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​​32nd Annual​

New Ideas Festival 2020

Premiering new short plays!

​Produced by Stacy Halloran, Carrie Villeneuve & Stefani Pockaj

The New Ideas Festival is Alumnae’s annual juried festival and features an exciting line-up of new short plays!

Witness theatrical history with premieres of dramatic & comedic writings from both emerging and experienced theatre artists. At 32, we’re still new!

The Festival is held in Alumnae Theatre’s 3rd floor walk-up studio which is not currently wheelchair accessible.

NIF 2020

March 11–15, 2020 

in the Studio

​A program of 4 short plays:

​​·  Just in Love
·  Remember Him Chasing Squirrels
​· ​ Speed Dating Night at the Bull and Bell
​·  The Curious Case of Jockstrap Malone

New Ideas Festival Team

Stacy Halloran, Producer
Since Stacy declined to submit a bio, one of her favourite Playwrights has taken the liberty of writing one for her:
Stacy Halloran has been called “one of the leading lights of the Godfrey theatre scene”. Her semi-autobiographical one-woman show Sheep Breeders and Schadenfreude won the Patron’s Pick Award in the Highway 38 Fringe Festival. The North Frontenac News described Sheep Breeders as a “wild and woolly romp through the colourful world of ruminant production”. Stacy is pleased to be working indoors (and with two-legged performers!) this time around!

Carrie Villeneuve, Producer
Carrie Villeneuve is excited and grateful to be working on NIF 2020 with Stacy and Stefani. It’s been a fantastic journey, bringing these new works to life and working with all these talented artists. Enjoy!


Stefani Pockaj, Producer
Since her debut role as Tina Turner the Turkey( In a rendition of Chicken Little) at the age of 11, Stefani has been passionate about theatre and musicals(roles both on and off stage). She is a member of the Alumnae Theatre and is extremely appreciative of all of the opportunities she has been given at Alumnae! 

Background ·
New Ideas Festival (NIF)

NIF was founded in the late 1980s by Molly Thom and Kerri MacDonald as “a laboratory to develop new talent and new theatrical ideas.” Since then, NIF has played and continues to play a role in playwright and script development, and has also provided opportunities for many Toronto directors, actors, stage managers, and technicians at an early stage in their careers.

Many practicing theatre artists over thirty years have participated in the festival, including Florence Gibson, Dave Carley, Emil Sher, Michael Redhill, Mark Brownell, Sue Minor, Brian Quirt, Wayson Choi, Clem Martini, Shirley Barrie, Jordan Hall, Erin Shields, Norman Yeung, Andrea Scott, and Rose Napoli, to name just a few.

The scripts: often they only ever have one production, especially the very short ones. But some have gone on to other theatres and festivals, further development, and a longer life.

For example, Theory, by Norman Yeung, which began as a workshopped reading in NIF 2010, was later produced at SummerWorks 2010 and Alumnae’s FireWorks 2013, received several readings at various theatres, and won the Herman Voaden National Playwriting Competition in 2015.

Theory was programmed as part of Tarragon’s 2018–19 season.

Other recent NIF plays that have been subsequently produced elsewhere include Better Angels: A Parable by Andrea Scott (SummerWorks 2015); Radical by Charles Hayter (Toronto Fringe 2014 and FireWorks 2015); The Creases in My Sari by Sindhuri Nandhakumar (FireWorks 2016); and, This Will Be Our Last Transmission by Natalie Frijia, Surrender Dorothy by Liz Best, and GASH by Caitie Graham (FireWorks 2017); and Omission by Alice Abracen (Alumnae Theatre Company 2018).

However, NIF is not just about developing individual plays, but also serves as a stepping stone in the development of the playwrights and other theatre artists, who need opportunities to test their playwriting, directing, acting, or technical skills. Established playwrights have tried out first drafts at NIF, and emerging artists have gained experience that has helped them move on to the professional theatre world. 

From Carolyn Zapf ‘s 2018 article, “New Ideas Festival – Thoughts on Turning Thirty”.

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