Playwrights Units

Supporting the artists that create the plays

Prairie Theatre Exchange has always been, and continues to strive to be, a “home” for theatre artists – a place where new ideas can be explored, and creativity can be supported and encouraged. 

In 2007, led by artistic director Bob Metcalfe, PTE formed a Playwrights Unit.  PTE became a home for these playwrights, setting aside an office dedicated to them and their work where they can find a quiet place to work, or to think. PTE also hosts the feedback meetings, provides readings and workshops when appropriate, acts as an advocate for the members’ work, and, most importantly, provides access to all the resources at PTE, from printing and photocopying to advice from the General Manager on grant-writing.

In November of 2018, current PTE artistic director Thomas Morgan Jones announced the creation of the PTE Emerging Playwrights Unitin partnership with Manitoba Association of Playwrights and their Executive Director Brian Drader.  This relationship with MAP and these five extraordinary writers is built on the principals of the first unit, with the goal of helping to develop these playwrights’ voices and stories.

Since the original Unit began, PTE has issued commissions to many of the works-in-progress and has produced a new Playwrights Unit play every season since 2010-11.  These include:

Burnin' Love by Sharon Bajer

Secret Mask by Rick Chafe

The Brink by Ellen Peterson (our 140th new play in our then 40 year history)

Social Studies by Tricia Cooper

The Flats by Ginny Collins

How the Heavens Go by Joseph Aragon

The Third Colour by Ian Ross

Because our playwrights are not confined to writing just for PTE, they have seen a number of plays produced on other stages here in Winnipeg and across the country.  PTE feels that this is a win-win situation – our community’s playwrights are given the opportunity to pursue their craft with encouragement and support, and PTE is able to more fully realize our goal to foster the creation of theatre and to nurture theatre artists. 

We are a contemporary theatre company focused on developing new plays and a home for playwrights.  As such, we are deeply grateful to these playwrights for their trust in us and are honoured to have them as a part of our company.

Members of the PTE Playwrights Unit:

Joseph Aragon | Sharon Bajer | Rick Chafe | Ginny Collins | Tricia Cooper | James Durham | Debbie Patterson | Ellen Peterson | Ian Ross.

Members of the PTE Emerging Playwrights Unit:

Wren Brian | Kristian Jordan  | Jo MacDonald | Alissa Watson | Liam Zarrillo