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Equity in Theatre partners with theatre groups on International Women's Day
As posted by the Stratford Beacon Herald, March 8, 2015 By Cory Smith, Stratford Beacon Herald

Pam Brighton's name appears as a footnote in Stratford Festival history, and Brigit Wilson intends to change that.

Wilson, a 10-year Stratford Festival veteran and the wife of current artistic director Antoni Cimolino, took part in the Equity in Theatre Hackathon Sunday aimed at raising the profile of female artists in Canada.

It coincided with International Women's Day, and those who took part were invited to create a Wikipedia page or add information to an existing page to better represent the artist of their choice.

Brighton passed away a couple weeks ago.

“It's unfortunate that she has ended up being a footnote, and not even that in the Stratford Festival history,” Wilson said. “Not knowing her personally, I still feel it's just not right. Because I've been fortunate enough to work at the Stratford Festival – I'm now in my 10th season – I feel I owe it to our history, and they're on to something, this group. We need to be better represented online, and I'm not sure it was anyone's intention to exclude information about her. It's not to criticize, just to enlighten.”

Brighton had been battling an illness for several months and died Feb. 22.

She was a theatre giant in Ireland, where she helped create the West Belfast Dubbeljoint Theatre company in 1991.

Theatre director Sam McCready called Brighton “a courageous artist in everything she did.”

“She lived her life according to her personal politic and put integrity before money — to her cost, financially, but not in terms of the friends she ultimately made and who will remember her for her courage and conviction and for putting community, especially the community of west Belfast, before fame and fortune,” McCready told the Belfast Telegraph.

Brighton was a director in Stratford and Toronto, and in 1980 she was named as part of a four-person collective artistic directorate, which also consisted of Martha Henry, Urjo Kareda and Peter Moss, appointed to succeed Robin Phillips.

That group was disbanded before it started.

Wilson invited others from the Festival to drop by the Performing Arts Lodge on Brunswick Street Sunday afternoon and join her in the Hackathon, which included theatre groups and organizations across Canada.

“How (Brighton) served the Stratford Festival and who she was in the Canadian landscape of theatre” were important, Wilson said. “She didn't just work in Stratford, she worked in Toronto as well and was married to a high profile artistic director, Guy Sprung, who is in Montreal now. She's part of our Canadian history, and people may identify her as a Brit, but that's not to say she wasn't here and didn't matter.”

cory.smith@sunmedia.ca

 
   
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