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Posted: Tuesday March 23, 2010
John Murrell

John Murrell was born in 1945 in Texas, but has lived for many years in Calgary, Alberta. He has been playwright-in-residence with Alberta Theatre Projects from 1975 to 1976, associate director of the Stratford Festival from 1977 to 1978, and head of the Banff Centre School of Fine Arts Playwrights Colony in 1986. In 1988 he was appointed Head of the Canada Council’s Theatre Section. Murrell’s 1980 play Waiting for the Parade has become a classic repertoire piece in theatres in the English-speaking world.

LATEST John Murrell NEWS

March 2017 : New books for spring! Poetry, fiction, and drama

February 2016 : Valentine’s Day Specials!

March 2015 : Waiting for the Parade in St. Albert, AB

September 2014 : 100 Ebooks Published!

May 2014 : 85 Ebooks Published To Date!

June 2013 : John Murrell’s new play, Peace in Our Time, Premieres at the Shaw Festival


Waiting for the Parade

Winner of the 1980 The Floyd S. Chalmers Canadian Play Award


Faraway Nearby, The

Winner of the 1996 The Floyd S. Chalmers Canadian Play Award



Winner of the 1993 Alberta Writer’s Guild Prize for Drama



Even the simplest lines have a quiet eloquence…soft explosions of the heart.
Quill & Quire


Waiting for the Parade

“Trust me, any play with such beautiful language and such poignant insights, will never become obsolete. … It’s not a stodgy old history lesson but a universal statement about how women look at everything from world events to the current fashions. Murrell’s greatest gift has always been his ability to get into the heads, hearts and souls of women. I’ve always thought of him as Calgary’s Tennessee Williams… There are many exceptional speeches in Murrell’s play … It doesn’t take a whole speech for Murrell to deliver a punch.”
—_Calgary Herald_

"Waiting for the Parade demonstrates the old theatrical law that a play that is local, detailed and specific often has the capacity to reach out beyond its immediate environment. Set in Calgary, Alberta, Waiting for the Parade deals with the way five women coped with the pressures of World War II. Geographically, the conflict may have been remote, but it still impinged on individual lives. Waiting for the Parade is an honest play that captures precisely the texture of ordinary hopes and despairs.”

“…subdued and definitely reflective. It’s told not from the male point of view, but from the women left behind to raise children, keep factories operational, and bolster young solders as they leave for the killing fields. … an honest appraisal and speaks directly to the heart. … In short, this is a parade of talent worth seeing. ”
St. Albert Gazette

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