Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

MTC co-founder Hendry 'one of the fighters': Pinsent

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MANITOBA Theatre Centre co-founder Tom Hendry was a pioneer and giant in the country's theatre community, a famous actor says.

Gordon Pinsent, who was the first performer who ever walked onstage at MTC, now the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, in 1957, said he was sad to hear of Hendry's passing.

"I was extremely fond of him," Pinsent said this week, a few days after Hendry died.

"His contributions to Canadian theatre and to RMTC was incredible. There was a lot of John (Hirsch) at the time of MTC's beginning, but Tom was the quiet engine that kept everything going.

"He was a huge asset to theatre in this country."

Hendry, 83, died last Sunday in Toronto.

Besides RMTC, Hendry also founded the Playwright's Co-op, now the Playwrights Union of Canada, the Toronto Free Theatre, and the Playwrights Colony at the Banff Centre for the Arts. He was also the Stratford Festival's first literary manager.

Hendry also wrote plays, such as Fifteen Miles of Broken Glass, and also for television, including the show King of Kensington.

Pinsent, who lives in Toronto, said he'd see Hendry at various functions at least once or twice a year in the last few decades.

"I'm so glad I go back that far with him," he said.

"He was one of the fighters that got things going and we were the dreamers onstage."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 15, 2012 G2

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