Award-winning writer, Michelle Deines (Submitted photo)

Playwright gets $2,000 and script staged in Vancouver Island drama competition

Michelle Deines won $2,000 and her play, The Night Hawks will be produced Yellow Point Drama Group

Michelle Deines, an award-winning writer based in Vancouver has won the Yellow Point Drama Group, (YPDG) Playwriting Contest. Her play, The Night Hawks will be performed by the YPDG in fall 2020.

“I’m really excited to see it,” Deines said. “I was totally shocked, but also totally delighted. I thought it was lovely to win from a place that’s near where I grew up for a play that’s set near where I grew up.”

The Night Hawks is about a brother and sister who are estranged after the death of their father. The sister wants to respect her father’s dying wish by scattering his ashes in his home town, but she does it illegally. The play begins in Ladysmith, and is set around Vancouver Island.

“Through the adventure of trying to get to his home town the brother and sister have a second chance at reconciling their relationship, and coming to terms with the death of their dad,” Deines said.

Deines is no stranger to success in competition. She won a Vancouver Theatre Award for Outstanding Original Script in 2014, and won the Special Merit Prize in Theatre BC’s National Playwriting Competition in 2013. Deines is orginally from Vancouver Island.

YPDG, in collaboration with the Ladysmith Art Council (LAC) developed the contest to help support B.C. playwrights. Entries were judged by third party professionals. The two organizations split funding of the contest evenly. They funded a $2,000 cash prize for the winner, and will fund the production of the play.

“It’s important to put it on. We made the decision that the winner would be part of our season. We want to promote playwriting in the province,” Armand Dos Santos of YPDG said.

This was the first year that the contest ran. Dos Santos said the contest will be a bi-annual event to ensure YPDG can continue to produce the winning plays.

“This is a new thing that’s never been done around here,” Dos Santos said. “We try to do things different although we’re a very small group.”

At the end of the production, proceeds from the production will go back into funding the YPDG and the LAC. Throughout the production, there will be an art auction with contributions from LAC artists.

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