Michael O'Brien was born on Saltspring Island and grew up in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, and London, England. After collecting bits of paper from the University of Ottawa and the National Theatre School, he travelled across Canada on the Fringe circuit. His plays include The Last Temptation of Christopher Robin, Freaks: A Circus Tale with Music (National Arts Centre, Atelier), the highly acclaimed stage versions of A Christmas Carol and Oliver Twist (Young Peoples Theatre), a new version of The Barber of Seville created for Theatre Columbus (Dora Award, Best Production of a Musical), and his Viking epic Mad Boy Chronicle (Alberta Theatre Projects), which was nominated for a Governor General's Literary Award for Drama. Recent works include Hard Times, adapted from Dickens for the National Arts Centre, and Shores of Wonder for CBC Radio, inspired by the Norse Vinland Sagas. He has also penned adaptations of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and The Blind Assassin. Still more recent works include Restitution: an Irish Canadian Rhapsody (Factory Theatre, 2004) and a new adaptation of H.G. Wells's The Invisible Man for The Shaw Festival (2006).