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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
December 9, 2016
Canadian Excellence

Colleen Murphy
Colleen Murphy

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Faculty of Arts

Governor General’s Award-winning playwright Colleen Murphy named Edna Staebler Laurier Writer-in-Residence

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Jan 6/14| For Immediate Release


Tanis MacDonald, Associate Professor
Department of English and Film Studies
519-884-0710 ext. 2931 or


Lori Chalmers Morrison, Acting Director
Communications & Public Affairs
519-884-0710 ext. 3067 or

WATERLOO – Colleen Murphy, an award-winning playwright and screenwriter, has been named the 2014 Edna Staebler Laurier Writer-in-Residence. Murphy’s residency occurs from January to March, 2014.

Widely respected in theatrical circles, Murphy is an internationally acclaimed author of 10 plays, including the new plays The Goodbye Bird – which Murphy created during her 2011-2012 residency with Finborough Theatre in London, UK – and Armstrong’s War, which premiered at Vancouver’s Arts Club theatre in 2013. Her screenplays include the Genie-nominated Termini Station, and her films have played to audiences at film festivals in Germany and France, as well as at the Toronto International Film Festival. Murphy won a Governor General’s Award in 2007 for her play The December Man.

Murphy will work on several new projects throughout the winter term and deliver two “Generating Art” public lectures. Her first lecture will be held at 4 p.m. on Feb. 6, in DAWB 2-104, and the second lecture will be held at the end of March. Murphy will also hold regular office hours in the Faculty of Arts office, DAWB 5-108A, to work with students on their creative writing from 9 a.m. to noon every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, beginning Jan. 15. For further information about her office hours, contact Cathy Mahler at

In addition to writing for film and theatre, the multi-talented Murphy is a librettist. She is currently working on several projects for opera production, including The Liberation and Enslavement of Oksana G., which will premier in Toronto with Tapestry New Opera in 2015, and The Breathing Hole, an opera set in the Canadian Arctic.

The Edna Staebler Laurier Writer-in-Residence program was established in 2012 from a bequest from Canadian author Edna Staebler. The program is a full-time, three-month residency for Canadian writers. The writer-in-residence is based on Laurier’s Waterloo campus for the entire three months, and splits his or her time between writing and community programming at Laurier’s multiple campuses. Community programming includes reading manuscripts and consulting with students and the public, visiting classrooms, and giving readings and lectures. The residency launched with author Andrew Westoll.

The search for the 2015 Edna Staebler Laurier Writer-in-Residence will begin in March 2014.


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