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» babble   » right brain babble   » culture   » CHAMPION OF CANADIAN THEATRE DIES AT 69

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Performance Anxiety
Babbler # 3474

posted 16 September 2004 12:36 AM      Profile for Performance Anxiety        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 


Canadian theatre lost one of its greatest proponents Monday. Bill Glassco passed away quietly at his daughter's home in Toronto, finally taken over by the ravages of cancer he had fought so well and bravely over the past year and a half. He leaves a theatrical legacy that we all know and appreciate, including the Tarragon Theatre, Canadian Stage and most recently The Montreal Young Company. He championed the young artist and did everything he could to further their careers and training, attending all performances he could and always finding time to talk to them and nurture their futures.

A native of Quebec, Bill was a graduate of Princeton and Oxford Universities. After completing a doctorate at the University of Toronto, he studied theatre at New York University, returning to Canada to found Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre in 1971. As Artistic director (until 1982), he developed and directed the plays of David Freeman and David French, co-translated and directed the first productions of Michel Tremblay in English and produced James Reaney’s magnificent Donnelly trilogy. These landmark productions established Tarragon as Toronto’s leading alternative theatre, and over time, as the country’s most important crucible for new plays.

In 1985, he became Director of Theatre for Centre Stage at Toronto’s St. Lawrence Centre, and over the next two years, helped to merge this organization with the Toronto Free Theatre to create the Canadian Stage Company, of which he was the Co-artistic Director until 1991. In 1992, he moved to Quebec City, where he directed in French while continuing to translate francophone plays into English. He created theatre all over Canada, and taught at the National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal for five years.

Beginning in 1998, at his family home in Tadoussac, he hosted groups of playwrights and translators taking part in residencies with Playwrights' Workshop Montreal and the Centre des auteurs dramatiques. In the spring of 2001, he directed the Italian production of Canadian Playwright Rahul Varma’s play Counter Offence in Italy for the University of Venice. He also set up and oversaw the selection committees for the first two years of the Siminovitch Awards programme. A recipient of the Dora Mavor Moore and Sterling Awards for directing, he was also an Officer of the Order of Canada and received an honorary doctorate from the University of Toronto.

A family service will be held on Thursday, September 16, in Toronto. A memorial celebration will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to The Montreal Young Company. Bill passionately believed that our young actors, upon graduation from theatre school, needed practical experience in professional productions of both contemporary and classical plays in a company environment. He very much wanted this company, his dream, to live on after he was gone. The family requests that donations be sent to The Montreal Young Company, 5558 Marlowe Ave. Montreal, QC, H4A 3L7 to ensure that his dream remains a reality. A production is planned in late February under the direction of Michael Shamata. For further information, contact Jane Needles, General Manager, The Montreal Young Company - (514) 487-1011.

From: Outside of the box | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged

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