Joan MacLeod was born in Vancouver in 1954 and grew up in North Vancouver. She received creative writing degrees from UVic and UBC. Her powerful one-woman play, The Hope Slide, opened in March 1994 in Edinburgh having won the 1993 Chalmers Award. In it, Irene, a middle-aged actress, is on tour to a number of small towns in B.C.'s Kootenay region when she allows her imagination to revisit her teenage fascination with the Doukhobors. She takes on the voices of three Doukhobors: a young woman buried in a mountain slide near the town of Hope; a 17-year-old boy blown up by dynamite and 22-year-old Paul Podmorrow who starved himself in the Doukhobor prison in the town of Hope.

This play was preceded by Toronto, Mississippi and Jewel (which has been translated into at least five languages). Her much-produced play The Shape Of A Girl has been translated into at least six languages. Her first play for young people, Little Sister, was about eating disorders. MacLeod won the 1991 Governor General's Award for Drama for Amigo's Blue Guitar (Blizzard Publishing, 1990) and she wrote the libretto for The Secret Garden, which won a Dora Mavor Moore Award. She has also written various scripts for CBC television.

For seven seasons she was a playwright-in-residence at Tarragon Theatre in Toronto.
Joan MacLeod lived on Bowen Island prior to becoming Department Chair of the University of Victoria Writing Department. In spring 2009 she was the Senior Playwright-in-Residence at the Playwrights' Colony at The Banff Centre. Another Home Invasion premiered in February of 2009 at ATP in Calgary, as a co-production with Tarragon Theatre in Toronto.


Amigo's Blue Guitar (Talonbooks, 1997)

2000 (Talonbooks, 1997)

The Hope Slide / Little Sister (Talonbooks, 1999)

The Shape Of A Girl/Jewel (Talonbooks, 2002)

Another Home Invasion (Talonbooks, 2009)

The Valley (Talon 2014) $17.95 978-0-88922-846-7

[BCBW 2014] "Theatre" "Disaster"