The Major Matt Mason Theatre Collective in association with Sage Theatre announces winners for the first ever Wildfire National Playwriting Competition
This June, The Major Matt Mason Collective in association with Sage Theatre will be presenting public readings of Cleave by Elena Belyea and Always by Michaela Jeffrey, the winners of the first ever Wildfire National Playwriting Competition for young playwrights, as part of Sage Theatre’s 2015 IGNITE! Festival (June 18th – 20th).
At the beginning of 2015, the Major Matt Mason Collective opened up submissions for a playwriting competition targeted at Canadian writers aged 30 and under. After receiving a staggering 116 submissions, the jury has narrowed the selections down to a first and second place winner.
In first place, receiving a $1000 cash prize and a public reading as part of the 2015 IGNITE! Festival, is Cleave by Elena Belyea. Elena is an Edmonton born writer and recent graduate the National Theatre School of Canada. Cleave is a story about identity and family. A stranger intersects with a family in exile from itself. Parents, who are not what they seem, must struggle keep their secrets from their children, desperate to know the truth. Like a surgeon’s knife before a first incision, the scalpel is poised and ready to slice.
In second place, receiving a cash prize of $350 and a public reading, is Always by Michaela Jeffrey. Michaela is a Calgary based writer currently studying at the National Theatre School. Always is that result of her second year of study at NTS and she describes the play this way: Always is a darkly imaginative coming of age fairy tale. Lyrical and raw, it is a turbulent portrait of sex, belonging, desire, safety and love set amidst a maze of mine shafts and in the deep forests of northern BC.
The Major Matt Mason Collective is a collection of artists dedicated to creating intimate and experimental theatre for Canada’s younger generation. Founded in 2010 by long time collaborators Geoffrey Simon Brown and Evan Medd, the collective is known for exploring alternative perspectives in small-scale theatrical spaces. “We’re always looking for ways to connect with young theatre artists and to get exposed to new Canadian stories,” says competition director Geoffrey Simon Brown. “We created Wildfire as a way of making connections with writers across the country and have been really overwhelmed by the response we’ve gotten back. It’s solidified for me the importance of initiatives like this and I really hope we have a chance to continue the competition moving forward.”