Writing

Plays by Kaitlyn Riordan:

Portia’s Julius Caesar

Adapted from Shakespeare’s classic political thriller, this hybrid script refocuses the plot onto the female characters, with 50% Shakespearean text and 50% new writing, in iambic pentametre.

As Caesar reaches ambitiously for more power, Brutus, Cassius and a band of conspirators plot to stop him – by bloody means. In this radical adaptation, we discover Portia, Brutus’ wife, as she tries to keep the peace in Rome, all while protecting her best friend Calpurnia, her new son and the democracy she believes in.

-Produced in 2018, by Shakespeare in the Ruff to great critical and popular acclaim
-Produced in 2019 at Hart House Theatre

“Riordan’s feminist interpretation resonates with present-day politics, specifically the #MeToo movement and the Trump presidency. But it also casts the entirety of the Bard’s canon in a new light, inviting all to imagine what other plays might look like if given a similar treatment.” NOW Magazine 4/5 stars


1939 (working title)
by Jani Lauzon & Kaitlyn Riordan

“Our play is set 1939, when a group of students at an Indian Residential School in Ontario, are faced with the seemingly impossible task of putting on a performance by that old, dead, white guy; William Shakespeare. And not for just any audience either, but for the King and Queen of England, on a visit to their school to see how well these young people are assimilating into the dominant colonial culture. But our students are resilient and resourceful, finding their own way into the text through connecting it to Indigenous language structure, social dance drum rhythms, and the enduring theme of survival; determined to challenge their teacher’s notions that there’s only one way to do Shakespeare.”

Connected by their love of Shakespeare, particularly performing it outdoors, Jani Lauzon and Kaitlyn Riordan have been researching and developing this piece since 2017. Along with their invaluable Research Dramaturg; Sorouja Moll, they have travelled to Sault-Ste-Marie, Kettle Point, and many spots in between to speak with Elders, consult archives, and visit sites where Residential Schools have stood. Jessica Carmichael came on as their Dramaturg at the end of 2019.

-Supported through Stratford Festival’s Lab and the Canada Council for the Arts through Shakespeare in the Ruff


I Sit Content – A Story of Emily Carr

An exploration of the value of art, this Canadian history play entangles us with two of Canada’s most celebrated artists; Emily Carr & Lawren Harris.

For almost 15 years, during her middle age, Emily Carr stopped painting. The exhaustion of poverty, the sting of rejection, and the isolation of the artist’s life were too much to contend with. Then, in her late 50’s, after meeting Lawren Harris – defacto leader of The Group of Seven – she began painting again with a vengeance. Their unexpected, volatile relationship, foils to each other’s lives, play out in ‘I Sit Content’, asking us all to consider the worth of art. 

-Developed through the Playwright’s Unit at The Thousand Islands Playhouse
-Supported by The Toronto Arts Council and The Tarragon Theatre


For script inquiries, please contact kaitlynriordan@hotmail.com