PARC Announces 2024 Professional Development Sessions

Jan 24, 2024

Thanks to funding from Arts Nova Scotia, we are thrilled to offer for the fourth consecutive year a series of online classes, workshops, and a panel conversation with award-winning playwrights.

To register for the events, click HERE. You can learn more about the invited artists bellow.

Free for PARC Members
$15 for non-members*


*If the cost is prohibitive to participating, please reach out to Santiago at [email protected] and arrangements will be made for you to attend.

Playwriting Workshop on The Fornés Method with Mariló Nuñez (for IBPOC Playwrights)

In this two-part workshop, Mariló will teach María Irene Fornés’ decentering and anti-Aristotelian approach to playwriting pedagogy. Using centring movement, visualization, drawing, the found object/word, sense memory, and a communal writing experience, the participants will experience unique ways to find characters and stories.

Please note: for this workshop, participants will be expected to move (physically and emotionally). Participants should have access to a space where they can freely move, have water, and adjust the instructions to suit their abilities, needs and/or physical injuries.

Meet MarilÓ NuÑez

Mariló Nuñez is a Chilean Canadian playwright, director, dramaturge and scholar. She is a 2021 winner of the Johanna Metcalf Performing Arts Award in Theatre. She has been a member of playwright’s units at Factory Theatre, Tarragon Theatre, Cahoots Theatre and Nightwood Theatre and was playwright in residence at Aluna Theatre and Carousel Players. She was McMaster University’s first Playwright-in-Residence in 2018 and was the recipient of the Hamilton Arts Awards for Established Theatre Artist. Her plays include: Three Fingered Jack and the Legend of Joaquin Murieta, El Retorno/I Return, Last Supper, Huinca, Foxy: Tales of An Urban Zorra, INQUEST, Demos Kratos, and Sangre Redux. She teaches playwriting at theatres and universities across the country using the Fornes Method. She was founding Artistic Director of Alameda Theatre Company, a company dedicated to developing the new work of Latinx Canadian playwrights. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph and is currently obtaining her Ph D. in Theatre & Performance Studies at York University. This spring she will be performing in El Terremoto by Christine Quintana at Tarragon Theatre.

Writing Musical Theatre Workshop with Kodie Rollan

In this two-day intensive, 8-12 playwrights will get the opportunity to learn from Kodie about musical theatre structure, intro to songwriting and its relationship to musical theatre, as well as the musical collaboration with composers. By the end of the workshop, writers will have written a few scenes and songs. No previous experience is required and all levels of expertise are welcome!

Meet Kodie Rollan

Kodie Rollan is a Philippine-born, Scarborough-raised, Mohkinstsis-based playwright, dramaturg, lyricist, and producer. He is a passionate community-builder and always aims to create spaces for shared storytelling and arts equity within the nonprofit sector. 

As a storyteller, Kodie is drawn towards explorations of justice within racialized bodies and how we can move towards more abolitionist futures. He is currently the Artistic Director of Chromatic Theatre, the Associate Dramaturg at the Banff Playwrights Lab, and is also currently a facilitator of the Rozsa Foundation’s arts management and education programs. He received his Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and his Masters in Arts Leadership from Queen’s University. He was also one of the recipient of Theatre Alberta’s 2023 Michelle Dias Community Service Award. Outside of theatre, Kodie is an avid baker and a fan of the Toronto Raptors.

Playwriting Class with Keith Barker

This class will focus on play structure, its dramatic function, different approaches to structure, etc. Keith will offer provocations and exercises for participants to undertake during the class.

Meet Keith Barker

Keith Barker is a Métis artist from Northwestern Ontario and the Director of the Foerster Bernstein New Play Development Program at the Stratford Festival. He is a graduate of the George Brown Theatre School, and the former Artistic Director at Native Earth Performing Arts, and a former Theatre Program Officer at the Canada Council for the Arts. Keith is a recipient of the Johanna Metcalf Award, a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Playwriting, and the Playwrights Guild’s Carol Bolt Award for best new play. Keith was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for English Drama in 2018 for his play, This Is How We Got Here. He received a Saskatchewan and Area Theatre Award for Excellence in Playwriting for his play, The Hours That Remain, as well as a Yukon Arts Award for Best Art for Social Change. Keith is the co-general manager of his Arts League Hockey Team, The Friendly Giants, where he plays with a big-heart, and not a lot of talent as a pucksmith.

Introductory Class to Dramaturgy with Mike Payette

This introductory class to dramaturgy will allow playwrights and dramaturges-to-be a general grasp of the concept of dramaturgy. Mike will provide examples and share his approach to this craft.

Meet Mike Payette

Artistic director of Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre, Mike Payette is an actor and director whose work has appeared at some of Canada’s finest theatres from coast to coast. Prior to joining Tarragon, this two-time Montreal English Theatre Award (META) recipient, was the Artistic and Executive Director of Geordie Theatre, and was earlier the co-founding Artistic Director of Tableau D’Hôte Theatre and past Assistant Artistic Director for Black Theatre Workshop. Frequent guest artist at the National Theatre School of Canada, he has served on several board including the Quebec Drama Federation, la Maison Théâtre, MAI and on the Executive of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT).

Panel Discussion About the Role of Audiences in the Process of Writing a Play, with Makram Ayache*, Frances Končan, and Makambe Simamba

When should the playwright consider the audience of their play? What are the advantages and disadvantages of writing for a specific audience? How is language influenced by different audiences? Should the playwright ignore the audience altogether? Facilitated by PARC’s Interim Artistic Director and award-winning playwright, Santiago Guzmán this panel will discuss the role of audiences in the process of writing a play.

* Due to unforeseen circumstances, Marie Beath Badian, previously announced as one of the panelists, won’t be able to attend the panel!

Meet our Panelists

Makram Ayache

Makram Ayache is a multiple award-winning playwright, performer, director, and educator living between Alberta and Toronto. His playwriting explores representations of queer Arab voices and aims to bridge political struggles to the intimate experiences of the people impacted by them.

Ayache’s 2023 world premiere of The Hooves Belonged to the Deer (Tarragon Theatre with Buddies in Bad Times Theatre) was described as “the most excitingly theatrical piece of new writing to premiere in Toronto” by the Globe and Mail and garnered a critics pick. Previously, The Green Line (Downstage and Chromatic Theatre) garnered four Betty Mitchell Award Nominations, winning two including Outstanding New Play. Ayache is also the 2020 recipient of the Playwrights’ Guide of Canada’s Tom Hendry Award for Harun. He has also been nominated for four Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards for his plays Harun (2018) and The Green Line (2019) in Edmonton, Alberta.

Alongside writing, Ayache directs and performs, with his upcoming directing role of Sheridan College’s 2025 graduating class for a musical adaptation of his play Small Gods (at the Start of the World).

Frances Končan

Frances Končan (she/they) is an Anishinaabe and Slovene playwright currently living in Vancouver, British Columbia, within the shared, unceded, ancestral territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. Originally from Couchiching First Nation, they grew up on Treaty 1 territory in Winnipeg, Manitoba and attended the University of Manitoba (BA Psychology) and the City University of New York Brooklyn College (MFA Playwriting). They are currently Assistant Professor of Playwriting at the University of British Columbia. Select plays include: Women of the Fur Trade, Space Girl, and zahgidiwin/love.

Makambe Simamba

Makambe K Simamba is a multiple award-winning playwright and actor. Select stage acting credits include The First Stone (New Harlem Productions), Serving Elizabeth (Thousand Islands Playhouse), GIANT (Ghost River Theatre), Winners and Losers (Chromatic Theatre), Bea (Sage Theatre), inVISIBLE (Handsome Alice Theatre) and SIA (Pyretic Productions). On screen, she can be seen in projects such as Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Titans, True Dating Stories and more.

As a playwright, her solo work includes the multiple Dora Award-Winning Our Fathers, Sons, Lovers and Little Brothers, A Chitenge Story and Makambe Speaks. Makambe’s works in progress have been supported by The Stratford Festival, Banff Playwright’s Lab, Downstage Theatre, Alberta Theatre Projects, b current performing arts, Citadel theatre, Obsidian Theatre, and Green Thumb Theatre.

Makambe was the 2020/21 Urjo Kareda Artist in Residence at the Tarragon theatre, and the co-host of Cahoots Theatre’s Blackstage Pass Podcast.

Makambe’s intention is to be of service to her community through her ability to tell stories.