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The finalists for the 2020 Governor General's Literary Award for drama

The finalists for the 2020 Governor General's Literary Award for drama.
The finalists for the 2020 Governor General's Literary Award for drama. (Canada Council for the Arts/CBC)

Here are the finalists for the 2019 Governor General's Literary Award for drama.

The Governor General's Literary Awards are one of Canada's oldest and most prestigious literary prizes. 

The awards, administered by the Canada Council for the Arts, are given in seven English-language categories: fictionnonfictionpoetryyoung people's literature — textyoung people's literature — illustration, drama and translation. Seven French-language awards are also given out in the same categories.

Each winner will receive $25,000. The winners will be announced on June 1, 2021.

The drama category was assessed by Catherine Banks, Andrew Moodie and Kenneth T. Williams.

You can see the finalists in all seven categories here.

Get to know the drama finalists below.

bug by Yolanda Bonnell

bug is a play by Yolanda Bonnell. (Scirocco Drama, Gilad Cohen)

bug is a solo show about the impacts of colonization and intergenerational trauma on Indigenous women, as well as a celebration of their strength and resilience.

Yolanda Bonnell is a two-spirit, Ojibwe/South Asian performer and playwright living in Toronto. She was named one of Now Magazine's 15 stage artists to watch, alongside Natasha Greenblatt. Bonell and Greenblatt co-wrote The Election.

Yolanda Bonnell is a two-spirit, Ojibwe/South Asian performer and playwright who's taking a stand with her play Bug, which is on stage now at the Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto. She's made one request from the media: that only Indigenous, black or other people of colour review her play. 11:52

Guarded Girls by Charlotte Corbeil-Coleman

Guarded Girls is a play by Charlotte Corbeil-Coleman. (Playwrights Canada Press)

Guarded Girls is a play about three imprisoned women and a guard who works at the prison where they are incarcerated. Sid is new to the prison and is developing a friendship with her cellmate, Brit. She also forms a complicated relationship with a prison guard. There is also an older inmate, Kit, who is desperate to connect with her visitor.

Charlotte Corbeil-Coleman is a playwright, screenwriter and actor from Toronto. She wrote for the CBC Radio drama Afghanada. She also wrote The End of Pretending with Emily Sugerman, Twisted with Joseph Jomo Pierre, Scratch and Sudden Death

Kamloopa: An Indigenous Matriarch Story by Kim Senklip Harvey

Kamloopa: An Indigenous Matriarch Story is a play by Kim Senklip Harvey. (Talonbooks)

Kamloopa: An Indigenous Matriarch Story is a play about two Indigenous sisters and a Trickster who are making their way to Kamloopa, which is the largest powwow on the west coast. Along the way, they connect with their ancestors, their culture and each other.

Kamloopa: An Indigenous Matriarch Story won the 2019 Jessie Richardson Award for significant artistic achievement and the Sydney J. Risk Prize for outstanding original play by an emerging playwright.

Kim Senklip Harvey is a Syilx, Tsilhqot'in, Ktunaxa and Dakelh Nations playwright and actor. She had roles in Rez SistersGordon Winter and Children of God.

Quick Bright Things by Chris Cook

Quick Bright Things is a play by Chris Cook. (Playwrights Canada Press)

Quick Bright Things is a play that depicts one family's struggle to understand mental health. Gerome is a 17-year-old who has schizophrenia. Over the course of one evening, Gerome, alongside his dad, uncle and cousin, face difficult truths about family, health, healing and what it means to be OK.

Chris Cook is a playwright, performer and therapist from Vancouver. Their other writing credits include The Better Parts of Mourning, Strip and Gerty — Live! In Concert!

Sound of the Beast by Donna-Michelle St. Bernard

Sound of the Beast is a play by Donna-Michelle St. Bernard. (Playwrights Canada Press)

Sound of the Beast explores racial discrimination and activism through a unique blend of spoken word, hip hop and storytelling. It is a play that reflects on systems, and how they connect us but also oppress us and how we can find strength and empowerment within ourselves and each other.

Donna-Michelle St. Bernard is a playwright and artists administrator from Toronto. She wrote the monodrama Witness Shift for the CBC Arts' 21 Black Futures project. She has been nominated for the Governor General's Literary Award for drama twice before: in 2011 for Gas Girls and in 2016 for A Man A Fish.

21 Black Futures anthology explores the future of Blackness

The National

4 months ago
2:03
Obsidian, Canada's premiere theatre company for Black artists, has teamed up with CBC Arts to present 21 visionary imaginings of the future of Black Canadians. We speak to the company's artistic director and one of the actors to hear more about what they want to accomplish with the project. 2:03

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