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George F. Walker, playwright

George F. Walker wrote his first play while working as a taxi driver. Fifteen plays and almost as many years later, he has won the 1985 Governor General's Literary Award for Criminals in Love. But Walker doesn't necessarily see that as validation. In this absorbing conversation with CBC Radio's Stuart McLean, it seems Walker would rather see his plays - fast-paced, darkly comic and baffling - produced in Canada more often. As his 15th play, Better Living, opens in Toronto, Walker admits he's finally stopped repressing the urge to write about the people of his east end neighbourhood.

• Born in Toronto in 1947, George F. Walker had only seen one play when he wrote his first, The Prince of Naples, in response a call for new work by Toronto's Factory Theatre. The theatre, which is dedicated entirely to Canadian work, produced it in 1972, and Walker became resident playwright until 1976. Many more of Walker's plays have premiered at the Factory Theatre, some of them directed by the playwright.
  • In 1988 Walker won the Governor General's Literary Award a second time for Nothing Sacred. His plays have been translated into and performed in German, French, Hebrew, Turkish, Polish and Czech.

• "Nobody needs to decode a Walker play because his characters say what they mean and mean what they say. They speak with astonishing directness, telling us everything we need to know: who they are, who others are, what the situation is, how the world works, what they want, what's inside them, and how mixed up it all is." -- Stephen Haff, Shared Anxiety (a collection of Walker's plays)

• In 1994 Walker began writing for TV, contributing scripts for the series Due South and The Newsroom. He was a writer and co-producer for the CBC-TV series This is Wonderland (2004-2006). 

Medium: Radio
Program: Morningside
Broadcast Date: June 5, 1986
Guest(s): George F. Walker
Host: Stuart McLean
Duration: 16:08
Photo: CBC Image Research Library

Last updated: February 9, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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