Obsidian Theatre Company

22/23 Playwright’s Unit

The 22/23 Obsidian Playwrights Unit is a national intensive play development program that will support 2 to 3 Black playwrights through virtual group sessions and individual mentorship. Facilitated by actor and playwright, Lisa Codrington, the unit will discuss and develop their plays culminating in a performance where each playwright has the chance to workshop an excerpt of their piece with actors and a director, and hear it read aloud at Obsidian’s annual Playwrights Unit Showcase in Toronto, ON.


Obsidian Theatre is interested in showcasing the richness and complexity of Blackness in all of its intersections across the nation so that our art can truly reflect the communities we serve. What stories do you want to bring to the stage and why? What does your idea/play bring to a Canadian stage that has not been seen before? These are just some of the questions we are interested in discussing and exploring as we begin the journey of developing new work.









“I am a person through other people. My humanity is tied to yours.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu






Kais Padamshi (He/Him) is an emerging writer and playwright who’s work encompasses academic, research-based texts, curatorial essays, poetry, and exhibition reviews centering African Diasporic narratives. As a playwright, his work weaves together themes of cultural identity, ethnicity, belonging, queerness and spirituality/religion.








“Collaboration is a beautiful thing.”






Jamillah Ross (She/Her/They) is an alumnus of Toronto’s Second City Mainstage and starred in the Toronto Fringe hits St. Peon of the People and the award winning Show Stopping Number. Film and television credits include Kim’s Convenience, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Good Doctor, and the upcoming Netflix film Slumberland. Jamillah’s a Capricorn.







“I am both honoured and inspired to challenge, work, and create in the Obsidian community, which feels to be both the grounding and the aspiring of Black Theatre.” 





Alten Wilmot (They/He) is a multi-award winning New Generation artist working in theatre, dance, and film. They have worked with companies from coast to coast, using stories and dance to create visceral artistic experiences that inspire and provoke.





Untitled design (36)












Lisa Codrington is an actor and writer based in Toronto. She has been nominated for the Governor General’s Award for Drama and is a recipient of the K.M. Hunter Theater Award and the Carol Bolt Award for Playwrights. Selected writing credits include The Prescription – 21 Black Futures (Obsidian/CBC) The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God (Shaw Festival, Karamu House); Up the Garden Path (Obsidian Theatre); The Aftermath (Groundswell Festival, Femfest); The Colony – Opera to Go (Tapestry); Cast Iron (Nightwood Theatre & Obsidian Theatre). Currently, Lisa is developing two new plays and is playwright in residence at Why Not Theatre.



For full list of past participants, follow this link: https://www.obsidiantheatre.com/artist-centre/for-playwrights-2/


For any questions you might have about the unit, please contact our producer, Vanessa Spence, at op@obsidiantheatre.com.

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