Playwrights

The Banff Playwrights Lab was created by playwrights Tom Hendry and George Ryga in 1973. For more than 50 years, the Lab has sustained its founding principles of focusing on playwrights and developing new works away from the pressures of a producing theatre.

Each year the Lab welcomes 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. The Lab also includes international writers, theatre makers and guest artists through partnerships with organizations from across Canada and beyond.

Director's Letter 2024

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, multi-disciplinary, and provocative approaches to telling stories. We are proud to gather on Treaty 7 territory to create, share and explore theatrical storytelling.

Each year the Lab welcomes 10 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. 

We want to support writers and plays telling stories not commonly told on Canadian stages; stories that embrace outrage and wrestle with wild ideas, images, and individuals.

The Lab accepts applications in English and French only, though we are open to receiving projects that reference or incorporate any and all languages. We encourage artists working with Indigenous languages and those working on projects with little or no language to apply.

The Lab seeks artists who are exploring theatrical conventions, taking risks, and asking questions about our society. We value strong storytelling, diversity (in form, discipline, experience, culture, and community), beautiful language, bold experimentation, and collaboration. We seek artists who demand that theatre have social and political impact, and who are writing plays that seek to challenge and change our world.

Brian Quirt
Director, Banff Playwrights Lab

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Playwrights Programs

At the Lab I met other playwrights, got to know them, their work, ate together, spent time together and it felt like we were all part of a group working on our own plays but spurring each other on and, in turn, being spurred on. That’s a powerful experience. At any stage of your career, it's no little thing to be reminded you're not alone.

Ins Choi - Playwrights Lab Participant, 2023

Playwrights Stories


Contact Us

For questions about the department and what we offer, please contact:

Email: arts_info@banffcentre.ca
Phone403.762.6180