think everyone has a story to tell and a writing contest seemed like a great way to engage emerging artists and the wider public to connect with their inner storyteller.
Veteran GCTC artists and supporters Mary Ellis, Laurie Koensgen and Kristina Watt gathered with me to pore over the company's vast and diverse history of plays and select meaningful lines that could spark some creativity. It was a special thrill for me to hear the stories of past productions, including reading the script for GCTC's first play, a collective creation called Sandinista. I hope this contest might not only inspire writers but also move readers to reach back to the great body of Canadian stories that have made up the company's past.
It's been a fabulous 40th Anniversary season so far and we hope to end it with a bang. We look forward to reading your short plays and celebrating new voices in the GCTC and Ottawa community.