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Walter Learning


B: November 16, 1938 in Quidi Vidi, Newfoundland
D: January 5, 2020 in Fredericton, New Brunswick

Walter Learning was born and grew up in the small village of Quidi Vidi in what was then, the Dominion of Newfoundland. He later attended Bishop Feild College in St. John’s and then the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, the city that would eventually become his home. But first, after attaining a BA, he was given a Teaching Fellowship to pursue his MA, which led to a Commonwealth Scholarship to work on his PhD at the Australian National University in Canberra. He returned to Canada in May 1966 and was Director of Drama at the University of New Brunswick during its Summer Session. He returned to Memorial University of Newfoundland that Fall and became a Lecturer in the Philosophy Department, a position he held until May of 1968 when he moved back to Fredericton to become the General Manager of the Beaverbrook Playhouse. Learning founded Theatre New Brunswick (TNB) which presented its first production in January 1969. He remained as General Manager of The Playhouse and Artistic Director of TNB for ten years during which the theatre company launched more than 85 productions. Between 1995 and 1999, Learning left the Playhouse and TNB to work as a freelance broadcaster, writer, actor, and director. He was a guest director in many theatres, including the Stratford Festival in Ontario and he appeared on stage and rarely in film or television. He returned to TNB as Executive Producer in 1999. Learning also served on the Canada Council for the Arts, and as artistic director of the Vancouver Playhouse and later the Charlottetown Festival. His work and dedication to theatre was recognized in 2011 with the Playhouse Honours award. He was made a member of the Order of New Brunswick in 2018 and in 2019 it was announced that Learning had been appointed to the Order of Canada. He was 81 when he died in Fredericton.

Also see: R.H. Thomson interviews Walter Learning.

Features & TV Movies:
VR indicates Direct-to-Video Release

At the End of the Day: The Sue Rodriguez Story (TV-1998)

Vendetta: No Conscience, No Mercy (2004)
Grindstone Road (2008)

Dog Pound (2010)
Magnifier (2010, short)
Copperhead (2013)

TV Series – Guest appearances:
Constable Constable (1985)
Danger Bay (1985, 1986)
The Hitchhiker (1986)

Canada-Russia ’72 (2006)

Credits as a Director:
Up At Ours (1979, mini-series)

Credits as a Screenwriter:
Up At Ours (1979, mini-series)