Deidre Gillard-Rowlings

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Deidre Gillard-Rowlings
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Newfoundland, canada
EducationBachelor of Fine Arts
Alma materMemorial University of Newfoundland
Known forKnown for her role as Nurse Myra Bennett in Robert Chafe's Tempting Providence

Deidre Gillard-Rowlings is a Canadian film, television, and stage actress, who is best known for her role as Nurse Myra Bennett in Robert Chafe's Tempting Providence and for her work at the Stratford Festival.


Originally from the Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland, Gillard-Rowlings grew up in the small communities of Englee and Main Brook.[1]

She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Memorial University of Newfoundland (Sir Wilfred Grenfell College Campus), making the Principal's Honor List for 1990.[2] She graduated in 1994, as part of Grenfell's third graduating class.[3] Following graduation, she founded, with her classmates, Bare Boards Theatre[4] with a mandate to create contemporary theatre with spartan and inventive methods. Bare Boards Theatre is a volunteer-based company, organized by Grenfell Theatre graduates.[5]

She owns a piece of property in Gros Morne National Park which she is developing as a skills collective.[4] In 2019, she received the Helen Creighton Folklore Society Grants-in-Aid for her work interviewing two traditional Newfoundland weavers.[6]

Tempting providence

Tempting Providence, produced by Theatre Newfoundland Labrador and written by playwright Robert Chafe, tells the story of Myra Bennett, "a woman who travelled to Canada to become one of the first outport nurses on the isolated Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland, and became a legend for performing a variety of medical tasks, from delivering babies to setting bones to extracting teeth."[7] Growing up in Newfoundland, Gillard-Rowlings remembered her grandparents telling her about the legendary outport nurse:

"My grandmother ran a private clinic and so I heard lots of stories about Myra and I even drove by her house twice but I never met her," she said from her home in Newfoundland. "By all accounts, Myra was a really, really driven woman with strong Christian beliefs, who was very selfless yet stern and strict she had that British stiff upper lip. She would often say she wasn't there to make friends but rather to help the sick."[8]

From 2002–2012, Gillard-Rowlings toured nationally and internationally with the production, performing the role of Myra Bennett over 622 times.[9] With the project since its inception, Deidre Gillard-Rowlings brought Nurse Bennett "to full and three-dimensional life. She plays the no-nonsense character with crisp and unsentimental energy."[10] Her delivery of the role was described as "stern and decisive."[11]

Gillard-Rowlings adeptly transforms into Bennett before the audience’s very eyes. It’s a fine tribute to a remarkable woman and a priceless piece of Canadian history.[12]

The show toured across Canada, the United States, Australia, England, Ireland and Scotland.[8] In 2004, the show was performed at the Harlow Playhouse, at Memorial University's Harlow Campus where Gillard-Rowlings had studied for a semester as a student.[13]

Stratford festival

Gillard-Rowlings worked for four seasons at the Stratford Festival in Stratford, Ontario, in a number of productions, including a role as one of Shakespeare's Weird Sisters in Macbeth, whom one reviewer described as "three of the most terrifying twisted sisters I've ever seen."[14]

Another highlight in this production is most certainly the trio of Witches, or 'Weird Sisters' portrayed by Brigit Wilson, Deidre Gillard-Rowlings, and Lanise Antoine Shelley.

Select credits

Stratford festival credits

  • Mother Courage and Her Children (2014)[15]
  • King John (2014)
  • Antony and Cleopatra (2014)
  • Oedipus Rex (2015)[16]
  • As You Like It (2016)[17]
  • Macbeth (2016)[18]
  • John Gabriel Borkman (2016)[19]
  • Treasure Island (2017)
  • The Breathing Hole (2017)

Other theatre credits

  • Rocking the Cradle – Tarragon Theatre/RCA Theatre
  • How it Works – Prairie Theatre Exchange
  • Stars in the Sky Morning – Bare Boards
  • Marion Bridge – Bare Boards
  • Kiss the Sun, Kiss the Moon – Western Canada Theatre
  • The Bondagers – Two Planks and a Passion
  • School for Clowns – Wonderbolt Circus
  • The Servant of Two Masters – Wonderbolt Circus
  • Salvage – The Story of a House – Artistic Fraud
  • Taming of the Shrew – New Curtain Theatre
  • Lion in the Streets – Grand Theatre
  • Fly Me To The Moon (2016) – as Francis Shields – Grand Theatre [20][21]
  • Hunger (2019) – White Rooster Theatre[22][23]


  • Grown Up Movie Star
  • Hammer
  • Heyday!
  • Republic of Doyle – as Audrey (Season 3)

In the media



  1. "Deidre Gillard-Rowlings Debuts at Stratford Festival". Northern Pen. 20 October 2014. Retrieved 2020-07-14.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. "Principal's Honor List". MUN Gazette. 1991-03-07. p. 12. Retrieved 14 July 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. "Alumni Wall of Fame". Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Deidre-Gillard Rowlings". No Change in the Weather. 2020-03-05. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  5. Maher, David (2014-02-20). "An old script for a new generation". The Muse. Vol. 64.18. p. 6. Retrieved 14 July 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. "HCFS grants". Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  7. Barker, John (17 Feb 2010). "Tempting Providence: Newfoundland play arrives Feb. 28 as a stop on MTC's annual tour". Thompson Citizen. Retrieved 2020-07-14.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Hopkins, Michelle. "Tempting Providence pays homage to Myra Bennett". Richmond News. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  9. Citron, Paula (7 April 2007). "An eventful life, simply presented". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2020-07-14.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. Meng, Connie. "Theatre Review: "Tempting Providence" at the 1000 Islands Playhouse". NCPR. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  11. Todkill, Anne Marie (26 October 2004). "Tempting Providence". Canadian Medical Association Journal. 171.9: 1079–1080.
  12. "REVIEW: Tempting Providence delivers heart, spirit of Newfoundland". Wellington Advertiser. 2018-09-27. Retrieved 2020-07-14.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. "Tempting Providence hits Harlow stage". MUN Gazette. 2004-09-23. p. 7. Retrieved 14 July 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. Jones, Chris. "On a post-Brexit weekend, the twisted sisters are all about Stratford". Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  15. "A solid but spiritless Mother Courage at the Stratford Festival". Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  16. "Hands Stained in Blood". Robert Reid's Blog. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  17. Hobbs, Katherine (20 Mar 2016). "Shakespeare with a Newfoundland twist at Stratford Festival". Retrieved 13 July 2020.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  18. "Stratford's Macbeth Streams Flashes of Originality Inside Traditionalism – Times Square Chronicles". Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  19. "John Gabriel Borkman, Ibsen's penultimate play, aims high and is never less than watchable in Stratford". National Post. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  20. Meyer, Sean (2016-01-18). "Laughs, moral dilemmas fill up Fly Me to the Moon". Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  21. Monterroza, Moses. "Fly Me to the Moon: Laughing at pain and banking off death". The Gazette • Western University's Student Newspaper. Retrieved 2020-07-14.
  22. Kelsey, Susan (1 May 2019). "A Sneak Peek at Hunger by Meghan Greeley". The Racket. Retrieved 2020-07-14.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  23. Longjohn, Modeline (2019-05-07). "White Rooster Theatre's "HUNGER"". The Muse. Retrieved 2020-07-14.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External links

This article "Deidre Gillard-Rowlings" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical. Articles taken from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be accessed on Wikipedia's Draft Namespace.