New Scripts, Actors, and a Stage
Co-curators Seán Cummings and C.E. Gatchalian invited playwrights from across Canada to workshop their plays in development with local professional actors and dramaturges followed by staged readings August 4 & 5, 2009 at the Roundhouse Performance Centre at Davie/Pacific, Vancouver, BC. Part of the Pride In Art Festival.
“That was great. Really fantastic. Kudos on a wonderful performance. So glad that Clean Sheets was part of the festival. Hope it is every year.”
– audience member
The objectives of Clean Sheets are:
- To promote and nurture the development of Queer-Canadian playwrights and original work
- To give theatrical form to issues that deal specifically with the lives of bisexuals, gay men, lesbians, and transgendered people
- To promote, through theatrical expression, compassion, empathy, and understanding
To view photos from Clean Sheets over the years please visit our Facebook photo album here.
Introducing our 2009 Plays & Playwrights:
Tuesday, August 4 6:30pm
Heather’s String Theory
by Barry Jack Jenkins
Dramaturged by Ilena Lee Cramer
Featuring Hamza Adam, Ryan Hesp, Luvia Petersen and Jarett Knowles
Tuesday, August 4 8:00pm
by William Bradley Reed
Vancouver, British Columbia
Dramaturged by Seán Cummings
Featuring Dawn Milman, Christina Schild, Charlie Gallant, Colin Ormiston and Dean Paul Gibson
Wednesday, August 5 6:30pm
by T. Berto
Dramaturged by Amanda Lockitch
Featuring Thrasso Petras
Wednesday, August 5 8:00pm
A Good Death
by Shelley M Hobbs
Dramaturged by Heather Lindsay
Featuring Michelle Tolosa, Adrienne Wong, James Fagan Tait, Shaira Holman and David C. Jones
Note from the Curators:
We first discussed the concept of bringing playwrights from across Canada for queer play development in 2006 while working together on Broken at the Firehall Arts Centre. It was our second project as playwright and director and the experience was so rewarding we thought we could do something about the relative paucity of queer play development activity in Canada. We decided then and there to create a national event that would offer audiences sneak previews of exciting new queer-themed works-in-development, a theatregoing experience whose rewards are altogether different from seeing full productions of “finished work”; and that, above all else, would be a laboratory, or “flourishing stop,” for that most underpaid, tragic, yet time-honoured of theatre practitioners: the playwright.
It’s three years later and finally we’ve given birth to it—this project, this flourishing stop, that puts playwrights first. The response to our submissions call was impressive—twenty-eight scripts from literally every corner of the country, more than half from outside BC, from playwrights both new and established. The convenient refrain, “it was very competitive,” is in this case also the truth: the selection process was as painful as it was exhilarating.
The plays that we’ve chosen for this, the inaugural edition of Clean Sheets, represent not only the very best of the work submitted, but also diverse takes on “the queer experience.” From the struggle of a trans northern teenager in Jack Jenkins’ Heather’s String Theoryto an aspiring young hustler’s first night on the streets in William Bradley Reed’s Moon Tan, from the travails of a kept boy in T. Berto’s Downstream to the excruciating legal struggle at the core of Shelley Hobbs’ A Good Death, Clean Sheets will take you straight into situations and states of mind as nuanced—and as eclectic—as the queer experience itself.
These are gritty, honest plays. Absorb them; enjoy. As the festival’s two daddies we’re proud to present them to you, as ample evidence of the vibrancy of queer Canadian playwriting.
Seán Cummings & C. E. Gatchalian
Clean Sheets 2009 is produced by Screaming Weenie Productions with the support of the City of Vancouver and Pride In Art.