2020 Finalists




2020 Finalists


CCA Theatre

RECIPIENT

Jenn Forgie: Seven Pieces

During Kate’s 19-hour flight to Thailand, following her fathers’ death, we oscillate between present time and Kate’s childhood. We follow Body, a character representing both the “Kates” and the elephant, as Kate faces her abuse history and the familial denial of their Métis roots, their lost French culture and language and religion as a shield between secrets and truths. In Seven Pieces, we witness Kate begin to reintegrate with her Body and herself.

Jenn is a professional actor, writer and mentor of Métis, French Canadian and Scottish, Irish descent. She is deeply interested in issues of identity and belonging, with a focus on the full embodied belonging first to ones’ Self and Body, as is explored in her current and first play, Seven Pieces. She began developing Seven Pieces as a member of Native Earth Performing Arts 2-year development program in the Animikiig Creators’ Unit. In 2019, Jenn received multiple Ontario Arts Council Recommender Grants and a Canada Council for the Arts grant under the Creating, Knowing and Sharing: The Arts and Cultures of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples – Short-Term Projects for a series of development workshops engaging the artistry of several Indigenous actors, vocal and movement artists to further develop Seven Pieces. In February 2020, Jenn was accepted into Stratford Festival’s first Script Incubator programme for creators of new work and is also a participant in Theatre Passe Muraille’s BUZZ Development Program with Artistic Director, Marjorie Chan as her dramaturge. An excerpt of Jenn’s play was recently published in Understorey, Issue 16: Diverse Stories of Women on Stage.

FINALISTS

Ellen Denny: Project Qyzra

Section 38 of Canada’s Immigration Act states a person or family can be denied permanent residency on the likelihood they will “cause excessive demand on health or social services”. When an immigrant family faces deportation back to a country where their disabled daughter has no future, they make the desperate decision to take their own lives. Project Qyzra is a solo play that follows a young immigration officer in the wake of this tragedy, as she confronts her own complicity and guilt within a failing system.

Ellen is a Toronto-based actor and playwright. Her comedy ‘Pleasureville’ premiered at Halifax’s Neptune Theatre in 2019. Through musical incubation program Launch Pad (Musical Stage Company / Yonge Street Theatricals) Ellen wrote the book for frisbee-themed ‘What Goes Up’ with composer Colleen Dauncey and lyricist Akiva Romer-Segal. She is currently developing her play ‘Wonder’ about Harriet Brooks, Canada’s first female nuclear physicist. Ellen has also performed across Canada, earning a Dora nomination for her lead role in ‘Life After’ (Canadian Stage).

Rahda Menon: Sityana

Darkly funny, dramatic devised play, Sitayana is a feminist, non-linear approach, adapting parts of ancient Indian literature, Ramayana and fictionalizing it through Sita’s eyes. Ramayana is an epic poem of 24,000 verses written by sage Valmiki, somewhere between the 1st and 5th century BCE, the legend of Rama’s quest to find and retrieve his abducted wife Sita. There have been many male translations and each of them portray Sita as the ideal wife, an idealized woman, not an actual person with a real body that is coveted, possessed and fought over.

Recipient of City of Hamilton Theatre Award 2016, animal fanatic Menon began performing in British theatre and television in her youth. Her plays have been produced for many theatre festivals in Canada, the U.K. & U.S.A. Menon is an activist, arts educator, filmmaker and founder of Red Betty Theatre. She coauthored and performed in a new show, Welcome to my Underworld directed by Judith Thompson at Soulpepper Theatre (2019). Winner of Toronto Fringe New Play Contest 2015 & Hamilton Fringe Critics Choice Award 2015, Rukmini’s Gold will be presented by Red Betty Theatre in 2021. Menon has an MFA in Creative Writing from University of Guelph and is Artist-in-Residence at McMaster University’s School of Arts. Finalist for Cayle Chernin Media Award 2019, Menon’s short magic realism film, The Sail Tree is on hold due to COVID 19 lockdown. Radha is currently developing a feature film script based on the weird and whacky world of Ganga’s Ganja (Feminist Fuck it Festival 2018). A reading of Sita’s Revenge, a new devised, feminist adaptation of Valmiki’s Ramayana will be live-streamed as part of Hamilton Arts Week this June. Follow Menon on Facebook (@redbettytheatre ) and Instagram @lal_beti.

Jennifer Wigmore: Measure Squared

When a figure from Isabella’s past comes crashing back into her life, and asks for her forgiveness, she plunges head first into an awakening of truth and betrayal that alters the direction of her life. Can someone truly change? What measure do we use to know if they have?

Jennifer is a multidisciplinary artist in acting, writing and visual art. She has performed in theatres across Canada including The Citadel Theatre, Tarragon Theatre and the Stratford Festival. She’s also appeared in numerous television series and films. Most recently, Malory Towers, Designated Survivor, Killjoys, and Anne with an E.  As an educator she teaches acting at Ryerson University and painting at OCAD University.  In addition to her first play Measure², Jennifer has written for both Intermission and HowlAround magazines. She is also currently collaborating on a book about the Zone of Silence acting training technique with Master acting teacher Perry Schneiderman.
www.jenniferwigmore.com

 


CCA Media Arts

RECIPIENT

Dorothy Atabong: Eye of the Veil

Jo, a closeted black attorney, is struggling with the rape and unexpected pregnancy of her white partner Frances. When Frances dies unexpectedly during childbirth, Jo must search within to come to terms with her own sexuality, and her humanity, before seeking custody of their newborn son. Described as “A thought-provoking interracial queer dramatic narrative about loss, identity and acceptance.”

Born and raised in Cameroon, Central Africa and educated in the USA and Canada, Dorothy A. Atabong is an award-winning Actor-Writer-Producer-Director. She obtained a BSc. in Biochemistry from Michigan, before moving on to graduate from the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre in New York City. She’s been featured in the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, Now Magazine, BBC World Cup Magazine, ScreenAfrica, and was invited to the Women in The Director’s Chair workshop in Banff Canada. Her screenplay Daisy’s Heart won 2011 Best Low Budget Script at the Female Eye Film Festival, and in 2020 her screenplay Eye of the Veil was shortlisted for the Fade In Awards and BlueCat. Dorothy’s short film Sound Of Tears, produced under her company Ayinke Films Inc., marked her directorial debut. It has since screened at over 35 film festivals worldwide and garnered numerous nominations and awards including the Africa Movie Academy Award in 2015. Visit www.dorothyatabong.com and follow Dorothy on IG: @dorothyatabong

FINALISTS

Mikaela Davies: Chipped

“Chipping” is a new technology that hides the external display of human emotions. Cassandra is a woman in her early 30s who suffers from anxiety. Her marriage is falling apart, her performance is suffering at work and she cannot keep her emotions under control. When “Chipping” becomes available for commercial purchase, she jumps at the chance to become one of the first patients.

Mikaela Davies is an actor, director and writer. She is a graduate of the 2020 CBC Canadian Film Centre’s Actors Conservatory. She spent two years performing at Soulpepper Theatre and four seasons at The Stratford Festival, most notably playing Katherine of France in Breath of Kings, Irma in The Madwoman of Chaillot and the lead Beatrice-Joanna in The Changeling directed by Jackie Maxwell. She is a graduate of the Soulpepper Actor’s Academy, Stratford Festival’s Michael Langham Conservatory for Classical Direction and Canadian Stage’s RBC Director Development Residency. Davies is the inaugural recipient of the Jon Kaplan Canadian Stage Performer Award; she holds a Sterling nomination for Outstanding Comedic Performance as the lead in Miss Bennet at The Citadel and a META nomination for Outstanding Supporting Performance in The Last Wife at The Centaur. She has worked closely as an assistant director/dramaturg with Robert Lepage and Jillian Keiley. She has directed and co-created a handful of award-winning plays with Polly Phokeev including How We Are, The Mess & Earth 2.0. She is currently creating a musical based on Mikhail Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita with Phokeev and Hailey Gillis, workshopped at the Stratford Festival and commissioned by Crow’s Theatre.

Genevieve Fontaine: 48 Hours Before

48 Hours Before tells the story of Genevieve, Christine, Stephane and Richard. Each of them will discover how death can come so suddenly and violently. This story shows that journey when life is being life, and changes you forever.

Genevieve Fontaine is a professional actress who studied in Montreal, Toronto, New York, and Los Angeles. She’s an up coming writer and was awarded a grant from the Ontario Arts Council in 2019 for her short film screen play Tête à tête that will be shot at the end of 2020.