Sir William Tyrone Guthrie, stage director, producer (b at Tunbridge Wells, Eng 2 July 1900; d at Newbliss, County Monaghan, Ire 15 May 1971). The great-grandson of the 19th-century actor Tyrone Power, he made his stage debut as a performer at Oxford in 1919. A frustrated singer, actor and playwright (Top of the Ladder
, 1950), he pioneered radio drama production in Belfast (1924-26) for the BBC, a phenomenon he repeated in Canada in 1931 for the fledgling CNR radio network. His career as a renowned stage director began in Glasgow (1926-28), proceeded to Cambridge (1929-30) and then London (1931). As the resident producer-director of London's Old Vic and Sadler's Wells companies (1933-47), he developed his special interests in Shakespearean production and opera. In 1953 he became the founding director of Canada's STRATFORD FESTIVAL
, reintroducing Shakespeare's thrust stage, a design concept to be echoed in theatres around the world. He was knighted in 1961 and 2 years later guided the theatre in Minneapolis that bears his name. His books include A Life in the Theatre
(1959), A New Theatre
(1964) and Tyrone Guthrie on Acting
Tyrone Guthrie, director
Sir William Tyrone Guthrie was the founding director of Canada's Stratford Festival, reintroducing Shakespeare's thrust stage, a design concept to be echoed in theatres around the world (photo courtesy Stratford Festival).
James Forsyth, Tyrone Guthrie (1976).
Links to Other Sites
Theatre Museum Canada - The Legend Library
Watch a series of captivating interviews with legendary personalities in Canadian theatre, including Susan Benson and Michael Whitfield, Douglas Campbell, Desmond Heeley, Martha Henry, William Hutt, Mavor Moore, William Needles, Jean-Louis Roux, and Paul Thompson. Interviews conducted by actor/director RH Thomson. From the website for Theatre Museum Canada.
The Stratford Adventure
This site chronicles the early years of the now famous Stratford Festival. Includes photos, video clips, and links to related features. From the website for the Canadian Adaptations of Shakespeare Project.
The Legacy of the Festival Stage
A 1988 article about the challenges of working with Tyrone Guthrie's thrust stage design at the Stratford Festival. From the "Canadian Theatre Review" at canadianshakespeares.ca.