Dr. Gilbert is a teacher, writer, director, filmmaker, and he was co-founder and artistic director of Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (North America’s largest gay and lesbian theatre) for 18 years. His many critically acclaimed plays that have been performed in theatres worldwide include: "The Dress...
Dr. Gilbert is a teacher, writer, director, filmmaker, and he was co-founder and artistic director of Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (North America’s largest gay and lesbian theatre) for 18 years. His many critically acclaimed plays that have been performed in theatres worldwide include: "The Dressing Gown", "Drag Queens On Trial", "Drag Queens In Outer Space", "Lola Starr Builds Her Dream Home", "Ten Ruminations On An Elegy Attributed To William Shakespeare", "The Emotionalists" (about Ayn Rand), "Rope Enough", "Bad Acting Teachers" and more recently "The Situationists". He has received three Dora Mavor Moore Awards and the Pauline McGibbon Award for theatre directing, and he was the recipient of The Margo Bindhardt Award (from the Toronto Arts Foundation), and The Silver Ticket Award (from the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts). Gilbert continues to produce plays with his experimental theatre – The Cabaret Company – in Toronto, and in Hamilton, Ontario where he lives.
Gilbert’s six novels "Guilty" (1998), "St. Stephen’s" (1999), "I Am Kasper Klotz" (2001), "An English Gentleman" (2004), "Brother Dumb" (2007) and "Come Back" (2012) were critically acclaimed. (Guilty was also published in Paris, in French by H&O editions). In 2008 Quarto Books published Sky's short novel "Wit in Love", of which the Globe stated, "this little surprise package may be one of the best and funniest books published in Canada this year." "An English Gentleman" received the ReLit Award in 2005. ECW Press published three collections of Gilbert's poetry: "Digressions Of A Naked Party Girl" (1998), "Temptations For A Juvenile Delinquent" (2003), "A Nice Place to Visit" (2009) and his theatre memoir "Ejaculations From The Charm Factory" (2000). Playwright's Canada Press published Gilbert's poetic reflection on the life of his mother "The Mommiad", in 2012.
Gilbert received his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in 2006 (which is also where he received his M.A.). His doctoral thesis was titled "Noel Coward And The Queer Feminine" – an exploration of male femininity as aesthetic innovation in the work of Noel Coward. In 2007, Gilbert received a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Research-Creation Grant and launched The Shakespeare Experiment. The Shakespeare Experiment was a three-year theatrical and academic project involving research into constructs of masculinity and femininity in the context of the cultural conditions of Shakespeare production in performance. In The Shakespeare Experiment each year the final scenes in three Shakespeare plays were performed three different ways, with differently gendered actors in the same key roles in each performance. In one version of the scene, the female roles are played by student actresses, in another by male students, and in the third by male student actors executing a drag performance. A summary of the research findings and their implications can be found at http://cjprt.uwinnipeg.ca/index.php/cjprt/article/viewFile/33/22 - an article by Gilbert entitled "The Shakespeare Experiment: A Seduction in the Form of an Essay" on the website of the "Canadian Journal for Practice-Based Research in Theatre".
Gilbert is an editor for "Brief Chronicles", the interdisciplinary journal of The Shakespeare Fellowship and a signatory of The Shakespeare Authorship Coalition’s Declaration of Reasonable Doubt. He is also an editor for the online journal English Studies In Canada.
At the University of Guelph, Gilbert teaches both practical and academic subjects in graduate and undergraduate courses and also serves as a reader and thesis supervisor for graduate students, including those taking their MFA in Creative Writing at Guelph-Humber. He most often is to be found teaching THST 2120 Dramaturgy and Playwriting, or THST 3300 Sexuality and the Stage at the undergraduate level. Graduate-level courses Gilbert has taught have focused on gender and Shakespeare, theatrical cross-dressing, and male femininity in playwrighting, avant garde directing, and realism/anti-realism. Gilbert is presently working on a series of mystery stories about Hamilton Ontario, and a new novel, as well as on a new play about computer hackers.