Cynthia Zimmerman is one of the leading scholars and commentators on the writing and the voice of women on the Canadian stage. A professor of English, Glendon College, York University, Cynthia has published several highly influential manuscripts, edited collections of scholarly articles and plays. As Sherrill Grace wrote, Cynthia Zimmerman’s book “ Playwriting Women (1994) was a ground-breaking examination of some of this country’s most successful Anglo-Canadian women playwrights. Nothing quite like this had appeared until Cynthia published this book, which included conversations with the playwrights who often commented on the many glass ceilings they faced in the theatre world. An earlier book, The Work (1982), co-authored with Bob Wallace, initiated this attention to women playwrights, but Playwriting Women advanced and developed this earlier volume. In 2021-22 this is still the go-to book on this subject”.
Cynthia Zimmerman is also known as a generous and attentive editor: “Her three-volume edition of Sharon Pollock’s collected plays (published by PCP between 2005 and 2008) pays homage to one of our most prolific and excellent playwrights”. Sharon Pollock passed away very recently, , and so, as Sherill Grace eloquently states, “we must rely on her published work and Cynthia’s expert introductions and Bibliographies if we want to teach or write critical studies of her plays.””.
Over her magnificent career, Cynthia remained a devoted educator and theatre enthusiast. A recipient of many professional grants and fellowships, Cynthia also dedicated her life to building ties between theatre academia and practice, including service to this organization (as CATR Vice-President), and her active involvement with the theatre community in Toronto, including Toronto Takes the Stage, the Elderhostel program, and the Literature and Psychology Group.
Today, Cynthia Zimmerman continues contributing to the history of Canadian theatre, including writing on the theatre of Hannah Moscovitch. We are very happy to celebrate the life achievements of Professor Cynthia Zimmerman.