Organization for the promotion of Canadian plays and playwrights.
It began life as the Playwrights Circle (1971) with the mandate to ensure that Canadian plays were not forgotten.
In 1972, it became Playwrights Co-op and began publishing Canadian works. The Co-op also handled the amateur rights for its works and organized tours of writers to readings and cabarets.
In 1979, the Co-op became Playwrights Canada. In 1977, a number of its members founded the Guild of Canadian Playwrights to lobby, negotiate and improve the status of Canadian playwrights here and abroad.
In 1984, the Co-op and Guild merged to become the Playwights Union of Canada (PUC). In 2002, the name of the organization was changed to Playwrights Guild of Canada. which now negotiates with Professional Association of Canadian Theatres/PACT, prints a news magazine, publishes plays, produces a catalogue and maintains a web site.
The publishing imprint of the Guild, Playwrights Canada Press, had grown significantly and was incorporated as a for-profit publishing company in 2002.
Each year Playwrights Guild hosts an annual awards competition honouring Canadian playwrights in a wide range of categories, including the RBC Emerging Playwright Award, Carol Bolt Award, TYA Award, Playwrights Guild Comedy and Musical Awards, Lifetime and Honorary Membership Awards, and the Bra D’Or Award. The awards are named after Tom Hendry, a founding member who died in 2012.
Past presidents of the Guild include Clem Martini, Vern Thiessen, Hope McIntyre, Shirley Barrie, Elyne Quan, Conni Massing, David S. Craig, and Alicia Payne. The current president is Michelle Kneale. Nancy Morgan is Executive Director.
The organization's archives are at the L.W. Conolly Theatre Archives of the University of Guelph, Ontario.
Last updated 2021-07-28