Find us on Facebook

Here are just a few of the playwrights around the world writing for young audiences. Know someone that should be on the list? (Including yourself?) Just go to inform us and send us their name, a short biography and (optional) a website address. A photo of the playwright (optional) can also be sent to

Entries in Canada (13)


Barrie, Shirley (Canada)

Shirley Barrie was born in Tillsonburg, Ontario, and graduated from the Universities of Western Ontario and Carleton. She went to London, England in 1972 and with Ken Chubb co-founded and was Associate Director of the Wakefield Tricycle Company and the Tricycle Theatre until 1984. It was during this period that she began writing plays for radio and theatre for young and family audiences. In Toronto in 1989, she founded Straight Stitching Productions with Lib Spry, and won two Chalmers Awards and a Dora for Straight Stitching and Carrying the Calf, two of the plays she wrote for the company. Her adaptation of Hansel and Gretel was produced by Geordie Productions in Montreal. Her award winning one-act Revelation is one of a series of short plays that have been produced and published widely. She has also developed scripts through the collective process, and written several plays about fascinating women from history. Beautiful Lady, Tell Me... was produced by 4th Line Theatre in 2007 and she is currently writing Queen Marie, a play about the great comic actress, for 4th Line.  With Emil Sher she co-edited Prepare to Embark:  Six Theatrical Voyages for Young Audiences for Playwrights Canada Press.

For more information visit and follow @shirleyplays on Twitter.


Brodie, Leanna (Canada)

Leanna Brodie is an actor, writer, and translator whose plays For Home and Country, The Vic, Schoolhouse, and The Book of Esther are published by Talonbooks Ltd. She was the first Canadian invited to Seattle’s Women Playwrights Festival; has been Playwright-in-Residence at the Blyth Festival and 4th Line Theatre; and wrote Invisible City and Seeds of Our Destruction for CBC Radio. Her translations include Louise Bombardier’s My Mother Dog. Since attending Tapestry’s renowned composer-librettist laboratory, she has collaborated with composers Craig Galbraith, Anthony Young, and David Ogborn – most notably on the site-specific hit Opera on the Rocks. In 2009, she and Young premiered The Angle of Reflection with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra. Currently, Brodie is developing a new play, The Angel’s Cradle, as a member of the Tarragon Theatre Playwrights Unit.

Brodie's play Schoolhouse, a spirited look at life in a rural one-room school in 1937 that also tackles subjects like community and exclusion, has been performed across Canada by high schools, universities, community groups, and professional theatres, and used as part of an anti-bullying curriculum in Ontario.

Brodie is also a frequent translator of French-language work for young audiences. Her English translation of Hélène Ducharme's Baobab - which won second prize at IPAY - has been toured all over North America by Québec's award-winning Théâtre Motus, which is also producing her translation of Ducharme's Tiger By the Tail. Other translations for young audiences include Philippe Soldevila's moving Tales of the Moon, which premiered at Canada's National Arts Centre with Théâtre les Confettis in 2011, as well as Larry Tremblay's hilarious Panda Panda (workshopped at Young People's Theatre) and Sébastien Harrisson's gorgeous, Governor General's Award-nominated From Alaska (the first project of the Quebec Translation Exchange at the Banff Centre for the Arts). She and composer Anthony Young are now collaborating on an opera for young audiences called Ulla’s Odyssey, about a young girl solo sailing around the world.


Campbell, Marilyn Anne (Canada)

Marilyn Anne Campbell is an Ontario-based writer with a special interest in nature, speculative fiction, humour, and young audiences (not necessarily in the same story). Her stage plays have been workshopped in Toronto and produced in Calgary, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Halifax, Chicago, and South Dakota.

In 2016 her TYA drama Failing Hands was one of three winners of Storybook Theatre's inaugural National TYA Playwriting Competition and was given a staged reading in Calgary. Marilyn also writes short fiction and has puppeteered in schools and children's Fringe Festival performances.

Learn more and contact Marilyn through her website, You can also find her stories on Wattpad and follow her on Facebook @marilynwrites and on Twitter @shumpgullion.

Craig, David S. (Canada)

David S. Craig has written more than twenty professionally produced plays, including Having Hope at Home and Fires in the Night for the Blyth Festival, a stage adaptation of Cue for Treason for Lorraine Kimsa Theatre (formerly YPT) and The Neverending Story for Imagination Stage and the Seattle Children's Theatre. For Roseneath Theatre he has written the internationally acclaimed Danny, King of the Basement, and Smokescreen as well as, with Robert Morgan, Morgan's Journey, Head à Tête, The Book of Miracles, Health Class and Dib and Dob and The Journey Home.

His one-man show Napalm the Magnificent was performed extensively in Canada and at the John Houseman Theatre Centre on Theatre Row in Manhattan. For CBC Radio, David created a fifty-one part series for Morningside based on his stage play Booster Crane, P.M. and for Metro Morning, a 50 episode series titled The Diamond Lane. He has written episodes of The New Babar for Nelvana and is currently working on a screenplay of Danny for Instinct Films. NOW magazine has called David S. Craig, 'one of the top twenty playwrights in Canada.'

He is currently the Artistic Director of Roseneath Theatre ( ), Ontario?s largest touring theatre.


Ducharme, Hélène (Canada)

Helene is a playwright, director, actress and puppeteer, and the General Manager and Artistic Co-director of Theatre Motus in Montreal    As resident playwright for Théâtre Motus, she has written and directed the company’s last three creations: Terrible Two, Inuussia, the seal woman and BULLES, Winter legends for micro-puppets.

She develops challenging scripts for young audiences. With these productions, she explores her passion for puppetry, acting and shadow theatre. Throughout the creative process, her respect for children has led her to work closely with them. Her training as a teacher helped her create educational activities and initiate workshop projects related to the performances.

Along with the company’s activities, she has been involved in the Maison Théâtre’s artistic committee. From 1998 to 2001, she sat on the board of directors of the Centre des auteurs dramatiques organization working on setting up the Cartes blanches event for playwrights. She has written numerous plays for teenagers and adults and co-scripted an NFB animation film with Co Hoderman.


More information on Theatre Motus' activities on their website.


Hamnett, Susanna (Canada)

Originally from England, and having a classically-based actor training from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Susanna discovered the Pochinko clown method while in Toronto (now her home). For the past several years she has delightedly explored the application of clown in all aspects of theatrical performance and creation, as an artist-educator and, most recently, in adapting Shakespeare's 'King Lear'. 'Nearly Lear' is her first full-length solo play, created with Edith Tankus, and has toured throughout Canada and the UK, to the New Victory Theater in New York and the Sydney Opera House, delighting audiences of all ages.

Click to read more ...


Lebeau, Suzanne (Canada)

Suzanne Lebeau by François-Xavier GaudreaultSuzanne Lebeau first intended to make a career as an actress. But after founding Le Carrousel with Gervais Gaudreault in 1975, she gradually left acting to devote herself exclusively to writing. Today, she has 25 original plays, three adaptations, and a number of translations to her credit and is internationally recognized as a leader in playwriting for young audiences. She is among the most-performed Quebec playwrights in the world, with more than 130 productions of her works on four continents. Her plays have been published in many countries and translated into 18 languages; Une lune entre deux maisons, the first Canadian play written specifically for young children, L’Ogrelet, and Le bruit des os qui craquent, have been translated, respectively, into six, nine, and four languages.

Suzanne Lebeau’s exceptional contribution to the flourishing of theatre for young audiences has earned her numerous awards and distinctions, including the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama in 2009; the Prix Sony Labou Tansi des lycéens in 2009; and Prix des Journées de Lyon des auteurs de théâtre in 2007 for Le bruit des os qui craquent, a play premièred by Le Carrousel and Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui in 2009 and staged in 2010 by the Comédie-Française. In 1998, the Assemblée internationale des parlementaires de langue française made her a Knight of the Order of the Pleiades for her body of work, and in 2010 the Government of Quebec awarded her the Prix Athanase-David, the most prestigious career recognition for Quebec authors. Finally, she taught writing for young audiences at the National Theatre School of Canada for 13 years and acts as a consultant for young authors in Canada and other countries, contributing to the emergence of new written works.


Matsunaga-Turnbull, Jared (Canada)

Jared is an actor, writer, director and dramaturg based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. From 1994 to 2007, he was an Artistic Co-Director of Edmonton’s Concrete Theatre, an award-winning professional theatre company dedicated to the development and production of issue-based, culturally diverse Theatre for Young Audiences. Jared left to work with the Alberta Workers’ Health Centre. Jared has worked as a popular theatre facilitator with diverse and marginalised populations, especially youth and Aboriginal communities, and was a Next Generation participant at the ASSITEJ 2008 World Congress in Adelaide.


Moscovitch, Hannah (Canada)

Hannah’s plays have been produced across Canada, including at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto where she is currently playwright-in-residence, the Factory Theatre, Alberta Theatre Projects, the Manitoba Theatre Centre, The Firehall Theatre, and the Magnetic North Theatre Festival. Hannah’s work has won multiple Dora Mavor Moore Awards and she’s been nominated for the Governor General’s Award and the international Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Hannah's play for young audiences, In this World, was produced by Youtheatre Montreal and toured in Quebec and Ontario. In this World won the 2010 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding TYA play.


Selody, Kim (Canada)

Kim has written and directed many plays for young audiences for companies like Axis Theatre, Green Thumb Theatre, Manitoba Theatre for Young People, Prairie Theatre Exchange, Carousel Theatre and Dynamo Theatre in Montreal. From 1991 to 1996, Kim served as the Artistic Director of the Playwrights Theatre Centre (formerly The New Play Centre). For seven years he toured as an actor and writer with Axis Theatre. He has directed more than 50 professional productions, most being new work by Canadian playwrights. Recently Kim became Artistic Director of Carousel Players in Ontario.


Watts, Irene N. (Canada)

Irene N. Watts was born in Berlin, Germany in 1931 and arrived in Britain via Kindertransport shortly before World War Two. She was educated in England and Wales. She has lived in BC, since 1976.
In 1968 she immigrated to Canada, and after a year teaching on Erminskin reserve, Hobbema, Alberta, continued a thirty year career in Theatre for Young Audiences across Canada.

Irene was made a life member of Playwrights Guild of Canada in 2001. Other Honors include the Government of Alberta Achievement for outstanding service to Drama, The Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People and the Toronto Jewish Book Award for Good-Bye Marianne and Remember Me. Tapestry of Hope An anthology of Holocaust Writing for Young People, compiled with Lillian Boraks Nemetz, Tundra Books, was awarded the Yad Vashem award for Holocaust studies in 2004.

In 2006 Lillie - a play about Home Children in Canada - was awarded First prize at the International Playwrigh'?s Forum of the International Theatre Institute (UNESCO) It has been translated into Greek, and received staged readings in Athens, Greece on National Theatre Day, March 2007. A Terrible Truth Anthology of Holocaust Drama, Volume 1&2 was compiled by Watts.


Wing, Paula (Canada)

Paula Wing is a writer and translator whose work has been produced across Canada and the U.S. Her adaptation of the Sadako Sasaki story, A Thousand Paper Cranes, toured Québec and Eastern Canada in 2011-2012 with Geordie Theatre in Montréal and her translation of Pierre-Michel Tremblay's A Story of War was produced by Persephone Theatre in Saskatoon.

She is currently at work on a retelling of Robin Hood for Geordie Theatre and on an original play called Risky Phil for Young Peoples Theatre in Toronto. Paula teaches internationally with the Royal Conservatory of Music as a Mentor Artist. She recently worked with Tununiq Theatre, Pond Inlet, Baffin Island on updating a play in their repertoire.


Wyndham, Asher (USA / Canada)

Asher Wyndham is a dual citizen of USA and Canada. He is working on a collection of short plays for teenagers titled SOME AMERICAN TEENS. The target audience is 12-18. His goal is to write 100 short plays for teenagers. So far he has 20. FATIMA & MAAMA, a play that addresses Islamophobia, was produced at Point of Contention Theatre Company in Chicago and at the Short + Sweet Festival in Sydney, Australia. TOUGH GIRLS, about bullying by girls, was produced at Acadia University in Nova Scotia; it will tour high schools throughout the province later in 2011. HAPPI IN IOWA, about gay hate crimes, was produced at Fancy Pants Theater in Kalamazoo, Michigan. His TFY work has been developed at the American College Theater Festival and at the American Theatre for Higher Education conference. He recently graduated from Arizona State University with a MFA in Playwriting.