He is most closely associated with the Shaw Festival, where he has been in the ensemble since 1980 (with a few brief hiatuses), and performed in at least forty productions, including leads in The Devil's Disciple (1984), John Bull's Other Island (1985), Arms and the Man (1986), Major Barbara (1987 and 1998), Peer Gynt(1989), Counsellor-at-Law (1992),Sherlock Holmes (1994), The Petrified Forest (1995), Heartbreak House (1999), Uncle Vanya (1999), A Woman of No Importance (2000), Pygmalion (2004), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (2011), Hedda Gabler (2012), and The Faith Healer (2013). In 2014, he played a bombastic Captain Boyle in Sean O'Casey's Juno and the Paycock, and a self-important retired military man striving for an audience in The Charity That Began at Home. For the 2015 season, he starred in Tony Kusher's The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures. In 2017, he played a formidable but fraught Inquisitor in Saint Joan.
Mezon has acted at most major theatres across Canada: Stratford Festival, Theatre Calgary, Canadian Stage (Wit, 2001, and as artist Mark Rothko in Red 2011), Manitoba Theatre Centre (notably in the world premiere of Transit of Venus by Maureen Hunter), Neptune Theatre, Theatre Plus, Tarragon Theatre (notably in the premiere of David French's Jitters), Centaur Theatre, Vancouver Playhouse; and Grand Theatre, London (Jason Sherman's Patience, 2000).
In 2018, for Groundling Theatre Company in Toronto, he played a pitiful Earl of Gloucester in a reconsidered production of Lear, with Seana McKenna as the king (dir Graham Abbey). In January 2020, he played Julius Caesar in a Groundling/Crow's Theatre co-production (dir. Chris Abraham, which brings the classic play into present political circumstances.
As a director for the Shaw Festival, he has directed, among many others, The Philanderer (1995), The Playboy of the Western World (1996/7), John Bull's Other Island (1998), and Getting Married (1999). He has also directed at Manitoba Theatre Centre, Theatre Plus, Theatre Calgary and Canadian Stage.
Jim Mezon has acted and taught in the US, and appeared in Paul Gross’ 2008 film Passchendaele as the character Dobson-Hughes.
Of his performance as Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof critic Gary Smith writes: "Jim Mezon inhabits the gruff, world weary exterior of Big Daddy Pollitt, booming out his fury in the face of disappointment and death like some water buffalo sinking in the mud at the bottom of an oozy river. This is a performance of remarkable richness, a layering of thought and emotion ..." (thespec.com 6 June 2011).
Profile by Gaetan Charlebois. Additional information provided by Christopher Hoile and Anne Nothof.
Last updated 2021-01-19