Artistic Director Gil Garratt
Gil Garratt is a director, playwright, dramaturge, Dora Award-winning actor, and theatre administrator who has worked across Canada and internationally. With a career that has been dedicated primarily to the development of new Canadian plays, Gil has been with the Blyth Festival since 1999.
Gil’s varied and eclectic career as a creator has seen him collaborate with such radical play creation companies as DNA theatre and The Cabaret Company, to such mainstream institutions as The Stratford Festival and The Grand Theatre.
As a performer Gil has literally worked all over the country, including: Theatre NorthWest in Prince George, BC, Centaur Theatre in Montreal, Canadian Stage’s St. Lawrence Centre in Toronto, Shakespeare in High Park, Neptune Theatre in Halifax, the Festival Players of Prince Edward County, Buddies in Bad Times in Toronto, the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre in Winnipeg, and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, to name a few.
Gil is also member of the Playwrights’ Guild of Canada, several of Gil’s plays have received multiple productions, toured internationally, and been translated into French.
Gil graduated from the National Theatre School’s Playwriting Program in 1998, holds an Honours BA from the University of Waterloo, and an MA from the University of Guelph.
“After thousands of hours, walking thousands of kilometres across and back and across our stage, in the singular Blyth Memorial Hall, this is what I have learned: The work we do is the best, and the reasons we do it are pure.
My time at Blyth has become definitive; both in terms of my perception of my vocation, and the reputation that precedes and proceeds the work that I do. I am a Blyth artist regardless of where I work, it has become central to who I am.”
Associate Artistic Director Severn Thompson
Severn is a director, dramaturge, actor, theatre creator and teacher who spent many formative summers in the Belgrave/Blyth area as a member of the Blyth Young Company.
As an actor, she’s performed in theatres across the country including the Blyth Festival, Shaw Festival, Stratford Festival, Theatre Passe Muraille, Tarragon, Theatre Calgary, Vancouver’s Firehall Arts Centre, Montreal’s Segal Centre and the National Arts Centre. A Dora award-winning director, Severn has directed a number of plays for Blyth as well as for Canadian Stage, SummerWorks, Bad Hats, Soulpepper and the National Arts Centre.
Severn is a graduate of the National Theatre School, Stratford Festival’s Birmingham Conservatory and holds an MFA in stage direction from York University in collaboration with Canadian Stage.
As Associate AD, Severn leads the Festival’s New Play Development while working closely with Gil on programming and outreach. She’s truly honoured to be part of the Blyth Festival team and its greater community.
RACHAEL KING – General Manager
A native of Fordwich, the seed of a professional theatre career was planted in Rachael at the age of 13, on a school field trip to the Blyth Festival. Since that time, Rachael has worked across North America and Australia as a stage, production and tour manager with companies such as the Blyth and Shaw Festivals, Green Thumb Theatre, Caravan Farm Theatre, Erth Visual and Physical and Theatre Passe Muraille.
Rachael taught stage management at Douglas College and was part of the Event Services team for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. She comes to Blyth directly from Exhibition Place where she has been with the Production Services team, delivering such events as the 2016 Grey Cup & Centennial Classic, the 2015 PanAm Games, as well as the annual CNE and Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.
Rachael holds a Bachelor of Arts, Drama in Education from the University of Windsor as well as a Master of Fine Arts, Stage Management from the University of Iowa.
JENNIFER LAMB – Director of Audience Development & Services
RYAN BRINK – Technical Director
Born and raised in Whitechurch, Bruce County, Ryan has always been interested in technology, and creative ways to use it. He has spent the last decade working at theatres across Ontario, and has had the privilege of working with notable artists from across the country. He is excited to begin his time in Blyth!
Blyth Centre for the Arts Board of Directors
Elli Cohen, President
Gary Coursey, Vice President
Leticia Kolkman, Treasurer
Alison Lobb, Secretary