Christopher Newton

Christopher Newton was born in England and educated at Sir Roger Manwood’s School in Kent, the University of Leeds, and Purdue University in Indiana. He earned a Master of Arts from the University of Illinois. In 1968 Newton founded Theatre Calgary and served as the Artistic Director until 1971, when he took over as the Artistic Director of Vancouver Playhouse. It was here that with his friend and mentor, the late Powys Thomas, that The Playhouse Acting School was founded. In 1979, Christopher was appointed Artistic Director of the Shaw Festival where he worked for 23 seasons in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

In November 2000, Christopher received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for lifetime artistic achievement. In May 2002, he received an honorary Doctorate from the University of Toronto. In 1996, he was named a member of the Order of Canada and was awarded the prestigious M. Joan Chalmers Award for Artistic Direction. Beyond his many other recognitions and awards, the Shaw Festival Board of Governors honoured Christopher with the lifetime title of Artistic Director Emeritus because of his instrumental role in shaping the Shaw Festival into what it is today.

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