When the new regime took over at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre earlier this year, one of incoming artistic director Sarah Stanley's goals was to expand the theatre's commitment to new play development
. And now a first big step has been taken under the direction of award-winning playwright Edward Roy, who is company dramaturge. His Ante Chamber Series is an ambitious program that aims to help six promising scripts come into their own. More than 50 submissions were received and the half dozen chosen playwrights get six months in which to cultivate their work.
Among them are writers who have already shown considerable talent in other projects, including Platform 9's Robin Fulford and Brian Quirt, the Theatre Centre's resident dramaturge. The others are Debra Anderson, Melinda Little, Sam Hancock, Sean Reycraft and as a bonus, Buddies In Bad Times playwright-in-residence, Greg MacArthur, who is also developing a new piece.
Although Buddies is a lesbian and gay identified theatre, the mandate of the Ante Chamber Series (named for the smallest performance space that separates the main theatre from the cabaret) is to develop promising work, regardless of sexual orientation.
The first Salon readings on November 30 feature the work of Brian Quirt and Greg MacArthur. Quirt's play Whirlpool, is an adaptation of Jane Urquhart's novel about four people who are caught up in the Niagara River's swirling currents. MacArthur's play, Epiphany, is a small town western adventure about the discovery of a religious miracle. The second public salon is scheduled for December 7 and will present works by Sam Hancock, Robin Fulford and Melinda Little.
Public salon 1 of the Ante Chamber Series takes place on November 30 at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.
For tickets call: 416-975-8555.
--By Mira Friedlander