There’s just over two weeks remaining before the deadline for this year’s NotaBle Acts playwriting contest (April 23 for the regular contest, May 22 for the school categories). While we are currently living in uncertain times due to the coronavirus, our contest is still on and operating as per usual. It’s too soon to predict how the pandemic might affect plans for this year’s summer festival, but perhaps the most important work that NotaBle Acts does takes place behind the scenes and out of the spotlight: the play development process that pairs our playwriting contest winners with one of Canada’s leading playwrights every year, allowing emerging playwrights to have their scripts mentored by an experienced professional. This is work that can take place under any conditions, including the physical distancing realities now in place, and therefore will proceed no matter what happens this summer.
To that end, NotaBle Acts is thrilled to announce that our 2020 Playwright/Dramaturge in Residence, joining us through the generosity of artsnb‘s Artist in Residence program, will be Vern Thiessen. Based in Edmonton, Vern is one of Canada’s most acclaimed and accomplished playwrights, as well as an experienced dramaturge, director, actor, and theatre educator. Read more about Vern below, and for everything you need to know about our playwriting contest, check out the information elsewhere on this site. We look forward to receiving your plays soon!
Vern Thiessen is one of Canada’s most produced playwrights. His work has been seen across Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia. His works include Of Human Bondage, Vimy, Einstein’s Gift (GG winner), Lenin’s Embalmers (GG finalist), Apple, and Shakespeare’s Will. He is only one of two Canadian playwrights to have had a revival of the same play at the Stratford Festival (Canada.) He has been produced off-Broadway five times. Vern is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Dora and Sterling awards for Outstanding New Play, The Carol Bolt Award, the Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award, the City of Edmonton Arts Achievement Award, the University of Alberta Alumni Award of Excellence, and the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama, Canada’s highest honour for a playwright. Vern received his BA from the University of Winnipeg and an M.F.A. from the University of Alberta.