For our 2023 season,

Vern Thiessen will write a new play about Barrie

Thiessen to write for 2023

Thiessen is a Governor General's (GG) Award-winning playwright who will write for Theatre by the Bay's 2023 season. His play will be a dramatic look at Barrie's ice industry of the 20th century. Iain Moggach will direct its world premiere.

As one of Canada's most celebrated playwrights, Thiessen's plays have been produced across Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia. His award-winning works include Einstein's Gift (GG winner), Lenin's Embalmers (GG finalist) along with critically acclaimed works Of Human Bondage, Vimy, Apple, and Shakespeare's Will.

"I am delighted to be working with Theatre by the Bay. Their commitment to telling stories by and for their community are values I hold dear. I look forward to spending time in Barrie and Simcoe County and working with the local artistic community."
- Vern Thiessen

Thiessen was first introduced to Theatre by the Bay as a guest instructor for the Professional Workshop Series, where he taught the fundamentals of playwriting. Throughout the development of this new work, Thiessen will collaborate with local historian and playwright, Mary Harris, who has written extensively on Barrie's ice industry for her local blog, "Remember This?"

Development on Thiessen's new play is already underway. This commission would not be possible without support from The McGuire Trust and Theatre by the Bay's generous sponsors, members, and donors. 

Full Media Release
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