Alumnae Theatre Company Presents 25th Anniversary New Ideas Festival


The New Ideas Festival was founded in 1989 by Molly Thom and Kerri MacDonald, and provides an opportunity for playwrights, directors, actors and technicians to develop never-before-produced short scripts. It's a juried, three-week annual festival of new writing, works-in-progress and experimental theatre, with a different lineup of short plays each week, and a staged reading (+ Talkback) on Saturdays at noon. Each play in the weekly program (Wednesday - Sunday) now receives 6 performances, and the readings have one each.

New Ideas is unusual among festivals, in that the scripts are read "blind" by a committee, which does not learn the writers' identities until the plays have been selected. For this year,114 scripts were received (from all over Canada, as well as the U.S.) and were evaluated by a 9-member reading committee consisting of directors, writers and actors.

This year's festival marks NIF's 25th anniversary. As part of the celebrations, two favourites from previous years are being remounted with their original directors: Revelation by Shirley Barrie, directed by Molly Thom (2001) is the opener and My Red Feather Boa by Flora Stohr-Danziger, directed by Nancy Bradshaw (2004) closes the festival. In between are 13 world premieres (ranging in length from 12 - 60 minutes), an exciting mix of themes and subjects that include love in many guises, loss and grief, rivalry in the theatre, and a visit to Hades with Penelope and Odysseus.

New this year: tickets for the weekly program (both evening and matinee performances) are now available for online purchase! Go to, click on the arrow-shaped TICKETS button, and have your credit card ready. Tickets for the Saturday staged readings are PWYC and available for in-person cash purchase only at the Box Office on the day of the performance.

A special 25th anniversary celebration will be held on Sunday March 10 at 12:30 pm in the Alumnae Theatre lobby. Former NIF participants are encouraged to book tickets for the week 1 Sunday matinee performance and to join NIF 2013 directors/participants and the two founders, both of whom have directed week 1 plays, at 12:30 pm before the show to raise a glass in honour of NIF.

Check out for more information.

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