New Play Development

Brian Linds in Reverberations, created as part of the New Incubator Project, and presented during the 2017 SPARK Festival.  Directed by Mindy Parfitt & Designed by Catherine Hahn. 

For Playwrights

The Belfry is committed to equity, diversity, inclusion, and reconciliation, and seeks to engage with and amplify the voices of Indigenous, Black, People of Colour (IBPoC) and other artists and theatre practitioners who have historically experienced discrimination and marginalization. 


New Work at the Belfry 

The Belfry has a long history of producing new Canadian work.  Over the years, we have produced first productions of work by playwrights from across the country, including: 

Nick Bantock, Tara Beagan, Joel Bernbaum, Michel Marc Bouchard, Aaron Bushkowsky, Sally Clark, Jill Daum, Itai Erdal, David Ferguson, Lucia Frangione, Margaret Hollingsworth, David King, John Lazarus, Brian Linds, Kevin Loring, Erin Macklem, Joan MacLeod, Hannah Moscovitch, Morris Panych, Michele Riml, Bruce Ruddell, James Fagan Tait, Charles Tidler, Deborah Williams, and many others, including all but the first of the Wingfield Farm plays by Dan Needles. 



The majority of new plays currently produced at the Belfry begin as commissions, initiated by the theatre.  We have a strong track record of producing the plays that we commission. 

Second Productions 

We have produced a number of second productions of plays.  These are almost always Canadian, and we have either attended the premiere production or read the script.  We encourage playwrights to email a notification of to the premiere production of any of their plays. 

Sharing Your Work 

For a number of years, we welcomed unsolicited scripts, inviting playwrights to share a synopsis and ten pages from the play.  This proved a source of frustration for both theatre and playwrights, as scripts piled up in the Artistic Director’s office, and playwrights received responses after long delays—if at all. 

We now ask that playwrights not send unsolicited scripts—or portions thereof. 

To Playwrights whose work has been produced: 

Please feel free to contact us regarding a script that you would like us to consider, and/or an idea or a new play in development, and we will respond. 

contact Artistic Director, Michael Shamata: 

To Emerging Playwrights (regardless of age): 

Please feel free to contact us regarding any upcoming workshops or readings of your work.  If it’s possible for us to attend—we will do so.  If not, we may ask to see the script    We do not have the capacity to accept unsolicited scripts.  For local playwrights, please take a look at the opportunities listed below.   

Contact Artistic Director, Michael Shamata: 

To IBPoC Playwrights—established, emerging, or otherwise: 

In addition to the two categories above, we are interested in hearing about any scripts—partial or complete—and/or any germ of an idea that you are considering. 

Contact Artistic Director, Michael Shamata: 

What We Can Offer

Belfry Tower 

The Belfry Tower is reserved exclusively for writers, and can be booked free of charge by the day or the week.  Interested artists should email us at the following address to inquire about availability: 

Contact Artistic Director, Michael Shamata: 

New Incubator Project 

The New Incubator Project is designed for local independent theatre companies and/or individual artists who wish to explore new work or a new creative impulse.  While this is a self-directed program, mentorship by Belfry staff is available as requested—artistic, administrative, or technical.  For the purposes of this program, the definition of theatre is flexible.  While some projects from this program have gone on to be presented during our annual SPARK Festival, there is no expectation of a final product.  Exploration is encouraged.    

Over a two-year period, each participating company or individual will be provided one week of rehearsal space each year in either the Belfry’s BMO Studio Theatre or Studio B.  Priority is given to projects for which space is an essential part of the development process.  Other projects may be directed to the Creators’ Circle.  Applications should be submitted by November 30 of any year.  Check this page in the fall for details regarding applications.  The residency schedule will be determined according to the availability of the artists and the space.   


Interested artists should email us at the following address for further information: 

Contact Manager of Artistic & Community Connections, Matilde Cervantes – 

Creators’ Circle 

The Creators’ Circle provides feedback and community to local playwrights and theatre makers.  Facilitated by Governor General’s Award-winning playwright Kevin Kerr (Unity [1918]), this “playwrights’ unit” meets once a month, with members sharing their writing and discussing its progress.  Interested artists should contact us at the email address below by November 30 of any year.  The Creators’ Circle runs from January through the summer months.  For further information: 

Contact Manager of Artistic & Community Connections, Matilde Cervantes – 

Creators’ Circle is supported by: