Biography

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 381

Sharon Pollock was born on April 19, 1936, in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. Named Mary Sharon Chambers, she was the daughter of a physician and politician. Her mother died when she was sixteen, evidently a suicide. She studied at the University of New Brunswick but dropped out to marry Ross...

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Sharon Pollock was born on April 19, 1936, in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. Named Mary Sharon Chambers, she was the daughter of a physician and politician. Her mother died when she was sixteen, evidently a suicide. She studied at the University of New Brunswick but dropped out to marry Ross Pollock, a Toronto insurance broker, with whom she had five children before the marriage ended.

Pollock then became involved in theatre in New Brunswick and later moved on to Calgary, Canada. In 1971, after having worked as an actress, she began to write plays Her first work to be staged was Walsh, which was produced in 1973. The play examines the Canadian government's treatment of Native North Americans. Like Walsh, her subsequent work often deals with political themes. The Komagata Maru Incident, which was first produced in 1976, addresses the issue of racism.

Blood Relations was first produced in 1980 (although an early version of the play was produced in 1976 under the title My Name Is Lisabeth) and signaled a shift in Pollock's drama towards the individual as seen in family and social relationships. The play earned Pollock a Governor General's Literary Award, the first time a published dramatic work received such an honor. A second Governor General's Award came to Pollock for Doc, produced m 1984. This play later evolved into Family Trappings and is based on autobiographical material about Pollock's family. Other productions of Pollock's work include Fair Liberty's Call, which premiered at the Stratford Festival in 1993, and Saucy Jack, performed first at the Garry Theatre in Calgary, where she is founder and artistic director

Pollock's other literary honors include the Canada Australia Literary Award (1987) for her body of work, the ACTRA Nellie Drama Award for National Radio, and a Golden Sheaf Award for writing for television.

Pollock has not limited her activity solely to creating her dramas; she has taught play writing at a number of Canadian universities and has worked as a director. She has been chairperson of the Advisory Arts Panel of Canada Council, headed the Playwright's Colony at the Banff Centre for Fine Arts, and has been associate director for both the Stratford Festival Theatre and the Manitoba Theatre Centre In addition to the contemporary stage, she has written for radio and television She has also written numerous dramatic works for children.

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