Kent Thompson, writer, playwright
Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia
Kent Thompson is a fiction-writer, playwright, essayist, biographer, broadcaster, sometime actor, theatre-director, teacher, editor, and frequent commentator on the arts. He has published five novels, three collections of short stories, and the usual slim chapbooks of poetry. He has a Canada Council Senior Arts Grant and was the 1982-83 Canadian Exchange Writing Fellow in Scotland. He taught English Literature, Writing, and Theatre at the University of New Brunswick from 1966 through 1994.In 1983 he created and directed the site-specific play, Victoria’s Return, for performance at the King’s Landing Historical Village in New Brunswick. The play took place in all the rooms of an 1860s house at once, and the audience went wherever it wanted. He directed various university drama productions (Helda Gabler and The Cherry Orchard among them), and after moving to Annapolis Royal directed student actors in such classics as The Importance of Being Ernest, modern plays like Tom Stoppard’s Travesties, and important Canadian dramas like George F. Walker’s Criminals in Love. With singer Noelle Lucas he created A Class Act and in 2003 staged (and toured) Yasmina Reza’s international hit, Art. Fifteen of his radio plays were broadcast by the CBC, and four of his stage plays were produced in Fredericton, Charlottetown, and Halifax, including Fat Woman and Sister (1975) and Kid Humley’s Fist Game, which was also produced on CBC television in 1978. In 2007 he created and directed 5 Stab Wounds in the Governor, which was staged in five episodes over one weekend in five different venues in Annapolis Royal, ending in the court house. The play was based on the 1739 incident in which the then lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia was found dead with five stab wounds to his heart, The other lieutenant-governor returned a verdict of “suicide while in a fit of lunacy”. The autumn of 2008 featured an outdoor play by Thompson entitled Washing Soldiers, 1797, based on a visit from the Duke of Kent (father of Queen Victoria) to Annapolis Royal that year.Thompson was frequently heard on the CBC radio program, Talking Books. In the summer of 2008, he published a biographical essay on the Annapolis Royal Loyalist, Jacob Bailey, entitled The Man Who Said No. Thompson has a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D., and was assisted in his education by a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship and a Fulbright Junior Scholarship.