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Barrie Theatre Lab

Submission Information

To have your script workshopped, just send it to

Important Information

Date & Time
First Monday of every month
Begins at 6:00 PM

Admission is free!

Next Lab Day

Monday, March 6th
Barrie Public Library (Worsley Branch)

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What will you create?

Are you a budding playwright living in Simcoe County? The Barrie Theatre Lab is a once-a-month get-together for playwrights seeking to have new scenes and plays read out loud. No piece is too small, rough, or new!

To date, the Barrie Theatre Lab has workshopped more than 100 plays by more than 40 playwrights from as far away as Toronto and Haliburton!

Even if you’re not a playwright, come on out! The Barrie Theatre Lab is open to the local theatre community as a place where we can come together, talk about new work, and network.

Actors are especially welcome as we will need lots of readers! For actors, reading new scenes and plays is an important way to practice your craft. Being able to read a scene you haven’t had much time to rehearse is a very important part of getting work as an actor.

Generously supported by: Anna Small and the City of Barrie’s Cultural Grant Program

Mailing List

Sign up for our free exclusive Barrie Theatre Lab mailing list to ‘keep in the know’ about upcoming BTLs, as well as local theatrical events, training opportunities, audition notices, and much more!

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Professional Workshop Series

Next Workshop

Acting Workshop: Audition Prep & Technique
February 25, 2023
Studio House Barrie (347 Bayfield Street)

Get ready for those summer theatre auditions (like for the Simcoe County Theatre Festival)! This day-long workshop with respected coach and director, Stewart Arnott, will offer a great opportunity to refresh your audition practise, gain new inspiration and techniques, or have the chance to practise in person. Participants will receive individual monologue coaching and the chance to practise through a mock audition. 

Spots are limited, so save your spot in advance!

Sign Up!

    It all starts here!

    Are you looking to learn how to write, or create, a play? Wanting to expand your skill set as a theatre creator? Theatre by the Bay’s professional workshop series is the place for you!

    With the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Theatre by the Bay will host celebrated professional theatre artists as they provide workshops on different areas of theatre creation, for a nominal fee.

    Workshops will be held once a month and will run for between 2-4 hours - at the discretion of the instructor. To ensure a high level of quality training, only a certain number of spots will be available. The number of spots may differ depending on the approach/subject matter.

    To secure your spot, purchase a ticket through the Eventbrite link to the left.

    Please note: Theatre by the Bay is committed to the development of the local theatre community. To ensure accessibility to this unparalleled level of training, we are charging a nominal fee for participation in our workshops. However, we recognize that times are difficult and that fees can be a barrier to some. If your circumstances make participation difficult, but you are eager to learn, we ask that you reach out to us and we will look to accommodate you as much as possible at:

    The Professional Workshop Series is presented with support from

    Past Workshops Include

    • The Basics with Vern Thiessen
    • Game Recognize Game with Michael Healey
    • The Art of Adaptation with Erin Shields
    • Exploring Indigenous Theatre Practices with Kevin Loring and Herbie Barnes
    • Story Structure for Playwrights with Hannah Moscovitch
    • Writing with the Body with Augusto Bitter
    • Crafting Character & Sustaining Tension with Bilal Baig
    • New Play Development in the New Age with Nina Lee Aquino
    • The Artist Self with Tawiah Ben M'Carthy and Philip Geller
    • Voice with Debora Joy
    • Making your Parameters your Friends with Mark Crawford
    • Unleashing Your Voice with Shakespeare's Verse with Paul de Jong
    • Writing for Audio Drama with Beverley Cooper

    Indie Producer’s Co-Op

    Summer and Fall, 2022

    The Indie Producer’s Co-op provides two students from a professional theatre school training program with a ground-level education in producing theatre.

    Participants receive a two-week intensive that investigated the vital role of the producer. They learn what it took to run a professional theatre company, when to say yes or no to projects, how to develop a realistic budget, how to make sure your project stands out for grants, what factors lead to a well-attended production, and much more.

    This intensive is followed by four weeks of unparalleled job training. Participants work on Theatre by the Bay’s season in a variety of capacities. In the past, these have included marketing, audience development, fundraiser development, sponsorship accrual, and production management.

    The Indie Producer’s Co-op is run by Artistic Director (and inaugural Indie Producer) Iain Moggach, overseen by Leah Holder, and with assistance from Patricia Hammond. Guest instructors are also brought in to provide expertise in all aspects of theatre producing.

    NEW IN 2022:

    For the first time, the Indie Producer's Co-op will also have a fall session, this time with local aspiring producers from the Simcoe County region! They will receive the same instruction as the spring co-op session but work part-time on different Theatre by the Bay initiatives. 

    Our 2022 Local Indie Producers are:

    Alondra Vega-Zaldivar and Sabrina Merks

    Alondra Vega-Zaldivar

    Soprano and Composer Alondra Vega-Zaldivar has found a passion in organizing and performing recitals since her university years. Now living in Barrie, Ontario, Alondra balances teaching five days at 88Keys with composing pieces for her students, her projects and various performers. 

    Alondra holds a B.Mus and M.Mus in Composition from the University of Western Ontario and has been actively curating and organizing her own recitals since then. In 2016, she created The Art Song Collaborative Project, which brings composers and performers together in the collaboration of a new opera through art song. This year, the Project is preparing for its fifth opera, "Terra's Resurgence," about the importance of working together towards a green future.

    Sabrina Merks

    Sabrina currently hails from Barrie, Ontario and was born and raised in Dutton, a small 'country' town in southwestern Ontario. They promise if you blink, you will miss it. Sabrina pursued their education in musical theatre at St. Lawrence College and will graduate from Queen's University (B.A. Musical Theatre) this winter. 

    Sabrina is currently the Artistic Director of Black Cat Theatre Company, an organization dedicated to providing an inclusive space for artists to play, create and tell their personal stories. Black Cat's most recent production was at the Simcoe County Theatre Festival called B-O-D-Y (a letter to myself). When Sabrina isn't creating, you can currently find them working as the Pre-School Co-ordinator and dance instructor at Kreative Dance Co. in Barrie.

    Past Participants


    Chloë Rose Flowers
    Ece Aydin 

    Alondra Vega-Zaldivar

    Sabrina Merks

    Isaac Pilozo
    Sabrina Weinstein

    Olivia Cameron
    Renisha Henry

    Cassandra Davidson
    Sansom Marchand

    Pascale Behrman
    Rachel Moore

    Andrew Cameron
    Jake Runeckles

    Brandon Nicoletti
    Brina Romanek

    Samantha Holland
    Iain Moggach

    Emerging Director Project

    Presented by the RBC Emerging Artist Project

    March - August 2021
    About the RBC Emerging Director Project

    The RBC Emerging Director Project provides two emerging directors from the Simcoe County community with the opportunity to receive unprecedented training and showcasing opportunities. This program is exclusively for emerging artists who are either studying, looking to study, or are in the early stages of their practice in theatre direction.

    The selected participants begin their work with flexibly-scheduled in-class training on theatre direction. They are also connected with guest directors and artists who will share their insights with the participants.

    Utilizing what they have learnt, the directors put their skills into practice by collaborating on a script by a local playwright. In 2021, performances will be presented virtually and will occur in late July 2021.

    The 2021 participants of the Emerging Director Project were:

    Alexandra Gaudet and Keara Voo

    Instructing directors are Leah Holder (TBTB Director of The Cenotaph Project, We Must Have More Men!) and Iain Moggach (TBTB Artistic Director and award-winning theatre instructor).

    The RBC Emerging Director Project is supported by funding through the RBC Emerging Artist Project, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and the City of Barrie’s Cultural Grant Program.

    Alexandra Gaudet

    Alex's passion for theatre started in high school. Her interest in directing was sparked with her participation in the National Theatre School Drama Festival with her own written work, Dear Adam.

    After high school she partnered with the Barrie Native Friendship Centre to write and direct Stage Three: The Wandering which was presented at the Five Points Theatre in 2018. The following year, Stage Three: The Wandering toured throughout Simcoe County high schools.

    Recently, Alex is an aspiring playwright and director studying at York University. She is going into her fourth year of the Performance Creation stream with a focus on playwriting. She has begun to tackle pandemic theatre with online resources. This can be seen in the performance of The Ashley Plays in the fourth year Playwriting and New Play Dramaturgy class (available on YouTube!), and through stage managing Falling In, Walking Out in the student run playGround Festival.

    She is excited to see what comes next, and is forever grateful for opportunities like the Emerging Director Project to further her growth and education.

    Keara Voo

    Keara Voo is a showtune-singing, book-loving, trash-TV-binging thespian who grew up in Barrie.

    Theatre stole her heart at the ripe age of 8 when she starred in her first elementary school production of Mighty Minds: The Musical, and she hasn’t looked back. Since then, she has worked both on stage and backstage for a variety of productions, most recently directing a live-streamed performance of the original 10-minute play Sometimes I Feel Like I'm Not Even Me for the OR Festival in Vancouver, BC and performing as Daphne Stillington in Knockout Theatre Company's Zoom Performance of Present Laughter.

    She also has taken an interest in film, studying screenwriting at Vancouver Film School and producing “Talk It Out” – an official selection of the Montreal Independent Film Festival.

    She is excited to come back home to work with TBTB and is grateful to her friends and family for their support as she chases this crazy dream of finally one day creating a show-stopping show.

    Past Emerging Director Participants

    2020 - Korol Pikulik and Valeria Bravo

    Past RBC Emerging Artists

    2019 - Delphine Guet-McCreight

    2018 - Brandon Nicoletti

    2017 - Abigail Kennedy

    2016 - Leah Holder

    2015 - James Wallis

    The 24 Hour Playwriting Contest

    Contest Date and Time

    Contest Starts: September 24th, 2022 at 6pm
    Contest Ends: September 25th, 2022 at 6pm

    Our 2022 Judges were:

    • Rashaun Ellis
    • Carey Nicholson
    • Lynn Weintraub

    The contest is now closed. 

    Thank you to all our participants!

    And the winner of this year's contest is...

    The Prom Queen of Junktopia, written by Gordon James Haney! 

    Congratulations also go Kristian Diesen, the runner-up with his script A Moment of Beginning.

    On Saturday, October 15th, both scripts received a live dramatic reading that was streamed on our YouTube channel. If you missed the event, and want to hear these scripts, click the button below!

    Watch the Readings

    The perfect opportunity to dive into playwriting!

    Are you a budding playwright from the Simcoe County region?

    As part of the City of Barrie’s Culture Days festivities, Theatre by the Bay is back with its 24 hour playwriting contest for the third year in a row!

    You will have 24 hours to write a one act script (ie. no more than 45 minutes to read) that must incorporate three secret requirements. Those requirements will be published here on our website, as well as through our social media channels at the start of the contest.

    24 hour contests are a fantastic way to dive into playwriting, or to push yourself to create something in a condensed amount of time. No procrastination allowed with this one!

    This initiative is generously supported by the City of Barrie and the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

    Mailing List

    To find out about more events like these, sign up for our free exclusive Barrie Theatre Lab mailing list to ‘keep in the know’ about upcoming opportunities, as well as local theatrical events, training, audition notices, and much more!

    Join our email list

    Supported By

    Theatre by the Bay
    55 Dunlop Street East, Unit 1
    Barrie, Ontario L4M 1A2, Canada

    Contact Us →
    Phone: (705) 735-9243

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