December 21, 1920|
April 13, 1988 (aged 67)|
Originally bent on a career in medicine, Mr. Gascon abandoned it for the stage after considerable work with amateur groups in Montreal. A scholarship in 1946 from the Government of France enabled him to study dramatic art in Paris. He studied with Ludmilla Pitoëff. After returning to Canada in 1951, when he co-founded Montreal's Theatre du Nouveau Monde and became its Artistic Director. He played Henry V at the Stratford Festival in 1958. In 1959, he directed Othello at Stratford. Between 1960-63, he was founding Administrative Director of the National Theatre School of Canada and he was awarded the Canadian Drama Award, the Prix Victor Dore. In, 1964 he directed The Comedy of Errors at Stratford. He was awarded the Molson Prize in 1967. Then between 1968-74, he was artistic director of Stratford Festival of Canada. In 1977 he became theatre director of the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.
Mr. Gascon's career in the Canadian theatre as a bilingual actor and director achieved an impressive reputation. He gained honorary degrees from McGill and Bishop's Universities. He was also awarded the Order of Canada (in 1975), the Prix du Québec and the Royal Bank Award.
As an actor in both English and French languages, his credits include such noteworthy portrayals as Richard in Richard II, and the Captain in Dance of Death.
- In 1967, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and was promoted to Companion in 1975.
- In 1985, he was awarded the Quebec government's Prix Denise-Pelletier.
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