Dawson professional theatre program founder wins award
by Melina Giubilaro
Bertrand A. Henry received the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award at the Black Theatre Workshop’s 24th Annual Vision Celebration Gala, Saturday, January 31.
Henry was awarded for his “exceptional contributions to the arts, professional theatre, and English theatre in Montreal.”
“The MLK award is the highest award that is offered at the BTW. It is intended to recognize the best in the business and to those who devote their time to improve theatre and theatre practice. I am very proud to receive it,” Henry said.
Henry is the founder of Dawson College’s theatre program and has been teaching at Dawson for over 40 years but he admitted it wasn’t easy.
He had to work in a classroom teaching students about theatre without an actual theatre, and Henry didn’t waste any time before he started working on a production in the basement of the college. Several years later, it was decided that a theatre would be built on the grounds of the campus.
English theatre critics consider Henry as the “hottest director in town.”
“When you do something successful, and you do it constantly, you’re hot,” said Henry. “You’ve got to know your business before you tackle it.”
Henry has four daughters, however, none are into theatre like their father.
“It doesn’t mean they despise theatre, it’s just that it’s not something they want to commit their lives to. They realize it’s something that demands time and commitment,” Henry said.
According to Henry, he is a perfectionist. When doing something, he needs to do it perfectly. He attributes excessive amount of time and effort into his job. By doing so, he has made himself one of the most influential and inspiring teachers.
Stating he will not be retiring in the near future, Henry plans on continuing to work harder than ever on a new project that will hopefully be ready by next year.
“You’ve got to know and enjoy what you’re doing. Be prepared to put the time and do it well. I enjoy it! That is the most important thing,” Henry said.