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Discovering New Voices and New Stories

Discovering New Voices and New Stories


When Zach Running Coyote (He/Him) joined Theatre Calgary as our new Artistic Associate this past November, he found himself hitting the ground running. Artistic Director Stafford Arima (He/Him), looking to continue his commitment to developing new work, wanted to make sure that the work of emerging artists was not a casualty of the pandemic. In dreaming up the idea of our Page to Stage New Works Festival, he gave Zach the opportunity to curate the inaugural year of the festival, and choose a theme of work to focus on.

“The LGBTQ2S+ community has always been intrinsically tied to performing arts,” says Running Coyote. “It was crucial to me that we use this festival to give artists, who have been underrepresented in our community for so long, a chance to highlight their stories.”

The result was a call for submissions from writers who identified as LGBTQ2S+ in Calgary and Southern Alberta. “We received 54 submissions,” says Arima. “I was over the moon with the response!”

“The number of submissions really speaks to the incredible volume of work that exists in our community,” adds Running Coyote. “It shows us that these stories are here, and people are ready to tell them.”

For this year’s festival, Theatre Calgary welcomes new scripts Bollywood Basement Boutique by Sharanpal Ruprai (She/Her), Awowakii by Sable Sweetgrass Katoiyissa (She/Her), and Agápi sti Fury by Matthew Oliver van Diepen (They/Them).

“These new plays are exciting, they’re funny and delightful, and they’re full of life and love,” says Running Coyote. “These artists and their stories are part of our community, and very current with the world that we are in.”

Each of these works will be given a workshop over the week of March 15th that will include a director, cast of actors, and a dramaturg. With Arts Commons remaining closed, and safety of utmost concern, the workshop process will be done over Zoom, and the final readings for the public will also be performed over Zoom on March 20-21.

“This will be a great chance for our audience to watch and listen to these works read to them in our Zoom rehearsal room,” says Arima. “It will definitely give the viewer a chance to see actors really dive into the text and help shape and grow these new stories.”

As he prepares for the workshops and readings, Running Coyote understands the great opportunity he has been given with this festival. “It’s rare for someone as young as me to be in the position like this, in a company of this size. As an emerging playwright myself, my eyes and ears are on the ground in the community. I would be nowhere without the opportunities that various organizations have given to artists like myself.”

Theatre Calgary’s Page to Stage Festival is proud to provide a platform for new voices and new work. We hope you are able to join us for one, or all three, of our readings from March 20-21. Your support of new work helps ignite the future of artists and their voices on our stage, and in our city.

 

Theatre Calgary's Page to Stage New Works Festival runs March 20-21, 2021.
Digital access for each reading is $10, and festival passes are available for $25.  You can purchase your digital access here.


Zach Running Coyote joined Theatre Calgary through the ROZSA Foundation IBPOC Arts Leaders Residency Grant in November, 2020. We thank the ROZSA Foundation for their generous support of artists in our city.

 

These new plays are exciting, they’re funny and delightful, and they’re full of life and love. These artists and their stories are part of our community, and very current with the world that we are in.

Zach Running Coyote, Artistic Associate