In Making Theatre: A Life of Sharon Pollock, Sherrill Grace has written the story of Pollock’s life from her family roots in New Brunswick through her pioneering years as a Canadian playwright to the present as she continues to make theatre. It focuses attention on Pollock’s distinguished career as a playwright, director, actor and artistic director, and it places her story in the context of what is the flowering of Canadian theatre—the four decades from 1967 to the present. Grace also discusses each of Pollock’s major plays and many of their most interesting productions in Canada, as well as their productions in the United States, Japan and England. In her research for this volume, Grace interviewed theatre people across the globe and visited archives from coast to coast.
Sharon Pollock has won the Governor General’s Award for Drama twice (for Blood Relations and Doc), received several honorary doctorates, and won numerous other prizes and awards. She has also paved the way for the creation of new Canadian plays by championing the work of younger playwrights and mentoring their work across the country, but especially during her years at Banff.
While readers interested in Canadian theatre and in theatre history will find this biography of great value, those more interested in the personal story of a writer’s commitment to her craft and discipline will find Pollock’s story fascinating. While she has often called her family past a “ghost story,” over the course of her career she has had to cope with many challenges much more corporeal. As a woman in a male dominated field, as a mother of six children, as the survivor of an abusive marriage, she has managed to slay what Virginia Woolf once called the “angel in the house” to become one of Canada’s greatest living writers.