New Play Creation and Development
New Play Creation and Development is an emerging area of excellence in the University of Alberta's Department of Drama. The department holds substantial and broadly based dramaturgical expertise.
New Play Development Dramaturgy
U of A Drama offers a wide scope of approaches to new play development. Several faculty members (Kim McCaw, Jan Selman, David Barnet, Dr. Piet Defraeye, Beau Coleman, Lin Snelling and Jane Heather) contribute to Canada's new play development via work with individual playwrights and organizations which workshop and produce new plays.
Kim McCaw's multiple contributions to new plays are nationally recognized. He was the recipient of Canada's National Play Development Award in 1993.
Kathleen Weiss's current creative activity focuses on iconographic dramaturgy, a creative process well-suited to the increasing interest in image-driven theatrical events.
Through faculty expertise, the department's annual New Works Festival, several graduate course offerings (DR 607, DR 681) and student work placements, the Department of Drama is uniquely positioned to further specialize and develop new play dramaturgy.
While production dramaturgy is still in a developing stage in North America, the department is assuming a leading role in spearheading its establishment and further development.
Emerging opportunities in production dramaturgy include festival dramaturgy, translation dramaturgy and audience dramaturgy.
The rich culture of theatre production within both the department and the greater Edmonton theatre community provides students with many unique opportunities to integrate theory, history, criticism and theatrical practice, such as recent graduate student work placements with local companies Northern Light Theatre and Theatre Network.
Another aspect of play creation, performer-created theatre, is strongly represented in our department.
David Barnet is a pioneer of the Canadian collective theatre movement. His work puts a particular emphasis on bringing the voices of seniors, victims of violence and immigrants to the stage through collaborative creation processes. Several theatre companies such as Catalyst Theatre and GeriActors and Friends were founded based on his principles and approaches. Jan Selman also specializes in community-based theatre.
Michael Kennard created the Canadian clown duo Mump & Smoot with John Turner in 1988, and they have since taken the Fringe Festival circuit by storm with their repertoire, including Mump & Smoot Cracked which toured nationally in 2010.