Eric Steiner: A Life in the Theatre


56 pages
ISBN 1-896176-00-3
DDC 792'.0233'092





Edited by Steven Jack
Reviewed by Ian C. Nelson

Ian C. Nelson is assistant director of libraries at the University of
Saskatchewan and président, La Troupe du Jour, Regina Summer Stage.


Actors and stars are recognized by their faces and names. Directors,
however, tend to stay hidden behind the performances of others—except,
of course, when it comes to industry awards. The publication of this set
of tributes to Eric Steiner, who died of AIDS complications on June 30,
1993, is, therefore, most welcome, because it reveals the personal side
of the man and the artist. It was edited by Steiner’s longtime
companion, photographer Steven Jack, and consists of words spoken by a
veritable Who’s Who of Canadian theatre talent at the celebration of
Eric’s life held on September 13, 1993, at the Canadian Stage Company.
The volume is thin, yet almost invites comparison to the famous Strunk
and White’s Elements of Style for the way that Steiner’s principles
of theatre are articulated. The following is one of the most cogent:
“Part of the mystique of a play is that it is a literary form which is
listened to and viewed. ... What we have in theatre is language. ...
Plays are about people talking to each other. Really.”

The three-page selected chronology of Steiner’s productions gives
succinct testimony of his importance to a host of theatre companies,
most notably Factory Theatre, Tarragon, and Theatre Plus in Toronto, and
The Northern Light Repertory Theater of Chicago.


“Eric Steiner: A Life in the Theatre,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 16, 2024,