Brian Drader named new Executive Director of the Manitoba Association of Playwrights

May 17, 2017 | MAP News

The Manitoba Association of Playwrights is pleased to announce that nationally recognized playwright, dramaturg and advocate for Canadian playwriting Brian Drader will be its next Executive Director.

Brian Drader named new Executive Director of the Manitoba Association of Playwrights

The Manitoba Association of Playwrights is pleased to announce that nationally recognized playwright, dramaturg and advocate for Canadian playwriting Brian Drader will be its next Executive Director.

Mr. Drader was the unanimous choice of the Search Committee, which was comprised of James Durham (playwright, actor, and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Manitoba Association of Playwrights), Ann Hodges (theatre and opera director, librettist, Board Member of MAP and Chair of the Selection Committee), Cherry Karpyshin (former General Manager of Prairie Theatre Exchange, arts administrator and consultant), and Ian Ross (Governor-General’s award-winning playwright). The Search Committee received and assessed 16 applications for the position, including two from out-of-province, and one from the US. The committee was impressed with the quality and number of applicants, which reflects the impact MAP has made on the Manitoba and Canadian playwriting community in the past, and was heartened to see such keen interest in guiding the organization into the future.

“We received many strong applications, however it was clear that Brian’s impressive track record in guiding playwrights throughout his career, his vast experience, extensive professional network, strong administrative skills, and above all, passionate vision— that is what made him our unanimous choice. We are excited to see where Brian will take MAP in the future,” says Board Chair James Durham.

“I’ve been living and working in Montreal for the last 13 years,” says Brian. “But I’ve always kept an eye on the theatre scene in my hometown. Manitoba artists have a history of being leaders and innovators, with a community that is the envy of many across the country. It has been such a pleasure to see my old colleagues continue to grow and thrive, and how exciting to witness a whole new generation of artists emerge, aggressively challenging what theatre is, and what it can be. I can’t wait to engage with the new, and re-engage with the established, and support all their work in whatever way I can.”

Brian grew up in Winnipeg, receiving his theatre training at the University of Winnipeg. He established his acting and playwriting career here, before heading to Montreal to serve as the Director of Playwriting at the National Theatre School of Canada. His plays have been produced in Canada, the United States, and Europe. Awards for his writing include the Herman Voaden National Playwriting Award, the Lambda Literary Award for Drama (USA), as well as nominations for the Governor General’s Literary Award and the McNally Robinson Book of the Year. He’s supported the development of hundreds of plays through his dramaturgical practice, ranging from experimental work at the Fringe Festival to Cirque Du Soleil’s MJ OneattheMandalayBayinLasVegas. Nurturingplaywrightsandnewplayshasbeencentraltohis career, a passion ignited while working with young writers in MAP’s Play Blitz program in the early ‘90s. “I deeply believe that theatre is an act of community building. It’s about people coming together in a finite number to experience something live, and communally celebrate and reflect on the human condition. I’ve dedicated my professional life to supporting the storyteller that is at the heart of that, and to return to my hometown to continue that work is thrilling, and humbling. I relish the opportunity to build on the fine work that Rory Runnells has been doing for over 30 years.”

Founded in 1979, The Manitoba Association of Playwrights provides support to playwrights through workshops, mentorship, seminars, readings, and exchanges. MAP has helped develop notable Manitoba writers such as Sharon Bajer, Rick Chafe, Ginny Collins, Tricia Cooper, Brian Drader, Maureen Hunter, Bruce McManus, Ellen Peterson, and two Governor General’s Award winners, Ian Ross and Vern Thiessen. MAP’s programming also includes a series of Canada-Denmark playwright exchanges; the wildly successful Scirocco Drama High School Playwriting Contest; the Harry Rintoul Award for Best Manitoba Play at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival; the Reg Skene Award for Emerging Theatre Artist; and the establishment of a library/archive/theatre resource centre which houses important documents related to Manitoba theatre and playwrights. Mr. Drader will begin in August 2017, which will ensure a smooth transition of information and institutional knowledge before long-time Artistic Director Rory Runnells steps down in November.

For more information, please contact James Durham, Chair of the Board of Directors, Manitoba Association of Playwrights, email: map.mb.job.app@gmail.com

Newsletter

Join our newsletter to receive news on the going ons of MAP. See upcoming plays, featured playwrights, and much more.