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Honorary degree citation - Murray Laufer

By: Kent Sloan, June 1980

Mr. Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you Murray Laufer, distinguished Canadian stage designer.

Mr. Laufer is well known to the Canadian theatre patron through his work for the Stratford Festival, the Charlottetown Festival, CBC Television, the Canadian Opera Company and the Toronto Arts Production Company, where he has been the resident designer since 1970.

He was the first of Canada's stage designers to be invited to represent Canada at the Prague Quadrennial International Exhibition, where his designs received international acclaim. He was the first stage designer to be elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Art. His designs have been seen at Expo '67 in Montreal and at Expo '70 in Osaka, Japan. He has also exhibited at Canada House in London, England, sponsored by the Canadian Cultural Affairs Department.

Mr. Chancellor, today we have the privilege of showing his designs in the Art Gallery on the mezzanine floor. This display covers the period 1970 to 1980.

When you examine this exhibit, you will realize that here is an artist who has mastered a difficult art form through a skillful blending of talent that of architect, sculptor and painter. I believe that the secret of his skill is that he is able to allow the audience to identify immediately with the setting. Then he leads and intrigues them with the changes he rings. In challenging the senses of the audience, he is always provocative and stimulating, while underscoring the dramatist's and director's intent. It is all there before the actor speaks, yet enhances the actor when he does.

Mr. Chancellor, on behalf of the Senate and by the authority of the Board of Governors, it is a privilege to present to you Murray Laufer, that you may confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws. Honoris causa.

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