Anne Chislett was born and raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland. She was educated at Memorial University, St. John’s and the University of British Columbia, and taught English in Ontario high schools before becoming a full-time playwright in 1980. Anne Chislett’s plays have been widely produced across Canada, the United States, and Japan. Her Amish play, Quiet in the Land (Blyth Festival, 1981) won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama and the Chalmers Award, and has become a classic of modern Canadian theatre. It is one of the few Canadian plays to be produced at the Stratford Festival (2003), and was produced in a Japanese translation by Toyoshi Yoshihara by Maple Leaf, Tokyo. Flippin’ In (Young People’s Theatre, 1995) won the Chalmers Young Audiences Award. Not Quite the Same (Theatre Direct, 2000) was nominated for both Dora Mavor Moore and Chalmers awards.
Other plays include A Summer Burning (Blyth, 1977); The Tomorrow Box (Kawartha Summer Theatre, 1980), which won the Best Production Award at the Hiroshima Festival; Another Season’s Promise (Blyth, 1986), and a new sequel, Another Season’s Harvest, both written with Keith Roulston; Half a Chance (Lighthouse Festival, 1988); Yankee Notions (Blyth, 1992); No Sweat; The Perilous Pirate’s Daughter (written with David Archibald); and Glengarry School Days (Blyth, 1994), written with Janet Amos.
From 1998 to 2002 Anne was artistic director of the Blyth Festival, a theatre dedicated to new Canadian works which she co-founded in 1975. Anne has also worked extensively as a dramaturge. Many of Anne's plays focus on the farm communities of southern Ontario, and typically feature strong, independent women struggling against stubborn men, or conflicts between parent and child, conformity and individuality.