Shannon Herrick is a PhD candidate in kinesiology at McGill University. Her/their research explores how intersections of sexuality and gender influence physical activity experiences. Specifically, Shannon is interested in questions of and change towards LGBTQ2S+ inclusivity and participation in sports, physical education, and exercise.
In high school, Shannon was a part of Alberta Theatre Project's youth playwright group for several years. Although she/they thoroughly enjoyed playwriting as a creative outlet, Shannon couldn't help but wonder what it would have been like if the group was designed for LGBTQ2S+ youth like her/them.
Spotlight center stage and enter PLAYBRIGHT!
Playbright is an LGBTQ2S+ playwright group that has been designed to help answer questions about how LGBTQ2S+ youth experience, conceptualize, and view physical activity. Essentially, Playbright is simultaneously everything Shannon wanted to participate in as a kid and everything she/they wanted to research as an adult.
Guest Playwright (they/them)
Gabe Maharjan is a performance creator born and raised in Tio’tià:ke/Montréal. They co-created E-TRANSFERS as part of the Buddies 2020 ECU; their play, Eva in Rio, was shortlisted for the 2020 PGC Emerging Playwright Award; and last summer, their short, Our Tree, was published as part of Centaur/Boca del Lupo’s P2P@H series. As a co-founder of bigT, Gabe creates socially engaged work focused on trans/GNC narratives. They were a mentor at Imago’s 2022 Artista and they chair the board of the Quebec Drama Federation. Stage performance credits include Centaur’s All I Want for Christmas, Theaturtle’s tour of Wajdi Mouawad’s solo-show Alphonse (which will be playing at the 2022 Edinburgh Fringe), Sermo Scomber’s award-winning Don’t Read the Comments and Cabal’s La Somnambule (META nominated – Lead Performance).
Laura Shearer is a drama-therapist in-training in the process of finishing their Master of Creative Arts Therapies at Concordia University. Prior to moving to Montreal for their formation, Laura worked in education and as a director, actor, stage-manager, dramaturg and intern with various theatre troupes in their hometown of Seattle, Washington, USA. Most recently, Laura worked as an education fellow at Seattle Children’s Theatre, where they contributed to curriculum development, as well as worked as a teaching artist and logistical coordinator. Laura was also an invited guest director at Cornish College of the Arts, where they directed a student’s full-length new work that explored the intersections of queer identity, romantic relationships, trauma against the context of homophobia of the Trump Presidency. Laura is excited to apply their background in new works direction and dramaturgy, and their expertise in devised processes and techniques inspired by drama therapy to help Playbright’s participants explore playwrighting and expand their range of creative expression!