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Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre announces new Artistic Director

August 16, 2017

The Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre is pleased to announce that it has selected Pamela Halstead to be its new Artistic Director. Ms. Halstead will take up her duties on September 1st, taking over from Ms. Jenny Munday who retired from PARC on May 31st after 24 years at the helm.

PARC is delighted to have someone of Ms. Halstead’s background. She brings a wealth of experience as a director, dramaturge and actor. During her ten years leading two different new play development companies, she developed and/or premiered over 60 new Canadian works. From 2004 to 2009 she was the Artistic Producer of Ship’s Company Theatre in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia whose mandate is to be a prime centre for the development and production of new Canadian work. From 2009 to 2013, she was the Artistic Director of Lunchbox Theatre in Calgary, Alberta where she returned in 2014 to program the 40th anniversary season and oversee the Suncor Stage One Festival of New Work. In 2013, she was given the inaugural Evans Award at the Calgary Theatre Critics Awards for her contribution to the vibrancy of the Calgary theatre community.

As a dramaturge she has worked for the Banff Playwrights Colony, the Suncor Stage One Festival, the Saskatchewan Playwrights Centre’s Spring Festival of New Plays, Alberta Playwrights Network and PARC, as well as for a number of individual artists. Her freelance directing work has taken her across the country and includes Neptune Theatre, Alberta Theatre Projects, Chemainus Theatre Festival, Lunchbox Theatre, Theatre New Brunswick, Ships Company Theatre, Valley Summer Theatre, Quest Theatre and Onelight Theatre. She is Artistic Producer for DMV Theatre in Halifax and Co-Executive Director of Valley Summer Theatre in Wolfville. As well, Pamela is currently the Program Coordinator for PERFORM!, a program that sends professional artists into Nova Scotia schools to work with students, enhancing education through the arts.

In applying for the position Ms. Halstead stated “New play development has been, throughout my career, the thing I find the most rewarding. To work directly with a playwright creating that one-on-one bond and trust, facilitating in the “birth” of a new work, and to help the playwright’s vision be then realized onstage for the first time is a great honour. It is my passion for this work that leads me to apply for the leadership of PARC. I have longstanding relationships, not only with Nova Scotia’s playwrights, but also nationally with both the playwrighting and dramaturgical communities. I would be thrilled to bring this passion and these relationships to the service of PARC.”

In making this announcement PARC Board Chair, Peter Guildford, said the Board was pleased with the response it had when the position was posted. Applications were received from across Canada, all showing experience and abilities well suited to PARC’s work. The Interview panel had a challenging but fortunate task of selecting the new Artistic Director from among very strong candidates. Mr. Guildford stated, “We are delighted with the selection of Pamela Halstead. She brings energy, passion and experience to lead our programs into the future.”

As of September 1, 2017 Ms. Halstead can be reached by e-mail at parcdramaturge@playwrightsatlantic.ca.