news | Monday December 6, 2010

A Fond Farewell to David French

David French, one of the major playwrights in modern Canadian theatre, died in Toronto on Saturday night after a long battle with brain cancer. He was 71.

He is best remembered for the five plays he wrote about the fictitious Mercer family of Newfoundland, including the landmark play Leaving Home, which premiered during Tarragon Theatre’s first season in the spring of 1972 and rapidly became the most-produced Canadian play of its era.

What became known simply as the Mercer plays includes Leaving Home, Salt-Water Moon, Soldier’s Heart, 1949 and Of the Fields, Lately.

Notably, David French‘s list of achievements includes translated adaptations of Strindberg’s Miss Julie and Chekhov’s The Seagull, a version which was produced on Broadway starring Laura Linney, Ethan Hawke, Jon Voight, and Tyne Daly.

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