Dec 21, 2021

By Christine Ross

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The Shaw Festival is mourning the death of former artistic director Christopher Newton who died peacefully Tuesday at the age of 85.

The actor, stage manager, playwright and artistic director is being remembered for his life-long contributions to the Canadian theatre landscape and performing arts, having served as the company’s artistic director from 1979 until 2002.

Born in England and educated in the United States, Newton made the move to Canada in 1961 and began his acting career with the Canadian Players, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Shaw and Stratford Festivals, and on Broadway.

Colleagues describe him as an inspiring mentor to young artists with generous advice and encouragement.

Meantime, the Festival is shuttering its production of A Christmas Carol after a company member tested positive for COVID-19.

Organizers tweeted that remaining performances of the Christmas classic from Tuesday until Thursday have been cancelled.

Cast members are isolating until they’re cleared by public health.

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