Veronica Hortiguela in the NNPF 2019 production of Electra by Liam Salmon.  Directed by Marianne McIsaac.  Scenic design, Ellen Brooker.  Costume Design, Madeline Ius.  Lighting Design, Christopher Pattenden.  Photo:  Jason Wighton.

We are proud to acknowledge the 26 playwrights who were the finalists in the 2019 Newmarket National Playwriting Competition and encourage you to learn about them and their work in the biographies below.

The NNPF wishes to congratulate our 2019 prize winners:

1st Place:    Eden Middleton, Calgary, Alberta--  Centre Line  

 2nd Place:  Sarah Anne Murphy, St. John's Newfoundland-- Buried

 3rd Place:   Liam Salmon, Edmonton, Alberta-- Electra

Vishesh Abeyratne, Montreal, Quebec - Indifference

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Vishesh is thrilled to have his work featured in the Newmarket National 10-Minute Play Festival for the first time. Born and raised in Montreal, Vishesh studied theatre and playwriting at Concordia University. To borrow a phrase from Edward Albee’s The Zoo Story, he is a “permanent transient” who currently lives in Victoria, British Columbia. . Vishesh’s plays have been performed for audiences across Canada, the United States, and Australia. He specializes in black comedy and satire, with occasional dips into the speculative genres of science fiction and fantasy.

Genevieve Adam, Victoria, B.C. - Plus ça Change

Genevieve is thrilled to be part of the Newmarket National 10 Minute Play Festival for the third year running. Her first play Deceitful Above All Things premiered at SummerWorks 2015 and won several accolades including Outstanding New Play, Outstanding Production, and Best Emerging Artist.  Her second play Bedsport, premiered at NNPF in 2017, and her third play If The Shoe Fits was presented there in 2018.  A one act version of this play will be performed as a staged reading as part of NNPF 2019.  Her most recent work Dark Heart was presented at the Assembly Theatre this past January and was named by the Toronto Star as one of the best stage productions of 2018.


Jessica Ayana-May, Calgary, Alberta - Running Low

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Jessica is beyond thrilled to be having her festival debut at the Newmarket National 10 Minute Play Festival! She is currently studying Drama at the University of Calgary, where she’s gaining knowledge and sacrificing sleep. Previous writing credits include Digging, Pause-Itive Impact (Nickle Dime Theatre) and episodes for the audio drama Market Mart. Jess wants to thank her playwriting class for their constant support, and her sister for the encouragement to “just write”.

Dave Carley, Peterborough, Ontario - Monsieur Leotard

Dave Carley is extremely pleased to return to Newmarket National 10 Minute Play Festival. Dave’s plays have had over 450 productions across Canada and the United States. They include Midnight Madness, Writing with our Feet, Conservatives in Love and The Last Liberal. His newest play, The Shakespeare Club, premieres this month in Columbus, Ohio. Upcoming in the GTA: Taking Liberties in Port Hope this August; and Canadian Rajah returns to Toronto’s Campbell House in February 2020 before heading out on tour. For more, please go to

Andrew Cooper, Vernon, B.C. - Dispatch

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Andrew G. Cooper is a playwright and director living in Calgary, AB. His produced works include One Day, SuperZeroes, Frankenstein (Chimera Theatre), Crossroads, The Disordered Mind, and The Witness (Tranquille Tunnel Theatre). His play The Grind was commissioned for Western Canada Theatre’s High-Wire Festival and went on to win first place in Theatre New Vintage’s Playwriting Competition and Third Place in the Wildcard Finals of the Sydney Short + Sweet Festival. Andrew received his Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts from Thompson Rivers University and is a recipient of the Kamloops Mayor’s Emerging Artist of the Year Award.

Trevor Curran,  Newmarket, Ontario - The Steward

Trevor is a member of the Canadian Musical Theatre Writer’s Collective. Astounded to be included for three years in a row, he is very proud of his contributions to the Newmarket National 10 Minute Play Festival. Seeing his first submission Borne and Razed staged lit a creative fire inside of him, and with A Little Reservation, he threw fuel on that fire. While he currently has many projects, he hopes that NNPF will always be one of them. Hoping to be a trendsetter, he looks forward to the day when the festival has an entire pod of ten minute musicals.


Amanda Doig,  Thunder Bay, Ontario - A Different School of Thought

This is Amanda’s first time at the Newmarket National 10 Minute Play Festival. Amanda’s plays include Tawdry Romance, Ivy Bramble’s Guide to Family Living, Of Marriage Minded Misses, and Clicket. Amanda’s work has been produced by the 10x10 Showcase in Thunder Bay, Ontario. In 2018, her play Of Marriage Minded Misses won the Audience Choice Award. Amanda is an Early Childhood Educator in Thunder Bay and enjoys writing in her spare time.

Natalie Frijia,  Toronto, Ontario - Not Going Nowhere

Natalie Frijia is a Toronto-based writer. theatre-making, clown-wrangling, trapeze-swinging, adventuring PhD in drama and environmental studies at U of T's Graduate Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies, and the School of the Environment. Her plays have been workshopped and presented at Ruby Slippers Advance Theatre Series, Summerworks Festival, Storefront Theatre, New Ideas Festival, Rhubarb Festival, and various Festivals across Canada. Her most recent  production, BikeFace, was a 2018 Patron's Pick, Best of Fringe, NNNN's - Toronto Fringe; Critic's Pick - Hamilton Fringe; and 5-Stars, Vue Weekly - Edmonton Fringe.  Natalie Frijia's participation in the NNPF Readers Series is sponsored through the PGC Play Connect program.

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Ron Fromstein, Toronto, Ontario - Like a Kite

Ron Fromstein is a largely self-taught playwright from Toronto. He is a three-time winner of the Canadian National Playwriting Competition (2006, 2007, and 2009) and six-time winner-finalist of the Toronto Fringe 24 hour playwriting competition. Other works include Just Us, The Big Smoke, and One in a Million (a micromusical).  He is delighted to be returning to the NNPF after the success of Good to Go (NNPF 2017),  Vanessa's Place (NNPF 2018).

Peter Genoway, Toronto, Ontario - Penance

Peter Genoway is an award-winning playwright and filmmaker, whose first play, The Oak Room (Toronto Fringe), was described as “wonderful [and] genuinely suspenseful” (Mooney on Theatre), “clever [and] shrewdly crafted” (The Grid), and “[reminiscent of] the best of David Mamet” (The Torontoist).  As a first-time visitor to Newmarket, all he asks it that someone point him towards the nearest used bookstore.

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Shelley M. Hobbs,  Thunder Bay, Ontario- Talking about the Baker

Shelley is thrilled to have one of her plays selected for the Newmarket National 10 Minute Play Festival.  Shelley’s previous work includes: Monkey Wrench- 2019 Ergo Arts Theatre- Pink Fest; A Good Death - Also Known As Theatre, Boston, MA August 2018;The Sister Op – 2018 Ergo Arts Theatre- Pink Fest, Toronto, Ontario March 2018; Happy Family-  Other Life Productions, 2017 Toronto Fringe Festival; Hipcheck: the Musical -Book and co-writer of lyrics, Torrent Productions: 2009 Toronto Fringe Festival.  She is a proud member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada and resides in Toronto, Ontario with her wife and their dog.

James Hutchison, Calgary, Alberta - Written in Stone

James is thrilled to be back at the Newmarket National 10 Minute Play Festival for a second year. He has written several comedies including What the Dickens! the story of the Pine Tree players’ disaster-prone production of A Christmas Carol which was a finalist for the 2017 McLaren Memorial Comedy Play Writing Competition. Most recently his comedy MASQUERADE was a finalist in the 2018 25th Annual Austin Film Festival Playwriting Competition. You can follow James on Twitter @lifeisanact or visit his web site at where he blogs about and interviews others involved with theatre.


Steven Elliott Jackson, Toronto, Ontario - The Leaves Beneath the Trees

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Steven Elliott Jackson is an award-winning playwright for his play, The Seat Next To The King  which won Best New Play and Patron's Pick at The Toronto Fringe in 2017. The State Of Tennessee placed second in the same contest in 2007. The Seat Next To The King was published by Scirocco Press in April 2018. Steven Elliott Jackson's participaton in the NNPF Readers Series is sponsored through the PGC Play Connect program.  

Jerri Jerreat, St. Catharines, Ontario - Seducing Harry

Jerri is a teacher and an activist for social and environmental justice. Each year she writes and produces plays with her amazing students. Her fiction has appeared in The Ottawa Arts Review (June 2019), The Yale Review Online (Nov. 2018), The New Quarterly, The Antigonish Review, The Dalhousie Review, Room, and two anthologies; Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Summers (World Weaver Press) (a story set in futuristic Ontario), and Nevertheless: Tesseracts 21 (Edge Publishing). The worst thing she ever wrote was a novella about a teen vampire. He was a vegetarian.

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Wyatt Lamoureux, Peterborough, Ontario - Valse Sentimentale


Wyatt is honoured to be included again in year three at the Newmarket National 10 Minute Play Festival, previously with Tango At Eight (2017), and Old Age and Treachery (2018; and soon to be performed at 2019 InspiraTO Festival). Other produced works are They Fight! (2019 Scripted Toronto), Algonquin Highway (2017 Toronto Fringe Festival), Apple Pie, Ice Cream (2014 TTOK, soon to be released to the festival circuit as a 25-minute film-noir-ish), Shakespeare vs The Merchants of Venom (Peterborough), and Not Working! (1996 Nanaimo Fringe Festival). Wyatt is also an actor (ACTRA member), and novice film maker with short/feature-length scripts to peddle!


Henrika Larochelle, Port-au-Prince, Haiti - Viola

Henrika Larochelle is a queer, award-winning zine maker, earning prizes in both Montreal and Toronto. She was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and is currently located in Massachusetts where she works as a Peer Advocate. She believes that the act of survival is a creative practice and that everyone is an artist. She speaks three languages and is a Scorpio, but don’t ask about her birth chart because that’s none of your business.

Stephen Leung, Toronto, Ontario - The Steward

Stephen is a classically trained musician and composer living in Mississauga. He has produced advertising jingles for Toronto radio. He is a graduate of Harris Institute and Queen's University. Stephen is ecstatic he was accepted into the CMTWC Advanced Writer's Workshop and looks forward to collaborating with fellow CMTWC members on future projects. His Twitter handle is @leunger.

Jody McColman, New Westminster, B.C.- Nothing but the Tooth

Jody is thrilled to be back at the Newmarket National 10 Minute Play Festival.  His play Back In Town had its world premiere at the 2017 NNPF, and has since gone on to further productions.  His other short plays, including A Long Time Coming, Schrödinger's Roulette, Port City Blues, The Secret, Unknown, Mysterious Other History of the Outlaw Jesse James, Love Somebody, and God Speed, Apollo have been featured in festivals across Canada and the United States.  Born in New Westminster, B.C., Jody now lives in Portland, Maine with his wife Mary and their two cats, Sidney and Maxine.

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Eden MIddleton, Calgary, Alberta- Centre Line

Eden Middleton is a poet, playwright, and spoken word artist. Her play Stargazers was read at Theater Calgary Outloud, and  she has published/performed poetry in Nōd Magazine, South County Fair, and People’s Poetry Festival. She is thrilled to have Newmarket National Ten Minute Festival as her staged play debut!  By day, Eden is a student at the University of Calgary studying English and Drama. She would like to thank her playwright class for their critique and support of this work, and Wordsworth Youth Writing Residency for fostering her deep love of writing.

Sarah Anne Murphy, St. Johns, Newfoundland - Buried

A proud Newfoundlander (as if there’s any other kind), Sarah now lives and works in Victoria, BC as an actor, singer, dancer, choreographer, playwright, and co-founder/artistic director of Salty Broad Productions, a female-driven company that creates immersive theatre experiences. She is a graduate of The Canadian College of Performing Arts, and has written multiple shows for the CCPA Alumni Company, including The Blind Pig and The Pitch. In 2015, she wrote and performed Wretched Woman for Intrepid Theatre's UnoFest. Selected credits: The Rocky Horror Show (Atomic Vaudeville), Sweeney Todd (Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre), Avenue Q (CCPA Alumni Company), and 7eventy 7even (Theatre SKAM).

Guy Newsham, Gloucester, Ontario -Secret Santa

By day Guy is a scientist at the National Research Council, working on making buildings more sustainable.  Born in Northern England, he has been active in community theatre since moving to Canada in 1990.  Recent acting credits include An Inspector Calls (Gerald, January 2018) and Move Over Mrs. Markham (Philip Markham, June 2018) at Ottawa Little Theatre, and A Man For All Seasons (Sir Thomas More, March 2019) at Kanata Theatre.  Guy was overjoyed to have his play, The Other Side, selected for the 2018 Newmarket National 10 Minute Play Festival, and is doubly-overjoyed to be back again in 2019--especially since his one act play, Making Friends will also be performed at this year's NNPF as a staged reading.

Andrew Paulsen, Dorion, Ontario - The Last House

Andrew has been working in Northern Ontario in film, TV, radio, and theatre for the last ten years as a director, producer, writer, and actor.  He is a graduate of the Confederation College Film Program, and received a HBA in Psychology from Lakehead University. He currently runs his own theatre group, New Noise Productions, in Thunder Bay.  He likes Canuxploitation, Tarkovsky, and Hammer films, video games under three hours long, books over 500,000 words, singers with quivery voices, Ameritrash board games, cats, sad comics, and solving Rubix’s Cubes.

His full-length plays are Cerebrospinalis, Come and Find Me, and Moosefucker, Ontario.

Jay Ritchie, Thunder Bay, Ontario - Viola

Jay Ritchie is the author of the poetry collection Cheer Up, Jay Ritchie (Coach House Books, 2017). He is pursuing an MFA in Poetry at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he has won the Skolfield/Goeckel Award for Poetry as well as the Deborah Slosberg Memorial Award for Fiction. His work has appeared in Powder Keg, The Puritan, Spork, GlitterMOB, on CBC Radio, and been performed at the Phi Centre by Camille Poliquin of electronic duo Milk & Bone. Follow him online @jaywritchie.

Liam Salmon is an award winning queer playwright based out of Edmonton, Alberta. He was a member of the Edmonton Citadel Young Playwriting Company and the Citadel Playwright’s Forum where he wrote/workshopped many of his plays. He is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada.  His work has been performed across Canada: from Calgary, to Montreal, to Toronto. Electra completes LIam's retelling of classic tales from Greek Mythology that began at NNPF with Iphigenia (2017) and Clytemnestra (2018), both of which won second and third prizes in the NewMarket National Playwriting Competition in their respective years.  Liam Salmon's participation in the NNPF Readers Series is sponsored through the PGC Play Connect program.

Winston Stilwell was born in Auckland, New Zealand and moved to Canada to follow his heart. He worked for many years in publishing, where he had the honour of collaborating with some of Canada’s most talented authors and playwrights. More recently Winston handled the publicity for Bakersfield Mist at the Toronto Fringe Festival and stage-managed and produced Point and Click at the Toronto Queer Theatre Festival. He is now a writer and freelance publicist in Toronto, where he lives with his husband and dog. Winston is excited to be part of his first Newmarket National 10 Minute Play Festival!

Melissa Taylor, Victoria, B.C. - Symphony No. 6

Melissa is excited to be joining the talented team at the NewMarket National Play Festival. She is a graduate of the M.F.A. Playwriting program at the University of Victoria. She has worked extensively as an actor, playwright, and creator in Victoria, collaborating with hapax theatre, Theatre Inconnu, and Impulse Theatre. Recent creation credits include a workshop production of her TYA play treena, age 21 (a recipient of an OAC Recommender’s Grant, courtesy of Roseneath theatre), rePLAY: Declarations Eating (playwright/performer), and she was a member of Nightwood Theatre's Young Innovator Program in 2017/2018.