Playwright

Reviews

Art Lessons

“Koller delivers a convincing sense of innocent curiosity and wonder in the young Cassie, tied to seemingly simplistic but revealing language. Later, the teenage Cassie gradually comes to exhibit alternating emotions of growing confidence and insecurity over her art, the opposite sex and her future in general that anyone should be able to identify with in recalling their teenage years.”
–Roger Levesque, Edmonton Journal

“Writer and playwright Katherine Koller has written a wonderful crossover book for late teens and adults about a young girl who wants to become an artist in a family of sports nerds. It is her Polish grandmother who helps guide her to her dream.”
–Fish Griwkowsky, Edmonton Journal

“Koller, who teaches English at the University of Alberta, has written plays and screenplays and contributes to CBC radio drama programs. Her playwriting knowledge is evident in Art Lessons–each chapter can stand on its own as a scene within a play.”
–Andrea Leary, Winnipeg Free Press

 

Last Chance Leduc

“With its poetic dialogue and imagery, evocative themes and delicate structure, Katherine Koller’s Last Chance Leduc is most deserving of the Grand Prize in the 2013 Alberta Playwriting Competition. Congratulations, Katherine! A prairie classic in the making.”
–Jury, Alberta Playwriting Competition, 2013

 

The Seed Savers

“Rather than write a based-on-a-true story play about Schmeiser’s fight with Monsanto (which has been depicted in several films), [Koller] chose to use that background to create a story about a fictional farm couple –Mindy and Joe – in changing times.
–Marsha Lederman, The Globe and Mail

 

Seed Savers bears fruit of inspiring defiance”
–Liz Nicholls, Edmonton Journal

 

“Koller . . .  captures the cadences of language and the tempo of life on a prairie farm.”
–Colin MacLean, Edmonton Sun

 

“The Seed Savers  . . . takes up the tale of the Saskatchewan farmer where Paper Wheat left off.  The playwright Katherine Koller has a handle on the issues facing modern farmers and the stewardship of the land.”
–Ellen Handford, Saskatchewan Valley News

 

Coal Valley: the Making of a Miner

This is a moving story of coalmining in the Drumheller region — informative and evocative.  It tracks the life of a miner’s son through significant stages of Canadian history: the Spanish influenza, Prohibition, Depression, WWII, until the closing of the mines.  Each scene captures the mood of the time through the response of the characters.  The dialogue is spare, with occasional lyrical speeches which express the attraction of mining life and the work underground. There is humour and pathos, and indirect social commentary on unions, strikes, governments. A complete and compelling portrait of a mining community is drawn . . . fills in the details of Alberta’s history.  The tone is positive, the characters likeable, much like the plays of W.O. Mitchell or Thornton Wilder.
–Anne Nothof, editor, The Alberta Advantage

 

“Koller’s play captures essence of life in coal town”
–O.R. Sheddy, The Drumheller Mail

 

Coal Valley accurately depicts life in the valley’s coal mines”
–Isabell Fooks, The Valley Times

Starter Home

“Lunchbox Theatre’s Home is a keeper . . . Starter Home is the best thing Jagged Edge Lunchbox Theatre has given us in some time.
Colin MacLean, The Edmonton Sun

 

Koller’s characters are always believable and never condescended to, she has a good feel for the strategies lonely people use to fill up their empty lives and . . . she brings out the sad combination of neediness and greediness that drives Betty-Lynn’s actions.  It’s a play that, quite literally, is full of home truths.”
–Paul Matwychuk, Vue Weekly

 

“Koller’s script is evocative.”
  –Liane Faulder, The Edmonton Journal

The Early Worm Club

“. . . an enjoyable play that draws you into its modest little world and gets you to care about whether or not the characters will find happiness together.”

 –Paul Matwychuk, Vue Weekly

Magpie

“It’s a very twisted, black, powerful, interesting play.”                                                                                                                     –Hope McIntyre, director, qtd. in Nicholas Freisen. The Uniter

“Because of her past, [Magpie} has never gotten along with men.  Reggie, this week’s new transient . . . soon finds out that he has met his match in the boisterous landlord.  The intensity between the two swells to a thrilling conclusion.”                                                                                                                                                       –Derek Loewen, The Uniter

“Play tackles tough topic.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                       – Mitch Kruse, The Projector

Magpie by Edmonton’s Katherine Koller is about a woman who takes in paroled ex-convicts and tries to teach them life skills so they can reintegrate. . . but you soon learn that she has a different agenda.”                                                                                                                                                                                  – Alison Mayes, Winnipeg Free Press

Magpie  blurs the lines between good and bad.                                                                                                                                                                                     – Jared Story, Uptown           

 

Cowboy Boots and a Corsage

“Koller knows how to stitch together a well-wrought play . . . Joan Hurley strikes just the right note as Jeannie … the true core of this production: a woman’s visceral bond with the land that shaped her.”                                                                                                                                                                              ——-Lynne Van Luven,  The Edmonton Journal

“The play is neatly constructed.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                   – Wendy Philpott, NeWest Review

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