Cornerstone Sculpture and Inductees

cornerstone211-150x150As part of its 100th Season Celebrations in 2012-13, the Ottawa Little Theatre (OLT) commissioned a piece of art, ShapeShifter by Lynda Cronin, which recognizes and acknowledges the contribution made by the many volunteers and supporters who have given their time and energy to making the Ottawa Little Theatre the thriving community organization that it is today – the human cornerstones of the theatre.

Each year, a group of outstanding volunteers will receive special recognition by having their names placed on this sculpture which is located outside at the entranceway to the theatre.  The first ten volunteers were inducted onto the cornerstone sculpture on August 25, 2013, as part of the final event of OLT’s 100th Season.

The Cornerstone Selection Committee will select up five inductees in each subsequent year.  Current and past volunteers, members and subscribers are all invited to nominate people who have made an extraordinary contribution to the development of the Ottawa Little Theatre through their work as volunteers. Nominations will be open from January through April each year and forms will be available at this website during those months.

The mandate of Ottawa Little Theatre Cornerstone Selection Committee is to find worthy inductees for the Cornerstone and to acknowledge the significant contribution and exceptional achievement these inductees made to the theatre.

2017 Nomination Form

2013 Inductees:

For generations of actors and backstage crew, William (Bill) Adkins was the face of the Ottawa Little Theatre (OLT). He was introduced in the early 20s to what was then the Ottawa Drama League (ODL) by his boss at the Department of Indian Affairs, Duncan Campbell Scott, who for ten years was President of the ODL Board of Directors. Adkins began as a backstage volunteer and in 1928 became the theatre’s stage manager. When he retired from the Civil Service in 1953, he turned to stage management full-time, a position he held at the Ottawa Little Theatre until 1979 when he was 90 years old. For well over a half century, Adkins did whatever was required to ensure that the “show would go on”: setting props, moving furniture, lights, sound, everything, as well as mentoring decades of stage crews. He was here when the ODL acquired the Eastern Methodist Church on King Edward at Rideau and turned it into a theatre in 1928, and was still here when – following the fire of 1970 – a new theatre was built and opened on the same site in 1972 where it continues to this day.Bill Adkins received the Order of Canada from Governor General Roland Michener on December 28, 1972, for his tremendous contribution to theatre.
Sybil and her husband Douglas Cooke began their involvement at the Ottawa Little Theatre in 1954. Sybil remained continuously active, apart from hiatuses for Douglas’s naval postings to Halifax and Pennsylvania, until 1997.Sybil Cooke began as an actor in the 50s, and then in the 60s directed three Theatre for Children productions and was Assistant to the Director for a number of musicals including The Centennial Play in 1967. After returning from Pennsylvania in 1972, she began a long run of directing at least one production per year for a total of 28, almost always in collaboration with set designer Leslie Hutchins. Favorites included The Sunshine Boys with Bill Luxton and Les Lye (1976), The Madwoman of Chaillot (1977), The Admirable Crichton (1978), Glasstown (1980), The Man Who Came to Dinner (1980), Talley’s Folly (1984), Tartuffe (1986), Amadeus (1988), Beyond Reasonable Doubt with Sen. Royce Frith (1991), and Pride and Prejudice (1997). As a director, Sybil had a keen eye for casting and would often cast in her plays newcomers to the OLT who would later become regular OLT volunteers, including now longtime actor/director/board member Geoff Gruson, and actor/OLT President John Mark Keyes. Sybil Cooke succeeded Jane Murray as President of the Ottawa Little Theatre in 1989 and continued in that position until her death in 1997.
The Ottawa Drama League’s first season culminated in an evening of one-act plays in June 1914. The cast included Mrs. Dwight P. Cruikshank and it was the first of her many appearances on the theatre’s stage. In the 1920s, after the ODL had been performing in borrowed spaces for years, Elizabeth (Betty) Cruikshank who was by then Second Vice President of the Board, successfully chaired the fundraising campaign to buy the ODL a home of its own. The $75,000 needed to purchase the Eastern Methodist Church at Rideau and King Edward was obtained by selling $25 mortgage bonds “person to person”. She also travelled to the theatre at Yale University to research the lighting panel that was eventually installed in the new theatre. Betty Cruikshank was still around in 1970 to see that hard-fought-for building burn to the ground, and she was a strong supporter of the rebuilding campaign. She attended the opening of the new building in 1972 and every season thereafter until her death in 1979 at age 96.
Florence Fancott was the leading lady of over 100 Ottawa Little Theatre productions from 1949 to 1983. Flo’s award-winning theatre career began in England where at one point she worked with Errol Flynn before moving to Ottawa post-war with her architect husband Ted Fancott. Her prolific OLT career encompassed the theatre’s standard repertoire as well many Workshop productions (the more experimental fare) and earned her a number of EODL awards. She directed the first of approximately 20 productions in 1971, sharing with cast and crew her discipline and vast knowledge of dramatic interpretation. Flo Fancott was a member of the National Playwriting Competition Committee together with Gladys Cameron Watt and Marion Bray advancing its status from 1975 to 1983. She organized the Christmas Raffle in 1978 and regularly did cloakroom duty. Flo Fancott was a mentor, teacher, coach, advisor, supporter and pillar of the theatre, always generous with her advice to and mentorship of new performers.
William Edmund (Ted) Fancott was the designer of approximately 50 Ottawa Little Theatre sets from 1949 to 1990, including building and painting many of them, plus dozens of others at Orpheus and other local theatres. He was also President of the Workshop in the 1950s. An architect, whose designs include the Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill, Ted Fancott was a member of the OLT’s Board of Directors from the 1950s to 80s where he was on the Building Committee in charge of facilities. This included overseeing the extensive renovation of the original lobby in 1968. After the catastrophic fire that destroyed that theatre in 1970, Ted Fancott was the architect responsible for the design of the present building which opened in 1972. His intimate knowledge of the theatre allowed him to solve many of the previous space and logistical problems thus offering volunteers and theatre-goers an incredible new home which is still enjoyed to this day.
Bill Glenn was an actor, director, producer, costume designer, teacher and all-round artistic leader for 20 years at Ottawa Little Theatre from the 1940s to the mid 1960s. He then moved on to a highly successful professional career in Hollywood, including directing The Young and the Restless for nine years.Bill Glenn’s influence at the OLT as a director and designer is legendary, particularly through his involvement with the Theatre for Children which he took over in 1954 after apprenticing under its founding team. Hundreds of youth under his care flourished artistically, attained personal growth and moved forward in their lives with superior skills and confidence. Every participant got the chance to grace the stage or work behind the scenes, including Rich Little, Saul Rubinek and Tim Bond who all went on to professional careers. When Bill Glenn was inducted into the Palm Springs Walk of Stars, he declared: “My life started at OLT. Thank you.”
Michael Mieklejohn was a major contributor to the Ottawa Drama League/Ottawa Little Theatre for close to 30 years from – apart from a hiatus to serve in World War II – 1930 to 1965, contributing as an actor and stagehand, and later as play director, committee member and chair. In 1965, he and his wife Barbara Meiklejohn, also a star actor, director and adjudicator, moved to Victoria where Michael became a pioneer historian in Canadian theatre, conducting and audio-taping interviews with literally dozens of key figures in the development of Canadian theatre before and just after World War II. Michael Mieklejohn, a passionate supporter of Canadian playwrights, co-founded the ODL Workshop with Julia Murphy and Eric Strangroom in 1936 and was its President in 1946. He was Governor of the Dominion Drama Festival from 1948 to 1958 and Vice Chair of the EODL in 1951. He was President of the OLT from 1956 to 1958 having frequently served as a member of the Board of Directors throughout his time in Ottawa. As a theatre educator (Theatre Consultant for Department of National Health and Welfare) he spread the name of the Ottawa Drama League across Canada. His expertise was legendary and he became one of Canada’s most influential leaders of community theatre and theatre education during its formative years in this country. In 1950 Mr Meiklejohn was named recipient of the Canadian Drama Award, a national award recognizing outstanding contributions to Canadian theatre.
Mrs. James K. Murray’s involvement with the Ottawa Little Theatre began as an actress in the mid-1950s in productions including Old Acquaintance, The Madwoman of Chaillot, The Mountain and The Rehearsal, during which time she was also a member of the OLT Workshop’s Board of Directors. In the 1960s Jane Murray joined the OLT Board of Directors and in 1964 became its President, a position she held until 1989, a period crucial to the theatre’s development. She was in charge during the $68,000 campaign for major renovations to the old theatre in 1968, and then after the fire of 1970, she spearheaded with Len Holt and Kenneth Binks the fundraising campaign to raise $750,000 to build the new theatre which opened in 1972; its mortgage was paid off within five years. Under Jane Murray’s leadership, play-runs expanded from five nights to three weeks of nine to ten plays per season, and the membership list grew to the point where it was almost impossible to buy a season subscription or a ticket to a play. Supported throughout by her husband, James K. (Jim) Murray, Jane Murray’s mantra was to provide a venue for volunteers to explore their passion for the theatre and in turn provide quality entertainment for the citizens of Ottawa.On April 25, 1979 Jane Murray was presented with the Order of Canada by Governor General Ed Schreyer for her work with the Ottawa Little Theatre.
Mrs. Gladys Cameron Watt’s involvement with the Ottawa Drama League began in 1937, the same year that the theatre’s annual National One-Act Playwriting Competition was founded by Alison Hardy. Gladys Watt became Chairman of the Playwriting Competition in 1949 and for the next 25 years was instrumental in advancing the state of and changing the public’s indifference to Canadian playwriting. She sought to make each edition of the Competition better than the last, pushing it to the national level, tirelessly publicizing, seeking out prominent theatre professionals as adjudicators, and organizing the presentation of prizes. She won a Canada Council grant in 1958 to assist in printing the ranking plays for wider distribution, the same year as she received the Canadian Drama Award as a personal tribute to her outstanding efforts. By 1958, more than 70 of the 1,200 Canadian Plays submitted to the competition had been produced for the first time on the OLT Workshop stage. In 1963, Gladys Cameron Watt was presented with the Margo Jones Award by Lady Bird Johnson, First Lady of the United States, for her impact on encouraging live theatre. She won the Centennial Medal in 1967, and in 1973 she was awarded the Order of Canada for a quarter century of service to playwrights.The third prize in the OLT National Playwriting Competition, which is donated by the Canadian Federation of University Women, was renamed the Gladys Cameron Watt Award in her honour following her death in 1979. It continues to be awarded annually.
Dorothy White’s career at the Ottawa Drama League began on the stage of the Russell Theatre in the early 1920s. For the next four decades she worked tirelessly as an actor, director, and backstage helper. As administrator, she ran the theatre office and was one of the theatre’s chief policy makers.As Secretary and then Vice President of the Board, Dorothy White helped with the fundraising campaign to purchase the ODL a home of its own and had the honour of reciting the Prologue written by famed Canadian poet and ODL President Duncan Campbell Scott at its opening in 1928. She was one of the Drama League’s first amateur play directors (the ODL originally hired professionals) and was the first ODL director to win Best Production at the Dominion Drama Festival for French Without Tears in 1938. President of the Dominion Drama Festival and adjudicator of the National Playwriting Competition, Dorothy White mentored decades of Ottawa theatre amateurs. She was a “guide and friend of the Children’s Theatre”. As William Comarty, ex-President of OLT, wrote in a 1956 Newsletter: “When one thinks of the Little Theatre, one thinks immediately of Dorothy White, for, as a shrewd playgoer has observed, Dorothy White is the Little Theatre.The 2nd Prize of OLT’s National Playwriting Competition is still named in honour of Dorothy White.

2015 Inductees:

Geoff Gruson made his acting debut at OLT in Rain in 1981 and his directing debut with Harvey in 1986. He has now been involved in well over 50 shows at OLT. In addition to his work as an actor and director, Gruson has served as assistant to the director, fight director, member of the Board of Directors for approximately 20 years, member of the Operations Committee, Chair of the Artistic Committee, and member of the Play Selection Committee.

Gruson is unwavering in his pursuit of high quality productions. Always putting the audience first, his priority is to give OLT audiences performances of the highest possible quality. He brings a wealth of experience from the professional world – both in management as well as in professional film, TV and stage, and Presidency of ACTRA – into the community theatre world of OLT. Although his interest in theatre is wide-ranging (he has been involved with other community theatres as well as professional ones), his heart is always with OLT.

Gruson has been an OLT leading man since 1981 but has also often played supporting roles on many occasions, and has stepped in at the last minute in an emergency. When he directs, his actors learn an enormous amount from his tireless insistence on achieving the best possible performances. He has also mentored up-and-coming directors.

His awards include the Capital Critics Circle Award for Best Community Theatre Production for Epic Proportions (2002), EODL Best Director for Deliver’d from Nowhere (2009), and EODL Best Creative and Inventive Blocking for Memory of Water (2010).

As a member of the Board of Directors, among many other things Gruson helped initiate and guide the strategic vision that transformed the OLT in 2008-2009. As Chair of the Artistic Committee he spear-headed plans to improve the quality of OLT’s stage productions.

Gruson received the Audrey Ashley Award from the Capital Critics Circle in the 2006-2007 season for outstanding contribution to theatre in Ottawa.

Johni Keyworth has been involved with OLT as an actor, a director, and in many other volunteary roles during six of the ten decades of the OLT’s first one hundred years

Keyworth is known primarily as an actor, having performed 8 principal roles in the 1960s, 10 in the 70s, 4 in the 80s, 6 in the 90s, 6 in the 2000s and 1 in the 2010s, as well as many supporting roles. In the same period, he has directed 17 productions at Ottawa Little Theatre.

In addition to his acting and directing, Keyworth is known for stepping wherever and whenever needed. He has designed and painted sets; designed sound and served as sound crew; stepped in at the last minute to run sound and lights in emergencies; built props; worked stage-crew; served as Front-of-House manager for a number of seasons; filled in at the box office; made telephone calls to unrenewed subscribers and stepped in for missing actors.

For three seasons in the 1970s he volunteered full-time for two or three weeks to assist in establishing computerised subscription renewals. He has led a number of annual Open House theatre tours in both the old and the new theatres; worked several seasons on the Subscription Renewals Desk; promoted and sold raffle tickets and Rotary Calendars for many seasons; done live pre-show promotional announcements; recorded a number of OLT radio promos; helped with “Spring Cleaning”; and reorganized the production photos display in the Green Room and backstage corridors.

Keyworth was involved in a number of projects to raise funds during the rebuilding of the theatre in the 1970s and served as a member of the Board of Directors for six years in the 2000s when the theatre management was reorganized. He has mentored actors and directors; taught for Learning @ OLT programs including A Play in a Day, Introduction to Acting and the Actor’s Gym; served as a dialect and voice coach; choreographed physical stunts; and served as Fight Captain.

In 2012 Keyworth received the Lieutentant Governor’s Community Volunteer Award for Services to OLT.

Colonel Henry Osborne was a member of the Ottawa Drama League (the name of the Ottawa Little Theatre until 1951) Board of Directors beginning in the 1920s, and served as Vice-President until 1947.

For much of the 1920s, he was one of the organization’s senior policy makers. This included his determination to move productions from “parish halls, obscure rooms, the Museum theatre [into] a theatre as good as Hart House in Toronto” (Love and Whiskey “The Story of the Dominion Drama Festival and the Early Years of Theatre in Canada” by Betty Lee). As a result, he was instrumental in the fundrasising, acquisition and renovation of the church on King Edward in 1927 which opened as a theatre in 1928.

When the Governor General, Lord Bessborough, dreamed of creating a national theatre festival in Canada, Osborne was invited and eagerly agreed to become one of its directors, and the Dominion Drama Festival was born. At the time he was Acting President of the Ottawa Drama League, and he became Vice-Chairman and Honorary Director of the Dominion Drama Festival (Love and Whiskey). The first Dominion Drama Festival was held at OLT in 1933 and OLT continued to host it for its first five years. Osborne remained on the Festival board until he passed away in 1949.

“As the liaison between the Dominion Drama Festival and the Ottawa Drama League and an officer of both organizations, he had much to do with its influence on the development of drama in Canada.” (Staging a Legend: A History of Ottawa Little Theatre by Iris Winston.)

Having spent most of his free time at the Ottawa Drama League for decades, Osborne was honoured on his retirement from the ODL Board in 1947 for his “valuable contribution to the Drama League since its very early days [as] one of the prime organizers of the Dominion Drama Festival.” (Staging a Legend)

Outside of the Ottawa Drama League Osborne, after serving in WWI, became secretary-general of the Canadian Agency, Imperial War Graves Commission, the organization which was responsible for overseeing the design and building of several war memorials in Europe, including the Canadian National Vimy War Memorial erected in France.

Florence Fancott was the leading lady of over 100 Ottawa Little Theatre productions from 1949 to 1983. Flo’s award-winning theatre career began in England where at one point she worked with Errol Flynn before moving to Ottawa post-war with her architect husband Ted Fancott. Her prolific OLT career encompassed the theatre’s standard repertoire as well many Workshop productions (the more experimental fare) and earned her a number of EODL awards. She directed the first of approximately 20 productions in 1971, sharing with cast and crew her discipline and vast knowledge of dramatic interpretation. Flo Fancott was a member of the National Playwriting Competition Committee together with Gladys Cameron Watt and Marion Bray advancing its status from 1975 to 1983. She organized the Christmas Raffle in 1978 and regularly did cloakroom duty. Flo Fancott was a mentor, teacher, coach, advisor, supporter and pillar of the theatre, always generous with her advice to and mentorship of new performers.
Beginning with The Nerd in 1989, Robin Riddihough has designed 52 sets for OLT. His most recent sets, in the 2014-2015 season, were for Clybourne Park (currently nominated for a Capital Critics Circle Outstanding Design Award) and Breaking the Code. Over his history at OLT, Riddihough’s set designs have been recognized with four Capital Critics Circle Awards and two Eastern Ontario Drama League Visual Awards.

Riddihough is a gifted and prolific set designer, but he also generously contributed ten years of work on OLT’s Board of Directors from2001-2011 where he served a President from 2003-2008. He has served on a wide variety of committees both while on the board and subsequently. He currently chairs the Archive Committee which recently submitted OLT’s substantive collection of 100 years of material to the City of Ottawa Archives where it will continue to be available OLT, but will also be available to the general public.

Riddihough also currently sits on OLT’s Capital Projects Committee which is overseeing the $1,000,000 Renew the Building Project. Other committees he has served on in the past include Operations, Volunteer, Season Planning, Nominating, Strategic Review and Communications Committees. He has donated his facilitation skills to several Board Strategic Planning sessions and spearheaded a review of OLT’s Vision and Mission in 2011.

Riddihough has also been generous in sharing his skills as a designer with others. He led the Learning @ OLT workshop Set Design for Community Theatre in 2011, and has mentored two new set designers for OLT. In addition, he curated and assembled “100 Years of Set Design at the Ottawa Little Theatre” for OLT’s 100th Anniversary. This exhibit was placed on display in the Besserer Wing of the OLT’s lobby as part of the 100th Season Exhibits and then moved to the Bytown Museum in 2013. It was reassembled and displayed at the Canadian Institute of Theatre Technicians Annual Conference in 2014.

Riddihough helped found the Ottawa Community Theatre Association and served as its Chair for several years, acting as OLT’s representative at meetings. He has also designed sets for several other community theatres in the City.

2014 Inductees:

(b.1916-d.1984)
Amelia Hall worked with Ottawa Little Theatre (then known as the Ottawa Drama League) from 1939-1949 as an actor, director, member of the Workshop Play Production Committee (and later President of this project), member of the Board of Directors and Co-Founder of OLT’s Children’s Theatre. After honing her skills at OLT, she went on to an illustrious career as a professional actor, becoming the first woman to act on the Stratford Festival Stage when it opened in 1953 (in Stratford’s opening production of Richard III opposite Alec Guiness), founding The Canadian Repertory Theatre in Ottawa, Canada’s first post-war professional theatre, and appearing with other seminal Canadian Theatres such as the Crest Theatre in Toronto and the Montreal Repertory Theatre. Her professional career continued into the 1980s and she was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 1982 for her services to theatre arts in Canada.
(b.1919-d.1975)
Originally from England, Len Holt arrived at the Ottawa Little Theatre in 1956, after spending three years in Kenora. He contributed to OLT as an actor, director, President of the Workshop and as a member of the Board of Directors. His first role was as Doolittle in George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion in 1956. A teacher by trade, Holt played a key role in the rebuilding of the Ottawa Little Theatre after the great fire in 1970. Charged with directing the first play to appear in the newly built theatre (Hadrian VII which opened in January 1972), his enthusiasm, drive, positive attitude and personal charm played a major role in pulling the new theatre into being on time for Opening Night. From weekly breakfasts with Mike Lundy, the contractor building the new theatre, to using his own technical skills to ensure the new lighting board, grid, curtain, sound system and seats all met the artistic needs of the theatre, Holt helped make the theatre what it is today. Holt passed away suddenly from a heart attack in 1975, just three years after the new theatre opened successfully. He was 56 years old, and twenty of those years had been spent at Ottawa Little Theatre.
(b.1914-d.2002)
Barbara Meiklejohn was an actor and director at Ottawa Little Theatre. Her first appearance on the OLT stage was in 1938 in a play called Libel and her last was in 1964 when she appeared in three plays, The Tinderbox, The Miracle Worker and The Ideal Husband. Meiklejohn ran OLT’s School for Theatre from the late 1950s into the 1960s teaching alumni such as Saul Rubinek, Tim Bond, and Bob Dermer. She directed many of the School for Theatre productions which toured into Ottawa high schools on Saturdays featuring both adults and young people in the cast, introducing Ottawa’s teenagers to their first taste of theatre both onstage and in the audience and instilling a love of the craft of theatre in the next generation. Meiklejohn and her husband Michael Meiklejohn (who was inducted onto the Cornerstone in 2013) moved to Victoria, British Columbia, in 1965, where they continued to be involved with theatres for many years.
Joe O’Brien began his affair with the Ottawa Little Theatre in the 1950s as a regular member of the Saturday Players, acting and working backstage in OLT’s Theatre for Children productions. He has since acted in 21 productions and directed 18 plays and 2 musicals, even though he took a hiatus from the theatre while serving as the City of Ottawa’s Director of Culture. O’Brien has the distinction of directing two significant productions fifty years apart – Take Me Along, the musical that opened the theatre’s 50th Anniversary Season in 1962, and A.A.Milne’s Mr. Pim Passes By, OLT’s first decade offering in its 100th Anniversary Season Celebrations which included productions of one play from each decade of its history. O’Brien has served multiple terms on the OLT Board of Directors, including a term as its President in the 1990s. He currently represents the theatre on the Ottawa Community Theatre Association and the Eastern Ontario Drama League. O’Brien was the 2013 recipient of Theatre Ontario’s Michael Spence Award bestowed upon “an individual for his/her outstanding contribution to community theatre in his/her region over a sustained time, including a generosity of spirit, involvement, and commitment to community theatre that is legendary within his/her region.”

2016 Inductees:

The Hon. Kenneth Binks, whose family has lived in the Ottawa area for well over 120 years, was a Progressive Conservative party member in the House of Commons and a respected member of the Ottawa legal community. In 1991 he was appointed a Judge of the General Division, now Superior Court of the Province of Ontario. He retired from the Superior Court in 2000 and joined the firm of Beament Green as Counsel. Judge Binks is the author of Canada’s Parliamentary Library, published in 1979, and a member of the Canadian Bar Association, The International Bar Association, The Advocates Society, The National Press Club and The Cambridge Union.

 

A great supporter of the arts and an active member of the Ottawa Little Theatre Board of Directors at the time of the devastating fire in 1970 that destroyed the theatre, Ken Binks was appointed Chair of the Fundraising Committee that was immediately formed to re-build the theatre. He led the very successful campaign with great expertise and passion and was personally responsible for raising a notable amount of funds. As such, his role was important in achieving the construction of the new theatre which opened a mere two years later in 1972, and was fully paid off after only another five years.

 

Ken remained a respected Board member for many years afterwards. His significant financial contributions to the theatre continue to this day in support of the evolving development and growth of OLT. This contribution is currently made in honour of his late wife, Jean, who shared his love for this theatre.

Douglas Cooke, born in Canada in 1926 and raised in England, began his naval career just before the end of World War II rising from the lower ranks to become at one point the youngest officer in the Canadian Navy. He became involved in the Ottawa Little Theatre, along with his wife Sybil Cooke, in 1954 continuing until the 2000s. Douglas acted, directed, was a sound designer, ran sound and lights, and greeted patrons at the front of house. As a member of the Board of Directors for over 15 years, he earned the theatre a healthy profit “mustering” the bar. He stage-managed the OLT’s highly successful Children’s Theatre in the 1960s taking productions to schools around the city. In the late 80s, he developed the OLT’s first computerized ticketing system which the theatre used for almost a decade.

 

As an actor, Douglas appeared in over twenty plays, including Sabrina Fair and Old Acquaintance (he directed AND acted in the latter) in the 50s; Anything Goes, Hostile Witness and Camelot in the 60s; A Man For All Seasons, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and The Case in Question in the 70s; A Christmas Carol (which was also filmed for TV), My Three Angels and A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the 80s, and his final play Lettice and Lovage in the 90s. In addition to Old Acquaintance he directed This Happy Breed (1957); The Mousetrap (1975) and Springtime for Henry (1986).

 

Douglas’s wife Sybil become President of the Ottawa Little Theatre from 1989 until she died of cancer in 1997. Douglas championed the Sybil Cooke Memorial Fund which is used to fund the Sybil Cooke Award presented to the winning play for children or youth in the OLT’s annual National One-Act Playwriting Competition.

 

ShapeShifter 
by Lynda Cronincornerstone111
2013
Powder Coated Aluminum

The Cornerstone sculpture plays upon the transformative power of props to create an ever-changing world on the stage. The work celebrates the many volunteers who dedicate their time to bringing imaginary worlds to life. The individuals and the props they engage with are akin to ShapeShifters, as they manoeuvre, grow and change their environment in the creation of live Theatre.  Appearing on the work are the names of volunteers who have made an extraordinary contribution to the development of the Ottawa Little Theatre since it was founded in 1913 – the human cornerstones of its success.

Commissioned with the support of

heritage