Prof’s New Winter Work to Air on CBC Radio

November 23, 2011 - Campus Bulletin

Judith Thompson, a University of Guelph theatre studies professor and award-winning playwright, is one of 10 Governor General’s Award-winning writers who will be featured in a special series called “Winter Tales” airing on CBC Radio.

The series celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Governor General’s Awards and the CBC.

Thompson has written and performed a monologue called “Sundays in January” to be featured on The Sunday Edition this week. The program airs across Canada on CBC Radio One at 9:10 a.m. in each time zone.

“Sundays in January” tells the story of a young girl longing to escape the emotional blizzard inside her house.

“When I was asked to write a short story or essay or monologue on the subject of winter, my first thoughts were clichéd and generic — rhapsodizing about moonlight on snow and warm coffee houses — so I dismissed them immediately,” Thompson said.

“I thought about the misconception that cold weather is what causes people to get more colds in the winter, when in fact it’s being inside together that allows germs to circulate and cause problems. So that led me to the idea of a young girl who loves the outdoors in winter but hates the indoors. Once I had that idea, the monologue wrote itself.”

Thompson said performing the monologue required her to “think like a 12-year-old but not try to imitate the voice of a 12-year-old. For me, though it was a 45-year stretch, it really was not much of a stretch.”

A widely recognized playwright, director, screenwriter, actor and producer, Thompson is a two-time winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama for The Other Side of the Dark (1989) and White Biting Dog (1984).

She was a 2008 finalist for Palace of the End, a political play currently running to full houses in Brazil and about to tour Italy.

A U of G professor since 1992, Thompson won the 2009 Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award. In 2008, she was the first Canadian to win the international Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. She has been nominated twice for a Genie Award, was a finalist for the inaugural Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and won the Floyd S. Chalmers Canadian Play Award.

In 2005, she was named an Officer of the Order of Canada for her outstanding contributions in arts and writing.

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