Newmarket National 10 Minute Play Festival


Newmarket National 10 Minute Play Festival (July 22 to 28)
The many ways to sample fresh stories by Canadian Playwrights

Presented by the BMW Newmarket, the Third Annual Newmarket National 10 Minute Play Festival (NNPF) runs from Monday, July 22 to Sunday, July 28 in the heart of Newmarket’s picturesque, historic Main Street, located just 40 minutes north of Toronto. The NNPF premieres 24 ten-minute plays that are finalists in a national playwriting competition entered by Canadian playwrights living at home and abroad.

Audiences will discover a different kind of theatre, taking in 6 plays in just 60 minutes. The festivities include many FREE activities including Playwright Readings, Actor and Director Talkbacks, Art Exhibition/NGA Explore Art Tours, and special discounts on dining and shopping nearby. The weeklong Festival is a great way to enjoy professional theatre at family-affordable prices while experiencing beautiful historic Newmarket—a perfect location for day trips.

Click here to see our video.


How it began

The Newmarket National 10 Minute Play Festival began as the passion project of Artistic Director Michael Halfin, a retired drama teacher who aims to create a new national platform for Canadian writers and emerging and veteran theatre artists. While many theatre festivals reinterpret works of yesteryears, this festival provides a stage for contemporary storytellers to express, explore and experiment with their diverse ideas. Professional actors and directors from the GTA and beyond are provided a national profile in which to showcase their talent. With the support of the Town of Newmarket, the NNPF launched in 2017 and received a terrific response from the community, including not only Festival attendees, but also host families who welcomed actors to stay in their homes. Area businesses that offered great deals to festivalgoers were also thrilled to welcome them into their establishments.

Reflecting our diverse Canadian voices

Twenty-four new, never-been-seen plays are grouped into 4 themes. Each performance is 60 minutes long consisting of 6 plays, at a cost of $20 per ticket (taxes included). This year’s themes are:

stand | OUT
Sometimes a door isn’t locked; it’s just stuck in place.

you | TURN
When travelling the winding road, it’s hard to see the curve that lies ahead.

end | RUN
If the end is inevitable, why didn’t we know that from the beginning?

after | LIFE
“Where life belongs to the living and he who lives must be prepared for changes.”-Goethe

Visit our website to explore the synopses of all the plays in each theme.

Nurturing Canadian Talent

NEW THIS YEAR! 10 Minute Play Writing Workshop (July 22 & 23) is a hands-on workshop over 2 half days, for writers of any age who are interested in learning how to write an impactful ten-minute play now…not some day. Cost is $25 per person with lunch included on DAY 1. Please Register early as space is limited!

Newmarket Group of Artists Exhibit (July 22 – 28) showcases local visual artists whose work explores the same themes as presented in this year’s Newmarket National 10 Minute Play Festival using different mediums. Free Admission. Also, check the schedule for FREE guided NGA Explore art tours for each Festival theme!

Special Extended Gallery Hours: July 22 to 24, from 10 am to 4 pm | July 25 to 28, from 10 am to 8 pm

A special afternoon outing

NEW THIS YEAR! Seniors Matinée (Thursday, July 25, 2-4 p.m.) A special afternoon outing designed for Seniors. Arrive at 1:30 p.m. for a performance of stand | OUT at 2 p.m., followed by tea and refreshments afterwards, and an opportunity to meet with the actors. Venue is fully accessible.

Group bookings of 8+ contact Janet Raponi at or call 905-953-5313

Single tickets on sale at

Make it yours!

There are plenty of FREE things to do in addition to the plays! Plan your own “playdate” with friends, gather with family, or treat your out-of-town guests to a sample of the cultural life in Newmarket. Ticket holders, don’t forget to ask about special offers at participating Festilicious and Merchant program locations. Saturday, July 27th, also includes Buskerfest on Main Street — FREE for all ages.

Newmarket National 10 Minute Play Festival

Monday, July 22 to Sunday, July 28, 2019
Ticket: $20 (incl. tax) for 6 plays in 60 minutes
Venue: Newmarket Old Town Hall, 460 Botsford Street, Newmarket L3Y 1T1
For more information, visit | Email
Follow us on Social Media @Newnatplayfest

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