Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

Artistic director Ken Gass poses for a photo on the set of the play, The Rez Sisters, in Toronto, Ont. on Nov. 8, 2011.

Michelle Siu/michelle siu The Globe and Mail

In a move that has shocked Toronto's theatre community, Factory Theatre artistic director Ken Gass has been dismissed by the board of directors of the company he founded in 1970.

Gass, who has been back at the helm of the downtown theatre devoted to Canadian playwrights for the past 15 years, had his contract terminated Wednesday as a long-simmering dispute with the board over planned theatre renovations came to a head.

"We've had creative differences over the future of the theatre," said Gass, who announced the "surprise and unexpected" news ahead of the board .

Story continues below advertisement

Ron Struys, the chair of Factory's board of directors, said that there were no financial difficulties at the theatre, nor any concerns with Gass's artistic choices. "We wanted to move to a new phase of growth and development at the theatre," he said. "Believe me, as a board, the decision we make we do not make lightly."

Many theatre artists, however, expressed outrage that Gass – who returned to save the company from folding in 1996 – would be summarily fired. The theatre's flagship playwright George F. Walker told The Globe and Mail he was going to call his agent and pull his new play, Dead Metaphor, from the upcoming season in protest.

"I just urge everyone else who's scheduled to have a play done there to do the same thing," Walker said. "It's so repulsive."

The termination stems from a disagreement between Gass and the board over how to improve accessibility at the theatre's heritage building in Toronto.

In recent years, Gass has been touting an ambitious renovation that would bring the theatre's run-down facilities up to the standards of similarly sized theatres in Montreal and Chicago.

The board, however, wants to go ahead with a smaller, more affordable renovation.

Struys, who announced a national search for a new artistic director, said the board respected Gass's contributions to Factory and Canadian theatre and had asked him to stay on as emeritus artistic director. Gass, however, rejected what he called "a ludicrous token position."

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies