The Derek Boyes Bench

Derek Boyes

Derek Boyes

On August 9, following The Crucible opening, Albert Schultz made a special announcement: A bench outside of the Young Centre would be dedicated to beloved company member Derek Boyes. Derek is known around Soulpepper for his big smile, his dedication to the company and its youth programs, and his incredible generosity. Friends and colleagues Stuart Hughes and Michael Hanrahan helped make the dedication, as Albert made his touching tribute. There was not a dry eye in the house!

“I was thunderstruck,” said Derek Boyes. “Albert and Leslie’s announcement completely surprised me and touched me deeply. To be recognized for my humanitarian support for this amazing company feels validating and humbling. We are called a theatre community for a reason and I feel very fortunate to have the honour of connecting with people on both sides of the footlights. My proudest moment of the evening was turning to my 15-year-old son as the dedication was announced and seeing tears in his eyes. My heart is very full of gratitude right now!”

Stuart, Michael & Derek

Stuart Hughes, Michael Hanrahan & Derek Boyes

“It was a very warm and love filled night,” said Stuart Hughes.

“Everyone was so, so delighted,” said Michael Hanrahan of the dedication. He also reports that the bench is now a measure of behaviour, where company members ask themselves – “Are you moving closer to a bench, or further away from a bench?”

Fun fact: This bench was used in the Soulpepper production of The Zoo Story (2004), starring Stuart Hughes and Michael Hanrahan.


The bench dedication

About Soulpepper Theatre Company

Soulpepper, one of Canada's largest urban theatres, is an artist-centred company that celebrates the stories that move us and the artists who tell them. Soulpepper presents vital Canadian interpretations of the classics, and commissions, translates, and develops new work, creating a home for a diverse array of artistic expression across disciplines.

4 responses to “The Derek Boyes Bench”

  1. Eveleen Thomson Armour says :

    A most appropriate tribute to a fine individual who, as well as thrilling us with his acting (most recently and currently, in
    “The Crucible”), illuminates the wonders of the theatre for many of us in the “Audience Appreciation” pre-show subscribers talks.
    Thank you, Derek

    Eveleen Thomson Armour

  2. Barbara Mann says :

    Bill and I are thrilled about the bench dedicated to Derek. He will not recognize our names but might do so with our faces since we have attended many pre- and post-performance sessions chaired warmly and effectively by Derek. Derek has contributed enormously to our “Soulpepper experience:” over the years. Congratulations on this richly deserved recognition.
    Barbara & Bill Mann

  3. Jill Burnie says :

    My husband and I also wish to add our praises to those already expressed. We too have attended many Audience Appreciation talks – often both before AND after the shows; they offer both information and insight to our experience of the play. Derek is always a warm and genial host, guiding the conversations so knowledgeably.
    Congratulations on this recognition, Derek. How wonderful that your son was present to hear you acclaimed.
    Jill and Brian Burnie

  4. Ann Garnett says :

    I agree with all the above comments.I think Derek is especially skilled at flling those anticlimactic moments after the show ends and before the cast comes out. He is so skilled at “warming up the audience” to ask the super questions that make those 1/2 hour Q & A chats so fascinting. I always tell people bedside me to stay for the post perfiormance chats – I say”you’ll get twice as much out of the play by staying”. Very well deserved, Derek. Ann Garnett

%d bloggers like this: