Call for Submissions: New Canadian Plays, Embassy of Canada in collaboration with Heritage Canada

NEW  CANADIAN  PLAYS  is a bi-annual project which aims to introduce and to promote new anglophone and francophone Canadian plays on the German-speaking theatre scene. A jury consisting of German theatre experts reads, evaluates and selects the best plays.

NEW CANADIAN PLAYS seeks to identify, introduce and promote new anglophone and francophone Canadian plays with the best market potential for the German-speaking theatre scene. The project was established in 2006 by the Embassy of Canada in collaboration with Heritage Canada and partners across Canada and enters its sixth edition in 2012. Since 2007, it has been organized in collaboration with the Québec Government Office in Berlin and the International Theatre Institute Germany in Berlin. Since 2009, the Canada Council has generously supported the project. Since 2010, it takes place every two years.

The process relies on collaboration and shared expertise between Canada and Germany. Numerous partners throughout Canada such as Playwrights Guild Toronto and Centre des auteurs dramatiques in Montréal as well as many experts, dramaturges, directors, playwrights and agents have been submitting new plays.

A jury of 5 German theatre experts (on a rotational basis) pre-selects, reads and evaluates the submissions. Thanks to the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, we have been able to commission professional translations of the plays selected. They are promoted in a newsletter, in three languages (German, English and French), to more than 600 professional contacts across the German-speaking theatre scene: dramaturges, artistic directors, directors, translators and agents.

For German theatre professionals, it is hard to access information on the latest plays, developments and trends across Canada because of the country’s decentralized structure and geography. Moreover, the complexity of the German theatre system both demands and affords various ways of reaching decision makers. Our project continually succeeds in raising their awareness of new Canadian plays and in creating substantial networks for future collaboration between Canada and Germany. We even experience a growing interest from other countries such as Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Poland.

Dear partners throughout Canada, NEW CANADIAN PLAYS would not work without your ongoing support, openness, interest and collaboration. Your thorough knowledge of Canadian and Québécois theatre and play development, in well-made and new forms of writing in various styles and formats, as well as your awareness of established and upcoming playwrights is very valuable to us.

We kindly invite you to participate in this project by submitting new plays and texts which you believe to be of potential for an international market, thanks to their quality, style, form and content. Your support would greatly assist the jury’s work and is deeply appreciated.

We are happy to announce the members of the Jury 2012: John v. Düffel (author, dramaturge Deutsches Theater Berlin); Frank Heibert (freelance translator and jury president, Berlin); Simone Kaempf (theatre journalist, Berlin); Stephan Schmidtke (artistic director and head of dramaturgy, Schauspielhaus Düsseldorf); Frank Weigand (freelance translator, Berlin, editor Scène – Annual Anthology of Francophone Plays in German Translation).

Please find below all information and requirements to participate.

Submitted material must include the following information:

  •  The completed application form in English or French (see forms attached)
  • The complete play in digital form only – including date of origin
  • A short synopsis of the play
  • A short CV of the playwright(s)
  • Foreign rights information (who is the agent or the holder of the rights?)
  • Only complete applications can be considered by the jury.

Please be aware of the following criteria:

  • Plays submitted should not be older than three years, meaning that they should neither have been written before 2009, nor have been presented to the public (reading, workshop, production or publication) before that date.
  • Plays don’t necessarily have to have been produced in Canada/Québec.
  • Plays should not yet be represented by a German agent or publisher.
  • Plays can deal with the challenges of contemporary life, private and political, and with relevant social issues, i.e. cultural diversity, migration, open society, future of the city, unemployment, environmental issues, demography.
  • Plays that have an obvious regional or local Canadian interest are more difficult to export to Germany.
  • Please do not send adaptations based on novels or films. Plays on the life of celebrities or historical characters are equally hard to place on the German market.
  • Plays for young audiences are welcome.
  • The jury is not only interested in well-made plays, but also in innovative forms of writing. In German-speaking theatres, we experience an increasing interest in creative and experimental writing which results in performance productions. The jury is open to supporting this innovative trend and is interested in also receiving performance texts and other, freer forms of theatre writing.

We kindly ask you to send all material (preferably in PDF-format) to the:

Embassy of Canada in Germany, Berlin, attn. Gabriele Naumann-Maerten

and to the Québec Government Office in Berlin, attn. Marie-Elisabeth Räkel

Deadline: March 31, 2012

Your participation would greatly assist the jury’s work. Should you wish to share this call with other experts or individuals who might be interested to join this project, please feel free to distribute this call for plays including the application form.