Stage Door News

Toronto: The second annual Ergo Pink Fest runs March 28-31

Monday, March 18, 2019

Ergo Pink Fest is a 4-day theatre festival in Toronto (March 28-31, 2019), conceived and hosted by Ergo Arts Theatre (EAT) that gives voice to female and non-binary identified playwrights, providing them a unique platform to develop and showcase their work. The festival, being held at the Small World Music Centre, 180 Shaw Street, brings together award-winning playwrights and dramaturges Beverley Cooper, Marcia Johnson, Anita La Selva, Paula Wing and Elyne Quan to nurture the development of eight new plays.

The plays take us around the world - China, Poland, Italy and America – and talk of the experience of female, non-binary identifying and transgender characters.

“The original idea behind the festival came when we read the 2015 Equity in Theatre study by the Playwrights Guild of Canada,” says EAT Artistic Director, Anna Pappas. “It said that the greatest disparity in gender equity happens in the playwright category. So that seemed to be the place to start, providing a space for these playwrights to create that work and tell those stories. The experience last year was so powerful and made such a positive impact, that a second year was inevitable. To know that 8 new plays will be brought into the Canadian theatre scene as a result of this work is very exciting.“

The 8 plays chosen for the festival have been written by talented female and non-binary identifying Canadian playwrights. Their experience ranges from new playwrights debuting their first piece of writing, to veterans of the theatre, TV and film. Ergo Pink Fest has tailored the development process for each playwright to suit the kind of support they need to take their play to the next level. For play synopses, go to

Most of the playwrights will have a series of workshops which will culminate into a stage reading; others will have a shorter development process followed by a closed reading session with an invited group. Each play with a public performance element will be presented once during the festival, from Friday, March 29 to Sunday, March 31.

A highlight for all participating playwrights has been the opportunity to work with some of Toronto’s top talent: Beverley Cooper (Innocence Lost @ Soulpepper), Marcia Johnson (Binti’s Journey @ Theatre Direct; Courting Johanna @ Blyth Festival; and Late @ Obsidian Theatre), Paula Wing (Risky Phil @ Young Peoples Theatre 2018; Stefano Massini’s Intractable Woman @ PlayCo, New York City 2018) and Elyne Quan (Sterling Award winning Lig & Bittle). Joanna Falck (Literary Manager at Tarragon theatre) will join the team as a mentor and guide to “how to launch” their work post-festival.

Anita La Selva (Winner of the Gina Wilkinson Prize for an Emerging Female Director, The Stones Project @ Caminos Festival 2015), Paula Wing, Susan A. Lock (The Sister Op @ Ergo Pink Fest 2018, Basket Day @ The Hurlyburly Festival, The Good, the Bard and the Ugly @ Hart House Festival), Courtney Ch’ng Lancaster (The Wolves @ Crows, Cannibal @ Next Stage, 52 Pick-Up @ Howland) and Marjorie Chan (Artistic Director of Cahoots Theatre, Four-time Dora award winner and winner of the George Luscombe Award for Mentorship in Professional Theatre), are directing the staged readings. Many talented actors will participate on stage, including Gemini Award winning Catherine Fitch (Murdoch Mysteries, Street Legal, Road to Avonlea), Jajube Mandiela (Artistic Director of b current Performing Arts, 2013-2017) and Dora nominated Deborah Drakeford (Soulpepper, CanStage).

This year, Ergo Pink Fest will be hosting two panel discussions: March 30 at 11:30am-1:30 pm and March 31, 2:00-3:30 pm. The latter is called: The Business of Playwriting and How to Talk About Your Work. Panelists include Matt McGeachy (Company Dramaturge, Factory Theatre), Myekah Payne (Company Dramaturge, Obsidian Theatre) and Rebecca Burton (Manager of Membership and Contracts, Playwrights Guild of Canada). It will be mediated by Joanna Falck. In addition to the panels, there will be An IntroductoryWorkshop on Intimacy Training with Siobhan Richardson (award winning - actor/fighter/singer/dancer, intimacy director, co-founder of Intimacy Directors International).

General Admission tickets are now on sale at Ticketscene: using the “Pay What You Want” pricing system. Patrons are encouraged to buy early, as there is limited seating. All performances are being held at the Small World Music Centre at Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street, Studio 101.

EAT would like to thank The Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts for their generous support.

About Ergo Arts Theatre

Ergo Arts Theatre, established in 1992, is a group of dedicated artists who strive to promote creative thought and innovative expression through the performing arts. We continue to take steps toward making the art of theatre accessible to all - to be a part of a collective artistic experience that will enhance the way we think and live.