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Gill, Robert

Director born in Spokane, Washington, 1911, died in Toronto, 1974.

Robert Gill graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1933, then studied acting, stage production, and singing at the Cleveland Playhouse. After teaching at Carnegie Tech and then working with the Pittsburgh Playhouse, where he directed over thirty productions, Robert Gill came to Canada and reopened Hart House Theatre, where he was director from 1945-65. In the position he was responsible for training and launching the careers of many significant actors and theatre practitioners in Canadian theatre history, most of whom were University of Toronto undergraduates including: William Hutt, Kate Reid, Ted Follows, Charmion King, Barbara Hamilton, and David Gardner. However, he favoured the production of modern European or American classics, such as William Shakespeare, Arthur Miller, Henrik Ibsen, and George Bernard Shaw over the production of new Canadian plays, mounting only two in twenty years.

Robert Gill also helped found the Straw Hat Players in Muskoka in 1948, and Toronto's Crest Theatre in 1954. He also taught at the Banff Centre for The Arts and the University of British Columbia.

He was the first Chairman of the Canadian Guild of Drama Adjudicators, and won the Canadian Drama Award in 1952, and the Centennial Medal in 1967. In 1985 the Graduate Centre for Drama named its studio theatre in his honour.

Source: https://harthouse.hackinghistory.ca

Last updated 2021-01-04