Works in Progress Series

Works in Progress Series

Works in Progress Series

Theatre Network invites you to Works in Progress

Theatre Network’s Works in Progress is a unique opportunity to join Canadian playwrights (virtually) as they lead live-streamed development sessions for recently commissioned work, prior to the premieres at The New Roxy Theatre. Each session is different and reflects the unique creative process of each playwright; sharing research, reading scenes, and discussing the evolution of their plays. 

Each of the below events were live-streamed in the Winter & Spring of 2021 and are now available to watch on demand. 

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Works in Progress Archive

Pisces by Darrin Hagen

Sunday, May 16, 2021 at 2PM (Live-streamed)

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the infamous 1981 raid on Edmonton’s Pisces Health Spa, Theatre Network invites you to join us for this rare peek into the process of re-writing history. More info. 

câpân by Jacquelyn and Hunter Cardinal

Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 2PM MT (Live-streamed)

Join the sakāwithiniwak (Woodland Cree) brother-sister duo Jacquelyn and Hunter Cardinal of the award-winning play Lake of the Strangers, and collaborators Kris Harper and Jason Borys of AG47 to glimpse behind the curtain of câpân. The creative team will share the Cree myth in which they’ve rooted the show, dive into their research discoveries so far, and premiere some of the music created for the production by the AG47 duo. More info.

SkylAr (working title) by Colleen Murphy

(A Morris Foundation/Theatre Network Commission)

Live-streamed on Sunday, March 28

Today 17-year-old Emma is setting up her high school science experiment using saliva from the family dog, Axel. Her half-brother, Danny, turns 25 today and when he gets home from work there’ll be a family party. Violet, Emma’s mom, is making a birthday cake but she’s mad because someone ate the jam she planned to use. Danny and Emma’s father, Winston, just bought a brand new fan but it’s not working and the June heat wave is relentless. More info.

Agnes by Eugene Stickland

(A Morris Foundation/Theatre Network Commission)

Live-streamed on Saturday, February 6, 2021

Despite her Canadian roots, Agnes Martin remains largely unknown in Canada, outside of the visual arts community. Agnes is a theatrical look at the life of the Canadian-born artist Agnes Martin, incorporating voice/text in the form of dialogue – a reminiscence, perhaps – between an older and a much younger version of Agnes. More info.




Colleen Murphy was born in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, and raised in Northern Ontario. Her play PIG GIRL won the 2016 Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama as well as the 2014 Carol Bolt Award. THE DECEMBER MAN / L’HOMME DE DÉCEMBRE won the 2007 Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama, the CAA/Carol Bolt Award and the Enbridge Playwrights Award.  Other plays THE BREATHING HOLE (shortlisted for the Susan Blackburn Prize, U.S.), BRIGHT BURNING, ARMSTRONG’S WAR, THE GOODNIGHT BIRD, BEATING HEART CADAVER (shortlisted for the 1999 Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama), and THE PIPER.  Libretti include FANTASMA (c. Ian Cusson), OKSANA G., (c. Aaron Gervais) for Tapestry Opera, and MY MOUTH ON YOUR HEART, (c. August Murphy-King) for Toy Piano Composers and Bicycle Opera.  Colleen twice won prizes in the CBC Literary Competition.  She is also an award-winning filmmaker and her distinct films have played in festivals around the world. Colleen has been Writer-in-Residence at ten theatres and universities including the Lee Playwright-in-Residence at the U of A and Finborough Theatre in London UK. In 2017, Colleen was awarded a Canada Council New Chapter Grant to write a six-hour play GEOGRAPHY OF FIRE / LA FURIE ET SA GÉOGRAPHIE about The Battle on the Plains of Abraham in 1759, and in 2019 she received the Playwright Guild of Canada’s Lifetime Membership Award for her body of work.



Eugene Stickland is a playwright, novelist, journalist, poet, educator and social commentator. While he shares a provincial provenance with Agnes Martin, he has been based in Calgary since 1994 and completed an MFA in Theatre at York University (Toronto) before that. Eugene has had several plays produced at Theatre Network, including the world premiere of Excavations, an Alberta Playwriting Award recipient. His play Queen Lear, written for legendary Calgary actress the late Joyce Doolittle, received after its Calgary premiere a two year run in translation in Istanbul and throughout Turkey. Following a ten year residency at Alberta Theatre Projects, Eugene wrote a feature column on the arts in the Calgary Herald for six years. He was writer in residence at St. Mary’s University in Calgary for another five years, which culminated in the production and publication of a large cast (15) play titled First and Last.  In 2015 he wrote a novel titled The Piano Teacher which was awarded the W.O. Mitchell Award in Calgary the same year. Having had his love of Agnes Martin and her work rekindled during a trip to Taos, New Mexico in 2018, Eugene began painting as a kind of homage to Agnes and to better understand the process a visual artist must engage in. Anything he learned doing that has informed his approach to creating the play Agnes for Theatre Network.


Hunter Cardinal is a sakāwithiniwak (Woodland Cree) theatrical artist hailing from Sucker Creek Cree First Nation and currently based in Edmonton, Alberta. Holding a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of Alberta, class of 2015, Hunter has performed across Canada and off-Broadway in New York. Recent stage credits include Titus Bouffonious (Theatre Network), Lake of the Strangers (Naheyawin and Fringe Theatre) and Hamlet (Freewill Shakespeare Festival). He is humbled by the steadfast support of his community, with notable achievements to date including the 2020 Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award for Outstanding Performance in a
Supporting Role in a Comedy for his work as Fink in Titus Bouffonious, the 2019 Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award for Outstanding New Play given to Lake of the Strangers, his first play co-written with his sister, and dubbed Edmonton’s Best Actor by Vue Weekly in 2018.


Jacquelyn is a sakāwithiniwak (Woodland Cree) playwright and producer hailing from Sucker Creek Cree First Nation who, in all aspects of her life, seeks to equip communities with the means to support themselves and each other while walking together on a shared path, a sentiment passed down to her through the generations.

In her art, Jacquelyn explores her culture’s concept of infinity; misewa. Misewa refers to our connection to all that was, all that is, and all that will be. It is the understanding that all of the stories we have today exist in a sea of stories alongside those that have yet to be told in our place and time, and that all are equally important. She writes to unearth the stories that have yet to come so they can be called upon as much-needed tools in times of need by current and future generations to help them move through their complex and unique problems. Though she has engaged with the arts from an early age, she began her professional practice when she embarked on the journey to develop her first play, Indigenous one-person show, Lake of the Strangers, in February 2018.

She continues to be incredibly grateful to her community for their ongoing support, with her most notable achievement to date being the Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award for Outstanding New Play given to Lake of the Strangers in 2019.


DARRIN HAGEN is an award-winning playwright, author, composer, performer, Queer historian and drag artiste. He has created over 40 plays, and dozens of published essays and articles, many dealing with the history of sexual minorities in Alberta. Over 3 decades ago he launched the radical crossdressing comedy company Guys In Disguise, which altered the landscape of Queer performance in Edmonton. He has served as Writer In Residence for both the Edmonton Public Library and the U of A Dept. of English and Film Studies. In 2005 he was named one of 100 Edmontonians of the Century. In 2013 he was inducted into the Q Hall of Fame Canada for his contribution to Queer Canadian culture. He was recently named by the AFA as one of the 25 Most Influential Alberta artists in the last 25 years. He has received 7 Sterling awards for his work in Edmonton theatre.