Building on seven successful seasons of The Forum, The Lab is a place for theatrical experimentation, bringing playwrights together over the course of the theatre season to create individual projects exploring a common theme. Its focus is on creating innovative, large-vision projects that speak to a wide audience and reflect a diverse approach.
Reneltta Arluk Lab Playwright
Reneltta Arluk is Inuvialuit/Dene/Cree from the NWT. Raised by her grandparents on the trap-line, this life experience gives Reneltta a unique cultural and artistic lens to work from. Reneltta authored Thoughts and Other Human Tendencies with Bookland Press, available in English, French and Cree. Publications: Inuit Quarterly, ArcPoetry Magazine and Climate Change THEATRE ACTION. Plays: TUMIT, a radio adaptation of I Count Myself Among Them by Richard Van Camp and Pawâkan Macbeth dedicated to Frog Lake, AB. Pawâkan Macbeth is currently being workshopped at the Stratford Festival. As part of Citadel’s THE LAB, Reneltta will be writing about Tookoolito, the Inuk woman guide and translator to Charles Francis Hall.
Beth Graham Lab Playwright
Beth Graham is an Edmonton playwright and actor. Her plays include: Pretty Goblins, The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble (shortlisted for a Governor Generals’ Award, received the Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award), and Working It Out (Sterling Award). She is also a co-creator of The Drowning Girls, a play that has been produced nationally and internationally and will be produced again this fall at the Great Canadian Theatre Company in Ottawa.
Darrin Hagen Lab Playwright
Darrin Hagen is an award-winning playwright, composer, author and drag artiste, and the Artistic Director of Guys In Disguise. He has spent 20 years compiling stories of Edmonton’s LGBTQ history, beginning with the release of his stories of the underground drag community, The Edmonton Queen. Other plays by Darrin include BitchSlap!, Tornado Magnet, Witch Hunt at the Strand, With Bells On, and The Empress & The Prime Minister. He has been inducted into the Q Hall of Fame Canada and the Edmonton Queer Hall of Fame. In 2005 he was named one of 100 Edmontonians of the Century, and in 2017 was named one of Alberta’s 25 Most Influential Artists in the last 25 years. To the best of his knowledge, he’s the only drag queen on that list. He was one of the official Cultural Ambassadors of Canada’s 150 Celebrations, and is currently serving as Writer In Residence for Edmonton Public Library for 2018.
Kenneth T. Williams Lab Playwright
Kenneth T. Williams once Googled “Kenneth Williams” and he got a million hits about “famous dead gay British playwrights.” He didn't want anyone to think he was British or dead, so he added his middle initial to his professional name. Now his name sounds like Tennessee Williams with a lisp. Go ahead. Sound it out, you know you want to.
Kenneth T. Williams is a Cree playwright from the George Gordon First Nation in the Treaty 4 Territory. He is the first Indigenous person to earn an M.F.A. in playwriting from the University of Alberta, where he now teaches in the Drama Department. His plays In Care, Café Daughter, Gordon Winter, Thunderstick, Bannock Republic, Suicide Notes, and Three Little Birds have been produced across Canada.
He tweets about drama and Indigenous peoples under his handle, @feralplaywright. He lives in Edmonton with his partner, Dr. Melissa Stoops, and their hamster, The Grand Duchess Minnie Blackbear, and their cat, Augustus Caesar McFuzzyboots.