|Birth Day:||April 19, 1936|
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She directed a theater group consisting of high school kids from 1962 to 1963.
Mary Sharon Chalmers was born in Fredericton, New Brunswick on 19 April 1936, to Eloise and George Everett Chalmers. Eloise had been a nurse prior to marrying Everett Chalmers, a prominent local physician. Sharon was raised in a family and time when appearances and family ties were extremely important; although her mother knew her father was unfaithful to her, she refused to leave him. Sharon had a younger brother, Peter Chalmers, who was born 19 October 1937. When Sharon was younger her parents often took her and her brother on trips, including to Banff, Vancouver, and through the U.S. She had exposure to large scale American musical theatre as the family traveled to New York, where she saw popular musicals such as Annie Get Your Gun, South Pacific, and Oklahoma!
In Pollock's later teenage years her family began to fall apart. Her mother felt stifled in the role of housewife and was worn down by her husband's constant unfaithfulness. Eloise Chalmers committed suicide in 1954, when Pollock was 18. The same year, Pollock enrolled in the general arts program at the University of New Brunswick (UNB), where she was also an active member of the Drama Society. She met her future husband, Ross Pollock, at UNB where he was in his fifth year of the environmental forestry program.
Ross openly abused his wife; Pollock admits attempting to kill him by grinding up high hormone level birth control pills and putting the powder into his food. This attempt at murder was unsuccessful. In 1964, after another violent physical attack by her husband, Pollock left Ross and returned to Fredericton with her five children. She hoped to be with her family, but it was not as she had left it. Her father had remarried and had two more children with his new wife.
Victor Mitchell had been starting up a Drama Department at the University of Calgary and offered Ball a position starting in January 1966.
The 1960s were a booming time in Canadian theatre. There were regional theatres and festivals popping up all over the country. After their move to Calgary, Pollock and Ball began touring with Mitchell's theatre group The Prairie Players. They traveled around small towns in Alberta performing in any space they could find. If they were lucky, the troupe earned $35 a week. Shortly after, in 1967, Pollock joined the MAC 14 Theatre Society, which was the merge of The Musicians and Actors Club of Calgary and a theatre group called Workshop 14. The MAC 14 club was the founding company of Theatre Calgary.
In about 1967–68 Pollock began writing plays. After having the opportunity to experience life as an actress, she wanted to see what it was like to be on the writing and production side of theatre. Her main motivation to write instead of perform was the lack of Canadian playwrights. In expressing her determination to write Canadian plays, she says, "I wanted other actors to stand up and say my words, to speak directly through an experience I shared with those other Albertans and Canadians." Pollock was becoming frustrated with how even as an actor she rarely felt her voice was heard. She was tired of reproducing others' work and longed to hear a Canadian voice on stage. The way theatre was in those days, she felt that no one even wanted to hear a Canadian voice, or a Canadian story. Pollock's first work was Split Seconds in the Death of, a radio play that was broadcast on CBC on 22 November 1970. These were the days of radio, when a radio play drew a bigger audience than a theatre did. Already in this first script Pollock is pushing the boundaries of the realist narrative. She followed this with two other Radioplays, 31 for 2 and We to the Gods both in 1971, all for CBC Radio.
Having discovered her passion and talent for writing, Pollock wrote her first full-length play, A Compulsory Option, a dark comedy about three men whose paranoia might be realistic. It premiered in 1972 and was the first production by Vancouver's New Play Centre. It won an Alberta Culture playwriting competition. In November 1973 Pollock premiered her second full-length play Walsh at Theatre Calgary. In this play she dramatizes one of the most disturbing events in Canadian history, that of the injustices done to the Sioux Nation in 1877–1881. In Walsh, The Komagata Maru Incident and One Tiger to a Hill, Pollock examines historic events and tells them in a way that causes the audience to question the reality between the official story and what is shown on stage.
Blood Relations (1980) is one of Pollock's most well known and influential plays. It premiered at Theatre Three in Edmonton in March 1980. Originally written as My Name is Lisbeth which premiered in 1976 at the Vancouver Playhouse, Blood Relations is the story of Lizzie Borden, based on historical facts. Borden supposedly murdered her father and stepmother. Pollock explores the meaning of the effect that it would have on the community if Lizzie Borden was in fact a murderer. While the play does touch on feminist issues, Pollock was criticized for making it less of a feminist play and more of a general political play.
The Garry Theatre opened in 1995 in the lower income area of Calgary. Pollock is so passionate about theatre that she was adamant that The Garry not pay her royalties. She wanted people from all walks of life to have the opportunity to experience theatre; if people could not afford tickets, they were still invited to view the plays. Prior to the opening of the Garry Theatre, Pollock worked as the artistic director at the Theatre Calgary in 1984 as well at Theatre New Brunswick in 1988. She left both of these jobs because of a difference of opinions. She strongly disagreed with the 'institutionalization' of the theatre and the direction it was heading.
Pollock is currently writing for the Atlantic Ballet Company. In March 2011 she made her musical theatre debut with Calgary's Verb Theatre and their production of Ron Chamber's acclaimed play Marg Szkaluba (Pissy's Wife). In a four star review The Calgary Sun wrote, "...So controlled and carefully delineated is Pollock's performance that she truly does become this remarkable woman who languished far too long under the belief she was unintelligent, unattractive and undeserving."
Sharon's first daughter, Jennifer, was born in 1956.
Currently, Sharon Pollock is 86 years, 9 months and 17 days old. Sharon Pollock will celebrate 87th birthday on a Wednesday 19th of April 2023. Below we countdown to Sharon Pollock upcoming birthday.