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George F. Walker has been one of Canada’s most prolific and popular playwrights since his career in theatre began in the early 1970s. His first play, The Prince of Naples, premiered in 1972 at the newly opened Factory Theatre, a company that continues to produce his work. Since that time, he has written more than twenty plays and has created screenplays for several award-winning Canadian television series. Part Kafka, part Lewis Carroll, Walker’s distinctive, gritty, fast-paced comedies satirize the selfishness, greed, and aggression of contemporary urban culture. Among his best-known plays are Gossip (1977); Zastrozzi, the Master of Discipline (1977); Criminals in Love (1984); Better Living (1986); Nothing Sacred (1988); Love and Anger (1989); Escape from Happiness (1991); Suburban Motel (1997, a series of six plays set in the same motel room); and Heaven (2000). Since the early 1980s, he has directed most of the premieres of his own plays.
Many of Walker’s plays have been presented across Canada and in more than five hundred productions internationally; they have been translated into French, German, Hebrew, Turkish, Polish, and Czechoslovakian.
During a ten-year absence from theatre, he mainly wrote for television, including the television series Due South, The Newsroom, This Is Wonderland, and The Line, as well as for the film Niagara Motel (based on three plays from his Suburban Motel series). Walker returned to the theatre with And So It Goes (2010).
Awards and honours include Member of the Order of Canada (2005); National Theatre School Gascon-Thomas Award (2002); two Governor General’s Literary Awards for Drama (for Criminals in Love and Nothing Sacred); five Dora Mavor Moore Awards; and eight Chalmers Canadian Play Awards.
September 2016 : George F. Walker’s new website is launched
March 2016 : We the Family has arrived!
January 2016 : A look at what’s coming this spring
November 2015 : New arrival! Moss Park & Tough! by George F. Walker
October 2015 : Tomson Highway Wins 2015 Herbert Whittaker-CTCA Award!
June 2015 : Talon’s Monthly E-Newsletter for June 2015
January 2015 : Announcement: New Books for Spring 2015!
Winner of the 2001 The Floyd S. Chalmers Canadian Play Award”
QUOTES OF NOTEWe the Family
“Walker’s finest work: it is both endlessly relatable and completely over-the-top; sharp yet sympathetic; dark and macabre without verging on sentimental pathos. As a family member in 2015, you must see this play.”
“If you have a taste for cynical and irreverent humour, death and depravity with a drum roll, this darkly comic culture clash will be right up your alley.”
– Mooney on Theatre
QUOTES OF NOTEDead Metaphor
PRAISE FOR DEAD METAPHOR:
“gritty, grungy and in your face. Its humour drips like drops of liquid tranquillizer designed to soothe undercurrents of lethal pain. While the play’s mind-numbing rage fuels anger, its excoriating comedy leaves you breathless. … Did I say Walker’s work is threatening and provocative, theatre that ought to be seen? Well, it is. The language is unremittingly rough, but true. These people talk like they think.”
– Hamilton Spectator
“Walker’s script churns up politics and violence, economic injustice and the lingering emotional trauma of war, culminating in a zany second act where murder seems like the only way out. … The script has boundless empathy for the emotional, social and moral burdens placed on its male characters …”
“funny, disturbing and highly reflective of our drastically divided post-Sept. 11 political climate. The playwright, a master of the theatrical twist, turns conventional wisdom on its head”
– Finger Lakes Times
“an important play … there is plenty of raunchy humor (with the emphasis on raunchy, so be prepared), and even a kernel or two of truth, which are more than enough to make your experience worthwhile … while you’ll laugh all night, you might also squirm a little from time to time. I highly recommend the experience.”
– Finger Lakes Times
PRAISE FOR THE RAVINE:
“a gritty, dark comedy … Brimming with timely political commentary”
– Today Magazine
“a dark, dirty good time … gloriously unhinged”
– Niagara Falls Review
“filled with clever lines and moments as well as death, desperation, love, treachery and opportunity.”
– Descant blog
PRAISE FOR THE BURDEN OF SELF AWARENESS:
“spirited and merciless … exceedingly dark … ends GCTC’s current season with an admirable bang.”
– Ottawa Citizen
“bold, vulgar and absolutely brilliant. … so fast moving, so funny, so enticing in its debauchery, you never want it to end.”
– Ottawa Life magazine
“hilarious and witty, dark and just a little shocking at times … well worth seeing”
– On Stage Ottawa
QUOTES OF NOTEKing of Thieves
“Everyone is double-crossing everyone else and the bodies are hitting the floor quicker than you can say ‘alienation effect’.”
– Toronto Star
“… slick … entertaining … I loved John Roby’s razz-a-ma-tazzy Jazz Age score, peppy and tuneful”
– Richard Ouzounian, The Star
“a tangled web of treachery, deception, and cold-blooded murder, complete with a fair share of gunfire and stabbing. In other words, a little for the whole family.”
“A charming gangsta rhapsody…”
QUOTES OF NOTEAnd So It Goes
“Walker’s questions are, as always, more philosophical than political, and the answers are hidden far from sight in the dark corners and alleyways of the urban landscape … Oh—and did I mention it’s a comedy?” — Globe & Mail”
QUOTES OF NOTEHeaven
“gritty and intense … Heaven is a very angry production. It’s a show filled with conflict, where the players seem to be battling one another from the moment the lights go up. The language is blunt and the constant barrage of racial slurs shocking and unapologetic. Many of the strongest characters are irredeemable and unlikable, resulting in an angst-filled production gripped by a constant sense of anxiety.”
– Kawartha Now
QUOTES OF NOTEPower Plays, The
Walker has an eye for the ridiculous and an imagination that packs his plays with action.
— New York Times
QUOTES OF NOTEEast End Plays: Part 1, The
One of theatre’s most important voices.
QUOTES OF NOTESuburban Motel
“We’re back in the strange world of George Walker, where humor and horror waltz drunkenly around in each other’s arms.”
– Washington Post
“Walker has an eye for the ridiculous and an
imagination that packs his plays with action.”
– New York Times
QUOTES OF NOTEEast End Plays: Part 2, The
Walker writes with unprecedented directness…[His] characters think and feel out loud in a perpetual persent-tense fever because life, and often more, is on the line.
— Village Voice
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF); and the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council for our publishing activities.