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Meet the Playwrights of the 2018 PARC Playwrights’ Colony!

May 23, 2018

The PARC Playwrights' Colony participants in 2018 



Wanda Graham won a Chalmers’ Award, Stratford Festival and a Stage Door Johnnie, Blyth Festival for acting work. Founder and Honourary Lifetime Member of Playwrights’ Atlantic Resource Centre she was presented with Nova Scotia’s first Established Artist Recognition Award (Theatre). She was invited to the first Stratford Festival Playwrights’ Unit - other residencies include Neptune and Mulgrave Theatres. Her TV documentary, Military Wives shut out shut down aired regionally, nationally and at the Atlantic Film Festival. She won the CBC-Script Award at the Atlantic Film Festival for Wall of Silence and radio documentary LOST IN THE MUSIC was nominated for an Atlantic Journalism Award.



A proud Acadian originally from Bathurst (NB), Nancy Kenny is a fluently bilingual actor, writer, producer, arts marketing & social media professional. She is the creator and solo performer of the award-winning and critically acclaimed, Roller Derby Saved My Soul, (Canadian Comedy Award nominee - Best One Person Show), and Everybody Dies in December, (Outstanding Individual Performance - London Fringe Festival; Best Drama - Atlantic Fringe Festival). She also completed a translation of Edward Allan Baker’s Dolores into her native French (Outstanding Drama
- Ottawa Fringe Festival Current projects: Translating Roller Derby Saved My Soul into French with assistance from Maureen Labonté and the Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre; co-writing Princess FreeWorld Democracy LIVE (or: Your Princess is in Another Castle) with Wes Babcock thanks to a Recommender Grant for Theatre Creators from the Ontario Arts Council; writing a bilingual play for 5-6 actors set in rural New Brunswic also through the assistance of the Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre. She is also the executive producer of a feature-length documentary about touring the Canadian Fringe Festival circuit called On the Fringe, which will be released later this year. Up next: Catch Everybody Dies in December this June during Script Happens through the Saint John Theatre Company in New Brunswick.



Rob MacLean has been working in theatre professionally since 1987. His first acting experience was at Mount Allison at Windsor Theatre under the direction of Arthur Motyer. In addition to acting, Rob was the Artistic Director of TheatrePEI for a number of years. More recently, he directed On a First Name Basis for the Victoria Playhouse during the summer of 2017. In recent years, he has collaborated with Melissa Mullen in writing adaptations and plays. Their current project, Garden Behind the Moon, is based on Sandy Ives’ accounts of gathering folksongs and stories in the Maritimes and Maine during the fifties and sixties. Rob is a graduate of Mount Allison (French and Philosophy) and the National Theatre School of Canada.



James McClure is a writer, journalist and award-winning scholar living in Saint John, New Brunswick. He currently works as the editor of civilized.life – a cannabis culture and lifestyle website. Previously, he pursued a doctoral degree at the University of Ottawa, where his research on Shakespearean drama won both an Ontario Graduate Scholarship from the province as well as a Canada Graduate Scholarshipform the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. His theatrical work has appeared onstage in London, Ontario as well as Saint John, including his most recent play Faking It, which was produced last spring by the Saint John Theatre Company and then staged later that year in the Funday Fringe Festival. He also writes poems and novels, including Playing Like a Girl, which won second place for the David Adams Richards Award offered by the Writers' Federation of New Brunswick.


Michael McPhee is a Halifax based artist, mainly exploring the mediums of writing, acting, directing and dance. The premier of his first solo written play, Logan and I, was nominated for a Merritt award for best new script as well as best lead actor (Glen Matthews), and his next scripts Whiteout and Blood and Quick Silver both took home Fringe Hit awards, with the latter winning for best direction. His most successful playwriting venture came from his sci-fi universe, the Cadimus Protocol, which produced two plays. The first, The Contribution, was nominated for three Merritt awards including best script. And the second, Tribe of One, took home the best script award at the Merritts, and was nominated for best production. It also won the Coast Best Theatre Production, the Fringe best drama, best script and #1 Fringe Hit. His script CU2morrow, co-written with Annie Valentina, was turned into a movie (renamed Lure). On screen he had a lead role on Thom Fitzgerald's Sex and Violence.



Natalie Meisner (www.nataliemeisner.com) is an award-winning playwright and non-fiction writer. Her book: Double Pregnant: Two Lesbians Make a Family topped nonfiction charts and was a finalist in the Atlantic Book Awards. SPEED DATING FOR SPERM DONORS was a hit at Lunchbox and Neptune and will be published by Playwright’s Canada Press, LEGISLATING LOVE: THE EVERETT KLIPPERT STORY (Sage Theatre) recently debuted to full houses and standing ovations. Her first book for children My Mommy, My Mama, My Brother and Me will be published by
Nimbus next year. Natalie is a wife and mom to two great boys and a Professor Department of English at Mount Royal University working in the areas of creative writing, drama, gender/sexuality studies.


Melissa has worked in theatre for over thirty years as an actor, playwright and director.  She is a founding member of Eastern Front Theatre, Drill Queens Comedy and Beyond the Bridge Theatre.  She has written two full length plays, Rough Waters and Flight. Partnering with Rob MacLean, she co-wrote a very short play, Dear Mr. Keith for Theatre Yes. They also adapted Sir Andrew MacPhail's memoir The Master's Wife for a PEI wide tour as The Homestead Players. Currently, they are creating a stage performance based on the works of Dr. Edward Ives, tentatively titled The Garden Behind the Moon.  Melissa is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada.



Nadine got her theatre training from Studio Muller in Paris, France, where she studied and practised the Stanislawski method of acting and building a character (2008-2012). She was trained in the following areas at Sciences-Po Paris from 2011 to 2013: directing, filmmaking, script writing; as well as writing workshops with the American novelist Jake Lamar from 2012 to 2016. She is currently a member of the Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre (PARC) in Atlantic Canada. In March 2018, she wrote, directed and produced the play Ma meilleure amie, ma meilleure ennemie, which was shown at the ¨PEI Theatre Festival at the Théâtre du Carrefour, on PEI. Nadine is a short story writer and playwright, and one of her short plays was staged and directed by Nicolas Bigard at Théâtre MC93. In July-August 2017, she taught improvising techniques in English at the summer programmes of Study Abroad Canada (Charlottetown, PE).



Berni Stapleton is a Newfoundland- Labrador writer and performer of unique distinction. She is a past recipient of the WANL award for best work in non-fiction for her contribution to the book They Let Down Baskets. Her short stories and essays have appeared in Riddle Fence and The Newfoundland Quarterly. She is a recent recipient of the Ambassador of Tourism award from Hospitality NL. Berni was the Artistic Director of the Grand Bank Regional Theatre Festival for 11 years. She has been a playwright-in- residence with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal, Alberta Theatre Projects, CanStage, PARC and other national companies. Her plays are regularly produced across the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. “Brazil Square”, her homage to the iconic boarding house district of St. John’s, has been produced across the island. For Rising Tide Theatre she is writing The Margaret Duley Story, and Our Fanny is being remounted this year by Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador for an international tour. Berni performs with Artistic Fraud and Rising Tide Theatre regularly and was dramaturge and helped devise the play version of transVersing.  She is celebrating twenty five years as a playwright with the creation of a new one woman show called Dolly.


Sara Tilley’s work bridges writing, theatre, and Pochinko Clown Through Mask technique. She has published two award-winning novels: Skin Room (Pedlar Press, 2008), and DUKE, (Pedlar Press, 2015). From 2002-2016, she was artistic director of an independent feminist theatre company, She Said Yes!, which produced many of the eleven plays which she’s written, co-written or co-created. Sara’s wide spectrum of work includes time spent as an actor, a writer, a designer of puppets, masks, props, sets and costumes, a director, a puppeteer, a dramaturge and a clown teacher/performer. She is fascinated by the ways in which these creative practices overlap and feed each other. She lives in St. John’s. NL.