LEAP Playwriting Intensive
Now in its 10th anniversary season, LEAP (Learning Early About Playwriting) is a dynamic, interactive program for young playwrights aged 16 to 25. Over 150 students have been mentored through the creation of original dramatic works since the program’s inception in 2006. Participants learn the basic principles of playwriting, share their work with classmates, and provide feedback for one another in a safe and supportive environment. Students also receive feedback from theatre professionals and have their plays workshopped and presented to the public in staged readings.
LEAP is a full-scholarship program, and is 100% funded by donors and sponsors. There is no cost to the student whatsoever.
Instruction is offered in three levels: Level 1 students are mentored through the creation of a short play (10 minutes), Level 2 students write one-act plays, and the Level 3 student is supported through the creation of a full-length play.
The program culminates in the LEAP Festival in which professional actors perform the plays in a staged reading format.
Watch this short video that documents the journey from classroom to workshop to reading, and hear testimonials from former students.
Dates: Mid-November 2016 to April 2017
All students accepted into the program will be on FULL SCHOLARSHIP. There is no fee whatsoever for those accepted into the program.
Acceptance into LEAP is based on the strength of writing samples that form part of the application process. All students must have regular access to a computer with internet connection. Successful candidates must arrange for their own transportation to and from the Arts Club for classes, readings, shows, etc.
Ten classes at the Arts Club with playwright Shawn Macdonald. Includes a tour of the company, meeting theatre professionals who work on new plays, and field trips to select productions at the Arts Club free of charge.
Full, unlimited, and secure access to the program’s closed Facebook group. Includes lectures, online discussions, and group feedback on work posted, classroom follow-up, and access to playwriting resources online.
Workshops and readings of the student playwrights' original plays by professional actors in a public reading at the Arts Club.
Discussions on how to rewrite a play after a workshop or reading, how to submit a play to a theatre company, and information on youth playwriting competitions and opportunities.
Shawn Macdonald is an award-winning playwright and actor. His play Prodigal Son won the Jessie Award for Outstanding Original Script in 2006, and his play Demon Voice was produced by Touchstone Theatre in 2009. He co-wrote the comedies World's Greatest Guy and Fear Knot (with Gary Jones) for the Arts Club Theatre Company, and his newest play, Sister Judy, was commissioned by the Arts Club as part of the Silver Commissions program and premiered at the Arts Club last spring. Shawn is the Artistic Associate at Green Thumb Theatre for Young Audiences and produces and directs the annual collective creation for teenagers, The Edge Project.
Christine is an actor, playwright, and co-Artistic Producer of Delinquent Theatre. Christine’s plays include Selfie (commissioned by Théâtre la Seizième, winner of the Sidney Risk Prize for Outstanding Script by an Emerging Playwright), Our Time, and Stationary: A Recession-Era Musical (winner of the Jessie Richardson Theatre Award for Outstanding Musical, Small Theatre) for which she also served as producer and performer. As an actor, Christine has played in Saint Joan, She Stoops to Conquer, and the LEAP Reading Series (Arts Club), The Glass Menagerie (Fire Escape Co-op) Mr. Marmalade (Latchkey Co-Op), Of Mice and Men (Hardline Productions), The Wizard of Oz and Seussical (Carousel Theatre). She holds a BFA in Acting from the University of British Columbia.
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Generously supported by the Y.P. Heung Foundation, the TELUS Vancouver Community Board, Metro Vancouver, the RBC Foundation, Bonnie Mah, and the Gerald and Sheahan McGavin Capital Grant to the Arts.
|Sep 1, 2016||Application submission period begins|
|Oct 31, 2016||Application deadline|
|Nov 7, 2016||2016 cohort announced|
|Nov 12, 2016||LEAP launch and orientation|
|Nov 14, 2016||Classes begin|
|Dec 12, 2016–Jan 9, 2017||Holiday break|
|Apr 7– 9, 2017||LEAP Festival|
|Apr 16, 2017||LEAP industry event and adjudication|
Level 1 classes are Monday evenings from 7–9 PM
Level 2 classes are Tuesday evenings from 7–9 PM
Level 3 sessions are monthly and are arranged according to the student's schedule
Submit the following via email by October 31, 2016.
- All applicants must fill out a registration form.
- 1–2 page sample of ANY writing you feel good about—a poem, essay, monologue, short scene, play, letter. It can be something you wrote a while ago or something brand new. Maximum 2 pages, 12-point font.
- A paragraph about you and why you'd like to participate in LEAP. Please include your age and where you go to school.
- All applicants must fill out a rregistration form.
- A scene or an excerpt from a play you've written. You can write a scene specifically for this application, or submit something that you've already written. Maximum 5 pages, 12-point font. Students applying for the Level II program must have some previous playwriting experience.
- A paragraph about you and why you'd like to participate in LEAP. Indicate your previous experience with playwriting. Please include your age and where you go to school.
Please note the new criteria for Level III students. Applicants must have completed their college diploma or undergraduate degree, and must not be a full-time student. The successful candidate must agree to a proposed course of work including draft deadlines.
- All applicants must fill out a registration form.
- Applicants must have written a play before, either a one-act or a full-length play. Please submit a 10-page writing sample of a play, 12-point font.
- A paragraph about you and why you’d like to participate in LEAP. Please include details of your playwriting history and experience. Include your age and where you’re attending school, if applicable.
Deadline for applications is October 31, 2016. Applicants will be notified either way shortly thereafter.