Colleen Wagner

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Colleen Wagner
BA (Toronto), AOCA
Professor Emeritus
Department of Cinema & Media Arts

Colleen Wagner is a playwright, screenwriter and short fiction writer. Her first stage play, Sand, was shortlisted for best international play at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, England, in 1989. She won the 1996 Governor General’s Award for Drama for her play The Monument.

The Monument has been translated into French, German, Portuguese, Romanian, Kinyarwandan and Mandarin, and continues to be produced internationally. Its Beijing production was the first commercial production of a Canadian play in translation to be produced in China, and in 2006, The Monument became the first production by a non-black writer to be presented by Toronto’s Obsidian Theatre Company. Following readings at Rwanda’s National Genocide Memorial, Gisozi in 2007, The Monument was produced in the local Kinyarwanda language and toured Rwanda 2008-2009. In 2011 the Rwandan production by Isoko Theatre was invited to Canada, with performances at Toronto’s World Stage and in Ottawa and Montreal.

Other stage credits include Home, which premiered at Bus Stop Theatre, Halifax (2010); down from heaven, which premiered at Imago Theatre, Montreal (2009) and was nominated for a MECCA award; and The Morning Bird, which premiered at the Notable Acts Summer Theatre Festival in Fredericton, NB (2005) and was translated into French and toured the province. Her plays have been published by Playwrights Canada Press and Scirocco Drama and are found in several anthologies.

Professor Wagner has written film scripts for various producers, including a screenplay adaptation ofThe Monument (currently in Los Angeles); wrote and produced the short film, Remembrance Day; and has story-edited several films and documentaries.

Current projects include a new play, new screenplay and a book. Professor Wagner recently completed field research in Africa for a new production, titled Theatre of the Wounded, supported by a research/creation grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.


2011 down from heaven. Playwrights Canada Press, 2011
2009 The Morning Bird, Scirocco Drama Press, 2009
1996 Sand, chapbook published by Playwrights Canada Press
1996 Eclipsed, chapbook published by Playwrights Canada Press
1995 The Monument, published by Playwrights Canada Press (6th printing)
Winner of Governor Generals Award, 1996
Translated into French by Carole Frechette, 2000
Translated into German by Wilfred Schmidt, 2000
Translated into Mandarin by Wu Zhuhong, 2000
Translated into Portugese by Cristina Bizarro, 2006
Translated into Romanian. 2007
Translated into Kinyarwanda by Emmanuel Munyarukumbuzi. 2008.
Translated into Taiwanese, 2010.

Publications in Anthologies

2010 Pure Gold, Scenes From Canadian Plays Since 1990, Excerpts from The Monument. Edited by Brian Kennedy. Playwrights Canada Press. Toronto, ON.
2009 Canada and the Theatre of War, Volume II The Monument. Edited by Sherrill Grace and Donna Coates. Playwrights Canada Press. Toronto, ON.
2008 Young Women’s Monologues from Contemporary Plays #2, Excerpts from The Morning Bird. Edited by Gerald Lee Ratliff. Published by Meriwether Publishing Ltd. Colorado Spring, CO.
2007 Theatre Research in Canada, Volume 26, 1 & 2. Excerpts from The Morning Bird. Edited by Bruce Barton, Toronto, and Glen Nicols, Moncton.
2006 Canada on Stage: Scenes and Monologues, A survey of Canadian Theatre, Excerpts from The Monument. Edited by Iris Turcott and Keith Turnbull. Published by Playwrights Canada Press.
2006 He Speaks: Monologues for Men, Excerpts from The Monument.  Edited by David Ferry. Playwrights Canada Press.
2005 The Monument, (translated in Mandarin), published by The Publishing House of Beijing Broadcasting Institute, Beijing, China.
2004 She Speaks: Monologues for Women, Excerpts from The Monument and The Morning Bird. Edited by Judith Thompson, Playwrights Canada Press.
2003 The Broadview Anthology of Drama, Vol. II, The Monument. Edited by Jennifer Wise and Craig S. Walker, Broadview Press.
2002 The Morning Bird, Excerpts published in Canplay, Playwright Union of Canada’s Quarterly periodical
2000 7 Cannons. An anthology of plays. The Monument. Published by Playwrights Canada Press.
2000 Excerpts from The Morning Bird published in The Fiddlehead, Atlantic Canada’s International Literary Journal, Winter 2000, No. 206
1998 The Fire, Published by Dandelion. Vol. 24 No. 1.  1997. (short story, part of manuscript in progress; Pilgrims)
1985 The Long Distance Runner.   Poetry. Published by Acta Victoriana, Vol. 108, No. 1.

Articles in Refereed Journals

1999 “Family Politics”, review of the Governor General’s Award nominated play,Corker, by Wendy Lill. The Fiddlehead. Winter No. 202