Announcing Roy Surette as Touchstone’s New Artistic Director


Touchstone Theatre is thrilled to announce the appointment of Roy Surette as incoming Artistic Director.

The Company’s President Pamela Hawthorn spoke on behalf of the Board of Directors, saying: “Roy is one of Canada’s most respected Artistic Directors and it will be marvelous to welcome him back to the West Coast as a vital part of the Touchstone team.” Former Artistic Director Katrina Dunn added: “What Roy manifested in his early career was a huge boon to Touchstone and Vancouver theatre. In this unique story of leaving and return I believe we will see the company evolve to new levels of artistry and success.”

In the early 1980′s Roy was Associate Artistic Director for Carousel Theatre in Vancouver and Western Canada Theatre in Kamloops, B.C. He became the Artistic Director of Touchstone Theatre in 1984, directing many award-winning productions including Whale Riding Weather, Lion in the Streets, When We Were Singing, The Three Penny Opera, and The Number 14. Roy became Artistic Director for Victoria’s premier company, The Belfry Theatre, in 1997. There, Roy directed over twenty-five plays including productions of Mary’s Wedding, Homechild, A Perfect Ganesh, and Picasso at the Lapin Agile. In November 2007, Roy began his tenure as Artistic & Executive Director of Montreal’s flagship English language company, Centaur Theatre. For Centaur, Roy directed many innovative, challenging, acclaimed productions, several of which were huge box office successes of world premiere productions including The Saint Leonard Chronicles, Schwartz’s: The Musical, Last Night at the Gayety and Triplex Nervosa. Roy has directed at the National Arts Centre, The Shaw Festival, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Prairie Theatre Exchange, Alberta Theatre Projects, Axis Theatre, The Arts Club Theatre Company, Carousel Theatre, The Kay Meek Centre, The Globe Theatre, Melbourne, The Kings Theatre, Glasgow, The National Theatre School, UBC, U Vic, and Studio 58.

Roy issued a statement about this exciting appointment: “Although I have not lived in Vancouver in almost twenty years I have always considered it my home and am thrilled with this opportunity to return to the city and to the artistic community where I began my life in the theatre. To return to Touchstone is a huge gift and I am awed. I have immense respect for this dynamic and audacious company and the vital role it plays in Vancouver and the nation’s theatre ecology, and I love the myriad of ways Touchstone has evolved, matured and focused during Katrina Dunn’s impressive tenure. I adore the resilient and hugely talented West Coast artistic community, its collaborative spirit and incredible creative resourcefulness. I am very excited to begin interacting with Touchstone’s excellent staff, board and audience and to immerse myself into an innovative theatre scene that is dear to my heart. In case you can’t tell–I am looking forward to this new adventure, to returning to BC…and to enjoying ocean waves and mild winters!”

Currently finishing the 2016/17 season as the Artistic and Executive Director of the Centaur Theatre, Roy will return to family and friends in his home town of Vancouver, BC to assume the position at Touchstone full-time as of July 2017.

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