Filipino-Canadian Primrose Knazan bags 1st place in Jewish Playwriting tilt

Primrose Knazan Jewish Playwriting tilt
Filipino-Canadian playwright and novelist Primrose Madayag Knazan wrote the award-winning play about a Filipino-Jewish woman. Photo from MNjcc on Instagram.

Filipino-Canadian playwright and novelist Primrose Madayag Knazan has won first place in the Canadian Jewish Playwriting Competition with her work, Precipice.

The Winnipeg-based writer of Filipino descent was named the winner of the contest which was open to all Canadian playwrights who submitted entries with a Jewish focus or depicting a prominent theme or aspect of Jewish life.

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Knazan’s winning play “Precipice” follows a young, strong-willed Filipino woman Sharrah’s conversion story to Judaism, a journey that takes her from her future in-laws’ Seder table to a synagogue in the Philippines.

Caught between her Filipino mother’s expectations and her brother’s estrangement from the family, she wonders if she’s ready to walk the path of the Torah.

“I am excited to finally share that I won the 2021 Canadian Jewish Playwriting Competition with my play, Precipice!” Primrose Madayag Knazan wrote in an Instagram post on January 23, 2022.

As the winner of the competition, Knazan will receive $1000, generously donated by the Asper Foundation. The Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre (MNjcc), in partnership with the Winnipeg Jewish Theatre, will also present a Between Stages play reading of Knazan’s “Precipice” as part of her prize.

The jury members of the tilt consisted of representatives from the Harold Green Jewish Theatre of Toronto, the Winnipeg Jewish Theatre, Segal Centre for Performing Arts in Montreal, and Neptune Theatre in Halifax.

As a playwright and author, Knazan writes from the perspective of a Filipino-Canadian and a Jewish woman’s perspective.

Her plays have been featured at the Winnipeg Jewish Theatre, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Winnipeg Fringe Festival, Sarasvati Production’s FemFest, and Carlos Bulosan/Theatre Amihan’s Tales from the Flip Side Filipino-Canadian playwright’s festival.

Last year, Knazan released her debut young adult novel, “Lessons in Fusion.” Her first book tells the story of a creative young woman who learns about Filipino culture through food.

The following is the book’s synopsis from the author:

“Sixteen-year-old Sarah (it’s pronounced SAH-rah, thank you) has a successful blog creating fusion recipes. When Sarah is invited to compete on Cyber Chef, a virtual cooking competition, her twists on her Baba’s recipes are not enough to pique the palette of the show’s producers,”

“She is pushed to present dishes that represent her Filipinx culture, but these flavours are foreign to her since her parents raised her emphatically Jewish. To survive Cyber Chef and find her cultural identity, Sarah must discover why her mother turned her back on all things Filipinx, and learn the true meaning of fusion.”

Aside from being a playwright, Primrose Madayag Knazan is also a food writer for the Filipino Journal, a social media influencer, and the mother of two Filipinx-Jewish boys.

Last year, Filipino immigrant Carla Montemayor won a London Writers Award (LWA) given by Spread the Word, a writer development agency championing the underrepresented and marginalized voices in the United Kingdom publishing industry.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS in the comments below to Filipina-Canadian playwright and novelist Primrose Madayag Knazan for winning first place in the 2021 Canadian Jewish Playwrighting Competition with her work, Precipice.

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.