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SMASH, BANG! – A workshop About Eliminating Writers Block

Sunday, March 20, 1:30 PM – 5:30 PM
The Gateway Theatre (8529 Gateway Boulevard)

Please register using the form below – Registration closes 2:00 pm, Friday, March 18

Facilitated by:  Beth Graham, Darrin Hagen, and Conni Massing

Presented in Partnership with Workshop West Playwrights’ Theatre as part of their upcoming Springboards New Play Festival .

Writing can be hard work. It can be LONELY work. Especially, if you’re filled with self-doubt OR overwhelmed OR incapacitated by perfectionism OR JUST PLAIN STUCK. Join three playwrights who have been in the trenches and UNDERSTAND the struggle, for an afternoon of tool-sharing, idea-generating, comradeship, AND you guessed it, WRITING, as we take on the ultimate foe … THE BLANK PAGE.

Remember to bring a pen, paper, laptops or other devices to write with!


Beth Graham

Beth is a playwright, dramaturg, and actor. Her plays and collaborations have been produced across the country and internationally. She has been a finalist for the Governor General’s Award and received the Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award twice. She is currently the University of Alberta’s sixth Lee Playwright In Residence and the resident dramaturg at Workshop West Playwrights’ Theatre. Her plays include: The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble, Pretty Goblins, The Drowning Girls (co-creator) and Mules (co-creator). Her latest co-creation, Dora Maar: the wicked one, will premiere at One Yellow Rabbit’s High Performance Rodeo in May. Beth has been a mentor for the Alberta Playwrights Network RBC Emerging Playwrights Program as well as the guest dramaturg at the New Works Festival at the University of Alberta. She has attended the Stratford Writers Retreat, the Banff Playwrights Lab, the National Theatre School’s Retreat, and the Citadel Theatre’s Playwrights Lab. When dramaturging new plays, Beth strives to inspire the playwright and champion their creation in whatever way she can. She is thrilled to be at Workshop West Playwrights Theatre and is honoured to delve into the work of her fellow playwrights. Bring on the new plays! 

Darrin Hagen 

Darrin is an award-winning playwright, author, composer and Queer historian. He has written (or co-written) over 40 plays, and has been produced across Canada, America and in Europe, including The Empress & The Prime Minister, BitchSlap!, Buddy, Tornado Magnet, The Edmonton Queen, With Bells On, and most recently, Metronome. 

He has also composed music or created sound design for nearly every theatre company in Edmonton. During the pandemic off-season he has composed a string quartet, an album of electronica, and an entire suite of music for piano and strings. He collaborated with Mile Zero Dance artistic director Gerry Morita on Shadow of a Doubt, an installation dance performance hosted by Artists in the Fallow. He also created and directed The Foxy Lady Disco Dancing Lounge Rhinestone Turkey Baster Relay Marathon for Fruit Loop as part of Pride 2021, and is currently exploring video art.

He has served as Playwright in Residence at Theatre Network and Workshop West Playwrights’ Theatre, and as Writer in Residence for Edmonton Public Library, The University of Alberta, and MacEwan University. He was named one of 100 Edmontonians of the Century, as well as one of the 25 Most Influential Alberta Artists in the last 25 years (AFA). In 2013 he was inducted into the Q Hall of Fame Canada.

Conni Massing

Conni is an award-winning writer working in theatre, film and television. Stage credits include Matara and The Invention of Romance, both premiered by Workshop West Playwrights Theatre, Oh! Christmas Tree (Roxy Performance Series), and her widely-produced stage adaptations of W.O Mitchell’s Jake and the Kid and Bruce Allen Powe’s The Aberhart Summer. Conni has worked as a story editor on television series such as Mentors, The Beat, North of 60The Adventures of Shirley HolmesTaking it Off and Family Restaurant. Film projects include two feature-length comedies (in development) and two short films: Invisible, co-written with and directed by Neil Grahn and Voila, co-produced and directed by Geraldine Carr. Conni has several publications to her credit, including six of her plays and a comic memoir, Roadtripping: On the Move with the Buffalo Gals (Brindle and Glass Publishing). Her writing has been recognized by AMPIA, the Academy of Cinema and Television, the Betty Mitchell Awards, the Writers Guild of Alberta and the Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards. Conni is thrilled to be involved in The Shoe Project again this year.


Registration for this event has now closed.

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