Mirvish Productions to Dim Marquee Lights to Honour Donald Sutherland

Donald Sutherland, who died on June 20, 2024 at the age of 88, was one of the giants of film. But he began his career as a stage actor while still a student at the University of Toronto, where he was studying engineering. He acted in productions at Hart House Theatre and soon added drama to his studies. Upon graduating in 1958, he moved to the UK to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and to continue his work on stage.

While Sutherland made over 200 films and television shows in a six-decade career, he returned to the stage, his first passion, when his schedule allowed. From February 17 to April 1, 2000, Sutherland starred in Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt’s Enigma Variations at Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre. This award-winning French drama was translated into English by Sutherland’s son, Roeg, directed by renowned stage director Anthony Page, and produced by David and Ed Mirvish, Emmanuel Azenberg and Francine Racette, Sutherland’s wife. The production, co-starring John Rubinstein, transferred to London’s West End where it played at the Savoy Theatre from May 31 to July 29, 2000.

It was during the Toronto run of Enigma Variations that Sutherland’s star on Canada’s Walk of Fame was unveiled. It is on the sidewalk in front of the Royal Alexandra Theatre.

There is also another Sutherland connection with the Royal Alexandra Theatre. In 1997 at the same theatre, Kiefer Sutherland starred as Tom, opposite his mother, Shirley Douglas, as Amanda in a production of The Glass Menagerie. Kiefer is the son of Donald Sutherland and Shirley Douglas.

To honour Donald Sutherland, the marquee lights of the Royal Alexandra Theatre will be dimmed on Wednesday, June 26, 2024 at the traditional curtain time of 8 pm.