March Madness X

KWLT’s ultimate theatrical competition
Back for its tenth year

Auditions: February 25, 2023
Performance: March 4, 2023

The idea is simple: one script, multiple visions, one night only. We give 2–4 production teams the same short script and one week to prepare: find a vision for the script, audition and cast their actors, rehearse the play and bring their vision to life. At the end of the week, the various versions take the stage back to back for a single performance; an adjudicator gives feedback and awards, and the audience votes on their favourite.

The idea is simple. The results are… unpredictable. Welcome to KWLT’s March Madness.

Watch it right here or go to YouTube to join the chat! You can find the programme here.

This year: live and in person again

After the last two editions of March Madness being streaming-only, we’re happy to be back in the Black Box and in front of a live audience again. We’re not just going back to How It Was, though — we’ve learned a few things since 2020 and we’ll be folding in a few changes to the March Madness Classic Experience that you’ll remember from the Before Times.

You’ll have just two chances to catch the madness: our matinee performance on March 4th at 2pm and the evening show at 8pm. The evening performance is the full show, featuring a Q&A session with the author along with the adjudication. The afternoon show is more like an open dress rehearsal, with just the plays themselves; tickets for the matinee are available at the door on a pay-what-you-can basis. If you’re in either audience, you’ll get to cast your vote to help select the Audience Favourite award winner.

Can’t make it in person? We’ll also be live-streaming the evening show! The video is embedded above. Our streaming audience will also have the ability to vote for Audience Favourite.

This year’s script: Captive by Amy Neufeld

The script for this year’s show is called Captive, written by local artist Amy Neufeld. If you want to see what you’re in for, you can read it here.

Photo of playwright Amy Neufeld

Amy Neufeld is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Lightning Banjo Productions. She has an Honours BA in English Literature from Laurier, and a Theatre Arts Diploma from MacEwan University. Previous writing credits for Lightning Banjo Productions include Cinderella, CEO, Betty and the Beast, The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Friends, and The Velveteen Rabbit. Amy was a member of Pat the Dog’s Women’s Room in 2021, and wrote and performed Wish Fish as part of Lumen 2022. Amy’s play Witches in the Woods will be part of the 2023 Femme Folks Fest running March 8-20, 2023. In addition to writing and performing, Amy also teaches drama classes through Lightning Banjo Productions.

Our adjudicator: Sam Varteniuk

For the past 11 years Sam has served as Executive Director of The Registry Theatre, pursuing a mandate to support and develop the arts in Waterloo Region through professional arts presenting, rentals, and community theatre. Before that, he spent over 25 years writing, directing, producing, and starring in stage plays, short films, and sketch comedy.  His company Mostly Water Theatre was a staple of the Edmonton International Fringe Festival, and he was a regular contributor to CBC Radio’s The Irrelevant Show.  His history of community creation and education stretch from academia (graduate degree in Drama from the University of Alberta) to institutions like Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre and Kitchener’s JM Drama Alumni. He has worked extensively in the world of Drama Therapy/Theatre for Social Change, collaborating with mental health organizations, seniors’ communities, and newcomers to Canada to tell their stories. He is a founding member of Lightning Banjo Productions, a Theatre for Young Audiences company