The story of Judith Thompson's coming to writing through a mask class at the National Theatre School of Canada is well known. It is told on the first page of the first article in this volume, based on Thompson's earliest extended interview, and it has been retold frequently since. But masks are much more than the route through which Thompson discovered herself as a writer. They are her way of writing, as she turns her back on her own public persona and dons the masks of each of her characters in order to discover what they have to say and their richly various ways of saying it.The articles, interviews, and panels published here provide insight into individual plays, and reading them against the plays that she was writing at their various times of first publication provides flashes of insight that can light up dark corners of the work. —from the introduction
Ric Knowles is of anglo-Scottish heritage, and is Professor of Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph, editor of Canadian Theatre Review, and past editor of Modern Drama (1999–2005). He is author of The Theatre of Form and the Production of Meaning, Shakespeare and Canada, and Reading the Material Theatre, co-author (with the Cultural Memory Group) of Remembering Women Murdered by Men, editor of Theatre in Atlantic Canada, Judith Thompson, and The Masks of Judith Thompson, and co-editor (with Joanne Tompkins and W.B. Worthen) of Modern Drama: Defining the Field. He is general editor of the book series, Critical Perspectives on Canadian Theatre in English and New Essays on Canadian Theatre from Playwrights Canada Press.