2017 Playwrights’ Unit

The Playwrights’ Unit, now going into its fifth year, is a year-long residency program designed to nurture promising playwrights. The writers will develop new plays over the course of the residency – with the Playhouse audience and resources of both the Springer Theatre and Firehall Theatre in mind. These works will be developed through:

  • – Monthly collaborative meetings in Gananoque: an opportunity to exchange theatrical ideas and impulses
  • – Dramaturgical support from Associate Artistic Director Rob Kempson and Artistic Director Ashlie Corcoran
  • – A week-long writing retreat in May in Gananoque (accommodation provided by the theatre) 
  • – A four-hour workshop of the writers’ script in August
  • – Full day workshops during our Sneak Peek Week in December – a series of free public readings of the playwrights’ work

Playwrights will receive a small honorarium for participation in the unit.

Our 2017 Playwrights’ Unit consists of: 


Writer and comedian Carolyn Bennett cut her teeth performing at Yuk Yuks and hasn’t stopped bleeding since.  Selected TV credits include This Hour Has 22 Minutes, CBC COMICS and Air Farce. Produced plays include Mixed Media, Pure Convenience (CBC Radio), Runtkiller, The Short List, Hitler’s Ass, Canis Familiaris and Sick Kids Wanna Talk To You. She won the 2013 TIFF Screenwriting Intensive Jury Prize for her feature comedy The Mac and Watson Springtime Reeferendum Show. Bennett co-produces and performs at Hirut Hoot, a monthly stand-up showcase in Toronto at Hirut Fine Ethiopian Cuisine. She has worked as a senior writer for government, and enjoys sharing the same name of a prominent federal cabinet minister.


Erin is a playwright, puppeteer and performer based in Toronto. She is Co-Artistic Director of Caterwaul Theatre, which produces innovative and immersive storytelling in puppetry at events throughout Toronto (including Long Winter, Camp Wavelength, SummerWorks Theatre Festival, Harbourfront HarbourKIDS and Girls Art League). Erin has toured her Dora-nominated one-woman show Those Who Can’t Do… to Victoria B.C. and New York City since the show’s premiere at Theatre Passe Muraille. Erin is also the General Manager of Toronto’s League of Lady Wrestlers and performs as her alter ego Kitty Stardust, a glam-rock cat lady. She is also a member of IN SYNC, a Lake Ontario based, synchronized swimming, art performance collective.


 Marcia Johnson’s plays include Courting Johanna based on Alice Munro’s ‘Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage’ (Blyth Festival); Late, (Obsidian Theatre Company); Say Ginger Ale (SummerWorks) and Perfect on Paper (Toronto Fringe). Binti’s Journey, based on ‘The Heaven Shop’ by Deborah Ellis (Theatre Direct Canada) has been touring throughout Canada since 2008. Its latest incarnation is a co-production with Theatre Direct and Montreal’s Black Theatre Workshop. She wrote the libretti for two operas with composer Stephen A. Taylor: My Mother’s Ring (Tapestry Opera) and an adaptation of Ursula K. Le Guin’s Paradises Lost (University of Illinois; Musical Works in Concert/SummerWorks). She is adapting another Ursula Le Guin novella (‘Lavinia’) with composer Elinor Armer. Marcia is also the Vice President of Women Playwrights International.