Dr. Jennifer Wise

Dr. Jennifer Wise
Emeritus Professor
Theatre History

MA, PhD University of Toronto

Current CV Updated Nov. 05, 2019

Areas of Research & Creative Activity
Theatre history, specializing in opera, acting theories, theatre criticism, the Enlightenment, ancient Athens, philosophy and aesthetics.

Brief Biography

Dr. Wise is a theatre historian and playwright whose work is published in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., and Germany. Her first book, Dionysus Writes (Cornell UP, 1998; 2nd edition 2000), was nominated for two book awards in the U.S., and her Broadview Anthology of Drama, co-edited with Craig Walker, is a widely adopted textbook. Her translation of Brecht’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Methuen, 2013), staged at the Phoenix in 2002, at York University and at the Great Hall Black Box in Toronto in 2013, was chosen by Brecht’s heirs as the first new English version of this play in almost 40 years. Wise’s Frogs, created for the Phoenix in 2000, was produced at the University of Denver in 2004; The Moons of Jupiter, her play about Galileo’s children written for the International Year of Astronomy (2009), was a finalist in the Herman Voaden National Playwriting Competition in 2011. Wise’s site-specific comedy The Girl Rabbi of the Golden West, first performed in Victoria as part of the 150th-anniversary celebrations of Canada’s oldest synagogue, and staged again at the Toronto Centre for the Arts, at the First Narayever Synagogue, and at Holy Blossom Temple, won the Canadian Jewish Playwriting Competition in 2013. Jennifer’s articles have appeared in such venues as Theatre Research InternationalTheatre SurveyReader’s Digest, and Arethusa.

Selected Publicatons

  • Wise, Jennifer. The Enlightenment Stage: Theatre in the Eighteenth Century. Northwestern University Press, forthcoming 2016. 

  • Wise, Jennifer, and Lauren Jerke. “Elizabeth Gorrie and the Kaleidoscope Alternative.” Theatre Research in Canada/Rechearches théâtrales au Canada. Vol. 36. no.1 (Spring, 2015): 7 – 32.

  • Wise, Jennifer, and Craig S. Walker, contributors. The Broadview Pocket Glossary of Literary Terms. [definitions of theatrical and dramatic terms from “absurdism” to “word-scenery.”] Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2013.

  • Kanzaki, Mai, and Jennifer Wise. “The Japanese-Garden Aesthetics of Robert Lepage: shukukei, mitatei, and fusuma-ae in Seven Streams of the River Ota and other works.”Theatre Research International. Vol.38, no. 3 (October, 2013): 196 – 213. 

  • Wise, Jennifer. “Aristotle, actors, and tragic endings: a counter-response to Johanna Hanink.” Arethusa. Vol. 46, no. 1 (Winter, 2013): 117-139.

  • Wise, Jennifer, trans. The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. By Bertolt Brecht. London: Methuen, 2013. 

  • Wise, Jennifer. “L’enfant et le tyran: ‘La Marseillaise’and the birth of Melodrama.” Theatre Survey. Volume 53, no. 1 (April, 2012): 29-57.

  • Wise, Jennifer. “Ecopus Tyrannus: Daniel Brooks’ The Eco Show. Canadian Theatre Review. Vol. 144 (Fall, 2010): 86-89. 

  • Wise, Jennifer. “Tragedy as ‘an augury of a happy life’.” Arethusa. Vol. 41, no. 3 (Fall, 2008): 381-410. 

  • Wise, Jennifer. “Scenography in Canada: Selected Designers, by Natalie Rewa.” [book review] Theatre Research in Canada/RTaC Vol. 29, no.2 (Fall, 2008): 297-300.

  • Wise, Jennifer. “Tragödie als ‘Weissagung eines Gucklichen Lebens’.” [book chapter] Trans. Jörn Etzold. Tragödie, Trauerspiel, Spektakle, Eds. Bettine Menke and Christoph Menke. Berlin: Theater der Zeit Researchen, 2007:150-178. 

  • Wise, Jennifer. Excerpted reprint of “Who Wants to Be a Mommy?” Reader’s Digest. August, 2007:152-156. 

  • Wise, Jennifer. “Who Wants to Be a Mommy?” [Book chapter] Nobody’s Mother, ed. Lynne van Luven. TouchWood Editions, 2006:117-131. [Reviewed in the Washington PostGlobe and MailToronto SunVancouver SunLiterary Review of Canada, and elsewhere]

  • Wise, Jennifer, and Craig S. Walker, eds. The Broadview Anthology of Drama: Concise Edition. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2004. 

  • Wise, Jennifer. “Pacific Opera Victoria.” The Canadian Encyclopedia/Encyclopedia of Musicin Canada.

  • Wise, Jennifer. “Belfry Theatre.” The Canadian Encyclopedia/Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. 

  • Wise, Jennifer. “London Civic Theatre: City Drama and Pageantry from Roman Times to 1558, byAnne Lancashire.” [Book review] English Studies in Canada. Vol. 30, Issue 3 (2004): 218-222. 

  • Wise, Jennifer, and Craig S. Walker, eds. The Broadview Anthology of DramaPlays from the Western TheatreVolume I and Volume II. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2003. 

  • Wise, Jennifer.  “James Mavor Moore.” The Canadian Encyclopedia

  • Wise, Jennifer.“After Dionysus: A Theory of the Tragic.” [Book review] Comparative Literature. Vol. 52, no. 3 (Summer, 2000):257-59.

  • Wise, Jennifer. Dionysus Writes: The Invention of Theatre in Ancient Greece. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1998. 2nd edition, 2000. [nominated for two U.S. book awards and reviewed in Choice, Classical Philology, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, Phoenix, Greece and Rome, and elsewhere; taught as part of classics curriculum on both sides of the Atlantic and cited dozens of times by leading scholars including Niall Slater, Edith Hall, W.B. Worthen, Harold Bloom, Benjamin Bennett, and many others.]

  • Wise, Jennifer. “Marginalizing Drama: Bakhtin’s Theory of Genre.” Essays in Theatre. Vol. 8, No. 1 (November, 1989): 15-22. 

Selected Creative and Professional Achievements 

  • Walker, Craig S., director. Orbita play about the children of Galileo, by Jennifer Wise. World premiere (and theatre-inaugurating) performance in the Isabel Bader Centre for the Arts, Kingston, Ontario. October 16 to November 1, 2014. 

  • Hanes, David, and Jennifer Wise (via live Skype). “Orbit Under the Stars.” Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Observatory at Ellis Hall, Kingston, Ontario. October 8, 2014.

  • Balkan, Liza, director. The Girl Rabbi of the Golden West, a site-specific comedy by Jennifer Wise. Starring Julie Tepperman and Adriana Ravalli. First Narayever Synagogue, Toronto. September 14, 2014.

  • Witzel, Ted, director. The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. Translated by Jennifer Wise. The Great Hall Black Box, Toronto, Nov. 21—December 7, 2013 [4-star, or “NNNN” review in Now Magazine ]

  • Wise, Jennifer.  The Girl Rabbi of the Golden West. Directed by Liza Balkan. Congregation Emanu-El, Victoria, April 10 and 11, 2013; also “In the Beginning,” a new-play festival, Harold Green Jewish Theatre, Toronto Centre for the Arts, June 18, 2013. Winner of the 2013 Canadian Jewish Playwriting Competition.

  • Barton, David, and Jennifer Wise. Pro Pelle Cutem: The Hudson’s Bay Journals. Victoria: Poppy Press, 2012.

  • Ferguson, David. Agnes BDramaturgy by Jennifer Wise. The Belfry Theatre Incubator Project, Belfry Theatre Mainstage, Victoria, BC. March 9—13, 2010. 

  • Wise, Jennifer. The Moons of Jupiter. Dir. Sarah Blackstone. International Year of Astronomy. University of Victoria, November 24—28, 2009. Written up in international astronomy magazine. 

  • Bowering, Marilyn, Carla Funk, Justin McGrail, Linda Rogers, Jay Ruzesky, Jennifer Wise, et al. Poetry Reading. Present/Tense, part of Suddenly Dance Theatre’s annual Romp Festival. Metro Studio Theatre, Victoria. October 23-26, 2008.

  • Lowry, Miles. Opium. A BRAVO! TV film by Suddenly Dance Theatre. Dir. Miles Lowry. Perf. David Ferguson, Jung-ah Chung, Dominique Porte, Jennifer Wise, and Niels Knudsen. [Cameo role, based on Coco Chanel] Broadcast repeatedly on BRAVO! and in French-language version on ARTV, Quebec, 2005 and 2006. Selected by and screened at the international Dance On Camera Festival, January 3-14, 2007. Walter Reade Theatre, Lincoln Centre, NYC.

  • Wise, Jennifer. “The true (and false) story of Charlotte von Mahlsdorf.” Belfry Buzz.September, 2006: 1-2. 

  • Wise, Jennifer. “Kafka’s life in relation to the Letter to his Father.” Original production dramaturgy, and house-program biography, for Kafka and Son. Dir. Mark Cassidy. Perf. Alon Nashman. Tarragon Arts Fair, May 24-25, 2002; Ashkenaz Festival, Toronto, August, 2002; Al Greene Theatre, Toronto, March—April, 2006; Canadian tour (2010), Edinburgh Fringe (2011), Prague Fringe, National Theatre of Iceland, and European Tour (2013).

  • van Burek, John, and Jennifer Wise, trans. Beaumarchais’ Marriage of Figaro. Broadview Anthology of Drama, Vol. I. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2003. Excerpts performed at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival at West Chester University, PA, January 15, 2014.