Gateway Theatre Guild 2019 Development Bursary

Gateway Theatre Guild supports  the development of the  community arts by offering a bursary  of $250.00 CAD  to a selected applicant participating in ON THE EDGE Fringe 2020.  Complete the application (PDF below) and submit to:

To be eligible, the applicant :

1. Must have a confirmed performance spot in the 2020 ON THE EDGE Fringe Festival in North Bay, Ontario.

2. Provide a copy of their original script or performance.

3. Have not received a Gateway Theatre Guild Development Bursary  in the two previous years.

4.  CAEA or ACTRA members are not eligible.

Submit by June 30, 2020 by 11:59 pm for consideration.

2018 Development Bursary Recipient Keegan MacNeil


One Man, All Woman by Keegan MacNeil

Currently enrolled at Nipissing University for English Literature.

Alumni of Canadore College’s Acting for Stage and Screen program.

ON THE EDGE Fringe - Outstanding Production of the Festival.

The creation and journey of “One Man, All Woman” and why this type of Bursary is important to our community

It started off as an experiment of combining both art forms of theatre and drag, and deciding to see if it is possible to create a performance that introduces people to an art form that they may not have experienced before and to show people who are familiar with the art form of drag the more human aspects that they may not have known about. I wrote the script like I would a regular play but I also included the aspects of drag without relying too heavily on pop culture, and combined them with singing preexisting songs to help tell the story. I created this show to see how something like this would appeal to a Northern Ontario audience. When it did come to the performance week of On The Edge Fringe Festival, the audiences started off small but by the fourth night we had a massive turnout. One moment that stood out came from a message that was sent from a mom who had taken her son to see the show the night before. She sent tome this following message:

“We seen your show last night. I brought my son who is in love with drag and everything drag related. I never randomly message people but your show was so incredible, I had to let you know. It was amazing, beautiful, funny, raw and honest. Thank you. Living in a northern community, we don’t get the chance to expose him to drag other than via TV. And although society is progressing, at times not quick enough. We are always going to come across others who have a narrow view on gender roles. I cannot predict the future path my son will take as he’s only 11. We try to prepare him for what he may face. Its one thing to have acceptance from your family and the freedom to rock his wigs and dresses in the comfort of his home and another thing entirely to feel comfortable enough to do it in public. To see others living their truth, as you are-shows him there are real life people who are like him-not just on tv. We loved everything about the show. I loved how you used minimal props-you were the show. You danced your ass off and sang beautifully. Your story was moving and personal-the only shitty part was it was we didn’t want it to end. You are probably thinking, bitch please that was a non stop hour. So keep up the great work, we hope you come back next year with part 2. Best of luck tonight no doubt you will blow everyone away again. Take care and Thank you.”

This is the main reason why the development bursary like the one I received should exist in our community.  Shows like mine don’t only entertain an audience, but they also open doors for people who don’t have the opportunities to experience something like this in a Northern Ontario community and also show how GTG is moving into the “not too distant” future and is still producing quality shows that everyone can enjoy. The fact that the Guild was able to not only produce a show that was a success, but I also won one of the “Best of Fringe” awards. This show would not have been as big of a success without the Guild’s funding and also touch people on an emotion level. This bursary gives up and coming artists that extra funding that they need to ensure that their production goes off without a hitch, and to help show that GTG wants to help foster new and fresh talent.

One Man, All Woman (Full Show):