Thursday, March 15, 2012

PTC announces new leadership!

Playwrights Theatre Centre today announced that, effective December 1, 2012, Heidi Taylor will assume leadership as the Artistic and Executive Director. Martin Kinch, who has led the organization for over 10 years as Executive Director and Literary Manager, is stepping down to focus on freelance writing and directing and to continue his teaching at the University of British Columbia.

As of March 1, Heidi became the Incoming Artistic and Executive Director, and will assume full executive responsibilities in December of this year. Heidi has been the Dramaturg at PTC since 2005. Since joining PTC, she has dramaturged over 40 plays by writers including Jan Derbyshire, Dave Deveau, Joan Kivanda, Hannah Moscovitch, Anita Majumdar, Jason Maghanoy, Tanya Marquardt, and Kendra Fanconi, Recent credits include Sea of Sand, which she co-directed with playwright Eric Rhys Miller, Transmission (co-directed with Tanya Marquardt), and Cloudless (José Teodoro/BC Buds). Heidi teaches acting at Simon Fraser University, and is a co-founder of Proximity Arts, a cross-disciplinary company whose work ranges from interactive sound installation to outdoor-sited dance to chamber opera.

“On behalf of the entire board, I am delighted to announce Heidi Taylor’s appointment,” said Board Chair Jennifer Moore. “Heidi brings to the position an intimate familiarity with both PTC and the Canadian theatre ecology as a whole. Her strong focus on innovation and experimental work will serve PTC well as we move into the future. In this volatile funding climate, we are pleased to be able to make a decision that benefits both the stability of the organization and its artistic practices.”
“I also wish to thank Martin for his years of service. Under his leadership, PTC has flourished during challenging times and brought many exciting new Canadian plays to the stage,” she added.
During his decade-long tenure as Executive Director/Literary Manager, Martin changed the face of PTC, initiating vital programs like the Dramaturgical Reading Program, the News and Flying Start. He has presided over the creation of the PTC Playwrights Colony and the new Associates residency program. He led PTC in its collaboration with a variety of British Columbia Theatre companies and served as dramaturg to a significant group of playwrights, among them: Dennis Bolen, Tim Carlson, Camyar Chai, Tom Cone, Dorothy Dittrich, C. E. Gatchalian, Nicola Harwood, Sherry MacDonald, Mitch Miyagawa, Sheldon Rosen, Sally Stubbs, James Fagan Tait, José Teodoro, Andrew Templeton, Charles Tidler, Bryan Wade, Ian Weir and Marcus Youssef. Most recently, he completed a three-year collaboration with Adrienne Wong as dramaturg, director and writer of the PodPlays project.

In the spring, PTC will initiate a national search for a Dramaturg to join the creative team in fall 2012 to work with both Martin and Heidi. The transition will complete during PTC’s October Writers’ Colony. As Heidi plans for the 2012-13 season, she will continue to provide creative and professional support to PTC’s Associates; six playwrights who are currently 18 months in to a three-year play development process.
PTC is a dramaturgically focused theatre company that finds, nurtures, and advances the Canadian playwright, supporting new plays from creation to performance, administering a variety of programs that support playwrights at each stage of their careers. PTC has successfully supported over 5,000 new plays since its founding as the New Play Centre in 1973, most recently The Idiot, by James Fagan Tait; Trunk, by Jeremy Waller and Falling in Time, by C.E. Gatchalian.

While numbers tell a part of the story, playwright Lucia Frangione captured the essence of the organization. “PTC's Writer's Colony was one of the most valuable experiences I've had in my 25 years in the business... The calibre of dramaturgy was top notch. I was able to crack open some large questions about my play and my process. The feedback was guided and useful and far more in-depth than customary dramaturgical processes I've had... One of the most educational aspects of the colony was watching the three other wildly different writers in process and talking with them about their work: how they survive; what theatre is like in their province. This colony connected me to the country. I feel this colony is vital to the health and development of Canadian Theatre.”