National Queer and Trans Playwriting Unit

TPM is proud to be one of the nine theatre companies to partner with Zee Zee theatre for a first-of-its-kind new play development model & virtual reading series!

The Consortium Partners:

  • ZEE ZEE THEATRE – Vancouver
  • GWANDAAK THEATRE – Whitehorse
  • THEATRE OUTRÉ – Lethbridge
  • IMAGO THEATRE – Montréal

Zee Zee identified a gap that exists in the Canadian theatre ecology: time and again we see a lack of queer and trans plays being produced on stages across Canada. What started as a four year hunt for their own programming purposes led them to country-wide conversations with many other artists and producers who all share the view that as curators, producers and presenters of theatrical seasons it is a challenge to find queer and trans focused work.

To rectify this Zee Zee has established this new model for play creation and dissemination, in order to ensure more equitable representation of 2SLGBTQ+ artists and stories on Canadian stages, as well as strengthen and deepen the bonds of professional artists and collaborators across the country, while ultimately furthering equality for all queer and trans people.

2SLGBTQ+ mid-career theatre makers from across Canada were invited to submit applications by July 5, 2022 for consideration in the new mentorship and play creation program. The selection process chose five artists:

  • Tyra Ashauntie Gill – YUKON
  • Smokii Sumac – BRITISH COLUMBIA
  • Elio Zarrillo – MANITOBA
  • Nathaniel Hanula-James – ONTARIO
  • Robyn Vivian – NEWFOUNDLAND

These playwrights have participated in a 10-month process, during which they received living wage compensation and one-on-one mentorship as they wrote a new work. Over the course of the process, the artists have held Open Houses to discuss with the public, answer questions about the process, and share their progress! The NQPTU has also held Community Offerings for the public, a series of workshops hosted by the playwrights of the unit to share their skills and help workshop participants grow, develop, and learn.

The developed plays will be performed live and streamed online this October! For more information, visit Zee Zee Theatre Company’s Website Here!


Play Readings Series

Learn more about the plays and the playwrights, and when they’ll be put on!

Next up:

Death and Dolores by Nathaniel Hanula-James — Saturday, October 28, 2023

Dramaturgy: Sadie Berlin
Presented by: Neptune Theatre, Halifax, NS

Toronto, 1950. Halloween. Gladys Potter, scientific-luminary-in-the-making, swans into a gay bar for the very first time. She’s dressed as a cuttlefish. No one gets it. Also, she might be the only Black person there.

Toronto, 2023. Dolores, an archivist at a queer museum, stumbles upon the story of Gladys Potter. Raised colourblind by a white father and Black mother, Dolores yearns for a deeper connection to Blackness. When a mysterious being named Idontknowher appears, Dolores follows them down, down, down, into the Underworld, determined to meet Gladys. But all knowledge comes with a price.

Sometimes, that price is the last remaining ticket to a Mariah Carey concert. Sometimes, it’s a meeting with your ancestors.



Content warnings: Internalized racism, shadeism, racist microaggressions, references to histories of colonization and slavery, loud overlapping sounds.

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