Tiger Magazine - Winter 2020

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alumni work @ Speaking to one another, showing and telling our stories, exploring each other’s histories and lives—these give us a solid grounding in being part of a community.

Even when he’s travelling, he’s working. But after forty odd years in the business, Colm Feore ’77 will tell you it’s the key to his success. With Stephen Greenblatt’s Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics at one elbow, and a thick history of the Bard at his other, we spoke with Colm recently when he was visiting his wife—acclaimed director, Donna Feore—while she brought Bernhardt/Hamlet to life at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. “She promised me a birthday dinner,” laughs the Stratford-based actor, who just turned 61. “So, I came to collect.” These days, Colm is delving into the ways in which Shakespeare explores the lust for power in his plays— and how society suffers at the hands of his ‘fictional’ kings. One of Canada’s most celebrated actors, the proud Old Ridleian has played many of Shakespeare’s leading characters at the Stratford Festival, and will soon be taking on the role of Richard III this upcoming season. For artistic director Antoni Cimolino, choosing Colm to utter the powerful first words at the new Tom Patterson Theatre was easy, touting the thespian as “part of the Festival’s DNA” in a recent press release. And, though rehearsals are still months away, for Stratford’s latest king there’s plenty of reading to be done. But if you haven’t seen him on the stage, you’ll know him from the screen. “To make a living in Canada as an actor, you have to be able to do everything,” Colm wisely imparts—and over the years he’s proved he has the chops. His career has taken him from stage to film, television and Netflix, where you’ll catch outstanding 52

flourishing

performances in everything from Chicago, Bon Cop, Bad Cop and Thor; to the critically acclaimed ThirtyTwo Short Films About Glenn Gould; to his awardwinning performance as Pierre Elliot Trudeau. You’ll also find him capturing small screen audiences in a number of popular series: think The Borgias, The West Wing, House of Cards, 24, The Umbrella Academy, and more. It’s an impressive body of work that reflects his mantra—just keep showing up—in many ways developed here at Ridley. “That was always the lesson: you’ve got to be here to play,” he reflects. “And it became a very simple mantra. If you show up, you’ll learn; if you learn you’ll get better.” Though Colm enjoyed a diverse career on campus— becoming a Prefect, taking an active role in public speaking and debate, participating in a range of athletics, and becoming editor of the Acta’s sports and literary sections—it was the acting bug that got him. Colm credits Ridley’s teachers with instilling in him a genuine love for words and the stage. “We weren’t just doing the standard production of West Side Story, or whatever was making the rounds at school gymnasium plays,” he remembers. “Faculty [like David Cosgrove, Victor Bohlmann and Richard B. Wright] engaged us in a serious commitment to drama, and to the idea that there might be a life in the arts. And when you have masters and fellow students, above and below you, all into the same thing…” Colm trails off. “Well, a guy could dream.” And as his parents returned to Ridley to see him act, they were learning just how talented their son was.


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