The Women’s Caucus of Playwrights Guild of Canada (PGC) announces the second rendition of SureFire, a community-generated resource identifying remarkable, production-ready plays by Canadian women, trans creators, and non-binary artists.
The underrepresentation of women playwrights on our nation’s stages is a well-documented fact; a problem that is magnified further for Indigenous women, women of colour, trans, and non-binary folks. Often, ADs, producers, and educators state that they don’t produce shows from these communities primarily because they don’t know of any good plays. Members of PGC’s Women’s Caucus, Kelley Jo Burke (Chair), Beverley Cooper, Marcia Johnson, and Christine Quintana, along with PGC staff liaison Rebecca Burton, are at the helm of this initiative, designed to help redress this cultural inequity. Over three hundred theatre experts (“Recommenders”) across the country were asked to send in their top three “passion-picks” or favourite full-length plays by women, trans, and/or gender non-conforming creators, if the works had one professional production, or none, and so long as they were not part of SureFire 2018. PGC collected the submissions, tabulated the findings, and used the results to create SureFire 2020 (the final release of which was delayed by the pandemic, but no longer!)
PGC’s Executive Director, Nancy Morgan, says: “SureFire 2020 strives to amplify voices and celebrate exceptional works by talented Canadian playwrights. PGC recognizes that SureFire is but one way to highlight works of women, trans, and non-binary writers for the stage, to support the ultimate goal of gender parity. It is hoped that SureFire 2020 will help others to be spurred by curiosity, by openness, and by a genuine interest to share and learn. The beauty of art is its ability to share with us perspectives beyond our own – we encourage audiences, producers, directors, and all artists to seek out these plays and experience the lessons within their pages.”
SureFire 2020 is comprised of twenty-four plays and three honorable mentions; an exciting listing for its plurality and diverse aesthetic styles. In addition to the play choices, SureFire 2020 contains statistical data related to the Recommenders. Since their identities and play choices were anonymous, data about return rates, region, racialization, gender, and more is presented to help demystify the process and provide greater transparency about the participants involved.
We hope that SureFire 2020 will be picked-up, shared, read, discussed, and implemented far and wide to help offset industry imbalances. Contact PGC for more information, or the Canadian Play Outlet to purchase these plays (and more)!
PGC is a registered national arts service association mandated to advance the creative rights and interests of professional Canadian playwrights; promote Canadian plays nationally and internationally; and foster an active, evolving community of writers for the stage.