Saskatoon theatre impresario Tibor Feheregyhazi dies

Tibor Feheregyhazi, a prominent figure in Saskatoon's theatre community, has died following a lengthy battle with cancer.

Tibor Feheregyhazi, a prominent figure in Saskatoon's theatre community, has died following a lengthy battle with cancer.

Feheregyhazi, 75, the artistic director of the Persephone Theatre and a recipient of the Order of Canada, died of prostate cancer July 10 in Saskatoon.

"He's just tried to bring good theatre to life here," said Mark von Eschen, the lighting designer at Persephone and a man who has worked closely with Feheregyhazi for several years.

Von Eschensaid Feheregyhazi's legacy will include the new Persephone building that's now under development and, just as importantly, a generation of theatre artists who worked with him.

"I guess every time Tibor gave me another opportunity I jumped at it," he said. "There's always a chance to learn at the theatre and to experience a new play and to try to keep up with Tibor sometimes."

Born in Budapest, Hungary in 1932, Feheregyhazi got his start in drama as achild actor with the Hungarian National Radio service.

He later graduated from the National Theatre and Film School in Budapest and appeared in numerous stage and film productions.

In 1956, Feheregyhazi was one of thousands of young Hungarians who fought in the Hungarian Revolution against the Communist regime. When the revolt was crushed, he was forced to flee the country, first to Italy and then Canada.

He arrived in Canada 50 years ago determined to stay in theatre. Feheregyhazi washed hospital floors, worked in camera shops and eventually attended the National Theatre School in Montreal.

He went on to work in theatres in Winnipeg and Thunder Bay, Ont., before coming to the Persephone in the 1980s. The recipient of numerous awards in theatre, he received his Order of Canada in 2005.