Go to page content

Celebrated playwright

Bernie Stapleton announced as writer-in-residence 2019-20

Campus and Community

By Janet Harron

The Department of English and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences are delighted to announce that Berni Stapleton is Memorial’s writer-in-residence for 2019-20.

There will be an inaugural reading on Thursday, Sept. 12, in Suncor Energy Hall, School of Music, beginning at 7:30 p.m.; all are welcome to attend.

Ms. Stapleton is one of Newfoundland and Labrador’s most distinguished – and busiest – playwrights and performers.

A new musical for which she wrote the script, No Change in the Weather, is currently touring across Canada. With Nicole Leona Smith, she recently completed work on Mill Girls, a play in development dramatizing the Second World War recruitment of Newfoundland women to work in woollen mills in Cambridge, Ont.

Her play, Dolly, won the 2018 Arts and Letters Award for Best Dramatic Script. Her tragedy, Offensive to Some, was revived last winter in a new production by Persistence Theatre.

Last spring she published transVersing with Breakwater Books: the play, which she assembled in collaboration with Sharon King-Campbell, an MA candidate in the Department of English, is a montage of monologues written by members of the trans community of St. John’s.

‘Light years forward’

“Ms. Stapleton’s inexhaustible energy and her political and artistic commitment will be priceless gifts to the university community,” sayid Dr. Andrew Loman, chair of the visiting writers committee.

Ms. Stapleton will be working on three writing projects during the course of her residency. She will be writing a new play, Antidote to Life, that joins Offensive to Some and Woman in a Monkey Cage as a loose trilogy on the subject of contemporary womanhood.

She’ll also be working on a memoir and a book for young adults, both of which she’ll bring considerably closer to completion.

“An opportunity like this brings the writer light years forward in process and progress,” said Ms. Stapleton. “I can’t wait to share my work, connect with students and work with the incredible faculty to create a series of events open to all.”

Activities that will unfold during the residency will be announced at the public reading event on Sept. 12 welcoming her to the university. There’s no charge for admission; free parking is available in lot 15B.


To receive news from Memorial in your inbox, subscribe to Gazette Now.


Latest News

Record numbers

Student enrolment reaches all-time high

Proposals welcome

Vice-Presidents Council funds accepting applications

Welcome to Memorial!

Advice for new students from Jordan Hollahan: 'Seek help'

Waves of support

Student Emergency Fund tops $252,000 thanks to community generosity

‘Surreal’ moment

Gender studies scholar recognized nationally for influential research contributions

‘Energy and joy’

Choral professor celebrated by RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant awards