The Kaplan Script Library

Festival Players is proud to house the Kaplan Script Library as part of the Studio Theatre facility in Wellington, Ontario.

About Jon Kaplan and his collection:

Kaplan was a much-loved theatre critic who wrote for Toronto’s NOW Magazine for 35 years. He was a kind-hearted champion of theatre artists and had an encyclopedic knowledge of the art form. He passed away in 2017, and Festival Players is honoured to have inherited the extensive collection of scripts amassed over his career, generously donated by his long-time partner and husband, Don Cole. Now known as the Kaplan Script Library, over a third of the scripts in the collection will showcase a diverse cross-section from Canadian artists, as well as a large selection from modern, classic, international, and LGBTQ themed playwrights and performers.

Bloomfield resident Aaron Armstrong was instrumental in bringing this collection to Festival Players. A long-time friend of Kaplan’s, and now an organic farmer in Prince Edward County at Blue Wheelbarrow Farm, Armstrong has been cataloguing the collection and reminiscing about their friendship over the past year. Armstrong is deeply touched to know that Kaplan’s legacy is being honoured in his own community by Festival Players. “It makes me so happy that some part of Jon is here in the County; not just in the form of his play collection but in spirit through the stories of others – just ask Maev Beaty, Graham Abbey, Michael Healey, Rebecca Northan or any member of the [2018] season’s company to hear a few,” said Armstrong. “I guarantee they will speak with nothing but fondness for Jon and how each of them have been directly influenced by his generous nature and nurturing friendship.”

This vital collection and unique resource will be activated through a new residency program, through playwright readings and Q&A’s, and made available to the public during theatre hours or by appointment.

The first playwright readings in the Library were in 2018 with The Drawer Boy playwright Michael Healey, local playwrights Suzanne Pasternak and Krista Dalby and A Beautiful View playwright Daniel MacIvor.

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