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"When people meet me for the first time it's almost immediate to people the amount of passion for theatre I have. Often I'm asked if I'm an actor. In truth, I'm terrified of being on stage. Backstage is where I love being while working on shows. But I've always loved sharing theatre with others. Now offering "The Coach" as part of Strictly Stratford Productions, going to theatre outside of Stratford has never been easier and allowed me to share my passion for theatre with others like never before!
People often remark that "I was born in the right place" when they meet me. It was not until I left for college the first time in 2012 when I only begin to learn what that really meant. Stratford is just not where I was born, grew up, and crafted my passion for theatre. Stratford is where I learned how to take myself from being a theatre patron to an Executive Director and a Theatre Producer to a member of the inner circles of many internationally renowned actors and actresses.
I always tell people I live, eat, and breathe theatre every day. From Stratford to Toronto to New York City, I've learned from the best, the brightest, and the most unlikely of people. It's those unlikeliest of people whom I have found became the ones who gave me the foundation to build my empire of businesses (Strictly Stratford Productions and The Coach, and The Stratford Sock Company). They let my imagination run wild and let the sparks fly".
- Derek Andrew Gabriel Kelly
Photo taken at The Tom Patterson Theatre at The Stratford Festival, November 2020, by Mellisa Elliott
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