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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.

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