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Event (Grande Prairie): The Great Canadian Playwright Showcase – The Great Canadian Playwright Showcase

The Virgin Trial – Alberta Theatre Projects
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Event (Grande Prairie): The Great Canadian Playwright Showcase – The Great Canadian Playwright Showcase

Governor General Tartan Designer Gifts “Playwright Showcase”

The Great Canadian Playwright Showcase becomes the first conference of its kind to have an official tartan.

GRANDE PRAIRIE — The Great Canadian Playwright Showcase (TGCPS at is set apart from other events in many ways, and now it is the only one in North America with an official tartan. Slated for cataloguing in the Scottish Register of Tartans, “Playwright Showcase” was created for TGCPS by Dr. Carol A. L. Martin, designer of the official Viceregal tartan, “Du Lion,” for the Office of the Governor General of Canada. She is also the principal tartan designer for D. C. Dalgliesh Artisan Tartan Weavers, Selkirk, Scotland. Dr. Martin has registered more than three dozen tartans in the Scottish Register of Tartans including corporate tartans for numerous associations, guilds, and societies, as well as muse-inspired works such as Shackleton’s Endurance, Black Forest Cake, and Pi [sic] Day.

The conference is a networking event aimed at encouraging production possibilities and addressing challenges like communicating the benefits of theatre in our urban neighbourhoods, suburbs, and rural communities.

Design Rationale

  • Red, predominant on the Canadian flag, represents stage curtains.
  • White, the Canadian flag’s background colour, portrays stage lighting.
  • Black is the colour of stage magic.
  • Grey symbolizes the unknown.
  • Gold highlights the fleeting moments of glitter and glamour.

Playwright Showcase evokes the elements of a stage, the ultimate showcase for playwrights’ work, and wherein many have the opportunity to learn and grow.

“Shakespeare is the most famous playwright in the English-speaking world and ‘The Scottish play’ his most infamous work,” says Jen England, Producer, Go Live Productions, the promoter of TGCPS. “It’s only natural that a playwrights’ showcase would have an official tartan.”

The Conference
The inaugural TGCPS conference takes place in Grande Prairie, Alberta from May 9th to 12th, 2023. The theme for this year’s edition is The Trading Post. The fortnightly newsletter by the same name guides the reader on a journey from Edmonton, Alberta in 1909 to the north-western Peace Country in May of 1910, when the province was only five years old. The newsletter also carries conference updates and contributions from industry professionals and other stakeholders.

TGCPS was inspired by a report by Louise Casemore which indicates a significant lack of production possibilities for playwrights across the national Canadian landscape. TGCPS offers playwrights the opportunity to showcase their work to a concentrated group of decision-makers very cost-effectively, as ten-minute scenes are presented rather than full productions. Workshops, presentations, and roundtables tackle this year’s industry focus and other topics of interest to theatre professionals and amateurs.

Industry Focus 2023
Address the challenge of creating theatre that is more accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing, and to first generation Canadians and visitors who don’t speak English or French as a first language.

Other Topics to be Covered

  • The process of getting a script to stage.
  • Elements of scripts and productions that appeal to different audiences.
  • Strategies for normalising theatre in our communities beyond the theatre itself.

Extension Event
The Grande Prairie Stake it to Take it Treasure Hunt is a county-wide extension event. Open to delegates and the general public, this region-wide game puts customers in businesses and raises money for local charity.

  • Participating businesses and attractions are asked to donate an item for the Grab Bag Draw, but otherwise don’t have to make any financial contribution.
  • Each establishment comes up with their test or task for players to complete (no purchase necessary).
  • During the game, the players go to each participating business, complete the required task and, in exchange, receive a numbered (garden) stake that is good for the raffle.
  • The players donate a few coins before they go.
  • Of the half dozen charities that are nominated each year, the one with the most popular support at the end of the game (“stakes placed”), wins the whole pot.
  • Conference registrations open soon and delegates will be able to assure their spot through or directly at, where the official tartan and other TGCPS merchandise are also available.

Go Live Productions is an independent producer and promoter of live events. Upcoming events include a writer’s retreat with American producer Marilyn Horowitz, a family friendly weekend festival for Community Theatre folk, and a music festival of the country’s finest artists and international guests.

Jen England
Go Live Productions
(+1) 587 298 6760

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