Playwright and screenwriter, born in 1958, grew up in Ponoka Alberta, and lives in Edmonton. She studied at the University of Alberta and has taught playwrighting and screenwriting in the Department of Drama.
She has been writer-in-residence for Theatre Network (1988-92), Playwrights' Workshop Montreal (1994), National Theatre School of Canada (1995), and the Edmonton Public Library. In 2020, she was Writer-in-Residence at the Strathcona County Library, Fort Saskatchewan Library, and St. Albert Library. Many aspiring and seasoned playwrights have benefitted from her mentorship.
Her plays have been produced on many stages in Edmonton and Calgary, and directed by talented Artistic Directors who have long supported new Canadian works. These include Gravel Run (Alberta Theatre Projects 1988, dir. Stephen Heatley, pub. Blizzard 1991, and included in The Alberta Advantage: An Anthology of Plays, Playwrights Canada Press, 2008 ed. Anne Nothof); Dustsluts (Workshop West Theatre, 1992); Sky Geezers (Alberta Theatre Projects 1992, dir. Allen MacInnis); Homesick (Workshop West Theatre, 2000, dir. David Mann, pub. Playwrights Canada Press, 2008); The Aberhart Summer (Great West Theatre Company, Fort MacLeod, Alberta, 1994, dir. David Mann and subsequently produced at Citadel Theatre, January, 2000); The Myth of Summer (Alberta Theatre Projects 2005, dir. James MacDonald); Jake and the Kid, an adaptation of the stories of W.O. Mitchell (Theatre Calgary 2009, dir. Eric Rose); Oh! Christmas Tree (Lunchbox Theatre 2013) revised as a full length play for the Roxy Performance Series at Theatre Network (2018, dir. Brian Deedrick); The Invention of Romance (Workshop West Theatre, 2014, dir. Tracy Carroll, pub. Playwrights Canada Press, 2016); Pants on Fire (The Mommy Monologues) Skirtsafire Festival 2017); Matara: The Elephant Play, (Workshop West Theatre, 2018, dir. Carroll, pub. NeWest Press, 2023); and Fresh Hell (Shadow Theatre 2023, dir. Carroll).
Conni Massing's plays are characterized by a sense of the absurd and quirky humour, an ironic consideration of contemporary dysfunctional family life, and a keen ear for colloquial and witty dialogue. The Aberhart Summer is published by NeWest Press (1999), and Homesick and The Myth of Summer are published in Conni Massing: Two Plays (Playwrights Canada P, 2008). Gravel Run is published in The Alberta Advantage: An Anthology of Plays, Playwrights Canada P, 2008, ed. Anne Nothof.
Her plays have received Betty Mitchell and Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards (Sterling Awards), and she was awarded a Queen's Jubilee Medal for contribution to the arts. She is past president and current member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada.
Massing has been series story editor and/or writer for TV, including The Beat, North of 60, The Adventures of Shirley Holmes, Taking It Off, Family Restaurant, and Mentors. Recent film projects include Invisible, co-written with and directed by Neil Grahn.
Road Tripping: On the Move with the Buffalo Gals, an hilarious account of travelling the rural roads of Alberta with a group of friends for a weekend every summer, was published by Brindle and Glass in 2010.
Profile by Anne Nothof, Athabasca University
Last updated 2023-11-15