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More empathy, more compassion, and more connection.

Natalie Feheregyhazi and Toronto’s Apuka Theatre rework a classic Strindberg play


August 26, 2013


Kevin Burns

One hundred and twenty five years ago, in August 1888, in the expectation of negative audience reaction, August Strindberg tried to explain what he was trying to achieve with his new play, “Miss Julie.” In the Preface of the published edition he wrote: “I have not tried to accomplish anything new but merely to modernize the form according to what I believe are the demands a contemporary audience would make of this art.” Today, this same commitment to adapting a traditional art form in order to engage contemporary audiences is what drives Natalie Feheregyhazi’s reworking of Strindberg’s controversial play. She is not interested in recreating theatre as a museum piece. Instead, she wants to stage an intense theatre event outside the traditional confines of a conventional theatre.


This new production, by Toronto’s Apuka Theatre, keeps the play in the nineteenth century but has modified the title – “Lady Julie” – to underline the importance of class and status and their influence on the various “upstairs/downstairs” members of Miss/Lady Julie’s household. The location for this production is not a performing arts space but the Georgian-style Campbell House, built in 1822, the oldest surviving structure from the pre-Toronto Town of York, and which now operates as a community museum. Read more...






A Fiery Soul – The Life and Theatrical Times of John Hirsch


January 30, 2012


Cover for: A Fiery Soul – The Life and Theatrical Time of John HirschReviewed by Kevin Burns

Just before the table of contents, an actor explains the pervasive influence on contemporary theatre of the Hungarian-born, Canadian theatre innovator, John Hirsch. “During the 1980s, North American actors had to bring three things to any audition: a classical piece, a contemporary piece, and a John Hirsch story.”







Tibor Egervari’s latest theatrical exploration of how anti-Semitism starts, what it does, and how it works


March 8, 2011


Kevin Burns

Tibor EgervariAudiences at the latest production of the University of Ottawa’s theatre department are in for a bit of surprise. Just before the house lights dim they will be told to turn their smart phones on and to unwrap as many noisy candies as they wish during the production they are about to see. This is no mere gimmick. During Tibor Egervari’s production of Christopher Marlowe’s deeply problematic play, The Jew of Malta, audience members are actively encouraged to tweet their observation and reactions to the play. As scene upon scene of bloody betrayal mounts up, their tweets will be flashed onto a large screen built into the set for all the audience to see. Why? “For too long the theatre has been all about control,” explains Egervari during a break in rehearsals. Using facebook in this way in a live theatre performance is also a first in Canada, he suggests. Read more...





1937 Hungarian romantic comedy in Toronto


A romantic comedy written in 1937 by Hungarian playwright Miklos Laszlo is playing in a revitalized form at the Soulpepper theatre in Toronto. For details and the history of the play, originally entitled Illatszertár, read the article in the Toronto Star.


December 8th, 2009


Molnar’s “The Guardsman” in Toronto


Well-known Hungarian playwright Ferenc Molnar’s “The Guardsman” is playing in Canada once again, this time in Toronto’s Soulpepper theatre, opening on August 31st and running till October 24th. The play is directed by internationally acclaimed director, Laszlo Marton who is Director General of the Comedy Theatre (Vigszinhaz) in Budapest and has a stellar Canadian cast of actors. The Guardsman was one of the first plays produced at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa after it opened its doors in 1969.


For details of the Soulpepper performances, see


And for more on Molnar, see our own site: click here.


September 2, 2009




Ferenc Molnár play on the bill at Shaw Festival this summer


Randy Ray


The Shaw Festival is staging the play The President by famous Hungarian playwright Ferenc Molnár. It’s a fast-paced comedy that sees the clock start ticking for a powerful bank president when the young heiress under his care announces her secret marriage to a Communist taxi driver.

The President will be presented from June 7 to Oct. 4. Read more...



John Hirsch (1930-1989)

John HirschDirector born in Siófok, Hungary in 1930, died in Toronto, Ontario , in 1989. His family lived in Endrod (today GyomaEndrod). His parents and brother died in the Holocaust. Hirsch, then 14, was hidden from the Nazis by a maid who took him to the Budapest Ghetto. Read more ...



Zalan and Hirsch


For a personal recollection by Magda Zalan
about John Hirsch, Click here.



1957 CBC Radio interview with John Hirsch

Seventy-seven steps from the famous intersection of Portage and Main, a new theatre company called Theatre 77 rehearses for its inaugural play. After a 25-year lapse, Winnipeg has professional theatre again, and it's all due to the hard work of director John Hirsch. In this CBC Radio clip, Hirsch tells the CBC's Warner Troyer he's certain there are enough professional actors in the city to keep Theatre 77 going... Click here...


Tibor Feheregyhazi, Artistic Director of Saskatoon’s Persephone Theatre, passes away


We note with regret the passing of Tibor Feheregyhazi, long-term Artistic Director of Saskatoon’s Persephone Theatre. Mr Feheregyhazi, died on July 11th 2007 at the age of 75. He came to Canada after the 1956 revolution and has made enormous contributions to Canadian theatre life. You can read about him on this website by clicking here.

For more information visit these media sites:


Tibor Feheregyhazi
Artistic Director, Persephone Theatre, Saskatoon


Theatre has been a lifelong passion for Tibor Feheregyhazi. He began his career at the age of six, performing several children’s roles and as a member of the Hungarian Radio Children’s Company in his birthplace city of Budapest. In 1951, at the age of nineteen he joined the Hungarian Theatre and Film College as an acting student. He completed his studies in June 1956, having already played a film lead in the Hay- Keleti film, The Bridge of Life, and the part of Tony in Mother by Karel Capek at the Gaiety Theatre in Budapest.


In 1956, everything changed for Tibor. As a young idealist during the Revolution, he lived through amazing times. The fall of the revolution took him to Vienna, then on to Italy, where he worked on the David Selznick film A Farewell to Arms.       Read more...



Tibor’s letters to his children


When asked what we should put on this website about him, Tibor Feheregyhazi asked us to includetwo letters from a series he is writing to his children. This was his explanation:


“When I arrived to Canada I did not think that I will have an opportunity to work in theatre. As the years passed it became evident that with hard work and dedication I would achieve my main goal of continuing my theatre profession which so cruelly had been cut short with my leaving Budapest. To reach this dream I spent practically all my time building theatre for the sole purpose of recreating life in my adopted country. As with most professionals, my ability to be at home with my children was less than I wanted. Now that my children have become adults, my desire is to share my journey so that they would know who I am and who they are. My hope is that my stories will make sure they never forget their heritage and our shared love of Canada and Hungary.” Read more...



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