Exploring the boundaries of theatrical storytelling
Nightswimming is an award-winning dramaturgical theatre company, established in 1995 by dramaturg Brian Quirt and founding producer Naomi Campbell, devoted to theatrical research, creation and performance. We explore new forms by commissioning Canada’s leading artists in the fields of theatre, music and dance. We create powerful, moving and beautiful works of performance, and pursue the study of stories and how they are told in the theatre.
Nightswimming is devoted, through the creation of these new works, to advancing the field of dramaturgy and play development in Canada. Nightswimming commissions, develops and workshops these projects but generally does not produce them. We seek out established performing arts companies as partners in an extended developmental process leading to premiere productions by our partner companies.
We are committed to conducting ground-breaking research in our field, and to supporting artists from across Canada through our Pure Research program.
Our critically acclaimed plays-in-performance explore challenging theatrical forms and emotionally rich stories with bold visual style. We commit to long-term relationships with our writers and provide them with the tools they need: substantial commissions; readings and workshops; high calibre actors; research; colleagues from the areas of design, choreography and music; on-going dramaturgical support; and a developmental process that is ideally suited to their requirements. We believe our commitment to research, creation and performance inspires these artists to create some of their best work.
Please join us – as audience, patrons and colleagues – as we search for unique ways to tell powerful stories.
Why Nightswimming is Unique
We give artists invaluable space in which to create, free from the pressure of most deadlines. While they’re working, we act as broker, seeking out the ideal theatre company for the new work, and advocating for them to eventually produce it. We give the writer an unfettered opportunity to create and we offer producing theatres shows that they couldn’t have developed themselves.
We have worked with established artists such as playwrights Judith Thompson and Colleen Wagner and choreographer Julia Sasso; award-winning novelists like Jane Urquhart, Anosh Irani and Michael Redhill; and newer writers like Martin Julien and Anita Majumdar, star of Bombay Black and the talented writer/performer of Fish Eyes.
Nightswimming offers these talented artists the rare opportunity to create a new piece through a substantial commission. We surround them with the best collaborators in the fields of theatre, dance, design and music and the means to create their dream project.
A Commitment to research and dramaturgy
Nightswimming’s Pure Research program – in association with the University of Toronto’s Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies and SFU Contemporary Arts – challenges artists from across Canada to investigate new ideas in dramaturgy. We provide space, money and resources for studio-based research into provocative theatrical questions of form and performance.
Nightswimming is committed to mentoring students, providing internships to emerging artists and has established partnerships with many theatre training institutions and university programs.
City of Wine Our major project from 2006-2010 was Ned Dickens’ seven play cycle City of Wine, which we developed through an innovative partnership with eight theatre training institutions across Canada.
Recognized by our Peers
Since 1995 Nightswimming has been recognized with 4 Governor General’s Award nominations, 7 Dora Mavor Moore Awards, 19 Dora Award nominations and 6 published scripts. Artistic Director Brian Quirt has twice received the Elliott Hayes Award for Outstanding Dramaturgy in North America, as well as three Dora Award nominations.
Nightswimming’s works have premiered at Canada’s leading theatre companies (including Tarragon, Factory, Theatre Passe Muraille, National Arts Centre and Arts Club Theatre), toured the country and appeared at the Magnetic North Theatre Festival, On the Verge, Canada Dance Festival, ATP’s playRites Festival, the Summerworks Festival, Rhubarb Festival and Harbourfront’s World Stage and World Moves Dance Series.
WRITERS IN RESIDENCE
BOARD OF DIRECTORS