GUY SPRUNG

AD EMERITUS - INFINITHÉÂTRE

Studying for a BA at McGill, Mr. Sprung bought a specially priced $10 student season ticket to the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde. Productions like Faut Jeter la Veille (Dario Fo) and Le Marquis qui Perdit (Ducharme), in contemporary parlance, “blew his mind”, opening his imagination to the possibilities of theatre. His fate was sealed. A life in the theatre was ‘incontournable’. For the 1968-69 school year, he ran the McGill Players Club, facilitating over 50 productions playing to a total audience of over 12,000 in the small studio theatre that seated only 100. Many of his McGill contemporaries, actors such as Fiona Reed, Dixie Seatle, and Sherry Flett, or filmmakers such as Lazlo Barna, are today pillars of the Canadian cultural establishment. All left Québec to pursue their career. Mr Sprung chose to make Québec his home despite the inherent hurdles of creating theatre in English in Québec.

At McGill, he also founded his first professional theatre company, Theatre XV (named in homage to Michel Saint-Denis’s theatre, La Compagnie des Quinze) and presented a summer season in Moyse Hall. The repertory included the North American premiere of Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming. By total serendipity, one of the actors in the company was David Mamet, the now world famous Pulitzer-prize winning American dramatist and film director.