In 2007, Elisabeth Feltaous was engaged as producer for the First Draft reading series, a series that had originated in 1992. First Draft’s original mandate was to read new original works with no pre-selection. This non-juried format was unique in Toronto, and over the subsequent sixteen years, the company has held readings either on the last Monday, Thursday, or Sunday of the month.
In the interim years, several changes occurred in the format in order to encourage more industry and audience participation, and provide a more valued service to playwrights.
- An Artistic Advisory Board consisting of Andrew Moodie, Yvette Nolan and Bill Lane was formed to ensure consistent artistic oversight.
- The reading series is now juried, and the final 8 plays that are chosen will be dramaturged, developed and presented at a public reading.
- There is no administration fee levied to playwrights.
- Readings are located in the Detour Bar in Kensington market, a venue that is intimate and welcoming.
- Union directors and dramaturges are solicited to allow for a more robust process for playwrights.
- Finally, First Draft was been rebranded to Foundry Theatre Company to reflect the involvement of new artistic blood at the helm.
Playwrights who have participated in our season since 2007 include: Judith Orban (translating a work by Lukas Barfuss), Robert Graham, Frank Canino, Bremner Duthie, Ann Snead, Sandra Dempsey, Hilary Unger, David Copelin, Andrew Binks, and Robert Corbett. Playwrights from this season include Tololwa Mollel, Evan Tsitsias, Barry “Jack” Jenkins, Keith Barker, Douglas Beattie, Douglas Campbell, Christina Estima, and Lea Daniel.
Foundry Theatre Company has partnered with Oyster Productions to develop the verbatim play, The Trial of Jeremy Hinzman. Last year, Foundry Theatre Company was awarded a sponsorship grant from TD Bank Group, and used the funds to work with Carlos Bulosan Theatre (CBT) to provide a mentorship program for a fledgling playwright chosen from CBT’s Play Creation Unit. Regina Simon worked with David Copelin to expand her current 20-minute short play (Harana) into a full-length work for a public reading in May 2010. Nina Lee Aquino directed the reading in front of a packed house.
We are dedicated to providing a voice to the words written by our playwrights, and a safe and creative environment for new ideas to flourish.
The Reading Series is presented by Foundry Theatre Co.