John Lazarus graduated from the National Theatre School of Canada in 1969, and soon afterwards moved to Vancouver, where he worked for 30  years as an actor, critic, broadcaster, playwright, screenwriter and teacher. He taught Playwriting and Solo Show Technique at the Studio 58, and Screenwriting at Vancouver Film School. In 2000 he moved back East to join the Queen’s Drama Department faculty, and has also taught occasionally at the National Theatre School of Canada.

John’s plays include Babel Rap, Dreaming and Duelling, The Late Blumer, Village of Idiots, Homework & Curtains, Genuine Fakes, The Trials of Eddy Haymour, Medea’s Disgust, The Nightingale, Rough Magic and Meltdown. He is author of a saga of four act plays for young audiences, published by Playwrights Press as the anthology Not So Dumb. As of the fall of 2009, he was working on a new play, Trouble on Dibble Street, on commission from the St. Lawrence Shakespeare

Swollen Tongues, directed by John Lazarus

He has worked extensively with choreographer Judith Marcuse and her company DanceArts Vancouver. He wrote the script for that company’s dance-theatre hit ICE: beyond cool, which toured nationally in 2000, and the screenplay for its hour-long TV special, broadcast on CBC in 2001.

John has also written for film, TV, radio and periodicals. He has adapted material from Village of Idiots into a national-award-winning CBC Radio mini-series and an international-award-winning National Film Board cartoon.

He is a founding member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada and of Vancouver’s Playwrights Theatre Centre. He has worked frequently as a dramaturge and adjudicator. In 2003, he directed a Queen’s Drama Dept. production of Swollen Tongues by Kathleen Oliver. John also has the honour of being the announcer of the grads’ names at Queen’s Convocation ceremonies


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