For more information origins@vcn.bc.ca

Gordon Armstrong Playwright's Rent Award

Gordon Armstrong Playwright's Rent Award History: A few months before our production of his play Blue Dragons in June 1996, playwright Gordon Armstrong died of AIDS related illness. Just 35, he already had an impressive body of work, with the promise of more. Origins Theatre Projects has presented this cash award ever since.

When he died, Origins’ AD asked some of his friends and colleagues including Dennis Foon and Tom Cone what they about an award to mark his legacy. The award was funded initially through the proceeds and support for our production of Blue Dragons. It was Dennis who was glad to see the production go ahead even after the death of Gordon, and Tom named the award saying, “Hell, call it the Rent Award, shows how hard it is for playwrights, especially Gordon, to just make rent.”

The metaphor of rent remains constant, whether you are fighting a tragic disease, or merely fighting the good fight for funding support, or just finding coffee money. Born from artists helping artists, it is an open application based upon merit and need, juried by our board.
Congratulations to all recipients, including recently:

Dave Deveau
Janet Hinton
Denis Simpson (Honourable Mention)
Sally Stubbs
C. E. Gatchalian
Lucia Fragione
Gillian Stevens Guille

…best wishes to everyone who faces the blank page on the way to the stage!

Special Programs
Amount of the Award:

The board of Directors sets the amount of the award according to our whole company’s funding situation. One year we gave out 4 awards ranging from $50 to 200.00. The feedback from applicants was to keep the award at one level. But like the Jessies, we are open to the changing circumstances. In 2001 we gave two awards, because, while one letter stood out for the jury, the other letter deserved special mention. We also gave a book prize in 2002, from Duthies, partially as an excellent promotion of this fine book of B.C. inspired playwrights: Playing the Pacific Province.

In 2005, the award has been set to always be at least 450.00 thanks in part to a generous donation by Evelynn Armstrong. The donation marked the tenth year of giving this award. Applause! Applause! Thanks Evelynn.
Due to financial challenges for our company, we suspended the award for one year in 2011.

Origins Theatre Projects is pleased to be able to continue giving this award for playwrights in this upcoming season.

Origins Theatre Projects occassionally puts out a call for project proposals or new scripts for production consideration. Watch for details. Of feel free to send a letter of interest via email or regular mail. Thanks.