Vern Thiessen's plays are seen around the world. From New Orleans to Alaska; from Canada to China; from Europe to New Zealand; from regional theatre to off-Broadway; from comedies to historical drama: from musicals to works for children, Thiessen is considered one of the most diverse and successful playwrights his native Canada has produced.
Well known works include Shakespeare's Will, Apple, Vimy, Einstein's Gift, Lenin's Embalmers, A More Perfect Union, Bird Brain and two musicals written with composer Olaf Pyttlik: Rich and Rapa Nui.
Thiessen is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award for Outstanding New Play, The City of Edmonton Arts Achievement Award, the University of Alberta Alumni Award for Excellence, The Canadian Jewish Playwriting Competition, the Carol Bolt Award, and the Alberta Playwrights Network Competition. In 2003, he won the Governor General's Literary Award, Canada's highest honour for playwriting. Lenin's Embalmer's was nominated for the GG in 2011. His adaptation of Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage recently won a Dora Award for Outstanding New Play. He has also been shortlisted for the prestigious Siminovitch Prize in Theatre and the Herman Voaden Competition.
Thiessen has served as Playwright in Residence at Workshop West Theatre and the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton. He is a past president of both the Playwrights Guild of Canada and the Writer's Guild of Alberta.
He is an Associate Artist with Epic Theatre Ensemble in New York City, where he writes, teaches and acts. He is also an advisory board member of New Yorks Wingspan Arts, and a member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre.
Thiessen is also Project Associate for the New Play Frontiers program at People's Light And Theatre in Malvern, PA.
Thiessen divides his time between Canada and New York City with his wife, the acclamimed novelist Susie Moloney.