Mid-Island Playwrights Initiative


Nanaimo’s Western Edge Theatre is delighted to announce the selections in its 2020 Mid-Island Playwrights Initiative, intended to cultivate new plays by writers on central Vancouver Island.

The main selection, made by Western Edge artistic director Brian March, is “Curling Season” by Qualicum Beach playwright Charlie Whelton. March calls it “a compassionate look at how a degenerative disease affects a couple’s relationship through the course of time.” The playwright receives a $250 award, and the script will be given a development workshop and staged reading when public health conditions permit.

In addition, March named three honorary selections:

“Benefit” by Gordon McInnis (“A benefit show brings two unlikely performers together backstage. Their shared experience contributes to their onstage performance.”)

“I Feel Everything” by Jenna Morgan (“Two worlds, one an emotional mine field, the other void of all feeling. Which one would you choose?”)

“Mourning in Room 243” by Daniel Puglas (“Family members gather in a motel room to mourn a death. Soon it is the state of their own lives that bubbles to the surface.”)

The authors of the honorary selections, all from Nanaimo, each receive awards of $150, and their plays will also receive a future development workshop and staged reading.

The response to the call for submissions was “tremendous,” says March. “I can honestly say there is a wealth of writing talent and unique voices in this area.”

Western Edge Theatre has emphasized the development and production of new plays since its founding, most recently premiering three scripts by area writers at last year’s New Waves Festival, and presenting “Our Ghosts” by Sally Stubbs, based on a true-life Vancouver Island mystery, as the opening production of its 2019-20 season.

Western Edge Theatre’s programming is generously sponsored by Romper Room Indoor Rock Climbing Centre, InPrint Graphic Design and Printing, and the Nanaimo News-Bulletin. It is also made possible by financial support from the City of Nanaimo and the Province of British Columbia.