Blyth Festival New Play Development

The Blyth Festival is hugely proud of its success in developing and producing new Canadian plays.

We have shepherded projects by

  • Celebrated and award-winning playwrights like Anne Chislett (Quiet in the Land, 1981; Another Season’s Harvest, 2006) and Michael Healey (The Drawer Boy, 2000; The Nuttalls, 2009),
  • Local and first-time playwrights like David Scott (There’s Nothing in the Paper, 1997; Ballad of Stompin’ Tom, 2006) and Denyse Gervais Regan (The Thirteenth One, 2005)
  • New works by Beverley Cooper and Paul Ciufo, both finalists for the Governor General’s Award.

“Artistic programming is not simply a wide open field into which we drop fresh cut flowers, no matter how brilliant their petals…instead, it is a place where the hardiest stalks begin from roots deep below the ground. That’s where we start.”
Gil Garratt

New play development: our process

The Blyth Festival New Play Development Program is designed to work closely with playwrights to prepare their scripts for full-fledged production at producing theatres, not exclusively for production at the Blyth Festival.

Before a new play can make its debut on stage, it demands endless attention from the playwright as well as from the creative team. At Blyth Festival, our new play development team provides direction and encouragement each step of the way.

“It’s important to blow apart a process, or to singularize a process…Playwrights are wildly idiosyncratic creatures, and I think a process has to be wildly idiosyncratic in response.”

Gil Garratt

Literary Agents

If you believe you have a client with the ability to create a stunning new play for us here at the Blyth Festival, do get in touch.

OAC Recommender Grants for Theatre 2023/24

Blyth Festival is pleased to announce that it has again been invited to participate in the Ontario Arts Council’s Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators program.

Designed to provide funding directly to Ontario playwrights and playmakers, the Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators is a third-party recommender program, administered by the Ontario Arts Council. Through this program, a select number of Ontario’s professional theatres are given the opportunity to recommend writing or creation grants to professional theatre artists who apply. The minimum grant recommendation is $1000 and the maximum is $5000.

Blyth Festival is interested in narratives that embrace the complexity, enormity and diversity of rural life.  Blyth is especially interested in work that interrogates questions of Canadian identity. Decisions will be made based on artistic interest and connection to Blyth’s mandate and mission.

If you have any questions, please contact Severn Thompson at the Blyth Festival:

PLEASE NOTE: All applications must now be submitted via the OAC’s NOVA platform. Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators program guidelines and applications are available on the OAC website.

The 2023/24 application submission deadline is January 12, 2024  at 1:00pm.

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