David leads the Citadel Theatre's Playwrights Lab for 2018-2019 / by David van Belle

I’m so pleased to be working with some very talented playwrights this upcoming year. The Citadel Theatre has been doing a terrific job in developing work by Alberta and Edmonton playwrights for its stages. We had our first meeting last week—can’t wait to see these great play ideas turn into real scripts! Here’s the media release text:




October 11, 2018

 The Citadel Theatre is pleased to announce the four Edmonton playwrights participating in THE LAB for our 2018-19 Season. Reneltta Arluk, Beth GrahamDarrin Hagen, and Kenneth T. Williams will be a part of this year’s LAB, led by Edmonton playwright and dramaturg David van Belle

THE LAB is the Citadel’s annual, dedicated, season-long commitment to new play development. The program provides support to four Edmonton playwrights over the course of a season to explore the writing and creation of a new work suitable for the Citadel stages. At the end of the year, each play receives a more intensive period of development, often including a reading by Edmonton actors. Playwrights are paid for their work.

“I am a big believer in new play development,” says Artistic Director Daryl Cloran. “The Citadel can provide playwrights with the opportunity to imagine stories for larger stages and larger audiences, to investigate what is required for a story to resonate to an audience of 700 people each night. I am committed to producing premieres of new Canadian work on the Citadel stages annually, and THE LAB is a great way to support playwrights as they create large-scale work.”

THE LAB forms part of The Citadel’s new approach to play development, Accelerator. Accelerator encourages large-vision projects, innovative work that challenges the traditional actor-audience relationship, and dynamic collisions of different artistic mediums. Our work is inclusive, reflecting the diversity of our communities and featuring a breadth of new stories, voices, and perspectives. Our vision is international, while retaining an emphasis on Edmonton-based artists and stories, placing them in the international spotlight.


Reneltta Arluk
 is Inuvialuit/Dene/Cree from the NWT. Plays: TUMIT, a radio adaptation of I Count Myself Among Them by Richard Van Camp and Pawâkan Macbeth dedicated to Frog Lake, AB. As part of THE LAB, Reneltta will be writing about Tookoolito, the Inuk woman guide and translator to Charles Francis Hall.

Beth Graham is an Edmonton playwright and actor. Her plays include: Pretty GoblinsThe Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble, and Working It Out. She’s also a co-creator of The Drowning Girls. For THE LAB, Beth will work on the play Let It Pour, inspired by the myth of Medea.

Darrin Hagen is an award-winning playwright, composer, author, and drag artiste, and the Artistic Director of Guys In Disguise. For THE LAB, Darrin will work on Pansy Craze, a new comedy about the Speakeasies and the Pansy bars of Prohibition-era New York.

Kenneth T. Williams is a Cree playwright from the George Gordon First Nation in the Treaty 4 Territory. Kenneth’s project for THE LAB is Paris SK, a neo-noir play about a small city enthralled by an unsolved murder.  

Dramaturg David van Belle is an Alberta-based playwright with a 20-year history in new play development.  He has been an ensemble member of One Yellow Rabbit Performance Theatre, co-Artistic Director of Ghost River Theatre, and playwright-in-residence at Alberta Theatre Projects.

For more information on THE LAB or to view the artists’ full biographies, visit our website at: www.citadeltheatre.com/artists-learning/play-development



To arrange interviews, contact:

Sydnee Bryant

Senior Manager, Communications


Season Sponsor: Capital Power

A-Level Seats Sponsor: Landmark Homes

Government Funders: Government of Alberta; Alberta Foundation for the Arts; Alberta Lottery Fund, The City of Edmonton; The Edmonton Arts Council; Canada Council for the Arts; Canadian Heritage.




The Citadel Theatre and Academy is a registered charity that relies on the generous support of donors, sponsors, and foundation and government funders.