Canadian theatre icon Martha Henry dies days after her final stage performance

The legendary Canadian actor, director, educator, and theatre leader Martha Henry has died at her home in Stratford at age 83.Remarkably, she gave her last performance as the character named “A” — an elderly dying woman — in Edward Albee’s play “Three Tall Women” at Stratford only 12 days before her death from cancer.“Her sense of responsibility to the theatre was so profound that it enabled her to endure pain and face down her terminal disease to complete an astoundingly truthful performance,” said the Stratford Festival’s artistic director, Antoni Cimolino, in a statement.“Our hearts are shattered. In losing Martha Henry we have lost the dearest friend, the most inspiring mentor and an unforgettable, original talent,” said Cimolino.Henry’s last interview before her death was with the Star this past August, with her “Three Tall Women” director Diana Leblanc. She said that since the moment she discovered theatre at the age of seven, it was “all I ever had in my head, ever.”She insisted that becoming a “theatre person” was available to anyone: “If you’ve got something that you know is you, that you know is what you have to be or need to be ... that’s what you do. And you find places to do it.”Henry was born in Detroit, Mich., in 1938. She moved to Canada after graduation from Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University), having seen productions at the Stratford Festival: “I thought any country that produced a Stratford was one I wanted to be a part of,” she said in a 1994 interview. She was a member of the first graduating cohort of actors from the National Theatre School in 1960. She joined the Stratford acting company in 1962 and performed in more than 70 productions there. Notable Stratford performances include Mary Tyrone in “Long Day’s Journey into Night” (1994), directed by her friend and National Theatre School classmate Leblanc; Beatrice in “Much Ado About Nothing” opposite one of her favourite leading men, Brian Bedford, and directed by Richard Monette (1998); and Prospero in “The Tempest” directed by Cimolino in 2018. Henry directed 14 productions at Stratford, served as director of its Birmingham Conservatory (an acting training program) from 2007-16, and as director of the Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction from 2017-20.She served as artistic director of the Grand Theatre in London, Ont., from 1988-94 and directed productions across Canada. She served two three-year appointments on the board of the Canada Council for the Arts, was a Companion of the Order of Canada, a member of the Order of Ontario, and a recipient of the Governor General’s Lifetime Achievement Award. A memorial for Henry will be held at a later time at Stratford, the festival in a statement, and the first Shakespeare production in the new Tom Patterson Theatre will be dedicated to her memory. Karen Fricker is a Toronto-based theatre critic and a freelance contributor for the Star. Follow her on Twitter: @KarenFricker2

Canadian theatre icon Martha Henry dies days after her final stage performance

The legendary Canadian actor, director, educator, and theatre leader Martha Henry has died at her home in Stratford at age 83.

Remarkably, she gave her last performance as the character named “A” — an elderly dying woman — in Edward Albee’s play “Three Tall Women” at Stratford only 12 days before her death from cancer.

“Her sense of responsibility to the theatre was so profound that it enabled her to endure pain and face down her terminal disease to complete an astoundingly truthful performance,” said the Stratford Festival’s artistic director, Antoni Cimolino, in a statement.

“Our hearts are shattered. In losing Martha Henry we have lost the dearest friend, the most inspiring mentor and an unforgettable, original talent,” said Cimolino.

Henry’s last interview before her death was with the Star this past August, with her “Three Tall Women” director Diana Leblanc. She said that since the moment she discovered theatre at the age of seven, it was “all I ever had in my head, ever.”

She insisted that becoming a “theatre person” was available to anyone: “If you’ve got something that you know is you, that you know is what you have to be or need to be ... that’s what you do. And you find places to do it.”

Henry was born in Detroit, Mich., in 1938. She moved to Canada after graduation from Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University), having seen productions at the Stratford Festival: “I thought any country that produced a Stratford was one I wanted to be a part of,” she said in a 1994 interview. She was a member of the first graduating cohort of actors from the National Theatre School in 1960.

She joined the Stratford acting company in 1962 and performed in more than 70 productions there. Notable Stratford performances include Mary Tyrone in “Long Day’s Journey into Night” (1994), directed by her friend and National Theatre School classmate Leblanc; Beatrice in “Much Ado About Nothing” opposite one of her favourite leading men, Brian Bedford, and directed by Richard Monette (1998); and Prospero in “The Tempest” directed by Cimolino in 2018.

Henry directed 14 productions at Stratford, served as director of its Birmingham Conservatory (an acting training program) from 2007-16, and as director of the Michael Langham Workshop for Classical Direction from 2017-20.

She served as artistic director of the Grand Theatre in London, Ont., from 1988-94 and directed productions across Canada. She served two three-year appointments on the board of the Canada Council for the Arts, was a Companion of the Order of Canada, a member of the Order of Ontario, and a recipient of the Governor General’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

A memorial for Henry will be held at a later time at Stratford, the festival in a statement, and the first Shakespeare production in the new Tom Patterson Theatre will be dedicated to her memory.

Karen Fricker is a Toronto-based theatre critic and a freelance contributor for the Star. Follow her on Twitter: @KarenFricker2

Source : Toronto Star More   

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Toronto police officers who ignore vaccine mandate will be placed on ‘indefinite unpaid absence’

Police officers who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of November will be placed on an “indefinite unpaid absence,” Toronto police announced Thursday. “Effective on Nov. 30, 2021, any member, uniform or civilian, who has not disclosed their vaccination status or is not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will have rendered themselves unable to perform their duties,” Toronto police said in a statement.And effective immediately, unvaccinated officers — a category that includes anyone who has not disclosed their status to police — are ineligible for promotion to supervisory or management positions. “Vaccination against COVID-19 protects the health and safety of each of our members, our workplaces and the public we serve,” Toronto police chief James Ramer said in a statement.The new penalties for non-compliance comes two months after Canada’s largest municipal police force said it was bringing in a mandatory vaccination policy for all 7,500 uniform and civilian employees — an announcement that was opposed by the Toronto Police Association because it was missing “critical details.”Following an arrangement with the union, Toronto police agreed not to discipline any officers who did not disclose their vaccination status by a deadline set last month. According to Toronto police, 90 per cent of employees have disclose their status, and of those 94 per cent are fully vaccinated. Toronto police said the new work restrictions align with Toronto Police Services Board policy and are “consistent with the approach of the City of Toronto and its agencies, boards and commissions, other police services, and many public and private sector workplaces.”Accommodation pursuant to the Human Rights Code “will be respected,” the Toronto police statement said.More to come.Wendy Gillis is a Toronto-based reporter covering crime and policing for the Star. Reach her by email at wgillis@thestar.ca or follow her on Twitter: @wendygillis

Toronto police officers who ignore vaccine mandate will be placed on ‘indefinite unpaid absence’

Police officers who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of November will be placed on an “indefinite unpaid absence,” Toronto police announced Thursday.

“Effective on Nov. 30, 2021, any member, uniform or civilian, who has not disclosed their vaccination status or is not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will have rendered themselves unable to perform their duties,” Toronto police said in a statement.

And effective immediately, unvaccinated officers — a category that includes anyone who has not disclosed their status to police — are ineligible for promotion to supervisory or management positions.

“Vaccination against COVID-19 protects the health and safety of each of our members, our workplaces and the public we serve,” Toronto police chief James Ramer said in a statement.

The new penalties for non-compliance comes two months after Canada’s largest municipal police force said it was bringing in a mandatory vaccination policy for all 7,500 uniform and civilian employees — an announcement that was opposed by the Toronto Police Association because it was missing “critical details.”

Following an arrangement with the union, Toronto police agreed not to discipline any officers who did not disclose their vaccination status by a deadline set last month.

According to Toronto police, 90 per cent of employees have disclose their status, and of those 94 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Toronto police said the new work restrictions align with Toronto Police Services Board policy and are “consistent with the approach of the City of Toronto and its agencies, boards and commissions, other police services, and many public and private sector workplaces.”

Accommodation pursuant to the Human Rights Code “will be respected,” the Toronto police statement said.

More to come.

Wendy Gillis is a Toronto-based reporter covering crime and policing for the Star. Reach her by email at wgillis@thestar.ca or follow her on Twitter: @wendygillis

Source : Toronto Star More   

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