About Derek Andrew Gabriel Kelly
The Man, The Myth, The Red-Headed, Theatre Guru...
The top Canadian fan of COME FROM AWAY
Derek Andrew Gabriel Kelly is a champion of the community and the creative design industry who takes pride in building relationships. Born in the city of Stratford, Ontario, he operates StratRED Industries and within the company portfolio runs The Stratford Sock Company, Koala Theatre Productions and Consulting and Strictly Stratford Production and The Coach. Derek is a two-time graduate of Lambton College in Sarnia, Ontario with a General Arts and Science - College Exploration certificate and a diploma in Industrial Management, Along with enrolling in Off The Wall, Stratford Artist’s Alliance’s, six-week Theatre Production program, all in 2014. Derek concluded graduation from Fanshawe College in London, Ontario in Theatre Arts - Technical Production in 2017. Derek has also completed a pre-apprentice Welding and Metal fabrication program from the Technical Training Group in Stratford.
Derek was the recipient of the 2011 St. Michael Catholic Secondary School's Humanitarian Award for his tireless work on The St. Michael's Rebuilding Team while in high school. The St. Michael's Rebuilding Team focused on rebuilding efforts in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Derek inspired over 100 students and 20 staff to travel to New Orleans to volunteer rebuilding homes in The Lower Ninth Ward, the hardest-hit area of New Orleans affected by the flooding.
Derek's training in theatre is extensive. He's trained with actors, artists, designers, and directors who have worked across Canada, The United States, The United Kingdom, and from just about every corner of the world. Hundreds of hours of training have come from The Stratford Festival of Canada.
When not busy Derek loves to travel. He frequents the Toronto theatre scene monthly and his international trips see him visit New York City the most often. When not travelling outside of Stratford Derek loves nothing more than seeing a production at The Stratford Festival, eating at one of the many restaurants, or shopping in downtown Stratford. Derek's passions go beyond Theatre and Socks. He has a lifelong passion for horses, sewing, quilting and farming including backyard vegetable gardening. Derek loves a well-shaken (Never stirred) cocktail, Ceaser Salad, Margarita Pizza, Lasagne, French Fries and Tiramisu but admits anything kind of dessert is good too and a good cup of tea.
From November 2015 through December 2019 Derek racked up a mind-boggling 68 show record seeing The Canadian smash hit musical COME FROM AWAY. With the record, he became the only Canadian to see the musical more than anyone outside of the producers, investors, theatre staff, or actors. In total, Derek saw the show 17 times between November 15 2016 and January 8 2017 in Toronto, twice on back to back during the first week of previews in February 2017 on Broadway in New York City. However, it was not until The all Canadian company began performances on February 18, 2018, that the record truly was cemented. He returned to Broadway for check-in in May 2019. December 15, 2019, was the last time Derek would see the musical. His love for COME FROM AWAY leaves him with so many memories, a lifetime of friends and a flame to keep the memories of the souls lost on 9/11 alive through random acts of kindness.
COME FROM AWAY Toronto, unfortunately, closed after a 21 month COVID19 closer after finding it impossible to keep going after reopening December 15, 2021, when COVID19 was detected backstage and the Omicron variant became a concern in Ontario, days later the Government of Ontario ordered a COVID19 shutdown. The Toronto company played 855 performances and welcomed 1 Million theatre-goers to The Royal Alexandra Theatre and The Elgin Theatre during the Canadian run. COME FROM AWAY is the most successful Canadian written musical of all time.
"I devoted my life to the theatre when I was only 7 years old after being hooked as a 5-year-old. After 25 seasons of devotion, theatre is my pride and joy. The forced absents of theatre for over 24 month period due to COVID19 lead me to the edge of turning my back on the industry. I began to ask was it worth returning? A friend in the industry had a conversation with me and urged me to go back online and try online dating again to wait out the storm. Within 2 days, the stars aligned and I found myself in the local Dairy Queen parking lot meeting a young man named Gregory and his sidekick Marley, a little cute light brown Jack Russell Terrier. The theatre after all these years of bringing me joy and happiness for the future of the next show and the next season has brought me so excited as I return to the theatre, I'm lucky to have Gregory by my side. So to Gregory, You're my love, My joy, My pride, I'm honoured you've chosen me to begin a new chapter in your life with. I'm beyond proud of you."
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Derek Andrew Gabriel Kelly
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All photos and information on any page of this website are the sole property of Derek Andrew Gabriel Kelly and may not be used without the prior written consent of Derek Andrew Gabriel Kelly. Production photos are the property of their respective companies.
L: Gregory R: Derek Top of The Bridge To Nowhere in Stratford's Centennial Park in August 2021 Photo taken by Cheryl MacLeod
Photo at of page: Derek outside The Stratford Festival's Festival Theatre in November 2020, taken by Mellisa Elliott