A crowd is not company, faces are but a gallery of pictures, and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love.

-Francis Bacon

Hubert Davis - Move Your Mind

Robin Phillips (1942-2015)

2010 Lifetime Artistic Achievement (Stages (formerly Theatre))

Director, actor, designer and teacher

Robin Phillips is one of Canada's greatest English-language stage directors. His creative vision, passion, and discipline have inspired an entire generation of Canadian actors, designers and directors, and set the standard for excellence in staging works both classical and contemporary.

Mr. Phillips was born in England in 1942. He studied acting at the Bristol Old Vic and worked with London's prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company (where, among others, he directed Helen Mirren and Patrick Stewart in The Two Gentlemen of Verona) before moving to Canada in 1974.

As artistic director (1975-80) of the acclaimed Stratford Shakespeare Festival, he revitalized the organization, founded the Stratford Young Company as a first-class training ground for actors and directors, and earned international acclaim for Canadian artists. In his six seasons with the Festival he directed 35 productions featuring such outstanding artists as Martha Henry, William Hutt, Brian Bedford, Maggie Smith, Jessica Tandy, and Colm Feore.

He was subsequently artistic director of The Grand Theatre, London (Ontario) (1983-84) and director general of Edmonton's Citadel Theatre (1990-95), and has staged productions for major theatre companies across North America. In 1998 he helped establish Toronto's Soulpepper Theatre Company and directed its first two productions.

Mr. Phillips' directing credits also include Long Day's Journey Into Night, starring Jessica Lange in London's West End; The Marriage of Figaro for the Canadian Opera Company; the film adaptation of Timothy Findley's novel The Wars; and the cult hit Broadway musical Jekyll and Hyde.

The late Stratford actor (and 1992 GGPAA recipient) William Hutt (1920-2007) praised Mr. Phillips' outstanding contribution: "Through his directorial and teaching skills, through the sharpness and clarity of his perceptions, and through his innate gift of mentorship, he has made countless number of actors in our country better at their craft, surer of foot, and bolder in execution. He has enriched and prolonged faltering careers while encouraging the established to re-think, move beyond complacency, and take more daring chances."

Robin Phillips is an Officer of the Order of Canada (2005) and holds an honorary degree from the University of Western Ontario (1983).