In Memoriam: Richard Monette 1944-2008 

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It is with great sadness that the Concordia community learned of the passing of distinguished thespian Richard Monette (L BA 67) earlier this month.

Monette held the position of artistic director of the Stratford Festival in Canada from 1994 to his retirement last year. His career earned kudos from his contemporaries and he was granted an Honorary Doctorate from Concordia in 2003, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal in 2002 and the Order of Canada in 1998.

Monette grew up in Montreal and took his first role at the age of 15. As a sophomore at Loyola College, he earned the Best Actor in the Inter-University Drama League Festival in Toronto in 1962.

By the time he graduated from Loyola, he had already acted in the Stratford Festival, and had a regular role in a handful of televised CBC drama.

Monette spent 1969-1974 in London, England. During that time, he appeared in the original production of Oh! Calcutta! When he returned to Montreal, it was to appear in the title role of Michel Tremblay’s Hosanna in its premiere English production. Monette wrote in his autobiography that it was “a great role. Perhaps the best I have ever played outside of Shakespeare.”

Monette played more than 40 roles at Stratford, before his first opportunity to direct in 1988. In addition to staging plays while at the Stratford, he also established a fourth venue during his tenure, and opened the Birmingham Conservatory acting school.

Our deepest condolences to family, friends and colleagues.


Concordia University