Company Bio

credit Lois SiegelAfter a long career in Theatre and Broadcasting in his native Ireland, John P. Kelly arrived in Canada in May 2004.  He admits himself that he was rather ‘big-headed’ on taking up residence in Ottawa; he was sure that some company would rush to hire him to direct at least one play.   Over eighteen months later, suitably chastened, with the help of some new friends – he founded SevenThirty Productions, following the motto of the children’s story… “If no one will help me – I’ll do it myself! said the Little Red Hen!”

That first play was ‘Eden’ by Eugene O’Brien and it was staged in the confines of a small night-club on the Market in Ottawa.    The name ‘SevenThirty’?  Well, as the venue, the production company and the play were unknown, it proved a good ploy to insure a prospective audience knew the starting time.  The company had to be out of the venue in time for the dancing to begin at 10 o’clock!

And so SevenThirty Productions was born.

Over the last ten years, John has produced and directed around twenty five plays with the company – the vast majority of which were modern Irish works, but not exclusively so, as he has also managed to squeeze in a French Farce (Feydeau’s , A Flea in her Ear), a Scottish melodrama –(Iron by Rona Monro), the fantastically funny The 39 Steps, November, Absurd Person Singular and My Brilliant Divorce.

The critics have twice named John as Best Director of the year in the city and in 2013 his production of  David Mamet’s November was named as Best Overall Production for the year!  The company boasts a long list of nominations for the prestigious Rideau Awards.  Indeed, in 2009, of the 50 nominations for various awards in that system, 11 referred to productions directions by John.

Onwards and upwards!

And now for the great classic ‘School for Wives’, by Moliere.

The company is now run by Tim Oberholzer, Zach Counsil, David Whiteley – with John P. Kelly as Artistic Director.

And as an extra to all that – this season for the first time, John will be directing at the Irving Greenberg Theatre, the home of the Great Canadian Theatre Company – with another Marie Jones play Fly Me to the Moon.

It’s been a long time since Eden.   Stay with us for many more successes!