Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Banff Playwrights Lab
Banff Centre is celebrating its 50th edition of the Banff Playwrights Lab. Since its inception in 1974, the Lab has sustained its founding principles of focusing on playwrights and developing new works away from the pressures of a producing theatre. Over the past 50 years, more than 800 plays have been written, created, and workshopped at Banff Centre by leading playwrights from across the country and beyond. One of the longest continuously operating writing programs at Banff Centre, Lab alumni include 500 playwrights plus dramaturgs, actors, and directors.
In 2013, Artistic Director of Nightswimming and dramaturg/director Brian Quirt became Lab Director. In collaboration with current Lab Dramaturg Jenna Rodgers, he has since made inclusion and equity central to Lab curation, programming, participants, and projects.
Plays workshopped during the Lab are performed across Canada and around the globe. During the 2018/19 season, for example, the last full year prior to the pandemic, 37 plays developed at the Lab between 2013-2018 were on stage and on tour across Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, the United States, England, and Denmark, for a total of more than 50 runs.
To mark the Lab’s 50th edition, Banff Centre will be hosting the 2023 LMDA International Dramaturgy Conference convened by the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas. Also new this year is the introduction of an Apprentice Dramaturg position to help nurture the next generation of Canadian dramaturgs.
For more information, please visit www.banffcentre.ca/brief-history-banff-playwrights-lab