What does it take to be on the leading edge of play development in Canada?
Ask Heidi Taylor, the incoming Artistic and Executive Director at Vancouver’s Playwrights Theatre Centre. In her role as dramaturg at PTC for the last seven years, Heidi has worked with dozens of playwrights, developed over 40 plays and created new playwright-focused programs, all the while absorbing the wisdom and advice of her mentor and predecessor, Martin Kinch.
“Martin welcomed me into the company at PTC in 2005, and has devoted countless hours to nurturing me as an artist and leader,” says Heidi. “He has such a commitment to promoting women leaders in the arts, and he created real opportunities for me to take risks, fail, and try again. We've had many hours of conversation that have broadened my mind and deepened my experience of the world.”
Ready for the next stage in her career and a new phase of all-female leadership at PTC when she assumes her new position on December 1, 2012, Heidi is percolating a vision for PTC that continues to deepen the creative process for playwrights, and share their experiences with the community – locally and nationally. Look for new program announcements, and the next six PTC Associates to be announced in January.
A Vancouver-based dramaturg, director and performer, Heidi holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Contemporary Art from Simon Fraser University. She has achieved fantastic things since joining the company in 2005; among them she has dramaturged over 40 plays, including 10 new short plays through The News commissioning program, and worked with writers from across the country including José Teodoro, Patti Flather, Mitch Miyagawa, Jan Derbyshire, Dave Deveau, Joan Kivanda, Hannah Moscovitch, Anita Majumdar, Jason Maghanoy, Tanya Marquardt, and Kendra Fanconi. Recent credits include Sea of Sand, which she co-directed with playwright Eric Rhys Miller, Transmission (co-directed with Tanya Marquardt/Proximity Arts), and Cloudless (José Teodoro/BC Buds).
Recent accomplishments include the rebranding of the company and new website in 2010, the new Fringe New Play Prize, and Block P (self-producing for emerging playwrights).
She is also a dance dramaturg, and has worked with Caroline Liffman (choreographer) during her residency at the Scotiabank Dance Centre, and through her own company Proximity Arts, with Susan Elliott and Tanya Marquardt. Heidi has co-created many site-specific and community-based projects, including Happyland! (Proximity/Leaky Heaven Circus), Final Viewing (Radix Theatre), Other Freds (assistant director, The Only Animal), and The World: an Odyssey in six or more parts (Part IV) (Michael Counts, GAle GAtes et al., New York).
Heidi is currently working on a collaboration with Horseshoes and Hand Grenades' Mindy Parfitt and Alexa Devine, a new play by Sean Devine with Pi Theatre, and the Associates' projects. She is also the new President of LMDA (Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas) Canada, and conference chair for the LMDA Annual Conference, which is taking place in June 2013 in Vancouver.
“Looking at PTC's national profile, and ways to increase the visibility of BC writers on the national stage, is a high priority,” says Heidi. “Hosting the LMDA Annual Conference in June will help bring North American theatre makers into contact with Vancouver's vibrant scene.”
In October 2012 Kathleen Flaherty took over the role of dramaturg at PTC as Heidi prepares for her new position.