66 Chancellors Circle, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 2N2, Canada
In 1965, Geoffrey received a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from the University of Manitoba. The following year, in 1966, he got a Master of Arts degree from the same university.
University of London, London, United Kingdom
In 1973, Ursell received a Doctor of Philosophy degree in English Literature from the University of London.
(Set in Regina in 1906 during a meeting of the Provincial ...)
Set in Regina in 1906 during a meeting of the Provincial Legislature, the play deals with political corruption, scandal, the CPR and women's suffrage, all contained within the form of a rollicking musical comedy.
("The Walnut Tree" tells the story of the intense journey ...)
"The Walnut Tree" tells the story of the intense journey of a young, privileged Jewish woman, who grows up in Chernowitz, studies in Prague and Paris, endures the horrors of World War II in Eastern Europe and ultimately escapes to the peace and promise of a new life in Saskatoon.
In 1965, Geoffrey received a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from the University of Manitoba. The following year, in 1966, he got a Master of Arts degree from the same university. Later, Ursell continued his education at the University of London, graduating with a Doctor of Philosophy degree in English Literature in 1973. There, at the University of London, he studied with the acclaimed scholar Sir Frank Kermode.
In 1975, Ursell began his career as a lecturer at the University of Regina, a post he held till 1979. Moreover, in 1975, together with his wife Barbara Sapergia, a writer, and colleagues, such as Bob Currie and Gary Hyland, Geoffrey co-established Coteau Books, a small, non-profit literary press. Between 1980-1981 and 1982-1983, he acted as a special assistant professor in English at the University of Regina. During the period from 1984 till 1985, Geoffrey was a writer-in-residence at Saskatoon Public Library.
In 1987, Geoffrey and his wife Barbara presented a series to CBC Television, called "Midnight in Moose Jaw", a sitcom-variety hybrid, set in a Prohibition-era speakeasy, which would centre around live performances by real comedians and musicians. However, the series was not picked up by the CBC.
During his career, Ursell also wrote many plays, including "The Running of the Deer" (1981), "Saskatoon Pie" (1982), "Winning the Prairie Gamble" (2005) and many others. He adapted his play "The Rum Runners of Rainbow Ravine" as a CBC Radio drama and wrote the teleplay "Distant Battles" for CBC Television.
Also, during his lifetime, he composed songs for stage and radio, and his songs were featured on a CBC television special, as well as being heard on "Sunday Morning" and "As It Happens". Ursell wrote the music and lyrics for the widely-produced Globe Theatre show, Superwheel, as well as for such plays, as "Black Powder: Estevan, 1931" and "Talking Back". Moreover, Ursell wrote and co-wrote several plays with songs for young audiences, including "What Do You Wanna Bet?", "The Willow Bunch Giant" and "The Prairie Jungle Show".
Also, Ursell edited the literary magazine "Grain" for several years.
Quotations: "When I was growing up on the prairies, it seemed, that anyone, who wanted to be a writer had moved away — had to move away. That’s all changed in a remarkably short time. There now exists a structure of support of writers' organizations, publishers, funding agencies, magazines on the prairies. Even so, it’s still almost impossible to live a writer’s life, to work full-time at the art. My own writing is full of the history, the landscape, the politics, the people of the prairies."
Geoffrey Ursell is a member of Playwrights Guild of Canada and Association of Canadian Radio and Television Artists. Moreover, he served as a president of the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild and the Saskatchewan Playwrights' Centre.
Geoffrey married Barbara Sapergia, a writer, on July 8, 1967.