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Playwright Alix Sobler Wins 2015 Canadian Playwriting Competition

Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre (Toronto) and Segal Centre for Performing Arts (Montreal) announce the winner of the 2015 Canadian Jewish Playwriting (CJPC) contest: The Great Divide by Alix Sobler.

On Saturday, March 25, 1911, at 4:45 pm, someone started screaming "Fire!" on the 8th floor of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory on the lower east side of Manhattan. Within 10 minutes, 146 workers, most of them young women, most of them recent immigrants from some of the most oppressed countries in the world at the time, lay dead, either on the floor of the sweatshop, or on the street eight stories below. The Great Divide tells the story of just a few of these doomed workers, the lives they led and the lessons they learned during their time in the American garment district. The creation of The Great Divide was supported by the Manitoba Arts Council.

This year's Canadian Jewish Playwright Competition is supported by a generous gift from The Asper Foundation. Alix Sobler will receive a $1000 prize. In addition, the 2015 CJPC winner, The Great Divide will receive a professionally directed and acted workshop in a Miles Nadal JCC Between Stages reading, held this year in Montreal on Tuesday, February 16, 2016 at 2:00 pm at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts. This public reading will be directed by Luciana Burcheri and will feature Judith Baribeau, Anne Cassar, Brett Donahue, Sara Farb and Marcel Jeannin. The reading will be co-presented by the Segal Centre for the Performing Arts. Artists appear courtesy of Canadian Actors' Equity Association.

Alix Sobler is a playwright, performer and freelance writer. She lived in Winnipeg, MB for almost 10 years. Now she splits her time between the United States and Canada, and often has work produced in both countries. Alix is a playwright, actor, solo performer and comedian. She is currently an MFA Candidate at Columbia University. Her play, The Secret Annex opens at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts on January 31, 2016.

Since 1995, the MNjcc has produced over 40 theatrical readings in an informal "workshop" environment. Between Stages has provided an opportunity for Canadian playwrights such as Dave Carley (A View from the Roof, the first Between Stages reading in 1995) and Jennifer Wise (The Girl Rabbi of the Golden West, 2013 Winner of the CJPC) to hear their work read by professional actors and receive feedback from a live audience.

The Jurors of the Canadian Jewish Playwriting Competition are lay volunteers from the professional and community arts arenas. Seven previous contest winners have been published and have hit commercial stages: Einstein's Gift by Vern Thiessen; Yahrzeit by Alex Poch Goldin; Sara's Cave by Don Molnar; Martyrs Street by Misha Shulman; Corpus by Darrah Teitel; Haunted by Daniel Karasik; and Shiksa by Cairn Moore.

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