The Derek Boyes Bench
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!”
“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.