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Robin Phillips revitalizes Stratford

The Story

"Theatre, for me, is a vocation," says Robin Phillips. "If we do it well, we can make a huge difference to people's lives." It was likely this attitude that made Phillips such a success in his role as artistic director of Ontario's Stratford Shakespeare Festival from 1975 to 1980. This 2002 episode of Stratford Gold -- a 13-part CBC-TV series on the history of the festival -- looks back at the revitalizing energy Phillips brought to it, through interviews with actors such as Brian Bedford, Maggie Smith and Andrea Martin.

Medium: Television
Program: Stratford Gold
Broadcast Date: July 9, 2002
Guests: Brian Bedford, Martha Henry, Marti Maraden, Andrea Martin, Barry McGregor, Robin Phillips, Maggie Smith
Host: Richard Ouzounian
Duration: 24:10

Did You know?

• Robin Phillips was born in Haslemere, England in 1942. He left school at the age of 15 and went to work for a costume house in London.

• He went on to study acting at England's prestigious Bristol Old Vic and worked with London's Royal Shakespeare Company before moving to Canada in 1974. • As artistic director of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival from 1975 to 1980, he is often credited with revitalizing the organization. He directed 35 productions featuring such notable actors as Martha Henry, William Hutt, Maggie Smith, Jessica Tandy and Colm Feore.


• He was subsequently artistic director of The Grand Theatre in London, Ont. from 1983 to 1984, then director general of Edmonton's Citadel Theatre from 1990 to 1995. In 1998 he helped establish Toronto's Soulpepper Theatre Company.


• Phillips's directing credits also include The Marriage of Figaro for the Canadian Opera Company; the film adaptation of Timothy Findley's The Wars; and the cult hit Broadway musical Jekyll and Hyde



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