Sally Clark

Sally Joan Clark, playwright, author, painter, filmmaker (b at Vancouver 26 Jul 1953). Sally Clark was educated at the University of British Columbia (1971-73) and at York University, Toronto (BA in fine arts, 1975). A playwright with a distinctive voice and vision, Clark offers a heady mix of comedy and tragedy, black satire and sorrow. Her plays typically feature strong, resilient women at odds with the society in which they live and several are based on historical figures.

In 1983 she directed Ten Ways to Abuse an Old Woman, her first one-act play, at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre's Rhubarb Festival. Her breakthrough came in 1984 when Clarke Rogers directed her first full-length play, Lost Souls and Missing Persons, at Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto.

Sally Clark's very successful play Moo premièred at Alberta Theatre Projects' 1988 festival of new plays and was produced at Factory Theatre, Toronto in 1989. Written in 47 short, sharp scenes, it tells the story of an eccentric woman who is obsessed with a womanizer named Harry and pursues him all over the world. It won the 1989 Chalmers Canadian Play Award. Canadian Stage's 1989 production of Clark's The Trial of Judith K, loosely based on Franz Kafka's novel but with a modern businesswoman as protagonist, was nominated for a DORA AWARD and for a 1991 GOVERNOR GENERAL'S LITERARY AWARD.

Jehanne of the Witches, produced by Tarragon Theatre in 1989, centres on Saint Joan and her friendship with the mass murderer Gilles de Rais, otherwise known as Bluebeard. Life Without Instruction, produced by Theatre Plus in 1991, is a revenge comedy based on the story and trial of Italian painter Artemisia Gentileschi, whose teacher had raped her. Saint Frances of Hollywood, which premiered in 1994, is based on the life and sufferings of Hollywood movie star Frances Farmer.

W.A.S.P.s, a comedy, was first produced at Factory Theatre in 1996 and the playwright herself directed a revival at Vancouver Little Theatre the following year. The Widow Judith premiered at the Glen Morris Theatre, Toronto, in 1998.

While a resident at the Canadian Film Centre in 1991-92, Clark adapted and directed a movie version of Ten Ways to Abuse an Old Woman, which won the Special Prix du Jury at the Henri Langlois Short Film Festival, held in Poitiers, France. Another short movie, The Art of Conversation, won the Bronze Award for best dramatic short at the Worldfest Charleston Festival.

Sally Clark's plays have been produced across Canada and in New York and she has been playwright-in-residence at Theatre Passe Muraille, the Shaw Festival, Buddies in Bad Times and Nightwood Theatre as well as writer-in-residence at the University of Waterloo and Berton House in Dawson City.

She is also an accomplished artist and there have been numerous exhibits of her paintings in both Toronto and Vancouver. Her novel, Waiting for the Revolution, was published in 2010 by Cormorant Books.