Wesley J. Colford (they/them) – Playwright Wesley is a non-binary, Dora-Nominated playwright & theatre artist from Cape Breton who is currently based in Sydney, NS where they serve as the inaugural Artistic & Executive Director of Highland Arts Theatre (or HAT). After completing the Musical Theatre Performance program at Sheridan College, Wesley studied classical acting at George Brown College in Toronto. Their plays have been produced in three provinces, won awards, been published, and been adapted for film. Their plays have been workshopped by Tarragon Theatre, Theatre Aquarius, Alumnae Theatre, and The Paprika Festival and produced at the Toronto Fringe and Atlantic Fringe. Their first professional production was in 2014 with The Wakowski Brothers at Talk is Free Theatre in Barrie, ON. In 2014 they moved home to found the Highland Arts Theatre, which under their leadership has produced 83 major theatrical productions and won numerous awards including “Community Impact” and “Favourite Thing to Do in the CBRM” from the Sydney & Area Business Awards. During this time, Wesley wrote and developed seven original works for the company which were later produced by the HAT. In 2015, they wrote the original musical Heart of Steel which debuted at the Highland Arts Theatre and was later accepted to be produced in the Next Stage Festival in Toronto in 2016. From that production, Wesley was nominated for “Outstanding New Musical or Opera” in the 2016 Dora Mavor Moore Awards. They were recently honoured as one of the Globe & Mail’s “Canadian Arts Heroes of 2020” for their work developing the HAT’s bold new funding model, Radical Access. Other plays include: Excuse Me, Would You Like to Buy a Bar?, Mature Young Adults, Dirty Stacee, Kitchen Party, Sex and This, and The Return of the Cape Breton Liberation Army.
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Wesley J. Colford