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Glenn Clifton

Glenn Clifton


Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences


Glenn Clifton is a playwright, fiction writer, and scholar. He holds an MA in Playwriting from Boston University and a PhD in English from the University of Toronto. His short plays have been produced in Ontario, Boston, West Virginia, Indiana, and New York. During his Master’s studies, his short piece “Communication” was a regional finalist for the American College Theatre Festival’s playwriting competition. His one-act play “Office Hours” was short-listed for Lunchbox Theatre’s Stage One festival in Calgary in 2016 and will be produced in the 2017 Toronto Fringe Festival. Glenn’s doctoral dissertation, about modernist literature and aging, was completed in 2012. He has published five academic articles on aging in modernist novels and drama.

Glenn’s writing is concerned with the present moment, the near future, and with human reactions to technological and environmental change. His work operates at the intersections of realist drama, political theatre, and speculative fiction. He is currently at work on a collection of linked short stories about life in the internet era and a full-length play about environmental degradation. His other interests include rhetoric, screenwriting, film structure, and sketch comedy.

Glenn has taught creative writing for many years to both adults and teenagers. He has taught adolescents at Centauri Summer Arts Camp and is one of the editors of Under the Poet Tree: A Centauri Anthology. His classes are primarily concerned with prose and drama as avenues to the critical exploration of our times. Students are encouraged to find inspiration in social and political realities, close personal observation, and intense personal honesty. As a playwright, Glenn aims to immerse students in the principles of story structure, and asks them to embrace a “structural imagination,” exploring and playing freely with the potential meanings of conflict, climax, and resolution.

Glenn is convinced that a weak understanding of and lack of respect for story structure is at the core of the total catastrophe that was the Star Wars prequel trilogy. He maintains that that structure could be fixed with two bold manoeuvres.

Artistic and Professional Performances

  • Clifton, G. (2020). Venti Organ Transplant (short play/film). Northumberland Players Summer Shorts Festival. Coburg, ON (online festival).

  • Clifton, G. (2017). Office Hours (one act play). Toronto Fringe Festival. Toronto, ON.

  • Clifton, G. (2013). Paul and Erin Go to Bed (one act play). M.T. Pockets Theatre Company. Morgantown, WV, USA.

  • Clifton, G. (2013). Souvenir (short play) . M.T. Pockets Theatre company. Morgantown, WV, United States.

  • Clifton, G. (2013). Judgment (short play). Times Square Arts Center Playwrights' Lab. New York, NY, USA.

  • Clifton, G. (2004). Communication (short play) . Boston Theatre Marathon. Boston, MA, USA.

  • Clifton, G. (2004). Communication (short play) . American College Theatre Festival. Providence, RI, USA.

Journal Articles

  • Clifton, G. (2022). Critical-Creative Literacy and Creative Writing Pedagogy.University of Toronto Quarterly (UTQ), 91(1).

  • Clifton, G. (2016). The New Old Woman of the 1930s: Aging and Women’s History in Woolf, Sackville-West and Holtby..Intervalla (Modernist Currents, ed. Alexandra Peat) , 4, 71-98.

  • Clifton, G. (2016). Aging and Periodicity in The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Ambassadors: An Aesthetic Adulthood.English Literature in Transition ELT , 59(3), 283-302.

  • Clifton, G. (2015). More Perceptions than Terms to Translate Them: The Enigmatic Signifier and the Jamesian Unconsciousness in What Maisie Knew.Henry James Review, 36(2), 163-176.

  • Clifton, G. (2014). An Imperfect Butlerite: Aging and Embodiment in Shaw’s Back to Methuselah..SHAW: The Annual of George Bernard Shaw Studies, 34, 108-126.

  • Clifton, G. (2011). Pain without Incarnation: The Unnamable, Derrida, and the Book of Job.Journal of Beckett Studies , 20(2), 149-171.


  • "Sheridan: Everybody's Got a Story". Sheridan College. SRCA Growth Grant. $10,000. 2021.
    Glenn Clifton (Co-Investigator), Dr. Jennifer Chambers, Dr. Patrice Esson, Dr. Glenn Clifton.

  • "Mobilizing Social Innovation to Train the Next Generation of Theatre Entrepreneurs". SSHRC. College & Community Social Innovation Fund. $240,000. 2017.
    Glenn Clifton (Collaborator), Brandon McFarlane (principal investigator), Michael McNamara, Glenn Clifton, Jennifer Phenix.

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