CBC News has reported that Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre co-founder Tom Hendry has died.
He and John Hirsch founded Canada’s first English-language regional theatre in 1958. Hendry served as the company’s first general manager until 1963. In 2008 on the 50th anniversary of the company, the MTC Warehouse Theatre was officially dedicated to him.
Hendry was born in Winnipeg in 1929. He was expelled from the University of Manitoba’s Arts program in 1947 and later graduated as a chartered accountant. In the early 1950s he began writing and acting for the CBC and became active in Winnipeg’s growing arts scene.
Hendry was also producer of Winnipeg’s Rainbow Stage (1958-61). He was the first literary manager of the Stratford Festival, co-founded Playwrights Co-op, Toronto Free Theatre (TFT) and founded the Banff Playwrights Colony in 1974. He was invested as an officer of the Order of Canada in 1995.
He was also an accomplished playwright. His plays include Fifteen Miles of Broken Glass (1966), Satyricon (1971), Byron (1976); Hogtown: Toronto the Good (1981) and Not in My Back Yard (1994). He also wrote scripts for CBC’s King of Kensington.