It has been a sad day for the Canadian Theatre Community as so many of us mourn the passing of a dear friend, a colleague and a ray of sunshine who has touched so many lives across the country and in New York. Lindsay Thomas passed away Wednesday of lung cancer at the age of 31. She grew up in Edmonton, Alberta where she danced for 18 years with local dance studios, was a member of Edmonton Musical Theatre and Dance Nouveau. She moved to Toronto in 2001 to pursue a career on the stage. Here is a beautiful statement from The Stratford Festival: “It was with great sadness that staff and artists at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival learned of the death of Lindsay Thomas. She was beloved by her fellow company members and all who came in contact with her at the Festival for her vivacious spirit, infectious smile and tremendous talent. Lindsay died Wednesday of cancer, at the age of 31. Audiences will remember Lindsay as the diminutive powerhouse who portrayed Ado Annie in the 2007 production of Oklahoma! That same year, she donned her tap shoes and danced up a storm, playing Anchovie in My One and Only. In 2008, Lindsay played Gracie Shinn in The Music Man and gave a moving performance as Jacinta in Fuente Ovejuna. Lindsay made her Stratford debut in 2006, appearing in Oliver! and Don Juan. “This is very sad news for the Festival family,” said General Director Antoni Cimolino. “Lindsay had so many friends and they stayed close to her throughout her illness. “She had a vibrant talent. In addition to being a gifted dancer and singer, Lindsay was an outstanding comedienne with both energy and wit. Her performance as Ado Annie in Oklahoma! drew not only great laughter but warmth and affection from the audience. She will be missed by all who knew her.” Lindsay’s career took her throughout Canada and to Broadway, where she appeared in the original production of Hairspray in 2002. She was a member of Hairspray’s original Canadian company, as well as the first U.S. tour. Lindsay also played Francine in the original Toronto production of Jersey Boys, directed by Stratford Artistic Director Des McAnuff. “I became friends with Lindsay at the Stratford Festival,” said Mr. McAnuff. “I was thrilled to hire her for the original Canadian Jersey Boys company in Toronto, in which she excelled as an electrifying performer. “Lindsay had more than simply abundant talent; she had a huge heart. Everyone that she came in contact with benefitted from her generous spirit. She will be greatly missed by both companies and many, many others.” Lindsay performed in Anne of Green Gables and Somewhere in the World at the Charlottetown Festival; in Grease at Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre; in Aladdin at the Stirling Festival; and in The Boy Friend, City of Angels and The Crucible at Theatre Sheridan. She was a graduate of Sheridan’s music theatre performance program. Lindsay is survived by her partner, actor Gareth Potter, her parents, Marilyn and Derek Thomas, and her brother, Gareth Thomas.
A memorial service will be held at Parkview United Church, 470 Ontario Street, Stratford, on Monday, February 8. Visitation at the church begins at 2 p.m. The service will begin at 3 p.m. Friends and family will gather afterwards at the Paul D. Fleck Marquee in the Festival Theatre, 55 Queen Street.
It was once written that Lindsay “looks like the happiest person in the Festival Theatre.” That is how we will remember her.
Rest in peace, sweet angel.