Ron Francis, company manager for Live Entertainment of Canada’s touring production of “The Phantom of the Opera,” died March 11 in Singapore of heart failure while on duty with the tour. He was 57. Francis worked in the theater industry for more than 35 years.
He started as a stage manager during the early years of the Crest Theater. He also toured with Canada’s Theater Hour Company.
He spent 12 years with the Charlottetown Festival, leaving as producer in 1981. He was the theater administrator for the National Arts Center, executive company manager of the Stratford Festival, production stage manager of the first Canadian staging of “Cats,” executive director of the Associated Designers of Canada and general manager of Theater Plus Toronto.
As a producing partner in Bradley Francis Prods., he presented musical revivals at Harbourfront’s Premiere Dance Theater, and associate produced the U.S. tour and Broadway run of Brian Macdonald’s “The Mikado” in 1964 and the 1960s U.S. tour of the operetta “H.M.S. Pinafore.”
Francis grew up in Stoney Creek, Ontario, and graduated from the Ryerson Institute of Technology in 1960 with a degree in radio and television arts.
He is survived by his brother, James. Family requests donations to the Actors’ Fund of Canada or the Ontario Heart & Stroke Foundation.
A memorial service will be held at 8 p.m. April 2 at the St. Lawrence Centre’s Jane Mallet Theater in Toronto. For information, call (416) 393-7474.