Stage Door News

Newmarket: Newmarket’s National 10-Minute Play Festival runs July 22-28

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Newmarket’s National 10 Minute Play Festival (NNPF) presented by BMW Newmarket is back for a third consecutive year, now spanning seven days, Monday, July 22 to Sunday, July 28. All performances take place at Newmarket’s beloved cultural landmark, The Old Town Hall, located at 360 Botsford Street in the historic downtown core.

“The Town of Newmarket is excited to host the Newmarket National Play Festival as it is a showcase for regional voices and diverse perspectives written for Canadians by Canadians,” says Mayor John Taylor. “This festival provides residents and visitors the opportunity to come together and celebrate creative Canadian expression—fitting for our vibrant and thriving arts and culture scene in Newmarket.”

The NNPF sponsors a national playwriting competition, from which 24 scripts are chosen for production. The 24 plays are divided into “pods” where audiences will encounter a different theatre experience, delighting in 6 different plays in just 60 minutes--each connected by a unifying theme.

Each “pod” of six 10-minute plays is $20 per ticket and explores the following themes:

  • stand | OUT
    • Sometimes a door isn’t locked; it’s just stuck in place.
  • you | TURN
    • When travelling the winding road, it’s hard to see the curve that lies ahead.
  • end | RUN
    • If the end is inevitable, why didn’t we know that from the beginning?
  • after | LIFE
    • “Where life belongs to the living and he who lives must be prepared for changes.” – Goethe

View the official website a full list and description of the plays and performance times. The NNPF is supported by our Presenting Sponsor, BMW Newmarket; Performance Partner The Davis|The Rose Corporation; and Supporting Sponsors, Donna and Ralph Goldman and Main Street Newmarket BIA. This project is funded [in part] by the Government of Ontario.

The NNPF was launched in 2017- the passion project of Michael Halfin, a former drama teacher and writer (co-author of the drama text, Rattling the Stage (Nelson Publishing) with the aim of creating a national platform for Canadian playwrights and professional performance opportunities for veteran actors and emerging theatre artists. Where many summer theatre festivals reinterpret works of yesteryears, this festival provides a stage for contemporary storytellers to express, explore, and experiment with diverse ideas.

The festival plays form the core of this weeklong event which features many free activities such as Pay-What-You-Can staged readings of plays in development with NNPF, coffee chats with actors and directors, playwright readings, and guided tours of an art exhibition created by the Newmarket Group of Artists, that explores the festival’s four pod themes for 2019.

New this year is a two-day Ten-Minute Play Writing Workshop (July 22 & 23-$25/person) and a Seniors’ focused Matinee at 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 25, which features pastries, light refreshments, and a sit-down visit with actors and directors.

Festival ticket holders can also take advantage of special discounts and merchant offers on dining and shopping nearby. A full listing of events/activities and special offers can be found on the NNPF website.

The Town will also be hosting the crowd-pleasing Busker Festival presented by Bell on Saturday, July 27 from noon to 10 p.m. on Main Street. Come and be amazed by incredibly talented and unique international street performers who will provide free, one-of-a-kind entertainment for the whole family. What a great way to enjoy time between play pods! Visit to learn more. Sponsored by Bell and TD Bank.

For more information on the NNPF and to purchase tickets, please visit You can learn more about other events happening in Newmarket by visiting