Plain Site Theatre Festival Returns This Fall

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Plain Site Theatre Festival is now accepting submissions of new LGBTQIA2+ centered plays for readings and workshops this fall. 

Matt Carter

Plans are underway for the 2020 Plain Site Theatre Festival. Launched in 2019 and curated by Fredericton theatre artist Alex Rioux in partnership with St. Thomas University and Solo Chicken Productions, the festival aims to develop and present new LGBTQIA2+ centered plays with the goal of fostering queer visibility in the local arts scene and on campus.  

“This is the second year of the festival, and I’m so grateful to Theatre St Thomas, and Solo Chicken for their continued support,” said Rioux. “This year we’re growing by presenting new short works through digital readings, producing last year’s winner’s shows, continuing our tradition of offering workshops and panels as well as a few other surprises.”

As with most arts organizations, Plain Site will be moving much of its planned programming online for the 2020 season. This new development presents a new set of challenges and excitement for Rioux and his team to tackle. 

“While it’s a shame that we can’t present any new works in person yet, as far as we know, I find it exciting to see how moving the festival to a digital platform might allow the festival to reach a wider audience,” he said. “When we hold this festival in Fredericton, we’re only going to get a crowd from Fredericton. By moving the readings online we can accept more work from across New Brunswick, and more people can tune in to see these new works from across the province, or potentially, across the country.”

As an art form, theatre is one that has always relied on having a live audience, people gathered together in a room to enjoy a performance. With this staple of the live theatre experience is on hold for the foreseeable future, theatre creators everywhere are looking to explore and invent new ways to compensate for this loss. It’s a challenge that’s helping to keep everyone involved in festivals like Plain Site continuously pushing their craft in new directions. 

“I’m confident that the new work readings will be a success,” said Rioux. “It’s a chance for writers to gauge how their work sounds out loud, the only drawback is they don’t get to hear the audience’s reaction to the work, which plays a pretty large role in gauging what works and doesn’t in your play. Nonetheless, I’m choosing to work with the limitations that are presented to make something new and exciting, and I can’t wait to get working with my fellow artists again.”

Submissions are now open for the 2020 festival. Chosen submissions will receive professional dramaturgy for their play, a workshop reading at the 2020 Festival and a full production at the 2021 Festival.

Full details below.


  • Artists eligible to submit must be currently attending a secondary or post-secondary institution and identify as LGBTQIA2+.
  • Using the word ‘community’ as a prompt, writers are encouraged to explore what community. means to them in our current climate. Maximum 4 plays to be selected.
  • Script must have a runtime between 10-20 minutes.
  • Each script must contain no more than 2 actors. (Monologues are welcome)
  • Playwrights must be available to work on their script with a dramaturge as applicable.
  • Deadline to submit scripts is August 1, 2020.
  • The Plain Site Festival reserves the right to award fewer than the maximum number of plays allotted should jury members feel that the quality of submissions does not meet a minimum standard or that the festival would not be able to stage certain submitted scripts for logistical, financial, or legal reasons. 


Submissions must be sent by email. Each submission must be accompanied by one (1) cover sheet indicating the following:

  • Name of playwright
  • Full contact information (surface mail, email, and phone number)
  • Title of Play
  • Documents should be in .doc, .docx or .pdf format
  • Please email scripts to Festival Director, Alex Rioux at


The Plain Site Theatre Festival is working to develop a festival plan that can adapt to changing COVID-19 restrictions.  All new works being submitted to the festival will be presented via digital readings in 2020.

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