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 female-identifying 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.

Please note: We accept applications from all regions. If you are accepted into our WFTH unit, we do ask that individuals attend the culminating day long workshop and public presentation as part of our Groundswell Festival in person if possible. Some meetings throughout the year can be attended using Skype/Facetime technology, but some travel may be necessary (such as the Groundswell Festival).

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.

Meet our 2017/8 Write from the Hip Program Playwrights:


Left column - top to bottom: Intisar Awisse and Chelsea Woolley
Middle column - top to bottom: Meghan Greeley and Ali Joy Richardson
Right column - top to bottom: Monica Garrido and Co-writers Andrea Scott & Nick Green


Ali Joy Richardson is a director, producer, and writer, originally from Nova Scotia. She’s the Artistic Producer of Toronto’s Paprika Festival, now in its 17th year of providing training and showcasing to artists ages 15-30. Ali is in Canadian Stage’s 2018 Director Development Residency and works as a book writer and director with Education Arts Canada, creating touring musicals for ages 9-12 (most recently about mental health). Ali has made theatre in Edinburgh, Vancouver, Berlin, Halifax, Edmonton, and Toronto, in museums, office buildings, hospitals, cafés, defunct record shops, abandoned schools, kitchens, and harbours. More at: alijoyrichardson.com. Ali has dreamed about working with Nightwoodsince she was a lanky high-schooler on the east coast. She’s developing her play Fool about Jane the Fool, the only female jester in recorded English history (it also features a peasant chorus). What happens when your dream job turns into a nightmare? What use is a fool when the world’s on fire?

Andrea Scott is an actor, playwright & producer whose play, Eating Pomegranates Naked, won the RBC Arts Professional award at SummerWorks where it was named Outstanding Ensemble, Production. Two years later Better Angels: A Parable won the SummerWorks award for Production and recognized as Outstanding New Play, Outstanding Ensemble, Outstanding Direction and Outstanding Production by NOW Magazine. Don’t Talk to Me Like I’m Your Wife, won the Cayle Chernin Award for theatre in 2016, followed by a successful run at SummerWorks.  Andrea will be the resident artist at bcurrent this season and her collection of plays, Better Angels: A Parable will be published this Fall.

Chelsea Woolley is a playwright, theatre maker, and educator. Her work includes: The Mountain (Geordie Productions), These Peaceable Kingdoms (New Words Festival), The Exhibition of Extraordinary Oddities and Living Freaks (Major Matt Mason), The Only Good Boy (Theatre BSMT), and 1000 Names (TheatreXtra). Chelsea’s plays have earned recognition through: The PGC Tom Hendry Awards, The Alberta Playwriting Competition, the Toronto Fringe New Play Contest, and the Wildfire National Playwriting Competition. In 2016, Chelsea attended the Banff Playwright’s Lab and in 2017, the National New Play Network’s MFA Playwright’s Workshop at the Kennedy Centre, in Washington, DC. She is also a member of the inaugural New Creation Unit with Theatre Direct. Chelsea is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada’s Playwriting Program.

Intisar Awisse is a writer and editor who divides her time between Waterloo and Toronto. She studied english and publishing and works as a freelance editor. Intisar was member of the The Women’s Room playwrights unit in 2016/17 and her first play, Blackbird, was part of the Impact Theatre Festival in 2017. Intisar is also a proud member of Obsidian Theatre’s Playwrights Unit where she is developing Thing, a play about the failed Canadian peacekeeping mission to Somalia in 1993. In the Write from the Hip program, she is working on Painting the Sea, a new play inspired by Tom Stoppard’s Enter a Free Man that follows the experiences of a Somali-Canadian immigrant family in the early 90s.

Monica Garrido is a human. Her short films Diferente and the horror-comedy Love You to Death had been part of the Toronto LGBT Inside Out Film festival. Her first solo show The Cunning Linguist won the 2016 Queer Acts Audience Award. She is part of the Latinx Drag King Boiband the Boyband. Monica has had the privilege to work with companies such as Aluna Theatre, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, and Bad Dog Comedy Theatre. She is a member of diverse improv troupes such as The LOL Word, The Kweendom and Kinsey Fail. She is currently part of the Write From The Hip program with Nightwood theatre and the 2018 Second City Diversity Fellowship.

Meghan Greeley is originally from Newfoundland and holds a BFA in Theatre (Acting) from Sir Wilfred Grenfell College. She currently resides in Toronto, where she is completing an MFA in Screenwriting at York University. She was a 2016 nominee for the RBC Tarragon Emerging Playwrights Prize, and was later a resident of the Tarragon Playwrights Unit, which culminated in a public reading of her latest script, China, in May 2017. Past playwriting credits include Hunger (2015) and Kingdom (2012), which were both produced by White Rooster Theatre and premiered at the LSPU Hall in St. John’s, NL.  Kingdom toured to the Stages Festival in 2013 and was later published in The Breakwater Book Of Contemporary Newfoundland Drama, Vol. 1. Kingdom was later produced by CONTRA, of which Greeley is Co-Artistic Director, at the Tarragon Theatre Workspace in 2016. Her short play Brother, Brother, a winner of the InspiraTO Playwriting Competition, premiered at the Alumnae Theatre in 2015 and was published in the Playwrights Canada Press anthology Long Story Short. Her scripts have been chosen for the RCA Playwriting Series, Cultivate Playwright’s Colony, and twice for the Women’s Work Festival. Her poetry and prose have appeared in The Stockholm Review of Literature, Ephemera, Metatron’s Omega, Riddlefence, and Humber Mouths 2. Awards include first prize in the Sparks Literary Festival Poetry Competition and the Magnetic North Playwriting Competition (Under 25).

Nick Green a Dora and Sterling award winning playwright whose work has been seen across Canada and in New York. Nick’s recent plays include Body Politic (2017 Dora Award - Outstanding New Play, General Theatre; Buddies in Bad Times/lemonTree Creations); Undercovered (Edmonton Exposure); Poof! The Musical (Capitol Theatre, Sterling Nomination Outstanding New Play); Coffee Dad, Chicken Mom, and the Fabulous Buddha Boi (Guys UnDisguised; recipient of 3 Sterling Awards); and Left Field (Concrete Sprouts Festival). As an actor, Nick has worked with companies such as Buddies in Bad Times, The Cabaret Company, Alberta Theatre Projects, Catalyst Theatre, and Concrete Theatre.


Our 2017/18 Write from the Hip Program Facilitator: Andrea Donaldson


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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