Jennet (jennetj) wrote in festivalontario,

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Stratford Mourns the passing of Richard Monette

September 10, 2008 ... It is with profound sadness that the Stratford Shakespeare Festival announces the death last night of Richard Monette, the longest-serving artistic director in its history. Mr. Monette, whose tenure lasted for 14 seasons, from 1994 to 2007, died of a pulmonary embolus in hospital in London, Ontario. He was 64 years old.
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When I was seven, my mother and I attended a Michigan members' function in suburban Detroit, where Richard Monette told me that I looked like "a little Alice in Wonderland." Fifteen years later, I am working in theatre, and I attribute my decision to pursue this career to all the time I spent in Stratford during Richard's tenure. He was artistic director for all but three of the seasons I have attended, and I will always remember the many excellent productions - as well as the incredibly warm, welcoming atmosphere - that graced the festival during his time there. His Stratford was my Stratford, my paradise, my favourite place on Earth. I am not sure the festival will ever again find that unique quality that it had under his leadership. He will be deeply, sorely missed.

A thousand thanks, Richard.