Obsidian Theatre Company

23/24 Playwrights Unit

The 23/24 Obsidian Playwrights Unit is a national intensive play development program that will support up to 3 Black playwrights, through virtual group sessions and individual mentorship over 8 months working towards the draft of a new work. The unit culminates with a developmental workshop, where each playwright will collaborate with actors and a director, as well as an excerpt presentation as part of Obsidian’s annual Playwrights Unit Showcase. The unit will be facilitated by playwright and actor, Lisa Codrington. This is a paid opportunity.

Obsidian Theatre is interested in showcasing the richness, complexity, and multiplicity of Blackness across the nation so that our art can truly reflect the communities we serve. We strongly encourage submissions from Black artists across the country of all backgrounds, lived experiences, ages, and gender identities.

You should apply if you are:

  • committed to the process of new play development.
  • working on a script at any stage of development, from idea and outline to completed draft. 
  • open to collaboration and receiving feedback on your work.
  • fully available for the development workshop and showcase in Toronto (within June 17-28, 2024 exact dates TBC)


Bio or CV (Can be unrelated to playwrighting)

  • Please note unrelated to playwriting

Artist Statement (PDF, maximum 750 words)

  • Tell us about yourself and your artistic practice
  • Describe your play
  • How does your play connect to you and/or how will your play support your growth as an artist

Here are some suggestions of questions to answer within the statement:

  • Why (and/or why now) are you considering Obsidian’s Playwrights Unit?
  • What ideas and questions are you exploring in your play?
  • What do you wish to learn from the unit?
  • What inspired your play?
  • What Black artists/Black art inspires you and why?

Writing Sample (PDF, maximum 3 – 7 pages)

  • A sample of past work OR
  • A sample of the play you would like to develop in the unit OR
  • A synopsis of the new play you would like to develop in the unit (minimum 3 pages)


If you have any questions or need accessibility accommodations with the application, please contact daniel jelani ellis at pd@obsidiantheatre.com.

Once you have submitted we’re unable to discuss or provide feedback due to the volume of submissions but all applicants will be notified of their status by early October 2023. Thank you!


Monday, September 4th, 2023 at 11:59 PM EST


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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.

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

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