Playwriting and Dramaturgy with Brian Quirt

This online course is an exploration of playwriting and play development practice and its relationship to dramaturgy. The work will include: in-class writing exercises; practical discussions on working with playwrights, dramaturgs and directors; and expectations for playwrights in a workshop environment. The course is geared both to writers and those intending to work with writers: it is open to playwrights and other theatre artists exploring creation through writing.

PLEASE NOTE: Participants will be asked to write and read new material (monologues and short scenes) aloud throughout the course and to do assignments between classes. As this is a virtual course a reliable internet connection is ideal. If you do not have a reliable internet connection, and are interested in taking the course, please note it on your application. We are committed to finding an alternate way to facilitate your learning and participation in the course.

To Enroll

Artists are invited to submit a 1 page statement about your interest in the course and a bio or resume or C.V that includes your experience as a writer / theatre artist / creator to [email protected].

For accessibility accommodations or to submit your application in an alternative format such as video, please email or call Heather Caplap at [email protected] |(416) 531-1827 ext 249

The application deadline for this course is: 12am Midnight on October 4th, 2021.

Registration is limited. All applicants will be contacted by October 13th.


Equity/Artist Rate – $100*
Regular Rate – $150
* This artist rate is available to anyone who self identifies as an artist and/or is a member of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association.
Note: This cost has been reduced from our standard course rate to reflect the economic difficulties many are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, while also honouring the value of the work of the artist-instructor.

Fall 2021 Dates & Times


Eight 3 hour Sessions from 7:00PM – 10:00PM EST

Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Tuesday, November 2, 2021
Tuesday, November 9, 2021
Monday, November 15, 2021
Monday, November 22, 2021
Tuesday, November 30, 2021
Tuesday, December 7, 2021 


Brian Quirt is Artistic Director of Nightswimming, a Toronto dramaturgical company that has commissioned 35 works of theatre, dance and music. Brian is also Director of the Banff Centre Playwrights Lab. 

He has created and directed eight of his own plays: Why We Are Here! has toured to Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre, Calgary’s High Performance Rodeo and Victoria’s Belfry Theatre; These Are The Songs That I Sing When I’m Sad has been seen at the Blyth Festival and Vancouver’s Boca del Lupo. As a director, his recent credits include premieres of these Nightswimming commissions: Carmen Aguirre’s Broken Tailbone (national tour in 2017/18/19), Anita Majumdar’s The Fish Eyes Trilogy (2014-18 national tour), Carmen Aguirre’s Blue Box (2012-2014 national tour), Anosh Irani’s Bombay Black (Cahoots Theatre and tour), and Judith Thompson’s Such Creatures (Theatre Passe Muraille). He has been Interim Artistic Director of the Great Canadian Theatre Company, Company Dramaturg at Factory Theatre, and Dramaturg at the Theatre Centre. He is the past Board Chair and a past-President of the Literary Managers & Dramaturgs of the Americas, and two-time recipient of LMDA’s Elliott Hayes Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dramaturgy.