'A love story': Playwrights find inspiration during Gros Morne retreat

'A love story': Playwrights find inspiration during Gros Morne retreat

A group of playwrights from across Canada have written a new story inspired by the beauty and serenity of Gros Morne.

"It's a love story," said Emma Tibaldo of Playwrights' Workshop Montreal. 

The collaboration originated when Creative Gros Morne contacted Playwrights' Workshop Montreal to gauge the interest in creating a national residency in Gros Morne, which made perfect sense to Tibaldo.

"It is possibly — I would say — the most beautiful place on earth and perfectly set up for retreats for people to create art, and to be inspired by nature and to be inspired by the culture around them."

Tibaldo said the groups wanted to involve both official languages and brought le Centre des auteurs dramatiques on board. The three organizations then put out a call for playwrights and selected seven writers from the more than 70 applicants.

'It is a magical combination'

Tibaldo said the Bonne Bay Marine Station served as a gathering point.

"Every night at five o'clock we would get together and people would speak about their processes, their challenges, and we would be inspired by each other," Tibaldo said.

"Together with the nature, the staff at Bonne Bay Marine Station, and the playwrights together in one place, it is a magical combination."

One of those playwrights is Andrea Scott, who is working on a play about black Nova Scotian businesswoman Viola Desmond. 

"I'm living in Toronto, and it's a little bit different looking out your window at the concrete jungle, as opposed to being out in an environment with the nature and the water and the people and the voices that we don't hear in Toronto very often," said Scott.

"I thought that might be more inspiring as opposed to sitting in my little basement apartment and I was absolutely right, it was wonderful."

Energized by other writers

Playwright Pascale Rafie of Quebec said she drew inspiration from more than just getting away from the day-to-day grind.

"What you happen to feel and to encounter is the other people you're working with, and this is another type of inspiration," she said. 

Rafie said she would take walks through Norris Point and find herself energized to continue writing.

"I worked on my play and I think I found things that I wouldn't have found in another context, so I think it worked out," she said.

"The only thing is I would like to stay a little longer. I fell in love with the place, really."