Residency at Manitoba Theatre for Young People
Thanks to funding from the Manitoba Arts Council I was able to do a playwright residency with Artistic Director Pablo Felices-Luna and Artistic Associate Katie German throughout 2020. Prior to the pandemic I was invited into staff meetings, conversations around programming for the company, and into other play development processes. I also received regular dramaturgy on my first play for young people, Billie and the Moon.
Billie and the Moon was created and developed through the support of the MTYP Creators Unit led by Rick Chafe and Andraea Sartison between 2017 and 2019. The story follows Billie who is trying to navigate the intensity of summer camp for the first time. Billie struggles to fit in despite trying very hard to do so. Overwhelmed by the chaos of camp, Billie is drawn to the quiet of the lake, but doesn't realize why, and in that confusion begins speaking to the moon. To Billie's surprise, the moon talks back. Together Billie and the Moon attempt to build a spaceship while exploring the differences between being alone and being lonely.
The first draft of the play required six actors and had some moments of audience participation. With Pablo and Katie's help I adapted the play for four actors and refined the moments of participation, while making sure that it wouldn't be upsetting to any introverted kids in the audience. Following the residency, in December 2020 Pablo directed a three day workshop of the draft with actors Melissa Langdon, Matthew Paris-Irvine, Omar Samuels and Sophie Smith-Dostmohamed.
You can read more about the workshop here: https://mtyp.ca/billie-and-the-moon
Residency financial assistance provided by: