On Sept. 4 Seana McKenna was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Sacred Letters from The University of Trinity College, part of University of Toronto. Mike and I were invited to the event. We are proud that Seana has been a popular contributor to this magazine.
Seana is currently at the Stratford Festival playing lead roles in Mary Stuart and Blythe Spirit. She has played almost every single lead role in the Shakespeare canon, as well as other classical, modern and contemporary works on stage and screen. She has even played Richard III, yes, the male king. She has won numerous awards and honours: three Dora awards, one Jessie, one Genie and an Honorary MFA in the U.S. So far.
Being honoured by Trinity is especially apt because she attended it on scholarship, an achievement in itself. I was fortunate even to be accepted to it. It is where she and I met and where our lifelong friendship began. Several friends and I will never forget seeing Seana perform a monologue for us as practice for her audition for the National Theatre School in Montreal. It was the first of many jaw-dropping portrayals that she would go on to in her glittering career.
Seana was honoured along with John Cruickshank, journalist, publisher of the Toronto Star and president of the Star Media Group, and also with Ian Binnie, a Supreme Court judge. Here is the invitation I received:
Here are some photographs from the evening, taken by Mike Davis.
From left, Kim Horseman, [correction: Horsman – sorry Kim!] John Jarvis, Bev Cooper, Cal Potter, Seana, Sean McKenna, Gloria Hildebrandt.
Seana’s father Mr. McKenna in procession to the ceremony with Gloria and incoming first-year students.
Seana’s Shakespeare professor, Dr. R. Brian Parker, was the first to speak about her talent. Antoni Cimolino, artistic director for the Stratford Festival, waits his turn.
Here is Cimolino praising Seana’s wide-ranging talent.
Seana being presented to the College in Latin by the Public Orator. Left, The Chancellor of Trinity College, Hon. Bill Graham. Holding the hood, Toronto Star theatre critic Richard Ouzounian.
Seana being hooded by Ouzounian while The Chancellor confers the degree – in Latin, of course.
Seana being congratulated by The Chancellor.
Seana giving her signature next to the Registrar of Trinity College.
Seana “Legs” McKenna listening to the Hon. Mr. Justice Ian Binnie’s speech.
Seana flanked by her son Cal and brother Sean, with Gloria at right.