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Playwrights Unit

The 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.

Join us at the Playwright Unit Showcase!

June 26, 2024, 7pm at Factory Theatre

Miss Fortune by Taija Shonée Chung

Miss Fortune follows the contestants of a pageant on the brink, as they grapple with the ever-changing criteria of what it means to be crowned a ‘perfect victim’ and the powers that be behind the scenes that are working to uphold these unattainable standards. A story of identity, justice and competition, Miss Fortune is a satirical investigation into the question of our own complicity in keeping victims silent. 

Director: Abigail Whitney
Cast: isi bhakhomen, Robert Feetham, Chiamaka Glory, Trinity Lloyd, Miss Niki Nikita, Merlin Simard

Lose Your Father by Mobólúwajídìde D. Joseph

After the death of Engineer Abimbola Issachar Bakare in Toronto, three cousins are charged with a quest – to return his body back to their homeland, Nigeria where he might rest in peace with his ancestors. All three cousins are gripped by loss, a companion so powerful it may as well be a character. As they wrestle with cumulative losses, they are forced to prepare to reclaim a place that  is half remembered, and which has taken on mythical proportions in their memory.

Director: Jamie Robinson
Cast: Kwaku Adu-Poku, Derick Agyemang, isi bhakhomen, Krystle Chance, Chiamaka Glory, Pablo Ogunlesi, Makambe K. Simamba, Paul Smith

Infest by Lili Robinson

Set in an East Vancouver B.C. Housing apartment building, Infest follows the relationships between a group of the building’s residents as they attempt to control a spreading bedbug infestation. Starting here, Infest explores the ways that issues of mental health, diaspora, and intergenerational trauma manifest outwardly in our lives. Centering the relationship between a Black mother and her teenage daughter, Infest digs into the journey to reclaim one’s own reality when the cascading challenges of systemic oppression become an infestation of one’s very mind. 

Director: Sedina Fiati
Cast: Big Norm Alconcel, isi bhakhomen, Chiamaka Glory, Pesch Nepoose, Evans Mattheson Niog

Meet the 23/24 Unit!

Taija Shonée Chung

Moboluwajidide D. Joseph

Lili Robinson

Playwrights Unit Facilitator

Lisa Codrington

Lisa Codrington

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.

To see Playwright Unit Alumni, click here!

For any questions you might have about the unit, please contact our artistic producer, daniel jelani ellis, at