Business Profile: Artistic Director of Buddies in Bad Times Theatre Brendan Healy

Image via Brendan Healy.

Image via Brendan Healy.

Wearing nothing but a blindfold and briefs, Brendan Healy is led around the packed lobby of the Gladstone Hotel and made to sit in a chair perched on top of the front desk. The artsy Toronto hot spot is hosting a party for artist Stev’nn Hall’s ( racy bondage-themed portrait series, and, in one image, a naked Healy is shown twisting the head of an equally naked clone of himself. This flesh-and-blood version of what’s in a picture frame in the gallery upstairs has the crowd in awe of both Healy’s body and his nerve. Yet when the head of the world’s longest-running and biggest queer theater companies claims he’s not nearly the exhibitionist he seems, you almost believe him.

“I’m a terribly awkward, shy person,” says Healy, the artistic director of Toronto’s Buddies in Bad Times Theatre ( On the day we chat, the 28-year-old ginger, his beard all scruffy, is wearing a black T-shirt with an Egyptian-style print. “I gravitated toward theater because theater culture is a very codified way of relating to people. There are all kinds of rules, but it’s incredibly intimate, so it’s perfect for me.”

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