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Playworks 2021

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** Content is suitable for mature audiences.

 Directing 35

Victoria School has established a curriculum for those students who wish to focus on the art of directing for the stage. Students examine firsthand the role of the director for the modern theatre. Students in Directing 35 are given the opportunity to direct a dramatic presentation from script selection through casting and rehearsals to performance and reflection. 

The PlayWorks Festival is the annual celebration of the work of the Directing 35 students at Victoria School of the Arts. While the interpretive and creative journeys of these 23 artists have been unique, each has been successful in meeting the challenges presented by script and company. We congratulate them on their success and look forward to sharing their stories!

Traditionally, theatre festivals invite an adjudicator to lead a process of critique and reflection. As PlayWorks has evolved away from a competitive model, we have chosen an approach of mentorship. This year the Directing 35 class welcomed Greg Dowler-Coltman into our process. Greg met with the students during their rehearsal process and after each recording to host conversations on the learning that has taken place for our performance ensembles. We are thankful for Greg’s insight and words of encouragement!

Greg Dowler-Coltman

Greg or Mr. DC, brought a background in theatre and education to Victoria School of the Arts, when he joined the staff in 1999. For 20 years, he enjoyed the opportunity to teach incredible students of Acting, Drama and Directing, including the 435 directors who brought their one acts to the stage as a part of the PlayWorks Festival!

Between 1999 and 2019, Greg directed 25 mainstage productions at Vic, including Into the Woods (twice), Seussical the Musical, the Western Canadian premiere of Thoroughly Modern Millie, the Canadian premiere of Caryl Churchill’s Love and Information, Big Fish, In The Heights and #starcrossedlove@vic – Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story in Repertory alongside co-director, Ms Witte.

In 2019, Greg left teaching to launch an Executive Coaching and Leadership Development business (www.dowlercoltman.com) alongside his wife and partner, Tami. Leading with curiosity, Greg embraces life as an experiment, in which we are invited to listen deeply, examine courageously, explore perspectives and build empathetic narratives that reveal themes, patterns and possibilities. It is this sense of curiosity and a continued joy in celebrating others’ growth, that makes this return ‘home’ to PlayWorks truly special.

The Angel Whisperer

Written by Michele Markarian

Directed by Mercades Quaife

Apres Opera

Written by Michael Bigelow Dixon

& Valerie Smith

Directed by Lily Gidych


Written by Don Nigro

Directed by Ashauria Ogonoski 

Coffee Break

Written by Tasha Gordon-Solmon

Directed by Gracie Carlaw


Written by Don Nigro

Directed by Anna Schmitz

Dead Boy

Written by Craig Wright

Directed by Taj Zachow

Dear Mr. Buchwald

Written by Yvette Nolan

Directed by Penny Gullion

The Delphinium Mansion

Written by Libby Leonard

Directed by Summer Fraleigh

Fade to Black

Written by David Gillies

Directed by Maren McManus


Written by Don Nigro

Directed by Lucia Rodriguez-Cavanagh

The Great Irony Heist

Written by Eric  Burchett

Directed by Tarren Vercholuk

I Am Not Batman

Written by Marco Ramirez

Directed by Meg Walker

In The Forest of Gone

Written by Don Nigro

Directed by Amanda Bertrand


Written by Patrick Gabridge

Directed by Imogen Wynters

Kill Me, Please!

Written by Rhea McCallum

Directed by Dalianna Melgar


Written by Don Nigro

Directed by Seun Olupinyo

Mary Just Broke Up With This Guy

Written by Garth Wingfield

Directed by Marena Scharle

Paul’s Ghost

Written by Jason Milligan

Directed by Carys Jones


Written by Samuel Beckett

Directed by Jordan Degeling


Written by Jim Beaver

Directed by Zaid Kaddoura

Spitting Daisies

Written by Kerri Kochanski

Directed by Megan Strong

This World and That One

Written by Philip Vassalo

Directed by Selina Yukselir

Wish You Were Here

Written by Claudia Haas

Directed by Emily Brinco



Donate to Our Program

The Covid pandemic has forced us to be creative in how we offer our programs and provide opportunities like "Playworks" for our students. Typically, the proceeds from the ticket sales go toward funding our Arts Season. We are offering "Playworks" for free, but if you would like to support our programs, a donation would be greatly appreciated. 

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