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Rod Beattie (born 1948) is a Canadian actor who has been active in Canadian Theatre for over 50 years. He is best known for performing the Wingfield Series of plays by Dan Needles. In these plays Beattie plays all the characters, employing changes in voice or facial expression to denote which character he is playing. He has appeared in productions of these plays across Canada and on TV, and in 1991-2 he won the Dora Mavor Moore Award for best actor in leading role for his performances in the first three Wingfield plays. The plays are directed by his brother Douglas Beattie. The Beatties and the Needles had cottages near each other in the area where the fictitious Wingfield Farm is located.
Beattie has appeared at the Stratford Festival for 16 seasons over the course of 45 years. He has appeared in productions outside Stratford including: The Loveliest and Sylvia in Victoria, The Crucible and Blessings in Disguise in Manitoba, Oleanna at the National Arts Centre opposite Sandra Oh, and Love Letters opposite his then wife Martha Henry in an Ontario tour. Rod has a flare for the comic and usually plays the antihero in the comic subplot in Shakespearean productions at Stratford. He is also cast often as the fop or the fool. In his younger days he played the protagonist in Shakespearean plays including Hamlet at Hart House.
On January 14, 2010, the opening night performance of Wingfield Lost and Found at the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton, Alta. was Rod Beattie's 4,000th performance of a Wingfield play in a little over twenty-five years.
From the Orange Hall in Rosemont, Ontario (August 1984) to Edmonton (January 2010), with opening nights in 1985 (Letter from Wingfield Farm), in 1987 (Wingfield's Progress), in 1990 (Wingfield's Folly), in 1997 (Wingfield Unbound), in 2001 (Wingfield on Ice), in 2005 (Wingfield's Inferno) and in 2009 (Wingfield Lost and Found), Rod has performed across Canada in most major regional theatres, including Victoria's Belfry, the Vancouver Playhouse, Edmonton's Citadel Theatre, Theatre Calgary, the Globe Theatre (Regina), the Manitoba Theatre Centre in Winnipeg, the Grand Theatre in London, the Stratford Festival, Theatre Aquarius in Hamilton, the Royal Alexandra Theatre and Canadian Stage Company in Toronto, Theatre New Brunswick in Fredericton, and Neptune Theatre in Halifax, as well as hundreds of smaller venues.
Beattie has also taken part in seasons at Cincinnati's Playhouse in the Park and the Asolo Theater in Sarasota, Florida. The first three Wingfield plays were broadcast on CBC Radio's Morningside; a TV version of Letter from Wingfield Farm (produced by Primedia Productions) won the 1991 Gemini (Canadian TV) Award for Best Performing Arts Program; and in November 1998, a series of thirty half-hour TV episodes, entitled Wingfield, produced by Norflicks Productions, made its CBC debut. The series currently airs on Bravo! Canada.
Rod Beattie has won three best actor awards for his stage performances in the Wingfield plays: the "Sterling" in 1988 (Edmonton, Alberta), the "Dora" in 1992 (Toronto), and the "Critic's Award" in 1995 (Sarasota).
- "Rod Beattie enjoys his cozy Stratford home". Toronto Star.
- Lahey, Liam (2010). "Rod Beattie on ice". sceneandheard.ca. Toronto: Big Saturday Media. 2 (6). Retrieved August 28, 2011.
- Sarah Jennings (April 15, 2009). Art and Politics: The History of the National Arts Centre. Dundurn. pp. 263–. ISBN 978-1-77070-382-7.
- "Rod Beattie". Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia. 2011. Retrieved August 28, 2011.
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