Dennis Garnhum Announced as Artistic Director

The Grand Theatre Announces
DENNIS GARNHUM as next Artistic Director


London, ON, June 1, 2016 — Twee Brown, President of the Board of Directors, today announced the appointment of Dennis Garnhum as the next Artistic Director of  The Grand Theatre in London.  Garnhum, currently Artistic Director of Theatre Calgary, will officially begin his tenure at The Grand at the start of the 2016/17 season on October 3, 2016.   

Relocating to London to take the helm as Artistic Director will be a coming home for Garnhum. Growing up here, his theatre career began at The Grand with a role in Antler River at age 13. Later he was an usher, stage manager and eventually, in 2004, he and his husband Bruce Sellery (also from London) married in the balcony of The Grand. 

“Our Search Committee has dedicated the last six months to interviewing candidates from across Canada. We are thrilled to have attracted Dennis, whose outstanding experience and passion for theatre and the creative process is renowned for bringing stories to life,” said Brown. “Our excitement in welcoming Dennis to The Grand Theatre is surpassed only by his own excitement in coming home to London. With his understanding of our community and his artistic craft, our region can look forward to exciting and innovative theatre in years to come.”

Artistic Director of Theatre Calgary since 2005, Garnhum directed 20 productions there, including the world premieres of Lost – A Memoir, Beyond Eden, and Timothy Findley’s The Wars. His recent projects include King Lear (co-production with Bard on the Beach), The Philadelphia Story (in partnership with the Shaw Festival), and Major Barbara (co-production with American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco). This past winter he directed Theatre Calgary’s world premiere musical adaptation of The Little Prince.

Beyond Theatre Calgary, Garnhum has directed plays, musicals, and operas at companies across the country and internationally including Florida Grand Opera, Vancouver Opera, National Arts Centre, Shaw Festival, Stratford Festival, and Tarragon Theatre, among many others. His co-adaptation (with author Cathy Ostlere) of Lost – A Memoir was nominated for a 2012 Governor General’s Literary Award.

“I am excited to work with Dennis as we take The Grand on its next artistic journey. He started his journey here in London, and, since then, his bold and exciting artistic vision has taken him to theatres around the world. To this leadership role at The Grand, he brings an exceptional repertoire of success,” said Deb Harvey, Executive Director of The Grand Theatre.

“The Grand was my first exposure to professional theatre.  Every time I walk into that building I feel overwhelming excitement – and beautiful memories of powerful theatre flood my mind,” said Garnhum. “For the past decade I have enjoyed the vibrancy of making theatre in Calgary with an extraordinary team at Theatre Calgary and I will miss that.  However, there is no doubt that I am deeply honoured and completely thrilled to be coming home.”

About The Grand Theatre
The Grand Theatre, a leading and innovative regional theatre, is located in the heart of Downtown London, Ontario. It is committed to producing and presenting professional performances on the MainStage and in the McManus Studio Theatre.  The Grand is a teaching theatre with apprenticeship programs in key areas including acting, directing, production, wardrobe, and stage management. It is also a leader in youth mentorship with The High School Project, the only project of its kind in North America in which students from the region are mentored by professionals in the creation of a MainStage musical and McManus Studio classic – all at no charge and fully supported by our sponsors and funders. The Grand season runs from September to May. The 2016/17 season is on sale now.

Editor’s Note: Photography available upon request.

For more information please contact:

Kate Rapson, Communications Manager
The Grand Theatre

krapson [at] grandtheatre [dot] com  

519-672-9030 ext 247


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Dennis Garnhum

Dennis Garnhum has been Artistic Director of Theatre Calgary since 2005, presiding over the growth of the theatre’s audience base and the expansion of its education and new play development programs.

During his tenure, eight world premieres have been developed and staged, and have been seen by over 150,000 people. Many of these plays have gone on to further productions across Canada and the United States. Dennis has directed nearly 20 productions for Theatre Calgary, including the world premieres of Lost – A Memoir, Beyond Eden and Timothy Findley’s The Wars. His recent projects include King Lear (co-production with Bard on the Beach), The Philadelphia Story (in partnership with the Shaw Festival), and Major Barbara (co-production with American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco). This past winter he directed Theatre Calgary’s world premiere musical adaptation of The Little Prince.

Aside from his work at Theatre Calgary, Dennis has directed plays, musicals, and operas at companies across the country, including Vancouver Opera, National Arts Centre, Shaw Festival, Stratford Festival, Tarragon Theatre, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Bard on the Beach, Pacific Opera Victoria, Belfry Theatre, Neptune Theatre, and Theatre New Brunswick. His co-adaptation (with author Cathy Ostlere) of Lost – A Memoir was nominated for a 2012 Governor General’s Literary Award.

Dennis is a recipient of a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee and a Calgary Award for Community Achievement in Arts.

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