The Paprika Playwriting Program focuses on the process of developing a script for the stage. We ask that playwrights bring us a project they are passionate about, whether it is a clearly outlined idea for a play, a full length draft ready to be workshopped, or anything in between. Paprika accepts playwrights at all stages, from beginner to already-produced!

Playwrights have a lot input in how they want to develop their work, with what kind of mentor they would like to connect, and what their final product for the Festival presentation will be (a full-length draft, a one-act play, a completed first act, etc). Many young playwrights have gone on to have their scripts staged as full productions at Paprika and beyond as a result of the development support they received in this program.

For the second year as a Community Partner, Cahoots Theatre, with a culturally-inclusive mandate, will be supporting our Playwrights’ programs. They will be opening up select Hot House sessions to our playwrights in residence. Playwright sessions will take place in the Cahoots Creation Studio in Corktown.

We have two streams of Playwright development (the application is the same for both):

- Playwrights in Residence: working individually with a professional mentor (up to 10 hours) for feedback and guidance

- Writer’s Circle: joining a circle of fellow playwrights lead by a shared mentor for regular meetings and peer-to-peer learning

We support playwrights by:

- Tailoring the program and mentorship to suit the individual needs and goals of the participants.

- Providing a public reading of each playwright’s work in the 17th Paprika Festival by professional actors.

Recent playwriting mentors include:

Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, Lisa Codrington, Briana Brown, Judith Thompson, Susan Coyne, Djanet Sears, Damien Atkins, Marjorie Chan, Jordi Mand, Adam Seelig, Andrea Romaldi, Jeff Ho, and many other respected and award-winning writers.

Training Days:

In addition to being part of one of this program, all participants gather for four Training Day masterclasses led by professional artists, with workshop topics ranging from physical theatre, to pitching your show, to decolonizing arts practice. These days are a chance for participants to meet and work with one another (and find future collaborators!).


- Writers must attend meetings for either The Writers Circle or Playwrights in Residence (the application process is the same for both programs)

- Playwrights must commit to regular meetings with their professional artist mentor.

- Attend a meet and greet on December 10, 2017 and Paprika Festival Training Days on: January 28, 2018, February 25, 2018, March 25, 2018, April 29 2018 (dates are subject to change until participants are confirmed).

- Be available to attend a reading of your work in the festival, May 14-20, 2018.

How to Apply: Fill out the application form below

If you need help with your application or if you’d prefer to answer the questions in person, over the phone, or in another way, email