Playwrights’ Unit


The Paprika Playwrights Unit focuses on the process of developing a script for the stage. 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!

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.

This year, Factory Theatre’s Mechanicals will be joining forces with our Paprika playwrights in developing a cold reading series. The “Cold Reading Company” will provide playwrights with the chance to collaborate with professional actors and work with one of the most exciting theatre companies in Toronto. For more on the Factory Mechanicals, click here!



Jeff Ho

Playwrights’ Unit Mentor

Jeff Ho is a Toronto based theatre artist, originally from Hong Kong, thrilled to be working with Paprika! As a playwright, he is currently working on: antigone, to be produced by Young People’s Theatre’s (Toronto) for their 18/19 season.. His debut play, trace, will be published by Playwrights Canada Press for their Fall 19/20 catalogue. He has held residencies with the Stratford Festival, Nightswimming, Cahoots, The Banff Playwrights Lab, and Factory Theatre. Jeff also loves to act, and will be touring as Ophelia with Whynot Theatre’s Prince Hamlet this upcoming season (CanstagePuSh Festival, NAC). He is a graduate of the National Theatre School. As an educator, he is devoted to supporting and diversifying colour and form in the stories told on our local and national stages.

Polly Phokeev

Playwrights’ Unit Mentor

Polly Phokeev is a writer, dramaturg and actor. She is the recipient of the 2016 Safe Words New Canadian Play Award and the 2016 MyEntertainment Award for Outstanding New Play for How We Are (co-created with Mikaela Davies). Her critically-acclaimed play Seams was produced at the SummerWorks Festival in 2015. Other writing credits include The Mess (with Davies), and upcoming play with music, based on Master and Margarita: M (in collaboration with Mikaela Davies and Hailey Gillis). As an actor, selected credits include Mankind and Pride of Life (Poculi Ludique Societas: New York, Toronto and UK tours), Much Ado about Nothing and The Loyalists (Single Thread Theatre Company). Polly is a graduate of the University of Toronto with a BA in Drama, honours with high distinction. She is currently working towards her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia (optional residency), where she holds the SSHRC award for her work in prose fiction.

Polly Phokeev