University of Alberta

Lee Playwright-in-Residence

Faculty of Arts - Department of Drama

Competition No.  -    A110132150
Closing Date  -    Apr 02, 2017

The University of Alberta’s Department of Drama invites applications from established Canadian playwrights for the position of Lee Playwright-in-Residence.

This innovative residency offers a unique opportunity for a playwright to devote time to their writing, and to make a significant contribution to new play development within the university and theatre community in Edmonton. Terms of reference for the residency stipulate that the writer spends 50% of their time writing and 50% of their time in outreach and new play development activity with local playwrights, students, community partners and professional theatres. Although the playwright will be invited to visit university classes and to consult with students, this is not a formal teaching position. The residency will be 16 months over a three-year period:  September 2017- April 2018 and September 2019 - April 2020.  

In addition to the residency, the playwright is encouraged to accept a commission to write a new play for the 2020 graduating BFA Acting class. This is an opportunity for a playwright to create a script for 12 to 14 actors and see it fully developed and produced. The production of the commission is proposed for February or March 2020 as part of the U of A Studio Theatre season in the Timms Centre for the Arts. It is anticipated that the playwright will be brought in for a one-week workshop of the script-in-progress during the 2018/19 school year.

Interested playwrights should apply with:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • A letter of intent articulating interest in the two key elements of the residency
  • A statement outlining interest in new play development and outreach, including a bit about what community or communities you see yourself working with. For example, a playwright might choose to work with seniors or playwrights from the LGBTQ community.
  • Indication of interest and thoughts on the play commission
  • Names of 3 references with contact information


The salary for this position, on the University Trust Research Academic Staff salary scale (effective July 1, 2017), is $58,210 per annum prorated to the 8 month contract (approx. $4,850/mo.) and includes a generous benefits package, for details visit The offer also includes some travel to and from Edmonton and the playwright’s home. Accommodation in Edmonton during the residency is the Playwright’s responsibility. The new play commission is a separate all-inclusive contract (commission and premiere royalty fee).

Past Lee Playwrights-in-Residence: Don Hannah, Kevin Kerr, Greg McArthur.

Current Playwright-in-Residence Colleen Murphy has this to say about the residency:

"The three-year Lee Playwriting Residency is the ‘Rolls Royce’ of residencies; the most comprehensive and exhilarating playwriting residency in Canada.  Aside from working on my own plays, consulting with students and meeting remarkable artists, the centre-piece of this residency is a commission to write an original play for the graduating class which is premiered on the main stage of the Timms Centre.  It’s a fantastic opportunity and YOU CAN WRITE WHATEVER YOU WANT!  All in all, I found it to be a tremendously productive experience on every level.”

The University of Alberta hires on the basis of merit. We are committed to the principle of equity in employment.We welcome diversity and encourage applications from all qualified women and men, including persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities and Indigenous persons.

How to Apply

Apply Online

Note: Online applications are accepted until midnight Mountain Standard Time of the closing date.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. If suitable Canadian citizens or permanent residents cannot be found, other individuals will be considered.

The University of Alberta is committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce. We welcome applications from all qualified persons. We encourage women; First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all those who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and the University to apply.