New Play Development Program

COMPASS New Play Development Program is dedicated to creating and premiering new work on our stages. We are world curious and London proud and this program reflects our belief that in order to be a relevant theatre company, we must develop and premiere our stories on our stages.

The Grand will commission, write, produce, and premiere original plays that are relevant to our city, our province, and our country. And while these homegrown plays will begin here, our stories will be shared with theatres and stages around the world.

COMPASS is dedicated to igniting imaginations by bringing a modern, unconventional, and brand new sense of theatre engagement to London.

Silence: Mabel and Alexander Graham Bell

By Trina Davies
Directed by Peter Hinton
A Grand Theatre (London, ON) production

Tara Rosling as Mabel in Silence, world premiere January 16 to February 3, 2018. Set & Costume Designer Michael Gianfrancesco, Lighting & Projection Designer Beth Kates, Composer & Sound Designer Richard Feren. Claus Andersen photo.

The Compass New Play Development Program officially launched in 2018 on the Spriet Stage with the world premiere of SILENCE. We are thrilled to announce that the Grand's production will travel to Ottawa's National Arts Centre this October to open the English Theatre 2018/19 season, celebrating the NAC's 50th anniversary.


Plays in Development

An Undiscovered Shakespeare


Partnering with the Stratford Festival, COMPASS is proud to support the development of Spontaneous Theatre's latest improvised creation. An Undiscovered Shakespeare will present a workshop on the McManus Stage for a limited special event run, October 11 to 13, 2018. Learn More »

Title Sponsor
Stratford Festival

Guy Lombardo's New Year's Eve


GUY LOMBARDO’S NEW YEAR’S EVE, with orchestrations and original music by Dave Pierce, book and direction by Dennis Garnhum. This musical celebration of a local hero will celebrate Lombardo and his orchestra, The Royal Canadians, in a sweeping spectacle that traces his legendary rise to “Mr. New Year’s Eve.”

Development Sponsored by
Tourism London

Starlight Tours


STARLIGHT TOURS is a musical drama based on events reported in Saskatchewan in the early 2000s that trace back to the 1970s. A series of investigations revealed a practice by the Saskatoon police of taking First Nations people to the city limits and abandoning them at the side of the road in the dead of winter. The practice became known as “starlight tours.”

Mi'kmaq artist, musician, composer, and playwright Cathy Elliot was originally commissioned to write the book. She passed away suddenly following the first workshop of Starlight Tours with the Canadian Music Theatre Project at Sheridan College. In honour of Cathy we will continue to develop Starlight Tours with Writer Melanie Florence and Leslie Arden as Composer and Lyricist.

Leslie Arden and Cathy Elliot

Melanie Florence
Development Sponsored by
Carlyle Peterson

London Bridges


LONDON BRIDGES is a contemporary comedy in two acts: Act One in London, England, Act Two in London, Ontario, each written by a playwright of that region. The play tells the story of two worlds colliding during one unforgettable visit. Please see London Bridges Call for Playwrights for more details.

Development Sponsored by
Tourism London

Ambrose Small: An Extravagantly Musical, Mysteriously Grand Ghost Story


AMBROSE SMALL: AN EXTRAVAGANTLY MUSICAL, MYSTERIOUSLY GRAND GHOST STORY, will have its World Premiere Halloween 2020 in celebration of the Grand’s 50th Anniversary Season.

Canadian theatre tycoon Ambrose Small built London’s Grand Theatre in 1901.  On December 2, 1919 he vanished, never to be found.  Set against the wildly scandalous vaudeville era, Ambrose Small will invite audiences to explore the Grand as an interactive, site-specific musical adventure.

Playwright Trina Davies
Development Sponsored by
Tourism London


Theatre Creators' Reserve Grant  Learn More »


Header Photo Credit: Adam Lau

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