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Chislett, Anne

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Anne Chislett

Playwright born in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador December 22, 1942, and raised there. She was educated at Memorial University, St. John's and the University of British Columbia, and taught English in Ontario high schools before becoming a full time playwright in 1980.

Anne Chislettís plays have been widely produced across Canada, the United States, and Japan. Her Amish play, Quiet in the Land (Blyth Festival 1981, dir. Guy Sprung) won the Governor Generalís Award for Drama and the Chalmers Award, and has become a classic of modern Canadian theatre. It is one of the few Canadian plays to be produced at the Stratford Festival (2003, dir. Andrey Tarasiuk), and was produced in a Japanese translation by Toyoshi Yoshihara, by Maple Leaf, Tokyo.

Flippiní In (Young Peopleís Theatre 1995), which focuses on the attempts of a young fast-food worker to form a union, won the Chalmers Young Audiences Award. Not Quite the Same (Theatre Direct, Toronto 2000) was nominated for both the Dora Mavor Moore and Chalmers awards.

Other plays include A Summer Burning (Blyth 1977, dir, James Roy); The Tomorrow Box (Kawartha Summer Theatre, Lindsay 1980), which won the Best Production Award at the Hiroshima Festival; Another Seasonís Promise (Blyth 1986), and a new sequel, Another Seasonís Harvest, both written with Keith Roulston; Half a Chance (Lighthouse Festival 1988, dir. by Roy); Yankee Notions (Blyth 1992, dir. Damir Andrei); No Sweat; The Perilous Pirateís Daughter (written with David Archibald,); and Glengarry School Days (Blyth 1994), written with Janet Amos.

From 1998 to 2002 she was Artistic Director of the Blyth Festival, a theatre dedicated to new Canadian works which she co-founded in 1975. Anne Chislett has also worked extensively as a dramaturg. She currently lives in St. Johnís, Newfoundland, and has been Vice President of Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre, and on the Advisory Board of the Playwrights Guild of Canada.

Many of Chislettís plays focus on the farm communities of southern Ontario, and typically feature strong, independent women struggling against stubborn men, or conflicts between parent and child, conformity and individuality.

Profile by Anne Nothof, Athabasca University

Last updated 2021-08-28