Tibor Feheregyhazi

Like many of his Canadian contemporaries, Feheregyhazi began his professional career with the Canadian Players, serving as stage manager in the mid 1960s.


Feheregyhazi, Tibor

 Tibor Feheregyhazi, actor, director, artistic director (b at Budapest, Hungary 14 Feb 1932, d at Saskatoon 10 July 2007). Tibor Feheregyhazi began his career as a child actor with the Hungarian Radio Children's Company and graduated from the Theatre and Film College of Budapest in 1956. An early promising acting career in European radio, film and theatre became a casualty of the unsuccessful 1956 Hungarian Revolution. After spending some months in Austria and Italy as one of 200 000 refugees seeking international sanctuary, he arrived in Canada in 1957. His debut in the Canadian community theatre as an award-winning director (1961, 1962) for the Ottawa Little Theatre strengthened his determination to continue his professional theatre career in his adopted country, and in 1965 he completed the technical production program (French division) at the NATIONAL THEATRE SCHOOL in Montréal.

Like many of his Canadian contemporaries, Feheregyhazi began his professional career with the Canadian Players, serving as stage manager in the mid 1960s. He contributed over the years as a freelance director and actor to such well-known Canadian institutions as the CBC, the NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE, National Theatre School of Canada, MANITOBA THEATRE CENTRE, CITADEL THEATRE, Rising Tide Theatre and the SHAW FESTIVAL and served on several Canada Council committees.

Uncertain about the feasibility of pursuing a full-time acting career in Canada with a Hungarian accent, he turned increasingly to production and theatre management in the thriving regional theatre scenes of Winnipeg (1966-1978), Thunder Bay (1978-1983) and Saskatoon (1982-2007). As production manager (1966-1969) for the ROYAL WINNIPEG BALLET, he helped guide the company through 3 tours of the US and Canada as well as their first European tour (1968), which included groundbreaking appearances by the Canadian dance company both in Paris and in East European cities behind the Iron Curtain. Between 1969-1974 Feheregyhazi joined the Manitoba Theatre Centre as production director during the company's move to the new Market Avenue Theatre, and as artistic director (1972) of its second-stage Warehouse Theatre. He also directed at RAINBOW STAGE in Winnipeg and served as a founding director for the Manitoba School for Theatre and the Allied Arts from 1976 to 1978.

Between 1978-1983, he succeeded founding director Burton Lancaster as artistic director for Magnus Theatre in Thunder Bay, Ont. Feheregyhazi's success at grounding the small professional company firmly in the dynamics of the community and substantially building up its subscription audience base through an eclectic mix of musicals, Canadian plays, British and American comedy and European classics helped pave the way for his appointment as artistic director to PERSEPHONE THEATRE in Saskatoon in 1982.

It was a position Feheregyhazi was to hold for 25 years until his death in 2007. While his seasons reflected the usual popular eclectic mix of most regional theatres, he also staged an unusually high number of Canadian plays including Aboriginal drama, premieres of Saskatchewan work, and original Saskatchewan translations of contemporary and classical European drama. His determination to see Persephone move into a well-equipped permanent home after being housed in a variety of "found" spaces since its founding in 1974, was realized in 2007 with the completion of a new 450-seat theatre just months after his death.

Tibor Feheregyhazi was inducted into the Margaret Woodward Hall of Fame (2004) in recognition of his dedication to developing theatre excellence in Saskatchewan. Other significant honours, including the Canada 125 Citizenship Award (1992), the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal (2002), and the Rotary International's Golden Wheel Award for excellence in the arts (2004), Honorary Life Membership to Canadian Actors' Equity (2003) and the ORDER OF CANADA (2005), paid tribute to his almost 50 years of contribution to arts, culture and theatre in Canada.