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Playwrights Canada Press Launch Fall Line-Up, Including GG Winner If We Were Birds

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PWCP Fall 2011 Launch

Playwrights Canada Press held it's fall launch this past Monday night at Supermarket (it's a bar/restaurant, not an actual supermarket, although that would have been interesting) in Toronto.

The press has been publishing plays, as well as books covering the history of the theatre and criticism since 1984. This is a valuable resource, as the theatre is of course more of an ephemeral art, and far too often the legacy of a play ends with it's last run. The Playwrights Canada Press thus offer a way for us to relive a dramatic performance by way of beautifully conceived print editions of over 30 works each year.

With each season the press hosts a reading event to celebrate a select group of newly published titles. On Monday evening six titles were presented by their respective playwrights: Colleen Wagner's Down From Heaven; the collection of four plays that make up The Mill series (click here for a video of Matthew MacFadzean reading from The Mill); Daniel Karasik reading from In Full Light (his play The Crossing Guard was also published); Erin Shields for If We Were Birds; Jonathan Garfinkel for House of Many Tongues; Donna-Michelle St. Bernard for Gas Girls.

Many of the playwrights also solicited reading support from well respected actors within the theatre community, which added an obvious performative quality to the evening.

The event was warmly hosted by NOW magazine's Jon Kaplan and Susan G. Cole, two veterans of theatre criticism in Toronto. Jon and Susan took turns generously introducing each playwright with personal reverence, which made perfect sense, as there was a palpable communal atmosphere in the room. Also, three of the plays being presented had been nominated for Governors General Literary Awards, which added to the buoyancy and celebratory air of the launch. The following day, Erin Shields was announced as this year's winner for If We Were Birds.

For more information on all the the books published by Playwrights Canada Press, please click here.

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