Judith Fisher, a graduate of the University of Alberta with a PhD in English Literature, joined the department in 1990; she was a Queen’s National Scholar, and is now an Associate Professor. She was the Chair of Undergraduate Studies for the department for many years.
Judy trained as an actress at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, prior to which she worked as a dancer, stage manager, choreographer, and teacher of ballet. She acted in theatre, television, and radio in England for many years before coming to Canada in 1972, and, since then, in various theatres across Canada. She was the first stage manager of the Stage West Theatre Restaurant chain when it opened in Edmonton in 1975. She has served as a councillor for Canadian Actors’ Equity Association and a member-at-large for ACTRA. The Citadel Theatre in Edmonton also produced several works she adapted for the stage; these include Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (which was performed with puppets bunraku style), C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (in which she also appeared as the White Witch), and Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. She has also adapted and compiled works which her students have performed, including The Chorus Line, Kabuki Macbeth, Richard III and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Favourite acting credits include Pru in Kim Renders’s Talking of Michelangelo (Theatre Kingston), ‘A’ in Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women (Rogue and Peasant Theatre Company), Judith Bliss in Noel Coward’s Hay Fever (Thousand Islands Playhouse); she has also done numerous voice-overs for films made by Gary Kibbins (Department of Film and Media).
Publication includes articles and book reviews in Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Theatre Research, Eighteenth-Century Women, Persuasions, Journal of Aging and Identity, Essays in Theatre, Victorian Review and Journal of British Studies, and essays in various books including Audience Participation: Essays on Inclusion in Performance, edited by Susan Kattwinkel and Samuel Richardson: Passion and Prudence, edited by Valerie Grosvenor Myer. Most recent articles can be found in Eighteenth-Century Women and Pedagogy, the latter in collaboration with Leslie Ritchie (Department of English). In 2012, she was working on a monograph about the working lives of eighteenth-century actresses.
For the department, Judy taught acting, theatre history, costume design, and directing. Productions she directed include The Country Wife, Back to Bacchae (a double bill of The Bacchae and Rites), The Rover, Pericles, The Rivals, her own adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear called Lear, and Twelfth Night. She also designed costumes for The Rover, The Rivals, The Seagull, and Twelfth Night, for which she also designed the set. She was twice nominated for the Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching and, in 2011, won the Frank Knox Award and the Department of Drama Award for Excellence in Teaching.