Featured Alumni
Photo of Sky Gilbert

Faculty of Arts & Science | School of Graduate Studies

Sky Gilbert

Master of Arts (MA) 2000 Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2006, Drama

Sky Gilbert is best known as the co-founder and long-time artistic director of Toronto’s Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. But he is also an actor, playwright, novelist, poet, columnist, filmmaker, teacher, scholar and cultural provocateur.

When he left Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in 1997, Sky Gilbert worked first as an assistant professor in the School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph University and then, after receiving his PhD from U of T, as the University Research Chair in Creative Writing and Theatre Studies at Guelph and an associate professor.

By his own account, his evolution from stage to classroom was driven by a love of learning. As he told U of T Magazine in 2003: “I’m always going to have that bent to read and write and learn new things.”

The Canadian Encyclopedia describes Gilbert as “a catalyst for the growth and development of gay theatre in Canada… His plays deal frankly with sexuality and gender, pushing the boundaries of what can and cannot be explored in a theatrical context.”

As an undergraduate, Gilbert studied theatre at York University, staging a number of productions including the musical Buddies in Bad Times – which he produced one summer at the Helen Gardiner Phelan Theatre. He co-founded Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in 1979 and was its artistic director until 1997 when he left to found the Cabaret Theatre Company. In 1990, he began making films. And he has authored six novels.

Gilbert has been recognized for his contributions to the arts with three Dora Mavor Moore Awards, the Pauline McGibbon Award for theatre directing, the Margo Bindhardt Award from the Toronto Arts Foundation, the Silver Ticket Award from the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts and the Relit Award for his novel An English Gentleman. He continues to produce plays with the Cabaret Theatre Company in Toronto and Hamilton.


Published Nov. 28, 2013

Related Alumni

Betty Xie

Woodsworth College | Faculty of Arts & Science

Betty Xie is perfectly comfortable being interviewed in a downtown café. After all, she made her first movie in one.

Linda Schuyler

Innis College | Faculty of Arts & Science

Linda Schuyler personifies the “if no one else is doing it, I’ll roll up my sleeves and do it myself” approach to getting things done.

Shelley Saywell

Woodsworth College | Faculty of Arts & Science

Shelley Saywell went to university to study theatre arts, but soon realized her political and artistic interests were in competition.

Bonnie Stern

New College | Faculty of Arts & Science

From her early beginnings as a chef to opening her renowned cooking school, Bonnie Stern has become a Canadian culinary guru.

Atom Egoyan

Trinity College | Faculty of Arts & Science

Movies come and go but the films of Atom Egoyan stay – in the mind. This Canadian director deals with issues contemporary and eternal.
See all featured Alumni

Don't miss out!

Update your contact information to be the first to know about exclusive offers. This makes it easy to tell us when your email has changed.

Update my information

Special discounts

Did you know that U of T alumni get deep discounts on attractions, sporting events, car rentals and more? Sign up today.

Sign up