Meanwhile at Arts Court…

It’s been quiet lately on the Arts Court front, but I did want to note that the City of Ottawa has now released its Request for Proposals for managing and operating the theatre space “within the current conditions, appropriate funding levels and mandate.” The term of the contract would be for the calendar year 2013 with an option to renew.

The city’s document notes that in 2011 the Arts Court Theatre was used for a total of 151 days (3,683 hours), hosting 22 productions and 5 festivals and serving audiences “in excess of 10,172.” (I’m not quite sure what that means, exactly. 10,173?)

The deadline for submitting a proposal is 3 pm on Monday, November 19.

Meanwhile, the city is continuing with its plans for the $39-million Arts Court expansion, which is expected to focus largely on new space for the Ottawa Art Gallery. As reported recently in the Ottawa Citizen, there’s talk of new theatre facilities being built by the University of Ottawa for its theatre department as part of the new complex. However, this would presumably be a U of O space to complement its Academic Hall and Léonard Beaulne Studio theatres and as such would not be run by Arts Court, the city, or the future Arts Court Theatre operator.

Residing

It’s now official, I suppose, since they’ve issued the media release … Thanks to a generous grant from the Ontario Arts Council, I am the playwright in residence at GCTC.

What does this mean, exactly?

It does not appear to mean that I can save a little rent by camping out in the green room at the theatre – which is a pity, because it’s not a bad space at all, and the theatre’s in a great neighbourhood.

What it does mean, however, is that I have the privilege of joining an inspiring community of theatre artists from whom I look forward to learning a great deal in the coming months. In particular, it means I’ll have the time and space to focus on creating some new work and to participate in the development of other new projects underway this season at GCTC.

When I sat down with GCTC last year to draft our proposal to the Ontario Arts Council, the theatre had not yet selected its new artistic director. This meant I was reduced to saying how much I looked forward to working with, um, someone … not sure who, but I know it’ll be great. I’m told this is not the ideal way to make a case for support. Happily, I’ve had the chance to sit down with the new AD, Eric Coates, who took up the reins earlier this month and I’m genuinely excited at the opportunity to share my work with him. GCTC has a history of new play development, and Eric is committed to that aspect of the company’s mission.

I’m also looking forward to working with the estimable Patrick Gauthier, who continues to produce the undercurrents festival at the theatre. This year’s launch is happening on November 15 at 5 pm at the theatre, and I’m very much looking forward to the chance to work with some of the artists he’s bringing in as they develop their projects for the festival in February.

But I can’t wait to get started – so if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some writing to do…

The official announcement is here.