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Festival Lennoxville

Summer festival of Canadian plays staged at Lennoxville in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, the first professional theatre festival devoted entirely to Canadian work.

It was founded in 1971 by David Rittenhouse and William Davis (artistic director) and the plays were staged in the Centennial Theatre of Bishop's University. The Festival opened with Mavor Moore's The Ottawa Man, followed that season with George Ryga's Captives of a Faceless Drummer and Ann Henry's Lulu Street (directed by John Hirsch). It had a solid opening season box office and decent critical response.

The Festival went on to stage a wide range of Canadian work including David Freeman's Battering Ram, Ryga's Sunrise on Sara, Robertson Davies' Jig for a Gypsy, Lister Sinclair's The Blood is Strong, Michel Tremblay's Hosanna (featuring original cast member Jean Archambault), and Tom Cone's Herringbone.

The subsequent artistic director (1978) was Richard Ouzounian (who had fiscally and artistically good and bad seasons) followed by Heiner Piller whose proposed season was considered too ambitious for the board, with the result that in 1981 the Festival went dark. When AD Scott Swan took over, he offered a bilingual season including La Sagouine and Waiting for the Parade. However, the Festival did not make it to the end of the summer and went out of business in 1982 with a deficit of some $250,000.

Profile by Gaetan Charlebois

Last updated 2020-12-03