OBSIDIAN’S PLAYWRIGHTS UNIT
Obsidian Theatre has been developing new Black voices through our Playwrights Unit, our Development Series, and our Resident Playwrights for over 15 years.
The Playwrights Unit is an intensive yearlong process that runs annually from September to June. Through monthly meetings with the group and individual guidance to serve each artists’ needs, artists delve into the creation process in a supportive and nurturing environment that challenges themselves to investigate their writing process. The Unit has an emphasis on professional development and the business of being a professional artist in Canada.
OUR 2019/2020 PLAYWRIGHTS UNIT
Leighton Alexander Williams
KayGeni is a creator and storyteller from the Bahamas. Her musical style is a melodic mixture of RnB, Neo-soul, and pop. Some of her artistic mediums include singing/songwriting, painting, and writing. She attributes her eclectic style within her work and artistic influences to her Bahamian and West Indian heritage. KayGeni has extensive experience as a live performer and creator, and she continues on the journey to making a name for herself in the Arts industry.
Christopher Bautista is an American-born artist and activist based in Los Angeles and Toronto. He studied English: Creative Writing, Theatre, and Film at the University of Southern California. He has recently become a permanent resident in Canada and is proud to call Toronto his new home. Christopher, an actor and writer, seeks to inspire others through his work as he has been inspired by works such as W.E.B DuBois’ The Souls of Black Folk, Amiri Baraka’s The Dutchman, Djanet Sears’ Harlem Duet, August Wilson’s Fences, Claude Mackay’s If We Must Die, and Derek Walcott’s Love After Love.
Leighton Alexander Williams is a stage and screen actor, writer, director and producer based in Toronto, Ontario. He’s a graduate of York University’s Acting Conservatory, and has spent the past 5 years creating bold thought-provoking work. He is a co-founder of BDB Productions Inc, and his recent adaptation: “Judas Noir” gained him his first Dora Nomination (Best Ensemble) and Toronto Critics Pick Nomination (Outstanding Supporting Performance). In addition, Leighton is the recipient of the 2019 Premier’s Emerging Artist of the Year Award.
Currently, you can watch the short film he wrote, and stars in: “Residue” which airs on CBC. UPCOMING: Leighton will be featured in the upcoming Netflix drama Spinning Out.
OBSIDIAN PLAYWRIGHTS UNIT ALUMNI
2018/2019 Chiamaka G. Ugwu, David Lewis-Peart, Troy De Four
2017/2018 Fatuma Adar, Intisar Awisse, Dainty Smith
2016/2017 Motion, Stephen Jackman-Torkoff, Sashoya Shoya Oya
2015/2016 Kanika Ambrose, Peter Bailey, Daniel Ellis, Alicia Richardson, d’bi young
2014/2015 Kanika Ambrose, Sebastien Heins, Tia McGregor
2013/2014 Tawiah McCarthy, Makambe Simamba, Teneile Warren
THE DEVELOPMENT SERIES 2013/14 Lisa Codrington, Meghan Swaby
2012/2013 Peter Bailey, Lisa Codrington, Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, Meghan Swaby
THE DEVELOPMENT SERIES 2011/12 Joseph Joe Pierre, Leah-Simone Bowen, Motion
2011/12 Audrey Dwyer, Meghan Swaby, Andrea Scott
Playwrights Unit Tier Two 2009/10: Leah Simone Bowen, Roxanne A. Joseph
2008/09: Laurence Anthony, Aisha Sasha John, Motion
2007/08 Leah Simone Bowen, Rita Deverall, Rachael-Lea Rickards, Rosemarie Stewart
2006/07 Dian Marie Bridge, Rebecca Fisseha, Edwige Jean-Pierre, Marcia Johnson, Donna-Michelle St. Bernard