Tag Archives: Creative Exchange

Announcing lineup for New Ideas Festival 2016

Last week’s post was the audition notice – auditions for New Ideas Festival 2016 take place January 6-10. Where do the plays come from? 250 scripts were submitted to the Festival this year, and from this, the 15 below were selected. These are the short plays that actors will be auditioning for. [Names in bold are members of Alumnae Theatre Company]  New Ideas 2016 image

Week 1  (March 9-13, 2016)

Stuck by Stacey Iseman, directed by Kelsey Laine Jacobson

Prayers to St. George by Andrew Lee, directed by Meg Moran

The Council by Deanna Kruger, directed by Claren Grosz

This Will Be My Last Transmission by Natalie Frijia, directed by Zita Nyarady

Reading (Sat March 12 at noon)

A Better Place by Ramona Baillie, directed by Chelsea Dab Hilke


Week 2  (March 15-20, 2016)

Housekeeping by Jean Koppen, directed by Ingryd Pleitez

Pose Ball by Caitie Graham, directed by Emily Nixon

War and Peace: A Family Story by Krystyna Hunt, directed by Rebecca Grace

Yeats in Love by Anne Tait, directed by Jane Carnwath

Reading   (Sat March 19 at noon)

Curved by Kristen Shepherd, directed by Rebecca Ballarin


Week 3  (March 23-27, 2016)

Provenance by Linda McCready, directed by Pam Redfern

Trying by Norma Crawford, directed by Juliet Paperny

Sick Kids Wanna Talk to You by Carolyn Bennett, directed by Jennifer McKinley

Four Hours by Joan Burrows, directed by Helen Munroe

Reading   (Sat March 26 at noon)

Omission by Alice Abracen, directed by Michela Sisti


The 250 scripts received were almost an even split between writers from Canada and international writers (mostly from USA; a few from UK and Ireland).

The chosen playwrights hail from Ontario – Toronto, Hamilton (Andrew Lee), London (Deanna Kruger), North Bay (Kristen Shepherd) and Quebec – Montreal (Alice Abracen); and the USA is represented by Jean Koppen from Alexandria, Virginia.

Once the reading committee had chosen the scripts, New Ideas Festival held its Creative Exchange on November 14, to match up writers and directors. The Creative Exchange is a bit like speed dating:  each applicant to direct meets for 10 minutes with each of the writers, after which both writers and directors submit their top three choices to the NIF producers. After some juggling, the producers match up the NIF creative teams, and schedule the weekly program of plays for the Festival.

So polish up that monologue, and book your audition!

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Filed under 2015/16 season, New Ideas Festival

New Ideas Festival 2012 – director selection process (aka “Creative Exchange”)

A couple of years ago (for New Ideas 2010), the producers devised a different way for writers and potential directors to meet.  Previously, it had been a sort of presentation (each writer took a turn onstage to describe their play) followed by an awkward schmooze, where directors would approach writers to discuss their work.

Co-producer Pat McCarthy came up with a new way for writers and directors to meet, which she described as similar to Speed Dating, but it later came to be known as the “Creative Exchange”.  I was a writer in NIF 2010, so took part in the event.  It was set up in Alumnae’s Studio space – each writer was assigned a small table, and potential  directors (who had already read the scripts and expressed interest in particular ones) were assigned “appointments” to talk about themselves, and how they envisioned bringing that script to the stage.

Basically, the potential directors had to sell the writers on their suitability!  Lights would flash after a certain time – I think it was five minutes, and the directors would move on to the next writer.  I enjoyed being able to interview directors, and it gave me a good idea of who I would be happy to work with.

So for NIF 2012, the Creative Exchange (yes, a Speed Dating event) was held on November 12.  Co-producer Carolyn Zapf reports that “we even had 2 playwrights on SKYPE from Newfoundland and California! Exciting discussions all round. We had a lot of comments about how much participants enjoyed meeting each other. Several playwrights said they found it stimulating to have so many different views on their plays.

After the Creative Exchange, writers have a few days to submit their top 3 choices to direct their plays to the producers .  The producers then match everyone up.

Next:  Cold Readings – long before auditions, the writers hear their scripts read aloud by actors, sometimes for the first time.


Filed under 2011/12 season, New Ideas Festival 2012