The winner of the 2018 SAFE WORDS New Canadian Play Award is OLIVIER SYLVESTRE and LEANNA BRODIE for

The Paradise Arms

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


Friday, June 1st at 7pm



















Ali Joy Richardson is a director, writer, and producer, originally from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. She’s the Artistic Producer of Toronto’s Paprika Festival, now in its 17th year of providing training and showcasing to artists ages 15-30. Ali is a member of Nightwood’s Write from the Hip 2018 playwriting unit and is a director in residence through Canadian Stage’s 2018 RBC Emerging Artist Program. This summer, she’ll perform her solo show How to be Fearless! (With Roxy Roberts) about an unorthodox motivational speaker/self-defence coach in the Toronto Fringe. Ali is directing In Real Life (by Nick Green & Kevin Wong), a dystopian coming-of-age musical, for the Canadian Music Theatre Project this fall. She works as a book writer and director with Education Arts Canada, creating touring musicals about mental health for 9 to 12-year-olds. Past directing projects include: Liars at a Funeral (Sophia Fabiilli); Get Yourself Home Skyler James (Jordan Tannahill); The Clean House (Sarah Ruhl), and Still (Jen Silverman). She has made theatre in Edinburgh, Vancouver, Berlin, Halifax, Edmonton, and Toronto, in museums, office buildings, hospitals, cafés, defunct record shops, abandoned schools, kitchens, and harbours. Her band instruments were tenor and baritone saxophone and she was once in two provincial bands at the same time. More at:



Ali Joy Richardson


Friday, June 1st at 9pm



















An author and translator who also teaches playwriting, Olivier holds a degree in criminology as well as a diploma in playwriting from the National Theatre School of Canada. His first play La Beauté du monde, published by Leméac, was awarded the Prix Gratien-Gélinas and was a finalist for the Governor-General’s Award in Literature: it has been translated into English by Leanna Brodie. His monologue play The Desert premiered in January 2018 at Théâtre Prospero and was produced by the company Le Dôme - créations théâtrales, of which he is the Co-Artistic Director. His play La loi de la gravité (published by Éditions Passages(s)) has won several prizes and been translated into English by Bobby Theodore. He has translated several Canadian plays from English into French.



Olivier Sylvestre



Leanna Brodie

Leanna Brodie is a Vancouver-based actor and writer as well as the translator of numerous Québec playwrights, including Hélène Ducharme (whose Dora-winning Baobab continues to tour internationally after over 600 performances), Rébecca Déraspe, Catherine Léger, Larry Tremblay, Philippe Soldevila, Louise Bombardier, Olivier Sylvestre, Sébastien Harrisson, and Christian Bégin (5 Jessie Award nominations for Ruby Slippers Theatre's Après Moi). Her translations You Are Happy, Opium_37, and My Mother Dog are published by Playwrights Canada Press. Two of her translations premiered in the 2017-18 season: Rébecca Déraspe's You Are Happy at Ottawa's Great Canadian Theatre Company, and Catherine Léger's I Lost My Husband at Vancouver's Gateway Theatre (where it sold out its entire run). Current translation projects include Déraspe's Gametes (Ruby Slippers) and I Am William (Théâtre le Clou) as well as the collectively written Espoir/Espwa; Philippe Soldevila's Conte de la neige; David Paquet's Le Brasier; and Olivier Sylvestre's Le Désert. As an actor, Brodie has been nominated for Jessies for her performances in both English (Pi Theatre's Terminus) and French (Théâtre la Seizième's Bonjour, là, bonjour). She is currently an Associate at Playwrights Theatre Centre, co-writing Salesman in China with Jovanni Sy.



Saturday, June 2nd at 7pm


Rosamund Small

Rosamund is the playwright of TomorrowLove™ (Named one of CBC’s top ten cultural events of last year), and Vitals (Dora Awards Outstanding New Play/Outstanding Production), both produced by Outside the March.  She has written in many forms, and loves to experiment with dramatic fiction, verbatim, immersive/site-specific, solo, and anything in between. She collaborates on dance-narrative works with choreographer Robert Binet (Orpheus Becomes Eurydice with the Banff Centre and The National Ballet, and Terra Incognita with Wild Space Ballet). Rosamund has also worked in arts education for seven years and loves working with young people; Last year, she created a large-scale immersive Maven with a class of one hundred teenage performers at Rosedale Heights School of the Arts. Rosamund is a resident playwright with Outside the March, and a member of the Soulpepper Academy.  Her play Sisters premieres at Soulpepper this August. Rosamund is also the story co-ordinator of CBC's Workin' Moms.



Saturday, June 2nd at 9pm


Hannah Rittner

Hannah Rittner is a playwright, screenwriter, and producer devoted to stories that reframe our expectations of women, sexuality, and power. She graduated from NYU’s MFA in Dramatic Writing with distinction (Chair’s Award and NYU-wide President’s Award in leadership) where she studied under the guidance of Annie Baker and Eduardo Machado.  Her works have been developed by leading Canadian and US institutions: The University of Calgary, The Stratford Festival (2016 Playwright’s Retreat), Nightwood Theatre (2016-17 Write from the Hip), Theatre Passe Muraille, Play by Play, The Old Globe Theatre, The Bechtel Group, NYU’s Musical Theatre Department, NYU’s Collaboration Workshop led by the Public Theatre’s Oskar Eustis and Suzan-Lori Parks, LunaSea Theatre, Neptune Theatre,  and Playwright’s Atlantic Resource Center. She has been nominated twice for the internationally celebrated Susan Smith Blackburn Prize (Love & Exile; The Unbelievers). Her company LACE Productions produced The Unbelievers at the 2016 SummerWorks Performance Festival which gained national attention from The Globe and Mail for its ability to merge theatre with social change. She is a semi-finalist for the inaugural Ellen Ross Stuart Award.




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