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15 years of exploring the boundaries
of theatrical storytelling...
is an award-winning dramaturgical theatre company, established in
1995 by dramaturg Brian Quirt and producer Naomi Campbell, devoted
to developing new plays, performance works and dance. We explore
new forms by commissioning Canada's leading artists in the fields
of theatre, music and dance. We create powerful, moving and beautiful
works of performance, and pursue the study of stories and how they
are told in the theatre.
Nightswimming commissions, develops and
workshops these projects but does not produce them itself. We seek
out established performing arts companies as partners in an extended
developmental process leading to premiere productions by our partner
companies. Nightswimming is devoted, through the creation of these
new works, to advancing the field of dramaturgy and play development
Nightswimming is dedicated to theatrical innovation.
Our critically acclaimed plays-in-production
explore challenging theatrical forms and emotionally rich stories
with bold visual style. We commit to long-term relationships with
our writers and provide them with the tools they need: substantial
commissions; readings and workshops; high calibre actors; research;
colleagues from the areas of design, choreography and music; on-going
dramaturgical support; and a developmental process that is ideally
suited to their requirements. We believe this approach will inspire
these artists to create some of their best work.
Why Nightswimming is Unique
We give writers invaluable space in which to create, free
from the pressure of most deadlines. While they're working,
we act as a broker, seeking out the ideal theatre company for the
new work, and convincing them to eventually produce it. We give
the writer an unfettered opportunity to create and we offer producing
theatres shows that they couldn't have developed themselves.
We work with established artists such as playwright Judith Thompson
and choreographer Julia Sasso; award-winning novelists like Jane
Urquhart and Michael Redhill (a Giller Award nominee); and new writers
such as Anosh Irani (whose second novel - The Song of Kahunsha-
was recently published by Doubleday), and Anita Majumdar, star of
Bombay Black and the talented writer/performer of Fish
Nightswimming offers these talented artists the rare
opportunity to create a new piece through a substantial commission.
We surround them with the best collaborators in the fields of theatre,
dance, design and music and the means to work on their dream project.
A Commitment to research and dramaturgy
The Nightswimmming Pure Research program in association with
the University of Toronto's Graduate Centre for the Study of Drama
challenges artists from across Canada to investigate new
ideas in dramaturgy. We provide space, money and resources for studio-based
research into provocative theatrical questions of form and performance.
Nightswimming is committed to mentoring students, providing internships
to emerging artists and establishing partnerships with theatre training
City of Wine
Our major project from 2006-2010 has been Ned Dickens' seven play
cycle CITY OF WINE, which we developed through an innovative
partnership with nine theatre training institutions across Canada.
Please see Current
Events for the latest information.
Recognized by our Peers
Since 1995 Nightswimming has been recognized by the arts and cultural
community with 7 Dora Awards, 3 Governor General's Award nominations,
17 Dora Award nominations, and 4 published scripts. Artistic Director
Brian Quirt has received the Elliott Hayes Award for Outstanding
Dramaturgy in North America in 2003 and 2009. Founding Producer
Naomi Campbell was the 2009 recipient of the Leonard McHardy and
John Harvey Award for Arts Administrators and the Toronto Vital
People Award, both for her sustained contributions to and leadership
in the arts community.
Nightswimming's works have premiered at Canada's leading
theatre companies, toured the country and appeared at the Magnetic
North Theatre Festival, On the Verge, Canada Dance Festival, Alberta
Theatre Project's playRites Festival and Harbourfront's World World
Stage and World Moves Dance Series.
Our office is located in one of the most exciting
urban developments in Toronto: Artscape's revitalization of the
Distillery District. We are sharing with two of the city's most
acclaimed theatre companies, DVxT Theatre and Modern Times Theatre.
As well as bringing us together in one complex with dozens of Toronto's
performing arts companies, the new office enables us to hold play
readings and meetings in our own space. Visit us if you're in the
Please join us as audience, patrons
and colleagues as we search for unique ways to tell powerful
Brian & Rupal
George Cedric Metcalf Foundation
Writers in Residence
OAC Playwright Residency program
Board of Directors
In addition to his work with Nightswimming,
Brian was President of LMDA (Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of
the Americas) from 2006-2008 and continues to serve on its Executive
as Past-President. He has received the LMDA's Elliott Hayes Award
for Dramaturgy twice in recognition of his work in creating and
directing Nightswimming, and for his dramaturgical work on CITY
OF WINE. He was nominated for Dora Awards for Outstanding Direction
for his work on Andy Massingham's ROUGH HOUSE (2005) and
Don Druick's THROUGH THE EYES (2003) at Factory Theatre.
He gave the keynote address at the 2007 PACT Conference (Professional
Association of Canadian Theatres.
His Factory Theatre production of THROUGH
THE EYES was showcased at the 2004 Magnetic North Festival
in Edmonton following a second run at Factory, and then played for
five weeks at the Thousand Islands Playhouse in Gananoque.
His production of Pierre Brault's PORTRAIT OF AN UNIDENTIFIED
MAN premiered at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa in
2005, and has since been seen in St. John's at Magnetic North 2006,
at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre, and London's Grand Theatre.
It was revived in 2009 and toured to New Zealand's Christchurch
Festival. In April 2008, he directed the premiere production of
Brault's 5 O'CLOCK BELLS at the Great Canadian Theatre Company,
and his productions of BOMBAY BLACK and ROUGH HOUSE
embarked on Canadian tours. 5 O'CLOCK BELLS has been revived
for tours to the Grand Theatre, Toronto's Luminato Festival, Winnipeg's
Manitoba Theatre Centre, Whitehorse's Yukon Arts Centre and the
Banff Centre for the Arts.
His writing and directing work includes Tarragon Theatre (directed
Jason Sherman's AN ACRE OF TIME - Governor General's
Award nomination; adapted and directed THE WHIRLPOOL,
based on the novel by Jane Urquhart); Factory Theatre (directed
Don Druick's THROUGH THE EYES, Jason Sherman's
READING HEBRON and Sean Dixon's THE EPIC
PERIOD); Theatre Passe Muraille (writer and director of
THE DEATH OF GENERAL WOLFE); The Hugh Bris Co.
(directed Michael Healey's KICKED in Toronto and
on tour across Canada and in Australia); Great Canadian Theatre
Company (KICKED, Jason Sherman's AN ACRE
OF TIME and Sean Dixon's FALLING BACK HOME);
Modern Times Theatre (co-adaptor of AURASH; Dora
nomination for new play; recently toured to Cuba, Bosnia and Iran)
and Nightswimming (Don Druick's THROUGH THE EYES).
Brian was Dramaturg at Toronto's Factory Theatre from 1998 -2004 and
at the Theatre Centre from 1992 to 1999; prior to that he worked at
the Canadian Stage Company in a variety of dramaturgical positions.
He has also worked as a dramaturg for many independent companies and
artists and specializes in dance and choreographic dramaturgy. With
Factory Theatre, his ongoing collaborations included new plays by
Linda Griffiths, Claudia Dey, Michael 0'Brien, Hiro Kanagawa, Anosh
Irani, Celia McBride and many others. He established the Factory Theatre
Playwrights Lab, and helped create Factory's acclaimed CrossCurrents
Festival devoted to writers of colour.
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Rupal was appointed Nightswimming's Producer
in August 2010 following two years as the company's Associate Producer,
during which she played a major role in administering the City
of Wine Festival. She brings not only an in-depth knowledge
of Nightswimming to her new position, but a wealth of experience
from Toronto's independent performing arts community.
In addition to her work at Nightswimming, her current
associations include serving as Producer for DVxT Theatre (including
their multi-Dora Award winning production, The Turn of the Screw),
the Training & Apprenticeship Coordinator at Obsidian Theatre,
and the Community Outreach Coordinator at Pleidies Theatre.
As a freelance administrator, Rupal has worked with
Theatre Ji, Aluna Theatre and Nightwood Theatre. She has worked
in community outreach for the Janek Khendry Dance Company and inDANCE.
Rupal was the Associate Producer at the Classical Theatre Project
and the Toronto Youth Theatre, as well as a freelance stage manager,
production manager and tour manager.
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Playwright in Residence
As a Playwright Neds staged credits include: OEDIPUS
(Under the Gardiner Expressway by DIE IN DEBT. 2 Dora Mavor Moore
Awards including Outstanding Production); BEOS BEDROOM
(YOUNG PEOPLE'S THEATRE, GRAND LONDON, NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE, &
THEATRE NEW BRUNSWICK; Dora Award, Chalmers Award nomination); ICARA
(ANANKE THEATRE. Dora Award nomination. NOW Magizine's top ten of
2000.); THE STAR CHILD (A libretto for THE CANADIAN CHILDREN"S
OPERA CHORUS, Harbourfront Centre. John Greer, Composer); HORSE
(THE THEATRE CENTRE). For Television: six episodes of the highly
successful ROLL PLAY series (Treehouse). For CBC Radio Drama:
BEOS BEDROOM, LUKE AND THE BIG CIRCLES (Gold
Medal, The New York Festivals), CHEESE MAGIC, and LUKE
AND THE TERRIBLE THING.
Ned was, for a while, a regular contributor to
RICHARDSONS ROUNDUP on CBC Radio 1. Ned taught high
school for seven years. He has also taught Creative Writing at St
Lawrence College, served as Playwright in Residence at the National
Theatre School and at Nightswimming, amongst others, and designed
and delivered innumerable workshops for groups including the Toronto
District School Board, Queens University, George Brown College,
the Green Party of Canada, and various corporate clients. He lives
in Kingston with his wife and two children.
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Playwright in Residence
Anita is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada and
has a degree in English, Theatre, and South Asian Languages from
the University of British Columbia. A member of the 2004/05 Tarragon
Writer's Unit, Anita was also one of three playwrights across the
country invited to be part of the Vancouver Playwrights Theatre
Centre's inaugural program, The News. Additionally, her self-written/self-performed
solo show Fish Eyes (Dora nominated) has been acclaimed across
Canada and internationally and continues to tour regularly. Most
recently she toured her latest solo show The Misfit (Dora
nominated) in a development tour across Canada including the PuSh
Festival for Performing Arts in Vancouver and HATCH Emerging Artist
Projects at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. The Misfit premiered
at Theatre Passe Muraille.
Acting credits include: Bloom (Modern Times
Stage Theatre), Bombay Black (Cahoots Theatre), and Tales
from Ovid (Centaur Theatre). Film credits include: Murder
Unveiled for which she received the Best Actress award at the
Asian Festival of First Films in Singapore. Additionally, she accepted
an award from Premier McGuinty (Ontario) for her contribution to
the South Asian performing arts as well was one of fifty artists
invited to celebrate the Canada Council for the Arts' 50th Anniversary
with Governor General, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle
Jean. Anita is the 2009/10 Playwright in Residence at Nightswimming
Theatre where she will work on her latest work, Aisha n' Ben,
which underwent a workshop production earlier this spring with the
support of the 2010 Vancouver Cultural Olympiad.