A few weeks ago, I applied to be one of six playwrights for the new Emerging Playwrights Unit at Prairie Theatre Exchange (PTE) here in Winnipeg. Today I learned I had not been successful, at least not in the way you might think.
I wrote my first play – a short called “Busted” – in 2015. It was inspired indirectly by a big change in our family that led me to seek out ways to feel more connected from the other side of the world.
That play was staged by a local amateur company, and later turned into a full-length play – “The Last Resort”. What followed was another short – “Laid to Rest” – and the realisation that the proverbial floodgates had opened.
I currently have seven other plays in the works and on the drawing board, am a member of the Manitoba Association of Playwrights (MAP), and a member of The Dotage Group, playwrights who meet regularly to read each other’s work, both completed and in progress, and provide in-depth feedback and encouragement. I have also finished a short screenplay – “Two and a Biscuit” – and am trying my hand at adapting two novels for the big screen.
Because I never thought I could write a play, this opportunity at PTE, a mere three years after I started down this road, was something I couldn’t ignore – even though, given the amount of talent in Manitoba’s playwriting community, and with only six spots available, I didn’t think I would even get through the first round of consideration.
When I got the news I hadn’t been offered a place in the Unit, I was a tiny bit disappointed – but it only lasted until I found out that earlier in the process, I had been shortlisted for a spot. And that’s when I made the commitment to continue exploring the many ideas and possibilities that have been locked away inside me for most of my life.
You see, now is not the time to rest on my laurels. There’s work to be done, and words to be written. And there is no doubt in my mind: A playwright am I, which makes today very successful indeed.