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Monday, 10 January 2011

Mourning the Passing of Peter Donaldson

Peter Donaldson 1953 - 2011
In a season of losses, Canadian theatre-goers have yet another reason to mourn.

Actor Peter Donaldson, 24-year veteran of the Stratford Festival, lost his 2-year battle with lung cancer on Jan. 8th. He was 57.

Mr. Donaldson had a rare talent, even among Shakespearen actors, of making the Bard's language sound accessible to any audience. He spoke Shakespeare's prose and poetry as if it were everyday conversation, not an out-moded lyrical tongue of 400 years ago. I will never forget his lead performance in Timon of Athens in 2004, a performance which is still a yard-stick by which I measure current productions. Whether he was playing Ruffio to Christopher Plummer's Caesar, Jamie to William Hutt's James or Atticus to Abigail Winter-Culliford's Scout, Mr. Donaldson's consistently strong characters were always filled with intensity, passion and above all, integrity.

His passing is a loss to the Canadian acting community that can never be measured.

My warmest condolences to his family Sheila, Mackenze and Drew.

~RG

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