As a settler led organization, we have been listening to and witnessing the courage and resilience in Black and Indigenous communities in the face of appalling violence, racism and white supremacy.

Black Lives Matter. Indigenous Lives Matter.

And we’ve been searching for ways to take action that amplifies this. Within our current means, this is an action we are taking:


Alley Theatre is offering a $1,000 fee to a playwright who identifies as Black or Indigenous, is a resident of what is now called Canada, and has an existing play which would benefit from being read in a site-specific or site-inspired location. Play submissions will be curated by an experienced Black Artist and an experienced Indigenous Artist, and one play will be chosen. Alley Theatre would produce a public reading of this play for our annual “Site-Reading Series”.

This is not a commission. The $1,000 is a playwright royalty for the public reading of an already existing play. Plays can be unproduced, in development, or previously produced.

The selected playwright will have final say in choosing a director (local to Vancouver) for the reading and can collaborate with the director on casting the reading. Alley Theatre will produce the reading with a modest production budget and all artists involved (actors, director, stage manager etc) will be compensated above CAEA minimum fees. An anti-racism facilitator will be engaged to promote safety and justice for artists involved.

*Playwrights may send more than one submission, but are asked to make a separate submission for each play.


What is “site-specific” or “site-inspired”? There are many definitions of this kind of work. For our purposes, it means a public reading of the play in the real-life location or locations where the play is set. Or it means a public reading of the play in a real-life location which metaphorically speaks to the themes of the script. As mentioned above, we are open to new and previously produced works. This includes plays that have not specifically been written for site-specific staging.

Why site-specific? We believe in bringing theatre outside the confines of traditional spaces, in order to reach new audiences who don’t normally go to theatre and to increase the real-world relevance of the play. Last year we read Hannah Moscovitch’s What a Young Wife Ought to Know in a heritage cabin in the woods of North Vancouver. All ticket sales were donated to Vancouver Women’s Health Collective (VWHC) and there was a post-reading talk with Casey Vickers from VWHC on women’s health and reproductive rights. This year we are holding a specific call for writers who identify as Black or Indigenous as a step toward amplifying voices from these communities and creating a more equitable platform for creation.

The reading would take place in or around Vancouver in October 2020 (exact date TBC). If the play is read live in-person, COVID-19 safety measures will be provided for all personnel and audience members. If the artists involved do not feel comfortable reading the play in-person, we will revise the reading to be filmed / live-streamed for only an online audience.

All proceeds from tickets sold to the event will be donated to a local Black or Indigenous support organization of the playwright’s choice, and the reading will hopefully feature a post-reading discussion with a representative from said benefit organization.

PLAYWRIGHT ELIGIBILITY is for writers who:

– identify as Black or Indigenous (Black as defined as of the African Diaspora; Indigenous as defined as First Nation, Inuit, Metis and other First Peoples)

– will have been a resident or citizen of what is now called Canada for at least one year as of September 1, 2020

– have written a complete, existing play (unproduced or previously produced) which they think would benefit from being read in a site-specific or site-inspired location in or around Vancouver

Playwrights do not need to suggest a particular location, though they are welcome to.

There is no limit on cast size or length of script.


Please send a ONE-PAGE SYNOPSIS of your play, plus a maximum 100-WORD BIOGRAPHY, to with the subject line “Site-Reading Play Submission” by AUGUST 7, 2020.

Your one-page synopsis of the play should include:

– Play description

– Character list

– Location list

– Page length

– If applicable: development, production, or publication history

Your maximum 100-word biography can include whatever information you would like to provide.

If your submission is shortlisted by the curators, you will be asked to send your full script within 3 days of receiving the request. Curators will have full autonomy to select the shortlist and the chosen play.

The chosen playwright will be notified by August 31, 2020.

About the producers:

Alley Theatre is a non-profit, project-based company that seeks to create socially relevant and entertaining theatre which empowers professional artists and communities by working with them to make invisible stories visible.

Through community partnerships, we collaborate with those who have a stake in the subjects our productions address, and we use interactivity, facilitated discussions, alternative venues, or unconventional staging to foster public engagement and attract audiences who may not typically be theatre-goers. We are generally a script-based company producing new plays, and we acknowledge that we exist on the unceded and occupied territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

This initiative is part of a series of steps we have been and will continue to take to combat institutionalized racism within theatre and our organization. If you would like to know more about the company and our inclusive engagement practices, please visit:

Thanks for taking the time to read this and please help us share this far and wide.

Marisa, Daniel and the Alley Theatre board of directors