Jennifer Wynne Webber is an award-winning writer who has lived and worked across Canada and who now lives on Vancouver Island. She is the author of one novel, multiple plays, and is currently at work developing several new projects for the stage and screen.
Jennifer’s play, WITH GLOWING HEARTS: How Ordinary Women Worked Together to Change the World (And Did) is the inspiring true story of a group of Canadian miners’ wives who came together to fight for better working conditions for their husbands and who ended up on a remarkable journey to better the world around them. It recently played at Vancouver Island’s TheatreOne, and at Dancing Sky Theatre in Saskatchewan, and has also been presented as a staged reading in New York at the Off-Broadway Obie Award-winning theatre Urban Stages.
WITH GLOWING HEARTS was recently published by Scirocco Drama. It was also recently named “Outstanding Original Script” at the 2019 SATAwards, where Dancing Sky Theatre’s production of the play also won for “Outstanding Production.”
Her very first play, BESIDE MYSELF, is about a witty young theoretical physicist who abandons her old life (and all solid ground) when she moves out to the west coast to live on a sailboat after the death of her husband. It was published by Scirocco Drama in 2001 and praised for being “smart, funny and touching,” “impassioned and intelligent,” and for demonstrating “courage and originality.”
In 2014, her drama WHITE LIES, about a young woman who discovers uncomfortable truths about her life, was published by Ryga: A Journal of Provocations. That play, under its former title (Whistling at the Northern Lights) was presented as a staged reading in New York at the Obie Award-winning Off-Broadway theatre, Urban Stages in 2010. Urban Stages Artistic Director Frances Hill subsequently nominated the play for the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. An earlier version of the play was also selected as one of the five top new plays from Canada (and one of the top three English-language plays) for Germany’s Neue Theaterstücke aus Kanada in 2007, the Berlin-based jury calling it a “sophisticated psychological thriller.”
Jennifer’s novel DEFYING GRAVITY, is about a television news producer who finds herself on a life-changing road trip through the Canadian Rockies. It was published by Coteau Books in 2000 and was nominated for three Saskatchewan Book Awards, including Book of the Year — the juries praising it for being “intelligent,” and “bold” and “an impressive debut” with a “deft sense of character that is made visible in gesture and dialogue that involve both irony and depth.”
Jennifer also spent many years as a professional actor performing in theatres across Canada in roles ranging from Valerie in THE WEIR (Arts Club Theatre, Vancouver), Rose in DANCELAND (Garry Theatre, Calgary), Emma in REAL ESTATE (Centaur Theatre, Montreal), to Gertrude in HAMLET, Mistress Page in MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR, Dol Common in THE ALCHEMIST, and Jacquenetta and Katherine in LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST (Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan, Saskatoon). Never that keen on TV or film auditions, she still managed to land a handful of small film and television roles over the years, such as playing a Swiss newscaster in THE LOST DAUGHTER (“Why were only some of us told to do accents?”), a neurosurgeon in the TV medical drama, BODY AND SOUL (“As I recall, I mostly just pushed random buttons on an MRI console while speaking a little too earnestly about some kind of emergency.”), and a 1960s reporter in MAXWELL’S DEMON (“Blink and you’ll miss me but it was fun!”)
In addition to her life as a writer and actor, Jennifer has an extensive background in television writing and production. In the past, she worked with Angel Entertainment developing new television series springboards and bibles. More recently, she has been developing new concepts for original television series and writing a pilot. For more than a dozen years, Jennifer worked as a broadcast journalist for CBC Television and Radio in Edmonton, Calgary and Saskatoon, specializing in arts journalism and documentaries. Since her CBC days, she has continued to write and produce a variety of other television features including the successful pilot for the Cinépost Films produced series High School Confidential and Shedding Light on Research, a series of features about synchrotron scientists which Jennifer produced for the University of Saskatchewan.
With her extensive background in journalism, Jennifer is also a busy freelance researcher. Recent research gigs include working in the writers’ room for the CBC television drama, CORONER, and academic research projects such as the 1958 Inco Strike Project for the University of Saskatchewan.
Jennifer also produces personal history videos through YOUR STORY SERVICES as well as continuing to produce video features and other video work on a freelance basis.
Jennifer is a member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada and has served on its National Council in addition to having served as Vice-President of the board of Playwrights Canada Press. A graduate of the University of Saskatchewan with a B.A. Honours in History, Jennifer graduated in 2010 with her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. She is married to abstract painter Jonathan Forrest.
Jennifer is represented by Doreen Holmes, Integral Artists.