Playwrights & Creators

Odyssey creates original plays and takes them onto the stage. We nurture writers for our art form. Our program, unique in Canada, provides writers with skills in movement-based theatre forms and creators with structured approaches to new play development. Our program has led to groundbreaking productions. We have taken 19 new plays or original translations/adaptations into full production, held public workshop performances of nine additional works, and supported more than 30 creators, including independent artists and those pursuing projects for Odyssey.
Odyssey provides a supportive environment for writers and offers the public opportunities to participate in the process through:

  • Classes in writing for masks, Commedia, physical theatre, and clown
  • Dramaturgy: dramaturges have included Steven Bush, Brian Quirt, and Laurie Steven
  • Writer-in-Residence position
  • Workshops for new plays
  • Public work-in-progress performances
  • In the Works: a new play festival of staged readings
  • Canterbury Residency – connecting professional playwrights with young artists

Creators supported include: Balwant Bhaneja, Jesse Buck, Linda Carson, Dean Gilmour, Janet Irwin, Kathy MacLellan, Andy Massingham, Joanne Miller, Kevin Orr, Robin Patterson, Chetan Rajani, Maristella Roca, Kim Selody, Alix Sideris, Lib Spry, Laurie Steven, and Liangtee Tue.

Company Dramaturge Janet Irwin:
Ottawa’s distinguished playwright, dramaturge and director leads Odyssey’s New Play Creation Program. She provides writers with dramaturgical and training support and directs workshops of scripts under development.

Janet is a 35-year theatre veteran who has written plays for the Great Canadian Theatre Company (GCTC), Upper Canada Playhouse, Caravan Stage and the National Arts Centre (NAC). As a director she has worked with companies including the NAC, the GCTC, Easy Street Productions, Upper Canada Playhouse, Opera Lyra Ottawa, the Manitoba Popular Theatre Alliance, Third Wall Theatre, and CanPlay Productions. She is the former Dramaturge for NAC/GCTC’s Playwright Unit and former President of Theatre Ontario. For Odyssey, Janet directed The Barber of Seville and wrote They All Do It, which Odyssey premiered in the summer of 2010.


The deadline for applications has passed. We received many excellent submissions and would like to thank everyone who applied.


Playwrights who have a completed script they wish to be considered for Odyssey’s Theatre Under the Stars production may submit a two-page summary and a cover letter explaining how the play relates to our style of work and venue. See New Play Creation.

Playwrights or creators with a proposal for a play for Odyssey who would like to participate in our New Play Creation Program can submit a 5-page treatment by August 1, 2017.