Vancouver Fringe Festival in association with Playwrights Theatre Centre present The Frontliners by Zahida Rahemtulla, a workshop production.
Winner of Playwrights Theatre Centre’s New Play in Development Prize 2022, the New Play in Development prize prepares playwright and play for a premiere with the Vancouver Fringe Festival over an 18-month partnership. November is the workshop production where we will try the design and script on its feet for the first time, and after this, we hope to have a premiere with a company in the future.
Canada is in the throes of resettling the first wave of 25,000 Syrian refugees. As three frontline workers battle Vancouver’s housing crisis to move families out of an East Van hotel, their lives are brought together in ways that irreversibly shape them. As the workers pull overtime hours to settle families against an impossible rental market, they must also navigate a frenzy of journalists, overly-keen do-gooder groups, bureaucracy, an impossible amount of donations, angry landlords, internet trolls, and the hopes and wishes of families themselves, all of which chaotically, tragically, and comedically intersect with the frontlines.
The Frontliners was the recipient of the national 2021 Playwrights Guild of Canada RBC Emerging Playwright Award, Theatre BC’s 2020 Play of Special Merit Award, and the runner-up for the prestigious 2021 National Voaden Prize in Playwriting.
The upcoming workshop production includes an original musical score co-composed and created by Syrian-Iraqi musician and Oud player, Farouk Al-Sajee and Ruby Singh. Set design by Megan Lane and lighting design/technical direction by Jamie Sweeney. Produced by Maria Zarrillo. Dramaturgy by Davey Samuel Calderon. Direction by Tanya Mathivanan (AD/MD of Aenigma Theatre).
Catch The Frontliners at the Waterfront Theater on November 10 to 12 at 7:30 p.m. or November 13 at 2:30 p.m.