The Board of Directors of Workshop West Playwrights’ Theatre is pleased to announce the appointment of Vern Thiessen as Artistic Director
Vern Thiessen’s plays have been seen across Canada, the US, Asia, and Europe, including Einstein’s Gift, Blowfish, Lenin’s Embalmers, Bird Brain, The Resurrection Of John Frum, and Vimy. Three of his plays have premiered off-Broadway, and both Shakespeare’s Will and Apple have each had over 60 productions worldwide.
Vern has served as Playwright in Residence and Dramaturge at various organizations including Workshop West Theatre, the Citadel Theatre, the Banff Centre, and the Blue Heron Arts Centre. He is a Past President of both the Playwrights Guild of Canada and the Writer’s Guild of Alberta. For the past seven years, Vern has been based in New York City where he is a member of The Ensemble Studio Theatre and an Artistic Associate and Teaching Artist with Epic Theatre Ensemble. Last month he completed a two-year position as Project Associate for the New Play Frontiers Program at People’s Light & Theatre in Malvern, Pennsylvania. For several years he was the co-director of both the La Bella Vita Playwriting Retreat and the Catskill Mountains Writers Retreat.
Vern is the recipient of the Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award for Outstanding New Play, The City of Edmonton Arts Achievement Award, the University of Alberta Alumni Award for Excellence, The Carol Bolt Award, The Alberta Playwriting Competition, the Canadian Jewish Playwriting Competition, the Governor General’s Literary Award, and just last week he won the Dora Mavor Moore Award for his adaptation of Of Human Bondage produced by Soulpepper Theatre, Toronto.