Hear the winning play of the Uprising Playwriting Competition in a free staged reading this Friday. Read on for more details!
Downstage Dialogue
It's Time by Robert Tsonos Wins Uprising Playwriting Competition
Downstage and the Consortium for Peace Studies at the University of Calgary in partnership with the School of Creative and Performing Arts are proud to announce the winners of the eighth annual Uprising National Playwriting Competition : Peace, Politics & Society. This competition celebrates playwrights whose work dynamically engages with social and political issues and/or promotes peace, social justice and human rights. First place was awarded to Robert Tsonos for his play It’s Time, and Makambe K Simamba received second place for her play MUD

A free staged reading of It’s Time will take place Friday, December 6th at 7:30 pm in the Joyce and Quenten Doolittle Studio at the University of Calgary main campus (Second Floor, Craigie Hall, Block F). The reading will be directed by Downstage Artistic Producer Ellen Close and Robert Tsonos, the winning playwright, will be in attendance. This is a free event and all are welcome - simply RSVP to ellen@downstage.ca to reserve a spot


It’s Time: The rise of China, the fall of America, cultural stereotyping, sexism, and a new world order - large themes come in small packages in this two-hander about a Chinese businesswoman who fires an American businessman at an international financial services company in Hong Kong during the global financial crisis of 2008. An intentionally provocative portrait of the complex, divided, interdependent and explosive relationship between these two giant nations. A tour de force opportunity for two actors, guaranteed to provoke and enrage, while entertaining and thrilling audiences with a play for, and of, our time.

Robert Tsonos is a Canadian playwright, director, and actor. His play The Hum was produced in Hong Kong; has received readings in Toronto, London (UK), and in Palm Springs (CA); was a finalist for The Herman Voaden National Playwriting Competition; and published by Level 4 Press in “Regional Best 2012”. His play William & James has been produced in Toronto (Theatre Passe Muraille), Montreal, New York,  and Ottawa with staged readings in Melbourne and Washington. Robert's play In His Name was workshopped by Playwrights' Workshop Montreal, had a staged reading at the Atlantic Stage New Play Festival, and was a finalist in the Playwrights of Spring Competition. His other plays include Sharnoozle!, which twice toured international schools in Tokyo, the CBC Radio play Ice Age, as well as I Am Not The One, Running - 3 short plays, and the short film Coffee Dogs. Robert is currently the playwright in residence at Globus Theatre.

MUD: Set in secluded home outside of Lusaka, Zambia, MUD is the story of 21 year old Thandiwe : an international student at the U of C who suddenly returns home with a Canadian fiancé. She has avoided speaking to her parents for years, and now arrives at their home with an outsider, seeking a marriage blessing. In order to attain the approval they seek, the couple immediately prepares to navigate through a traditional Zambian culture, enforced by Thandiwe's suspicious parents. What they do not expect, is for Thandiwe's tumultuous past to surface, forcing everyone to deal with the secrets she so desperately tried to escape. MUD explores which connections truly make a family, what forgiveness can be, and ultimately, what it means and doesn't mean to move forward from the past.

Makambe K Simamba is a Zambian-born artist who just completed a BFA in Dramatic Arts from the University of Lethbridge. She won the 2012 Alberta Playwright's Network Discovery Prize for her original play, MUD and is a member of the 2013-2014 Playwright's Unit at Obsidian Theatre in Toronto. Acting credits include SIA (Pyretic Productions),  The Lion in Winter, The Madonna Painter, and Richard III (University of Lethbridge). Makambe is extremely excited to be a theatre artist in Alberta.
Downstage’s popular 10-Minute Play Festival returns as part of One Yellow Rabbit’s High Performance Rodeo on January 11, 2014. You won’t want to miss this sell-out event that sees 6 indie theatre companies race against the clock to create a 10 minute play in only 24 hours. Buy your tickets here! 

In addition to members of Downstage's Creation Ensemble, you'll see pieces from returning groups Urban Curvz, Swallow-a-Bicycle, Dirty Laundry Calgary and The Shakespeare Company, and Cowtown Opera Company will be joining us for the first time! Get ready for another wild and wonderful year!
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