Sparks, a QPAC partnership with Playlab Theatre, is a signature initiative designed to facilitate pathway opportunities for First Nations Artists in the performing arts.
Through the key program pillars of Respect, Connect and Aspire, Sparks connects aspiring and emerging First Nations playwrights with mentors and professionals to bring ideas from concept to the stage.
Under the guidance of experienced artists and culturally supported by QPAC’s First Nations Team, playwrights are led through a range of activities and workshops over a year-long period designed to spark ideas, introduce elements of craft, and provide strategies for activating brand new script ideas.
Since its launch in 2019, Sparks engagement with First Nations artists has resulted in 16 plays, mentored 18 writers and has employed 21 actors in the process of creative development. Nine of these plays are currently in further development and two are in production.
At the conclusion of the year-long program, the ‘Sparkies’ enjoy the opportunity to see their work in action with a public reading featuring professional actors and directors.
Lara Croydon, Producer with QPAC’s First Nations Team and lead on the Sparks program said it was something very beautiful to see the participants' ideas go all the way to production.
“It really proves that what we’re doing is important and can make a difference.
“The best way to bring forth stories for our people on stage is having First Nations writers,” she said.
We recently snuck into the public readings of the latest round of Sparks plays and had a chat with Lara and some of the participants to help provide insight into this program we feel so passionate about.
Our thanks to program partner Playlab Theatre; performers Aunty Roxanne McDonald, Sam Conway, Chenoa Deemal, Sean Dow and Hannah Belanszky; Sparks Facilitator Alexander Bayliss; and Elder Aunty Colleen Wall. Special thanks to participants Colin Smith and Aunty Theresa Tracey-Creed for sharing some of their journey with us.
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