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Safe Words 2018
Photo Credit: Christine Buijs

SAFE WORDS (2014-2018) was a national playwriting competition and play reading festival to showcase and support new and exciting Canadian plays in development. Four plays were selected to compete each year and a jury of theatre professionals selected one play to win The Safe Words New Canadian Play Award and a cash prize. The purpose of the festival was to create an independent, artist-driven initiative that is solely sustained by a shared, community investment in the creation of new Canadian drama. The more applicants who contribute their work, the more money is raised. It’s a platform to help inspire fellow artists to create their own opportunities and give creators at every skill level an equal chance to receive funding for their unique development as playwrights. The monetary award is intended to grant theatre creators with total artistic freedom as to what to put their funding towards. Whether it’s a full-scale independent production, workshop, residency, writing time or to pay off their debts, we believe in empowering playwrights to dictate for themselves how they wish their own work to prosper.

Safe Words ran for five consecutive years (2014-2018) and is no longer operating.

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Safe Words 2018 Trailer
Safe Words 2017 Trailer
Safe Words 2016 Trailer
Safe Words 2015 Trailer
Safe Words 2014 Trailer

SAFE WORDS 2018

Winner of the 2018 Safe Words New Canadian Play Award:

OLIVIER SYLVESTRE and LEANNA BRODIE (The Paradise Arms)

"For its lyricism, versatility and commitment to artistic risk and innovation."

Jury: Augusto Bitter, Carly Chamberlain, Steven Elliott Jackson,

Jijo Quayson

Finalists: Ali Joy Richardson (A Bear Awake in Winter)

                     Hannah Rittner (Three Women Mourn the Apocalypse)

                     Rosamund Small (Helen)

SAFE WORDS 2017

Winner of the 2017 Safe Words New Canadian Play Award:

JESSICA MOSS (A Girl Lives Alone)

"For its dazzling creativity and rich portrayal of isolation and community."

Jury: Prince Amponsah, Meghan Greeley, Heath V. Salazar,

Christine Urquhart

Finalists: Michael Kras (The Team)

                     Rose Napoli (Ten Creative Ways to Dispose of Your Cremains)

                     Norman Yeung (Theory)

SAFE WORDS 2016

Winner of the 2016 Safe Words New Canadian Play Award:

POLLY PHOKEEV (How We Are)

"For capturing humanity with startling brevity and empathy."

Jury: Aldrin Bundoc, Anahita Dehbonehie, Rong Fu, Jenna Harris

Finalists: Wesley J. Colford (Dirty Stacee)

                     Adam Meisner (For both resting and breeding)

                     Step Taylor (Tibb's Eve)

SAFE WORDS 2015

Winner of the 2015 Safe Words New Canadian Play Award:

DANIEL SARAH KARASIK (Transgressions) later renamed 'On Top'

"For its bravery and authoritative vigour in exploring systems of power."

Jury: Claire Hill, Iain Moggach, Khadijah Roberts-Abdullah,

Adriano Sobretodo Jr.

Finalists: Briana Brown (A Funeral Party)

                     Anthony MacMahon (Titan)

                     Jessica Moss (Next to Him)

SAFE WORDS 2014

Winner of the 2014 Safe Words New Canadian Play Award:

THOMAS MCKECHNIE (...and the aeroplanes fall into the sea)

"For its brazen originality, epic staging and its contribution to reinventing

and challenging theatrical form."

 

Jury: Kaleb Alexander, Claire Armstrong, William Christopher Ellis,

Helen Juvonen

 

Finalists: Jenna Harris (Mine)

                     Daniel Sarah Karasik (Little Death)

                     Step Taylor (The Bathtub)