Flying Start has proven to be a dynamic and valuable program that supports the creation of a new theatrical work over a two year process.

Getting a professional premiere production of a play is challenging for every playwright, and doubly so for an emerging one. In 2006, Katrina Dunn and Martin Kinch, then Artistic Directors for Touchstone Theatre and Playwrights Theatre Centre, created Flying Start.

The goal was to provide an early career playwright the rare opportunity to take a script through an extensive dramaturgical development process leading to a full mainstage production that is supported by a professional director, dramaturg, actors, designers and producing team. RBC Emerging Artist program has generously supported seven two-year commitments, including the pandemic delayed LIGHTS by Adam Grant Warren, which, happily, will open our 2021-2022, 45th Anniversary Season.

Committing $6000.00 to the playwright and providing them the support and expertise to bring their vision to life makes Flying Start a sought after contract and is a demonstration of our passion to champion the creation and dissemination of new Canadian plays. Touchstone Theatre produces Flying Start in association with The Firehall Arts Centre. It’s always an exciting and rewarding endeavour!

The Flying Start program is a two-year program for an early career playwright to receive a commission, dramaturgy, and workshopping, culminating in a world premiere which represents one of two mainstage productions produced by Touchstone in the season.

There are two phases of our Flying Start program:

Phase 1: Focuses on development, dramaturgy, and workshops with professional actors and ongoing mentorship with the playwright during the writing process.

Phase 2: The play is fully realized on stage in a professional production.


We’re working to prioritize marginalized voices across the full spectrum of diversity. With that in mind, this call is for artists who self-identify as Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit), Black, and/or person of colour, D/deaf, Hard of Hearing, living with a disability, neurodiverse, and members of the 2SLGBTQQIPA+ communities and anyone who identifies as an underrepresented artist.
Must be a resident of British Columbia.
Scripts/creations must be unpublished and not fully previously produced on stage.
A suggested maximum of 10 artists per proposal which would include cast and collaborators. (For example, could be a cast of 6 + 4 designers)
Playwrights/Creators should be early career. We are defining early career as someone who has developed their craft to a high standard but not had substantial or numerous professionally produced works (- this can be assessed on a case by case basis).
Must be available for development and a week-long workshop in late Fall/Winter 2021 and ongoing development in 2022 (see ‘key dates’ section below for further information).