Canadian Stage Co.'s topper retires

Martin Bragg, the man in charge of Canada’s largest regional theatre, the Canadian Stage Company, stepped down Tuesday after 17 years at the organization.

During that time, he reduced the deficit from $3 million to $900,000 Canadian (or US$2.4 million to US$710,000), but also took substantial public criticism for uneven production standards and a lack of Canadian content on the theatre’s main stage.

Bragg came on as general manager in 1992 with Bob Baker as artistic director. Baker, now a.d. of the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton, was fired by the board in 1998 and Bragg soon assumed sole control of the organization and the title of artistic producer.

Major achievement of his tenure was nurturing the Morris Panych production of “The Overcoat” into an international success, which played across North America, as well as in Europe and Australia.

He goes out on a high note with an SRO production of “Shirley Valentine,” starring Nicola Cavendish, who had played the part twice before for the company in 1992 and 1993.

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