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Meet The Writers: Jennifer Turliuk


In our "Meet The Writers" series, we're learning more about the participants of the CMTWC Writers Workshop. The Toronto Writers Workshop meets every two weeks where, under the guidance of Leslie Arden, writers learn and practice the craft of composition and lyric-writing.

What was your introduction to the theatre?

I was enrolled in Burlington Student Theatre's Beauty and the Beast at age 5 and was Belle in the opening number.

When was the moment you decided to write for the theatre?

I was doing an offline retreat and wrote poems for the first time in a while. Then I realized they were all connected and could be a musical!

Whose work do you admire and why?

I admire the writers of Next to Normal because they found amazing ways to integrate mental health into a musical.

How do you like to write? What is your process? Where do you find inspiration?

I like to write alone in total silence. My process is evolving through class. I find inspiration through my life and the lives of my friends.

What do you want to see more of on stage?

Mental health.

If you had to pick one musical cast recording to be your "desert island record" which would it be?

Legally Blonde.

Complete this sentence: "I write because...”

I want to share messages with the world and inspire people to be and do more than they currently are.

What's a tip you have about collaboration?

Find someone you have fun with.

Why did you join the Writers Workshop?

To learn structure.

What is your favourite thing about the Writers Workshop?

My classmates––they are so fun and awesome!

Jennifer Turliuk is a book writer, lyricist and entrepreneur. Jennifer wrote the book and lyrics for Quarter Life Crisis the Musical, collaborating with composer Lee Cohen (Musical Director at Second City). She produced the show in the Toronto Fringe Festival, where it was one of the top-selling shows and was featured by CTV, the Toronto Star, NOW Magazine, and more. Her play Therapeutic Magic debuted in Canada’s largest 10-minute play festival, the InspiraTO Festival. Jennifer’s training comes from the InspiraTO Playwriting Academy, Bloor West Music Studios, Second City, Theatre Aquarius, Burlington Student Theatre, and Queen’s University. She has performed in musicals, stand-up, improv, salsa dancing, DJing and public speaking. She has written numerous articles - including one of Forbes Greatest Hits (with over 1 million views) – and a book. By day, Jennifer is CEO of MakerKids, which runs technology programs for kids, hires local actors, and has been featured by Wired, the Globe and Mail, Today’s Parent, Breakfast Television, etc. She did marketing for the Canadian launch of Tide Pods (Procter & Gamble’s top launch in 27 years). Jennifer was awarded an Honorary Degree by Humber College for her contributions to society. She attended Queen’s University and NASA’s Singularity University. Visit www.jennturliuk.com for more!