Banff Playwrights Lab 2020

Welcome text in a variety of languages.

About the Lab

The Banff Playwrights Lab offers Canadian playwrights an inspiring, interdisciplinary, and inclusive environment to work on their plays while surrounded by performing artists from across the country and around the world.

The Lab supports challenging, multidisciplinary, and provocative approaches to telling stories. We are proud to gather on Treaty 7 territory to create, share, and explore theatrical storytelling.

Director's Letter

Each year the Lab welcomes eight Canadian playwrights and their collaborators, providing each writer with a residency tailored to their specific needs with the goal of nurturing, challenging, and inspiring the next phase of their work. Each Lab features international writer/dramaturg teams, an acting company, and partnerships with organizations from across Canada and beyond.

In 2020, the Lab will investigate projects that incorporate multiple languages, and the strategies playwrights use to tell stories across language and culture. We intend to foster an international conversation about how language(s) is used, methods of conveying multi-lingual content to audiences (such as surtitles, simultaneous translation, audio description, captioning via glasses and other technologies), and the power of languages to uniquely capture the voices of communities less frequently seen on Canadian stages.

We encourage artists working with Indigenous languages, Deaf and Hard of Hearing artists, and those working on projects with little or no language to consider applying to this year’s program. The Lab will be collaborating with Indigenous Arts at Banff Centre to support Indigenous creators’ work at the Lab. The Lab accepts applications in English and French only, though we are open to receiving projects that reference or incorporate any and all languages.

The Lab seeks artists who are exploring theatrical form, taking risks, and asking questions about our society. We value strong storytelling, diversity (in form, culture, and community), beautiful language, bold experimentation, and collaboration. We seek artists who demand that theatre can have social and political impact, and who are writing plays that seek to challenge and change our world. We want to support writers and plays telling stories not commonly told on Canadian stages that embrace outrage, and wrestle with wild ideas, images, and individuals.

Brian Quirt  
Director, Banff Playwrights Lab

Apply Now 

Alternate Language Letters 

View our Director's Letter in a variety of languages. Available in French, Spanish, and Chinese. 

Lettre du directeur | Carta del director | 主管致信

The great gift of the Playwrights Lab is that it is whatever you need it to be whenever you need it. It is uninterrupted time and solitude; it is also an endlessly inspiring community. It is a retreat into yourself and your work, it is also a communion with other artists who quickly become your family, your fellow travelers.

Hiro Kanagawa

Contact Us
For questions about the department and programs we offer, please contact:
Phone: 403.762.6365

107 Tunnel Mountain Drive
Box 1020, Stn. 43
Banff, Alberta
T1L 1H5 Canada