Friday, September 12, 2008

In Memorandum: Richard Monette

Former Artistic Director of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival died Tuesday. Under Monette's tenure saw the most successful period in the festival's 50 plus history. He was able to make the theatre accessible to all audiences, commercially successful, while still remaining relevant and innovative. During this time the Stratford Festival added a fourth theatre, started a Conservator program, and created a $50 million.

Often criticized for pandering to the audience and commercial success, Monette was a strong defender of art and the artist. In 1980, before his term as artistic director, he denounced the outgoing board president by standing up in a crowded auditorium and shouting:

"You pig! We have spent our lives in this theater. We have given of our time taking care of our art. You talk to us about money all the time. ... You have no morals. I don’t know how you can sleep. I care deeply and passionately about this place, and you must address yourselves to your consciences."

Richard Monette served as Artistic Director from 1994 to 2007. He was 64.

Stratford Shakespeare Festival Memorial
New York Times Obituary
Wikipedia listing
Globe and

Happy Birthday:
Ian Holm (b. 1931) & Eric Bentley (b. 1916)

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