Table of Contents
City of Wine blog
OAC Creators Reserve
Works in Development
- Blue Note
- Such Creatures
- Whispering Pines
- The Frozen Deep
Elliott Hayes Award P.R.
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Links of Interest
News from Nightswimming
Pure Research news...
Nightswimmings Pure Research program,
in association with the Graduate Centre for Study of Drama, explored
three research topics during the 2010 Toronot edition, October 19-24
at the Centres Glen Morris Studio Theatre. The lead researchers
were David Duclos, Ruth Howard, and Mary Walsh. See Pure
Research for more information.
Nightswimming is proud to announce that in
2011 the PURE RESEARCH program will for the first time hold sessions
in Vancouver in association with Contemporary Arts, Simon Fraser
University. The sessions will be held June 13-19, 2011, at SFU Contemporary
Arts' new Woodward's facility in downtown Vancouver. A call for
submissions from BC/Yukon artists was released in November, with
a deadline of January 7, 2011. Details here.
As part of Nightswimming's continuing examination of choral and
a cappella music, artistic director Brian Quirt, writer/performer
Martin Julien and singer/conductor Christine Duncan (Element Choir)
conducted research in collaboration with George Brown Theatre School
students over two evenings: Tues. November 30 and Wed. December
1 (7-10pm). The session was designed to look at the theatrical potential
of singing ensembles such as large community choirs.
Nightswimming Announces Rupal Shah as Company's
Nightswimming is proud to welcome Toronto's Rupal
Shah to her new position, having served our associate producer for
the past two years. Rupal will focus her initial months on taking
the reigns from departing producer Naomi Campbell, developing an
expanded and reimagined website, adding new promotional initiatives
to our activities and overseeing a substantial roster of new works
in development, including a renewal of Nightswimming's Pure Research
Welcome Rupal! Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Oy! Just Beat It! by Anita Majumdar
Workshop Production Toronto Fringe Festival, July 2-11,
BEST OF FRINGE PRODUCTION!
Anita is Nightswimming's Playwright in Residence this
season, and has been writing act two of her play Aisha n' Ben.
What has developed are two related one-act plays, the second of
which Anita's company (Theatre Ji) produced this summer in a sold
out Fringe run as a way of testing it before we assemble the full
two act piece for next season.
Oy! Just Beat It! is set in 1989 Bombay and
tells the story of Kabira's last chance at a big break as a Bollywood
playback singer. Just days before her wedding and move to America,
she meets Felipe, a Indo-Filipino singer who sees something new
in her. Featuring performers Leon Aureus, Reza Jacobs and Anita
Majumdar, with music by Suba Sankaran and direction by Brian Quirt....and
the much loved music of Michael Jackson, all with a Bollywood twist!
Oy! Just Beat It! was named one of the BEST
OF THE FRINGE and received an extended run at the Canadian Stage
Company's Berkleley Street Theatre.
Nightswimming Producer Leaving Position
Nightswimming announced on May 19 that Producer Naomi Cambpell,
who has been with the company since it was established in 1994,
will leave her position on July 31, 2010. Naomi has been with
Nightswimming since our very first project, Don Druicks award-winning
Through the Eyes, and has been instrumental in defining the
nature of the company, and ensuring the successful development of
all its artistic projects, said Artistic Director Brian Quirt.
Naomi has raised Nightswimmings profile nationally
and internationally, said Nightswimming Board President, Terry
Raininger. Nightswimming wishes Naomi every success in her future
endeavours. Naomi has been a full partner in the creation,
growth and success of Nightswimming, said Brian. Her
insight, knowledge of the Canadian theatre world, and her producing
acumen will be greatly missed. Press
Such Creatures by Judith
Thompson - Dora Award Nominations!
The premiere production of Judith Thompson's Such Creatures
at Theatre Passe Muraille - January 14 to February 6, 2010 - was
nominated for the Outstanding Play of the Year Award at the 2010
Dora Mavor Moor Awards in Toronto. Aslo receiving a nomination was
Michaela Washburn for her performance in the role of Blandy. Opening
to excellent reviews in the Globe and Mail and NOW Magazine,
Such Creatures had an great run and will be published later
this year. For more information or to request a copy, contact Artistic
Director Brian Quirt.
Featuring Maria Vacratsis and Michaela Washburn, with production
design by Beth Kates and directed by Brian Quirt, Such Creatures
is a beautiful and demanding addition to Judith's body of work.
Two deeply-linked monologues show us the astonishing courage and
resilience of young human beings during earth shattering moments.
Each piece introduces us to a fifteen-year-old girl: the first speaks
to us from contemporary Toronto, and the second from Auschwitz,
1945. Thanks to their shared love of Shakespeare, each girl believes
in miracles when there is almost no hope and humour when there is
nothing but fear.
Nightswimming and Theatre Passe Muraille were excited to welcome
Judith back to TPM 30 years after her first work, The Crackwalker,
burst onto its Backspace stage. Theatre
Nightswiming Producer Receives
PACT (Professional Association of Canadian Theatres) and Toronto
's Tarragon Theatre presented the 4th annual Mallory Gilbert Leandership
Award to Naomi Campbell at the PACT annual conference in Cow Head,
Newfoundland, on May 27, 2010. The Award includes a portion presented
to a protege chosen by the Award winner, underlining the importance
of skills and knowledge transmission in leadership building. Naomi
selected as her protege, Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, a Toronto-based
emcee, administrator and award-winning playwright. For more information:
Artistic Director Brian Quirt honoured with
Elliott Hayes Award
Producer Naomi Campbell honoured with Leonard McHardy and John Harvey
On July 18, 2009, Brian Quirt was presented with the Literary
Managers andDramaturgs of the Americas Prize in Dramaturgy - The
Elliott Hayes Award - at the LMDA's conference in Washington,
D.C., for his work as dramaturg on Ned Dickens' seven play cycle,
City of Wine. The award is presented annually to honour exemplary
work by dramaturgs in Canada and the USA. In her presentation LMDA
President Shelley Orr said, "Brian was selected because his
dramaturgical involvement in the City of Wine project required
not only highly skilled artistry, not just longstanding commitment,
but consummate advocacy. Innovative thinking about how to bring
this huge project to fruition was a major part of the dramaturg's
role." Brian is the first two time winner of the Elliott Hayes
Award, having previously received it in 2003.
LMDA serves the professions of literary managers and dramaturgs
across North America and created this award to honour the memory
of the late Stratford Festival Literary Manager Elliott Hayes. It
is presented annually to celebrate the contribution of dramaturgs
to the conception, development and production of theatre in the
Americas. For more information: www.lmda.org.
Producer Naomi Campbell is this year's recipient of the Leonard
McHardy and John Harvey Award, presented annually by the Toronto
Alliance for the Performing Arts. TAPA's announcement recognized
Naomi as "an enormously talented and resourceful theatre producer
who, for over twenty years, has devoted her career to creating,
managing, strengthening and leading non-profit arts organizations
in Toronto. Her efforts have made a significant and long-standing
impact on the health of the arts in Toronto and Canada. The commitment
and leadership she demonstrates is unparalleled."
TAPA is an arts service organization that represents nearly 200
professional theatre, dance and opera companies in the City of Toronto.
The Leonard McHardy and John Harvey Award honours the important
work of theatre, dance and opera dministrators. For more information:
Nightswimming is working on a large roster of new
works, including AISHA 'N BEN by our playwright-in-residence
Anita Majumdar, Carmen Aguirre's Blue Box, Don Druick's WILDEST
DREAMS and Richard Sanger's WHISPERING PINES,
and completing the final phase of evelopment on Judith Thompson's
SUCH CREATURES. We have also supported Liza Balkan's OUT
THE WINDOW via the Ontario Arts Council's Creators' Reserve
LAKE NORA ARMS, adapted
by Jane Miller and Brian Quirt from the book by Michael Redhill,
with music composed by Jane Miller, was a hit at the 2009 Summerworks
Festival, directed by Liza Balkan.
review in NOW Magazine. More
CITY OF WINE Festival
May 5-9, 2009
Nightswimming presented, for
the first time ever, the entire seven-play cycle City of Wine
by Ned Dickens. The cycle was presented twice in sequence over
five wild and wonderful days. For images of the productions
and Festival, visit City of Wine on Facebook.
The cycle revisits the stories of the ancient Greek
city of Thebes, birthplace of wine, and best known as the home of
Oedipus. An unprecedented event in Canadian theatre history, City
of Wine featured over 150 of Canada's newest theatre artists
from seven of Canada's most prestigious theatre training schools,
working with some of our finest professionals on seven very distinct
productions. Almost 15 years in the making, the City of Wine
marathon was an event to remember.
Read about CITY OF WINE:
Star | National
Post | NOW
Magazine | Eye
Post | Macleans's
Magazine | NOW
Magazine | Toronto
Theatre Blog | City
of Wine blog
This massive project is possible in part through substantial grants
from the Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council and the George Cedric
Metcalf Charitable Foundation.
information on City of Wine
by Martin Julien and Brian
Presented by Nightswimming and Harbourfront
Centre, with design by PLANT Architech Inc. (see photos of the installation
this innovative new piece received a workshop production September
16-21, 2008. NOW Magazine review.
More information on Blue Note
BOMBAY BLACK nominated for 2007 Governor
Anosh Irani was nominated for the Governor General's
Award for The Bombay Plays - The Matka King and BOMBAY
BLACK , which were published by Playwrights Canada Press in
2007. Here's what the GG announcement said:
"At once poetic and theatrical, The Bombay Plays pulse with
grit, humour and despair. Anosh Irani makes an astonishing debut
with these two plays. His voice is fierce, funny and wholly original."
Bombay Black received its Indian premiere in
Mumbai in September 2007. "Bombay Black
is a searing play. THE PIONEER, NEW DELHI. For
Cahoots Theatre's production of Bombay Black,
directed by Brian Quirt, was revived at Mississaugas Living
Arts Centre (February 8-10, 2008) and at Vancouvers Arts Club
Theatre as part of their subscription season (February 21 - March
15). More information
on Bombay Black
ROUGH HOUSE by Andy Massingham
Rough House was featured at two Showcase performances at
the International Performing Arts for Youth Conference, Cleveland,
January 22, 2009. In 2008, Rough House toured to the Vancouver
East Cultural Centre (February 26 March 2, 2008), Torontos
Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People (April 8-20), the Yukon
Arts Centre in Whitehorse (April 23-24), and the SuperNova Festival
in Halifax (May 2-4). More information
on Rough House
Research - Pure Research will take place
in Toronto October 18-24 in association with the University of Toronto's
Graduate Centre for Study of Drama. Editions are planned for Edmonton
and Vancouver in 2011.
RESEARCH for more information and
how to apply to future sessions.
Works in Development
Blue Note by
Martin Julien and Brian Quirt
Blue Note is an inter-disciplinary performance piece inspired
by our long-standing interest in choirs and their dramatic and visual
potential. A character study of a vocal ensemble, Blue Note
follows seven singers as they (actually) rehearse a challenging
new piece of music. Through the music, an assortment of texts, and
reinforced by staging that reflects the realities of rehearsal rather
than performance, we slowly gain a picture of the group as well
as the individual singers, as they struggle with the fact that they
are one member short at this rehearsal. Eventually, it becomes clear
that one of the ensemble has died and they are endeavoring to keep
going despite their loss.
Nightswimming created Blue Note as an installation rather
than a musical or a play, and when it is presented the rehearsal
process is accessible to the public along with more formal evening
presentations. More information on BLUE
Whispering Pines by
Three people who came together in East Berlin
come to Canada, and come apart when one is revealed as a Stasi infomer.
Workshopped by Nightswimming in November 2005, Whispering Pines
received a workshop and public reading at Alberta Theatre Projects
in February 2006, followed by a Nightswimming workshop in July 2007.
A subsequent workshop in July 2008 with Ottawa's Great Canadian
Theatre Company examined a pre-production draft.
Tulip by Don Druick
Set in the madness of 17th century Hollands crazed obsession
known as ulipomania, Tulip is a wild new play about greed,
beauty, deceit and botany. The latest of Dons fabulous inventions
features some of his best writing ever and will received a workshop
at George Brown Theatre School in November 2004 followed by a Nightswimming
workshop and public reading in November 2006.
The Frozen Deep
by Don Druick
Don takes us to the 1857 home of Charles Dickens and the last rehearsal
of a new play by Dickens and his protegé Wilkie Collins.
While Dickens and Collins are fighting over the story (about two
arctic explorers in love with the same woman), Dickens' wife Catherine
and a motley crew of friends and family are held hostage to Dickens'
unstoppable creativity. As they furiously rewrite their script,
two dangerous love stories play themselves out - on and offstage.
A public reading, with live piano accompaniment by David Matheson,
was presented to great response at the National Arts Centre (Ottawa)
as part of the prestigious 2003 ON THE VERGE Festival.
Theatre Creators Reserve
Nightswimming is participating in the Theatre Creators Reserve
Program funded by the Ontario Arts Council. We are accepting applications
until December 1, 2010. Nightswimming is particularly pleased that
"creators working in forms other than text" are eligible
to apply and we are eager to review applications from creators working
in those fields.
If you're interested in challenging dramatic forms and bold visual
storytelling, explore our website for more information about our
theatrical interests and ideas. Please review our current and past
projects to get a sense of our work. Here are the questions we'll
be asking when we review the applications:
Does the project intersect with at least two of Nightswimming's
These include: - diversity of storytelling - geographic and/or cultural
- poetic dramatic text
- dance and extreme physicality
- exploration of dramatic forms - stretching dramaturgical boundaries
- integration of music, especially vocal music
Does this application establish a new relationship for Nightswimming,
or extend an existing relationship in a new direction?
We will focus on the following:
- the clarity of the applicant's intent regarding the project
- the clarity of the process of creation
- is the project something the artist would be unable to pursue
without this funding?
If you have a project that you think would fit with Nightswimming's
mandate and interests, please send us your application by December
1. We look forward to reading it.
Please keep applications to three pages; a short script sample is
sufficient as we are more interested in the nature of the ideas
you want to explore than reading your past work.
Don't forget to include the application form from the Ontario Arts
No email or fax applications please. Send or drop off applications
55 Mill Street
#310 Building 74
Toronto, Ontario, M5A 3C4
Campbell, Nightswimmings long-time Producer,
leaving after 16 years.
Toronto, Ontario Nightswimming announced today that Producer
Naomi Campbell, who has been with the company since it was established
in 1994, will leave her current position on July 31.
Naomi has been with Nightswimming since our very first project,
Don Druicks award-winning Through the Eyes, and has been instrumental
in defining the nature of the company, and ensuring the successful
development of all its artistic projects, said Artistic Director
Brian Quirt. Naomi has devoted her career to creating, managing,
strengthening and leading non-profit performing arts organizations
in Toronto. She continues to make an indelible contribution locally,
provincially, nationally and internationally. Her list of on-going
commitments and freelance engagements on top of her enormous
contribution to Nightswimming demonstrates the impact one
individual can have on a specific field. I have been a beneficiary
of Naomis great talents, her friendship, and her commitment
to this art form. She has made Nightswimming possible and has contributed
to every moment of its growth and every part of its success over
the past 16 years.
Highlights of Naomis tenure at Nightswimming include producing
last years unprecedented City of Wine Festival, bringing together
seven full productions by seven theatre schools from across Canada
to showcase Ned Dickens seven play cycle; three Governor Generals
Award nominees among the more than twenty new works commissioned
by Nightswimming; and two national tours of plays developed by Nightswimming.
The companys works have been showcased in Canadas leading
festivals, including Magnetic North Theatre Festival, Canada Dance
Festival, Rhubarb! Festival, Alberta Theatre Projects playRites
Festival and the National Arts Centres On the Verge.
Naomi has raised Nightswimmings profile nationally and
internationally, said Nightswimming Board President, Terry
Raininger. She received the 2009 Leonard McHardy and John
Harvey Award for Theatre Administration and a 2005 Vital People
Award from the Toronto Community Foundation in recognition of her
leadership in the Toronto cultural community, and we have no doubt
that she will continue to contribute deeply to the Canadian arts
Nightswimming wishes Naomi every success in her future endeavours.
Naomi has been a full partner in the creation, growth and
success of Nightswimming, said Brian. Her insight, knowledge
of the Canadian theatre world, and her producing acumen will be
It was not an easy decision to leave Nightswimming after so
many years and so many excellent projects. The company has provided
a through-line for my professional development and I would not be
who I am if not for the work and the relationships we have made
together. However, I felt that it was time for a change (if not
now, then when?) and so I am embarking on a sabbatical of sorts;
taking some time to look at the work I have done and to prepare
for some new work ahead. While I intend to stay in the theatre,
that is not a promise, as I am keen to see what possibilities arise
given some time and space to consider my options. I will continue
to support Nightswimming however I can, especially in the transitional
time ahead, and always as a very interested party. I wish Brian
and the company every possible success.
A multi-talented artist and administrator with experience as a performer,
designer and director in addition to her many years as a producer,
Naomi is also Industry Series Producer and Touring Liaison for the
Magnetic North Theatre Festival. She received Dora Awards for Outstanding
Set Design (White Mice, Mammalian Diving Reflex) and Outstanding
Production (The Doll House, DVxT Theatre Company), and has been
the Festival Director for the Rhubarb! Festival at Buddies in Bad
Times Theatre, and Producer for DVxT Theatre, Mammalian Diving Reflex
and Civilized Theatre.
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Elliott Hayes Award Press Release
July 9, 2003
Brian Quirt honoured with Elliott Hayes Award
Kathy St. John is proud to announce that Nightswimming's Artistic
Director Brian Quirt was presented with the Literary Managers and
Dramaturgs of the Americas Prize in Dramaturgy - The Elliott
Hayes Award - at the LMDA's recent conference in Chicago. The
award is presented annually honour exemplary work by dramaturgs
in the USA and Canada.
Brian was recognized by LMDA Vice President
Liz Engelman for his longstanding, istinctive and significant contribution
to the field of dramaturgy. In her presentation, Engelman commented:
"As the Director of his dramaturgical company
Nightswimming (a 'dramaturgical company' that alone deserved
recognition!) whose declared mission is to be dedicated to advancing
the field of dramaturgy and play development in Canada, Brian has,
since 1994, invested purely and fully in the development of numerous
pieces of work. He has done so much for the initiation, generation
and development of new plays, performance works and dance pieces
that, in a sense, I feel as if I am presenting a lifetime achievement
"Through Nightswimming, Brian has
created a system of development that evolves the notion of dramaturgy,
that expands the role of the dramaturg, and that has the potential
of being the new norm. His artist-based collaborative process
opens up not only who is in the rehearsal room, but gives artists
a chance to dream, and allows for these dreams to come true."
Nightswimming is delighted that Brian's work has
been acknowledged by his peers in the dramaturgical community
and would like to extend its congratulations to the long list
of artists commissioned by or working with Nightswimming: Julia
Sasso, Don Druick, Claudia Dey, Jason Sherman, Michael Redhill,
Jane Urquhart, Jane Miller, Ned Dickens, Richard Sanger, Anoshi
Irani, and Andy Massingham.
In addition to his work with Nightswimming,
Brian is the company dramaturg at actory Theatre and Chair of LMDA
Canada. His recent credits include a Dora Award nomination for directing
Don Druick's THROUGH THE EYES at Factory Theatre, which is reviving
the production in May 2004; dramaturging Julia Sasso's BEAUTY, produced
by julia sasso dances at Harbourfront Centre; and directing Jason
Sherman's Governor General's Award nominee AN ACRE OF TIME at the
Tarragon Theatre. All three projects were commissioned and developed
LMDA serves the professions of literary managers and
dramaturgs across North merica and created the Elliott Hayes Award
to honour the memory of the late Stratford Festival Literary Manager
Elliott Hayes. It is awarded annually to celebrate the contribution
of dramaturgs to the conception, development and production of theatre
in the Americas. New York-based dramaturg Mallory Catlett was also
honoured for her work on The First 100 Years Project. For more information,
please visit www.lmda.org.
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Links of Interest
Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas (LMDA)
for Theatre Research (CATR)
Development Centres of Canada
Guild of Canada
of Canadian Theatres
Atlantic Resource Centre
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