Hot times at the Hot House

Playwrights’ Hot House grows new works        

“Good writers define reality. Bad ones merely restate it.” ~ Edward Albee

It can be a frustrating thing to have an idea for a great play or film but not know what to do with it. This is why I developed the New Vintage Theatre’s Playwrights’ Hothouse.

This will be the fourth year I have been a facilitator and dramaturge with playwrights from around the Okanagan on their ideas for plays and screenplays. This year there is a student group that meets as well. 

What does a dramaturge do? We read new plays, pose questions, and offer help to playwrights. We also provide development possibilities for those works. 

It is rewarding to see a playwright take their work from the seed and grow it into something that works for a director, group of actors, and, finally, the audience. 

The 2016 Playwright’s Hot House participants have just moved into the last phase of a three month development process, working with actors from our company. Excitement is in the air as the playwrights get ready to hear their work read for the first time, and see the actors cast in roles that have never before been heard or seen. To originate a role is pretty thrilling.

Another great aspect of the program is seeing new playwrights get connected with up-and-coming directors and actors.  Playwrights then have to take the reins, defend and explain their work, and field questions.

They will get positive support, and may also take some knocks for things they imagined would play marvellously but in reality don’t read or play as intended. Actors will have fun reading, but will also feel the pressure of knowing that the person who wrote the play is sitting right there. How often does that happen in theatre? Rarely.

The end goal is to have the work read publicly for an audience.  This year, the stakes are raised, as we have partnered with Rotary Centre For The Arts. We will be reading in a larger venue, the Mary Irwin Theatre, on April 19. We will read selections of scenes from the developed plays, then include the fully finished plays in our monthly play reading series at Pulp Fiction Coffeehouse.  

This year’s plays are an eclectic mix of comedy, absurdism, sentimental recollection, serious drama and romance. 

We have a fantastic line up of student plays by Casey Davis, Alias Mullin, Shannon England, and Emily Friesen. In the adult contingent, we have works by Logan Mullin, Paul Cowhig and Jeannine Kuemmerle.  

Audiences will be blown away by the talent of this group, and the work of over 30 actors and directors who worked with the plays to get them to the stage.

Mark your calendar for April 19, 7 PM at the Mary Irwin Theatre. Admission is free. You will not want to miss what new stories have sprung up this spring at New Vintage Theatre’s Hot House. RSVP your attendance

The Playwright’s Hot House

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About the Author

Bonnie Gratz is an actor, director, and playwright. She is the Artistic Director of Kelowna's New Vintage Theatre, and a member of the Playwright's Guild of Canada and The Literary and Dramaturges of North America. 

For more on Bonnie, check out www.bonnie-gratz.com or check out www.newvintage.ca

Contact Bonnie at:  [email protected]


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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