Flamboyant actor, writer, teacher and director, born in India in 1954, died in Halifax, Nova Scotia, April 28, 1988 of AIDS.
He studied at Loyola (now Concordia University) in Montreal and graduated in Communications Studies in 1972, before co-founding the Phoenix Theatre, a tiny space in a suburb of Montreal, in 1972. While with Phoenix he directed and acted, notably in works by Noel Coward and in his own one-man works. He is best known for Oscar Remembered, in which the infamous Wilde is viewed from the perspective of his disloyal lover Lord Alfred Douglas. He toured this monologue to the United States and across Canada, including the Stratford Festival.
After leaving Phoenix, he continued to write and perform in monologues based on gay history including Rimbaud and Dance for Gods.
He spent some time in New York City in the late 1970s, becoming a friend and business associate of gay activist Quenten Crisp. He also worked extensively with the Alleyway Theatre company in Buffalo, NY. He performed his last play, Lupercal, a musical, at the Alleyway in 1988. The annual playwriting competition there is named in his honour.
In 1979 he returned to Canada and founded the Stephenville Theatre Festival where he continued to direct until his death.
Oscar was revived at the Stratford Festival in 2000.
Readings: Maxim Mazumdar. Oscar Remembered. Toronto: Personal Library, 1977.
Source: Pat Donnelly. "Wilde things at Stratford", The Montreal Gazette, 16 Sept 2000
Profile by Gaetan Charlebois. Additional information provided by Kevin Stevens and Cheryl Stagg.
Last updated 2018-07-22