Sharon Pollock, born in 1936 in Fredericton, New Brunswick, is a Canadian playwright, actor, director, who moved to Calgary, Alberta in 1966 where she still resides. She has been Artistic Director of Theatre Calgary (1984), Theatre New Brunswick (1988–1990) and Performance Kitchen & The Garry Theatre, the latter which she herself founded in 1992. As playwright, actor, director, teacher, mentor, adjudicator, wordsmith, theatre administrator, and critic, Sharon Pollock has played an integral role in the shaping of Canada’s national theatre tradition. She continues to produce new works and to contribute to Canadian theatre as passionately as she has done over the past fifty years.
Pollock is nationally and internationally respected for her work and support of the theatre community. She has also played a major role in informing Canadians about the “dark side” of their history and current events, in particular The Komagata Maru Incident (see below).
This collection, comprised entirely of new and original assessments of her work and contribution to theatre, is both timely and long overdue.
With contributions by:
Kathy K. Y. Chung
Sharon Pollock: First Woman of Canadian Theatre
978-1-55238-791-7 (Institutional PDF)
$34.95 CAD / $34.95 USD
pub date: October 2015
The Komagata Maru Incident
The Komagata Maru incident involved a Japanese steamship, Komagata Maru, that sailed from Hong Kong, Shanghai, China to Yokohama, Japan and then to Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1914, carrying 376 passengers from Punjab, British India. Of them 24 were admitted to Canada, but the 352 other passengers were not allowed to land in Canada, and the ship was forced to return to India.The passengers consisted of 340 Sikhs, 24 Muslims, and 12 Hindus, all British subjects. This was one of several incidents in the history of early 20th century involving exclusion laws in both Canada and the United States designed to keep out immigrants of only Asian origin. It proved to be a bitter and tragic experience for the passengers, first in an unsuccessful and eventually physical confrontation with officials, police and the military at the Port of Vancouver, and then in a deadly encounter with police and troops near Kolkata on the passengers’ forced return to India.
About the Author:
Donna Coates is an associate professor in the Department of English at the University of Calgary. She has edited, with George Melnyk, Wild Words: Essays on Alberta Literature; with Sherrill Grace, Canada and the Theatre of War: Volumes One and Two; and she has written dozens of book chapters and articles on Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and American women’s war fictions and drama.
Sharon Pollock: First Woman of Canadian Theatre is available for download as an open access publication at: http://press.ucalgary.ca/books/9781552387894