THE QUÉBEC ENGLISH-LANGUAGE PLAYWRIGHTS' UNIT
Infinithéâtre’s The Unit is comprised of a group of seven wildly talented playwrights six of whom were each sponsored by a different English-language Québec theatre and one of whom was sponsored by a theatre in St. John’s Newfoundland. Playwrights from across Québec were invited to submit an early draft of a play they were currently writing and an independent selection committee handpicked the final members of The Unit from an overwhelming amount of submissions.
The Unit reflects The English-Language Communities And Diversity Of Québec On Stages Across The Province. Members take part in bi-monthly group dramaturgical sessions and in addition their projects also benefit from the one-on-one attention of a play dramaturge. The Unit culminates in a week-long festival of staged readings aims to garner interest from artistic directors across Québec and Canada in future programming of the plays. The Unit is run by Infinithéâtre and provides a window of input from the theatres that have a play in development.
2016 THE UNIT-Festival of Staged Readings will take place September 11th-17th in four different theatres in and around Montréal.
Meet our playwrights and their projects and see the performance times in the introduction below.
After teaching literature in high school for seven years, Patrick turned to selling real estate for a living in a small town near the border. He got involved in amateur theatre with Mark Bye at Grove Hall and with his encouragement he's begun to re-invent himself as a writer.
He had noticed that he enjoyed writing poetry and short stories and slowly he realized that it was possible for him to write for theatre and film. His wife Tina is quite the editor, and he always responds to her recommendations.
One day an old man, Mr. Sauve, told him a story of a woman who almost hanged in 1927 during Prohibition. He said that the whole town used to go to Valleyfield for the trial.
The story intrigued him so he did some research and his script was born. It dramatizes the life and times of border culture during Prohibition in the 1920's.
A producer at copper heart corp. in Toronto mentioned they liked his writing and would like to see him tackle science fiction. So, he wrote a first draft for them and is still working on draft two. On the Line is generously supported by The Rural Arts Project.
Travis is a multidisciplinary artist raised in Montréal. He has been an active member of the theatre community in Montréal since his graduation from the Dawson Professional Theatre Company in 2006. In 2011, he co-founded a theatre company, Playwright Hero, which continues to enjoy moderate recognition and many laughs to this day. Recent writing credits include co-writer for The Insanely Sinister Society, and No One Like Hugh, played at the Mainline Theatre in 2013 and 2014, respectively.
Joel Yanofsky & Peter Curtis
Joel Yanofsky is a two-time winner of The Mavis Gallant Non-fiction Prize, for Mordecai & Me: An Appreciation of a Kind (2003, Red Deer Press) and Bad Animals: A Father's Accidental Education in Autism (2011, Penguin), which was also short-listed for the B.C. National Award for Canadian Non-fiction and long-listed for The Charles Taylor Prize.
He's written for Walrus, Canadian Geographic, Readers' Digest, The Village Voice, Chatelaine, The Globe and Mail and The Montreal Gazette, among other publications. He's a regular contributor to The New York Times’ parenting website, Motherlode. He's won two National Magazine Awards, the QWF/CBC Writing Competition and The Malahat Review’s Creative Non-fiction Prize. He’s also the author of the novel Jacob's Ladder and the essay collection, Homo Erectus… and Other Popular Tales of True Romance. He’s taught journalism at Concordia University and currently teachers a workshop on memoir writing for The Québec Writers’ Federation.
Peter Curtis is a guitarist and composer. He has performed or recorded with notable jazz and blues musicians including Claudia Acuna, James Carter, Freddy Cole, Taj Mahal, Barbra Morrison and James Moody. He has played in some of the top jazz clubs around the world. With his group, the Peter Curtis Quartet, he released the album Swing State, which is available at cdbaby.com, amazon.com and on itunes. Dr. Curtis is a tenured, Professor of Music at Riverside City College in Riverside, California.
Stephen Orlov’s plays have been showcased in such major theatre centers as Montréal, Chicago and London. They include his award-winning Isolated Incident (with Rahul Varma), Salaam-Shalom, Bow Ties and Freeze, his box office hit at the Centaur, which Guernica Editions has just published. His comedy-drama, Sperm Count, which premiered in London under the directorship of Julia Pascal, the first woman to direct at England’s National Theatre, will be published next month by Playwrights Canada Press in the groundbreaking anthology he has co-edited with Samah Sabawi, Double Exposure: Plays of the Jewish and Palestinian Diasporas. Stephen also teaches masterclasses on script writing, most recently for the National Arts Festival of St. Lucia and the Osher Program at Dartmouth College, and he has recently served on the Executives of Playwrights Guild of Canada and Playwrights Canada Press. In our Unit Stephen is currently working on Birthmark, the sequel to Sperm Count, which is generously supported by Teesri Duniya Theatre and a Cole Foundation commissioning grant.
Joanna first honed her talents as a singer/actor/dancer/writer in St. John’s, NL. She has since continued her career in Montréal and Toronto.
Her play Dear Dollface was performed at the Resource Centre for the Arts in 1997, at the Vancouver Fringe Festival in 1998, and at the St. John’s Fringe Festival 1999.
Her first novel, LIAR, was published in 2000. Her second novel, The Deal, was published in 2016.
She is currently living in Montréal and is pursuing her writing/acting/singing career.
Her musical, Homo Erectus, and her third novel are in development.
Her new play, The Lie Speaker, is based on her novel, LIAR.
Alison Darcy is a director, producer, teacher, dramaturge and actress. She is the Co-Artistic Director/Founder of Scapegoat Carnivale Theatre, and a NTS acting graduate.
Some of her directorial works include The Dumb Waiter (Theatre Esperance), The Possibilities (Bishop's University and separately with Imago Theatre), Blind (MAI/Scapegoat), Othello, Faust and The Heretics of Bohemia (all with Segal/ Scapegoat), Hyena Subpoena (Catkidd/Scapegoat), and Medea, and Life is a Dream (both for Centaur/Scapegoat), Things are bad-Ijumpile Lendaba (South Africa's Mopo Productions/Scapegoat), Last Call (Scapegoat/NCTF/Uno festival), Real Estate (Centaur), Bash: Latterday plays (Muttertung), The Unknown Citizen (Project Porte Parole), and Burning Cage (Woman Alone).
Some acting credits include roles in Age of Arousal (Centaur), A Doll House (Saidye), Bye Bye Baby (Imago/Centaur), Brahm and the Angel (Geordie), Small Returns (Infinitheatre/November), girls!girls!girls! (Theatro Commanici/FTA), and Taking Sides (Centaur) and various film and television productions. She has worked closely with NTS, Clyde Henry Productions, the Festival Transamériques, and has received awards from the MECCAs, METAs, and various North American Fringes.
Joseph Shragge is the co-artistic director of the Montréal-based company Scapegoat Carnivale Theatre. Recent writing credits include: Bar Kapra the Squirrel Hunter (scapegoat workshop, Nominated best text Montreal Fringe), Fuck You! You Fucking Perv! conceived by Leslie Baker, honorable mention Buddies in Bad Times Award for Risk and Innovation (Summerworks, NYC Fringe) Sapientia adapted from 10th century playwright Roswitha performed as object theatre (Canoe Festival, Edmonton, Out of Line Theatre, Winnipeg), co-translator The Bacchae with Andreas Apergis (Scapegoat/Centaur Theatre, Nominated for Meta Best Translation Award and winner of Best Production), The Heretics of Bohemia, a puppet/human hybrid (Scapegoat/Segal Centre Studio theatre), co-creator Moshe Feldstein: Icon of Self-Realization with Alexander Nemser (New York Fringe). His short fiction, translations and adaptations have appeared in Matrix Magazine, Snap, Phantasmagoria and The Capilano Review.
Michaela Di Cesare
Michaela holds an MA in Theatre from the University of Toronto and an undergraduate degree in Creative Writing & Theatre from Concordia University. Most recently, she appeared in Humber River Shakespeare’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. For Teesri Duniya theatre, she appeared in State of Denial by Rahul Varma. For Black Theatre Workshop she appeared in staged readings of Andrea Scott’s Eating Pomegranates Naked and Leah-Simone Bowen’s The Hallway. Michaela performed her one-woman show 8 Ways My Mother Was Conceived in Toronto, Montréal, New York City, Ottawa, Hudson, Winnipeg and Stratford. TV credits include Fatal Vows 5, Psych Out, Fatal Vows 2, A Stranger in My Home and Sex & Ethnicity. Michaela spent one year as the Playwright-in-Residence at Imago Theatre where she wrote In Search of Mrs. Pirandello. Mrs. Pirandello was an official selection of the 2016 WildSide Festival at the Centaur Theatre. Michaela is grateful to Guy Sprung, Alex Haber, Matt Jacobs and the Infinithéâtre Playwrights’ Unit for the opportunity to create Successions.