Playwriting and Dramaturgy with Brian Quirt

This 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 class a reliable internet connection is ideal. If you do not have a reliable internet connection, and are interested in taking the class, please note it on your application. We are committed to finding an alternate way to facilitate your learning and participation in the class.

To Enroll

Please contact: [email protected] with a succinct 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. Registration is limited.

The application deadline for this course is: 5PM on November 30th, 2020.


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.

Winter 2021 Dates & Times

8 Sessions from 7:00PM – 10:00PM EST

  • January 19th
  • January 26th
  • February 2nd
  • February 9th
  • Week of Feb 15 – no session; This is a writing week with Brian available for one on one phone or Zoom conversations.
  • February 23rd
  • March 2nd
  • March 9th
  • March 16th


Brian Quirt is Artistic Director of Nightswimming, a Toronto dramaturgical company that has commissioned 30 works of theatre, dance and music. Brian also serves as 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 (on 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 current 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.