Alberta Theatre Projects (ATP) has announced that this will be the final year of the Enbridge playRites Festival of New Canadian Plays. The following announcement was emailed to past Blitz weekend participants:
As many of you know, when ATP created the Festival 30 years ago, it was leading edge. Few Canadian theatres created and produced new Canadian plays regularly, especially in Western Canada. Now they are a regular feature at almost every theatre across the land. After premiering over one hundred Canadian plays, the Festival has done its work. To be honest, times have changed. We need to stay relevant. We need to change too.
In the past year or so, financial realities at ATP have opened the door to some creative thinking. We knew we had to evolve. And so, in the 14/15 season, our audiences will enjoy 6 productions presented one after the other. Two will be world premieres of new Canadian plays, one in the fall and one in the spring.
We remain passionately committed to new Canadian work. We undertake to produce 2 or 3 world premieres every year and showcase new work in development year round at the company. We will be creating a symposium each fall around one of our world premiere productions. It’ll be like Blitz Weekend, showcasing the work and new pieces in development with our peers (you!) and our audience, exchanging ideas at a pivotal moment during the planning cycles for all of our companies. The weather should be nicer for the pancake breakfast in the fall, too.
Our new format permits us to tailor our efforts even more specifically to the needs of each play: the cast that fits the play, the ideal design, a truly customized creative process. By focusing on fewer projects, we’ll continue to increase the quality of our productions.
Thanks in part to the Festival, Canadian audiences now expect to hear Canadian stories. More than that, they take pride in them. The Festival has given breath and life to the Canadian theatrical voice, and now that voice resonates around the world for all to hear. Now it’s time to put these plays alongside the others in our season, and give them the attention and resources that come with a production outside the Festival.
We intend to celebrate the many accomplishments of playRites during this year’s Festival, so be prepared for parties, awards, and trips down memory lane. We hope you will join us to celebrate as well at the final edition of Blitz Weekend April 4 – 6, 2014.