S A F E W O R D S
Safe Words 2015, Tarragon Theatre
SAFE WORDS is a national playwriting competition and reading festival to showcase and support new and exciting Canadian plays in development. Four plays are selected to compete each year and a jury of theatre professionals selects one play to win The Safe Words New Canadian Play Award and a cash prize. The purpose of the festival is 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 we want to provide that will 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 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,
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,
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 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,
Finalists: Jenna Harris (Mine)
Daniel Karasik (Little Death)
Step Taylor (The Bathtub)