Write from the Hip

Write From The Hip is a year-long script development program designed to support new writers through mentorship, one-on-one dramaturgy, developmental workshops and readings, all working towards the completion of a full length play. We look for women playwrights who are emerging in their careers. There is no age limit, though you are only eligible if you have never received a professional production. You may apply with a script at any stage in development.

Nightwood Theatre has a long history of producing socially relevant, provocative theatre. Our vision is to be a gateway for women in Canadian Theatre, propelling them to the top of their craft. Nightwood Theatre embraces cultural, racial and sexual diversity.

Applications for the 2017-18 cohort is now closed. Please note that we will follow up with all applicants by July 26th. The next submission call will be made public in Spring 2018.


Meet our 2016/17 Write from the Hip Program Playwrights:

Elena Belyea - Elena Belyea is a queer performer, producer, arts educator and graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada’s Playwriting program. She is Artistic Director of Tiny Bear Jaws and a co-founder of the Common Ground Arts Society’s annual Found Festival in Edmonton, a showcase of multidisciplinary arts events that take place in non-traditional venues. To find out more, visit http://elenabelyea.com. Elena is developing Smoke, a one-act play. Years after her assault, Aidan’s rapist appears seeking reconciliation. The smoke is thick and the town is burning. What will it take to put it out?


  • Deanna Kruger - Deanna Kruger is a playwright based in Guelph. Her plays include Paul and Petandra, The Council, and Rendering. Deanna’s work has been staged at the Tomo Suru Players’ About Love Festival (Vancouver, June 2017), Guelph Little Theatre (July 2017), the InspiraTO Festival (Toronto), and the Alumnae Theatre’s New Ideas Festival (Toronto). She is a past recipient of an InspiraTO People’s Choice Award and the Dorothy White Award (Ottawa Little Theatre’s Canadian One-Act Playwriting Competition). Deanna’s script, The Sword-Bearers, explores the interior lives of two neighbours: a young entomologist with postpartum depression and an older woman awaiting her son’s trial for a violent crime.


  • Michelle Langille - Michelle is an actor/writer/producer and founding member of Theatre Inamorata. Most recent credits include Clothilde in the premier of Clique Claque (Pea Green Theatre) at the Next Stage Festival and Mary Snow in Salt Water Moon (Single Thread Theatre Company). Her first length play, Lady Capulet will be produced in the fall of 2017 with Theatre Inamorata. http://www.theatreinamorata.com Michelle is developing a play titled, Ten Days, which explores the complicated and unconventional relationship between Catherine de Medici and her husband’s much older mistress Diane de Poitiers. During the ten days it takes Henri of France to die from a lance wound, power shifts among the three women closest to the throne: his neglected wife Catherine de Medici, his mistress of twenty years Diane de Poitiers, and seventeen-year-old Mary Stuart who will become Queen.


  • Gitanjali Lena - Gitanjali is a poet, fiction writer, cellist and playwright. She took the Voices of Our Nation Poetry Intensive in 2009, and attended the Pink Door Writer’s Retreat in 2016. Gitanjali has performed her poetry at festivals, including the 2010 Word on the Street and the 2015 Naked Heart Literary Festival. Her devised movement piece Mesh is part of the 38th Rhubarb Festival in February. Leopards and Peacocks surrounds the experiences of a Sri Lankan Tamil queer femme hustler, an anxious mother, an ambitious girlfriend and a gender non-conforming teenager, as they struggle to discern the difference between coping and healing. A time-travelling narrator and a chorus of magical Aunties help them navigate social services and social expectations in this dark comedy.


  • Hannah Rittner - Hannah Rittner is a playwright, screenwriter, producer and human rights advocate from Toronto. Her company, LACE Productions, premièred the first live performance about the 2014 Yazidi genocide, The Unbelievers, at the 2016 SummerWorks Performance Festival. She is a graduate of NYU’s MFA in Dramatic Writing, where she received the Chair’s Award in Excellence. She is a two time Susan-Smith Blackburn Prize Nominee: The Unbelievers; Love & Exile. Her work has been developed by Stratford Upon Avon, Theatre Passe Muraille, The Old Globe Theatre, and LunaSea Theatre. She is grateful to be a member of Nightwood Theatre’s 2016-17 Write from the Hip Program. Hannah’s piece is The Life and Death of Ana Petrovna. It’s 1899 at The Moscow Theatre and Sarah Bernhardt is starring as Hamlet. In the middle of the night she meets Ana Petrovna, a young woman from the outskirts of Moscow. The shadow of Sarah’s Hamlet, a trail of letters, and an unused pistol stand between them and the truth.


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    Lisa Ryder - Lisa is a Toronto based actor and theatre creator. With her company, Bald Ego Theatre, she wrote Cafe Naked, Panting of the Victors and Put Me Away. Most recently, she has been seen in Mary Kills People (E1/Shaw), The Strain (FX) and Canadian Stage’s international tour of Helen Lawrence. Lisa’s script in development is Wild Oxen, the story of an avant-garde performance artist whose grandmother’s death forces an apocalyptic confrontation with her Mennonite upbringing, and shunning from the faith.


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    Our 2017/18 Write from the Hip Program Facilitator:

    Andrea Donaldson - Andrea almost exclusively directs and develops new works in Canada. Recent directing credits include Sequence (Tarragon), These Peaceable Kingdoms (NTS), and the following Dora-nominated projects: Quiver (Nightwood Theatre), Within the Glass (Tarragon), Mistatim (Red Sky), The Atomic Weight of Happiness (Theatre Direct), Montparnasse (TPM), Offensive Fouls (Theatre Direct), The Unfortunate Misadventures of Masha Galinski (National tour). Other recent credits include Romeo & Juliet (Shakespeare in the Ruff), Janet Wilson Meets the Queen (GCTC), Soliciting Temptation (Tarragon), Beautiful Man (Summerworks), Une Parcelle de moi… (Espace René-Provost, Gatineau), CLEAVE (NTS), Tyumen Then (Toronto Fringe). Andrea has been honoured with Stratford’s Jean Gascon Award for Direction, has been nominated for the Pauline McGibbon Award & the John Hirsch Directing Award and has received a Dora Award for Outstanding Performance & Production for performing in And By the Way, Miss (Theatre Direct). Andrea was Tarragon Theatre’s Assistant/Associate Artistic Director for four seasons, is going into her fourth season as the Program Director for Nightwood Theatre’s Write From the Hip and is co-Artistic Director of Groundwater Productions with GG Award winning playwright Erin Shields.


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