The History of the Organization

1932
Oct. 29

  • The Earl of Bessborough, Governor General of Canada, urged theatre groups to organize and to form Provincial associations. Our organization responded by forming and presenting a festival under the name of Saskatchewan Region of the Dominion Drama Festival. This was a One Act Festival. We continued like this for fifty years. During the war years, all activity was suspended. For more information on the DDF click here.

Fall

  • A group of theatre enthusiasts from Regina, Moose Jaw, and Saskatoon were discussing the same concept. A provisional committee was formed:
    Walter T. Read - President, Regina
    Lillian D. Meyers - Vice President & Convenor for Saskatchewan of the National Drama Festival, Saskatoon
    Prof. K.W. Gordon - Secretary, Saskatoon

1933

  • First provincial drama festival held at Darke Hall!
  • Adjudicated by Dr. Lawrence Mason, drama critic of the Toronto Globe
  • 12 plays were entered
  • The McIntosh Cup went to Saskatoon Little Theatre Club for their performance of "The Twelve Pound Look"
  • Both productions tied for second place exceeded the time limit
    • Outward Bound – Regina Community Players
    • The First and the Last – Saskatoon Little Theatre Club
  • The first General Meeting was held during the festival
  • Adopted the name Saskatchewan Drama League
  • Adopted the objective: to develop the art of the theatre in the province and to promote a right relationship between drama and the life of the community
  • The first elected officers were
    • President   J.D. Gunn, Saskatoon
    • Vice Pres.   Walter T. Read, Regina
    • Secretary    Mrs. S. Edwards, Saskatoon
    • Treasurer    J.M. Sinclair, Regina
    • Executive: 
      • Charles Tubb, North Battleford
      • C.M. Chesser, Moose Jaw
      • Mrs. Morley Willoughby, Regina

1936

  • TheatreFest was initiated and fully supported by members.

 

1940

  • While the Dominion Drama Festival ceased to function until 1946 (the war years), the SDL continued to flourish and sponsor an annual festival.

 

1944

  • 125 drama clubs and group belonged to the SDL
  • SDL festival was the largest ever sponsored in the province

 

1947

  • The Dominion Drama Festival was revived and SDL became the Saskatchewan Region, Dominion Drama Festival.

 

1970

  • We became D.D.F. Theatre Saskatchewan

 

1974

  • Saskatchewan Region of the Dominion Drama Festival Board Members’ expenses consisted solely of mileage recovery.

1982

  • Our name was changed to Theatre Saskatchewan Inc., in hopes of building our membership.

1983

  • We opened an office on a part-time basis.
  • We hired a part-time Executive Director.
  • We received funding from Sask Lotteries.

1984

  • We published our first Newsletter, the “Curtain Call”.
  • We took a full length play to Calgary for the International Festival.
  • We provided grants for member clubs to help with their expenses.

1986

  • We started the Apprenticeship Program.
  • We changed our name to Saskatchewan Community Theatre, Inc.
  • We hired a full time Executive Director.
  • We assisted fifteen (15) member groups
  • We started the Hilda Allen Memorial Library

1987

  • With the Hilda Allen Memorial fund, provided by Regina Little Theatre, we bought library shelving.

1988

  • We presented a One Act play at the International Festival in Nova Scotia

1989

  • Organized a non-competitive One Act Festival.
  • Presented a Full Length Play at the International Festival in Victoria.

1990

  • We hosted the Full Length and One Act International Festival.
  • We established the Nan Reid Musical Library.

1992

  • We presented a TheatreFest play at International Festival in Norway

1993

  • We Created the Janet-Laine Green Lifetime Achievement Award, which is awarded annually at the ThatreFest.
  • We took a Full Length play to Ireland for International Festival.

1995

  • Mary Ellen Burgess received the Saskatchewan Arts Board Lifetime Award for Excellence in the Arts. The Burgess family entrusted the award to Saskatchewan Community Theatre, Inc., where it is displayed in the office, and at Festival.
  • We assisted seventy-five (75) member groups.

1996

  •  “Pub Night”, our annual tribute to the War Vets, premiered.

1997

  • Saskatchewan Community Theatre, Inc. established the Initiative Grant.

1998

  • The New Play Workshop was instituted at ThatreFest.
  • Established our Newest Award, the Margaret Corbett Aspirant Award. It was first presented at TheatreFest in 1999.

2000

  • Retired the George Porteous Memorial Plaque for Excellence or Meritorious Enterprise and created the William R. Hubbard Plaque for Excellence or Meritorious Enterprise.
  • Initiated Aboriginal and Special Needs Workshops.
  • Initiated the One Act Apprenticeship Program, with ten participants.
  • Announced the creation of the Margaret Woodward Theatre Hall of Fame.
  • Proclaimed our first Provincial Community Theatre Week (October 29 – November 4)
  • Initiated first television productions with Access Communications in Regina.

2001

  • First Advisory Committee meeting for the Hall of Fame May 16, 2001
  • First Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony October 28, 2001
  • Membership approved name change to Theatre Saskatchewan Inc. November 3, 2002

2002

  • Official name changed to Theatre Saskatchewan Inc., effective as of March 6, 2002.
  • Assisted eighty-six (86) member clubs.

2003

  • Implemented the Executive Travel Program to promote program awareness to membership and non-members.
  • Established TheatreWorks – a weekend workshop with two (2) 13-hour workshops.
  • Online Library Database with ordering capabilities was established on our website.
  • Declared the Full-Length Festival will be officially known as TheatreFest (year) for name recognition and consistency.
  • Theatre Saskatchewan partnered with Theatre BC to showcase Canadian plays at the first annual Canada West Play Fest in Nanaimo, BC.

2004

  • Declared the One Act Festival will be officially known as TheatreOne (year) for name recognition and consistency.

2020

  • Created the Verna Alonzo Award for Stage Management in conjunction with Moose Jaw Community Players, who donated the trophy.
  • Had to cancel TheatreFest due to the worldwide Covid pandemic.

Volunteer of the Year Award

 

2009  

Angel Genereux

 - Regina Little Theatre Society, Inc.

2008

Lance Cornwell

 - Last Mountain Theatre Co.

2007

Patrick Pelletier

 - Regina Little Theatre Society, Inc.

2006

Brenda A. Fahselt

 - Prairie Players Drama Club

2005

Pat Wilson

 - Regina Little Theatre

2004

Walter Austman

 - Paper Bag Theatre

2003

Bernadette Tice

 - Regina Lyric Light Opera

2002

David Martodam

 - Meadow Lake Community Theatre, Inc.

2001

Phyllis Henry

 - Mooseberry Acting Company

2000

Ken Johnson

 - Swift Current Little Theatre


Past Presidents

 

 

1995

Florence Eberle

1969

A. T. Gardiner

2020

Jarrod Jeanson

1994

Florence Eberle

1968  

A. T. Gardiner

2019

Jarrod Jeanson

1993  

James Hosking

1967

A. T. Gardiner

2018  

Donna Challis

1992

Jim Hadfield

1966

A. T. Gardiner

2017

Paulette Thompson

1991

Janet Ewing

1965

A. T. Gardiner

2016

Paulette Thompson

1990

Ian C. Nelson

1964

C. D. Abrahamson

2015

Donna Challis

1989

Margaret H. Woodward

1963

C. D. Abrahamson

2014

Donna Challis

1988

Betty Woods

1962

C. D. Abrahamson

2013

Sherry Riess

1987

Betty Woods

1961

C. D. Abrahamson

2012

Sherry Riess

1986

Neall Stevens

1960

Mrs. R. B. Ramsay

2011

Jarrod Jeanson

1985

William R. Hubbard

1959

Mrs. R. B. Ramsay

2010

Jarrod Jeanson

1984

Keith Woods

1958

Mrs. R. B. Ramsay

2009

Lynn Wagner

1983

Keith Woods

1957

Mrs. R. B. Ramsay

2008

Lynn Wagner

1982

Joan Coggins

1956

C. E. Lake

2007

Ken Johnson

1981

Joan Coggins

1955

Mary Ellen Burgess

2006

Ken Johnson

1980

Donna Challis

1954

Mary Ellen Burgess

2005

Ken Johnson

1979

Donna Challis

1953

Mary Ellen Burgess

2004

Larry Schlosser

1978

Ian C. Nelson

1952

Mary Ellen Burgess

2003

Larry Schlosser

1977

Ian C. Nelson

1951

Mary Ellen Burgess

2002

Suzanne Malo

1976

Margaret H. Woodward

1950

Unknown

2001

Suzanne Malo

1975

Margaret H. Woodward

1949

William Reid

2000

Lorna Batycki

1974

Connie Munyard

1948

Norman H. Browne

1999

Lorna Batycki

1973

Connie Munyard

1947

Unknown

1998

Betty Woods

1972

Jeanne Walters

1946

Unknown

1997

Betty Woods

1971

Jeanne Walters

1945

K. W. Gordon

1996

Betty Woods

1970

A. T. Gardiner

1944

Walter T. Read


Acting for the Camera Productions

2000-2004

  • Today’s Tech-Knowledgy by L.M. Chalmers
  • In Sickness & In Health by L. M. Chalmers
  • How Did You Lose Those Fingers adapted by Roy J. Challis from “Mr. Baseball” by Lorne Kulak
  • Fundrazor by Roy J. Challis
  • Haute Cusine by Jim McLoughlin
  • Promises by Guy Michaud

Dinner Theatres

YEAR PERFORMING GROUP SHOW TITLE AND AUTHOR(S)
2019 Theatre Saskatchewan Inc. - A Very Die Hard Christmas by Jeff Schell and the Habit
2018 UR Improv - Murder Mystery Whodunnit improv
2017    
2016    
2015 Theatre Saskatchewan Inc. - Unnecessary Farce by Paul Slade Smith
2014 Regina Little Theatre Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and then some!) by John K. Alvarez, Michael Carleton and James FitzGerald, original music by Will Knapp
2013 Theatre Saskatchewan Inc. - Dashing Through the Snow by Hope, Jones, and Wooten
2012 Battlefords Community Players Welfarewell by Cat Delaney
2011    
2010    
2009    
2008    
2007    
2006 Valley Players The Odd Couple (female version) by Neil Simon
2005 Paper Bag Players - You Can't Get There From Here by Pat Cook
2004 Humboldt Community Players - The Men Commandments by Sarah Quick
2003 Last Mountain Theatre Co. - The Nunsense Christmas Musical: Nuncrackers by Dan Goggin
2002 Battlefords Community Players - A Christmas Cactus by Eliot Byerrum
2001 Swift Current Little Theatre - Over the River and Through the Woods by Joe Dipietro 
2000 Saskatoon Ageless Players - The Gift & the G.R.I.N.C.H. by L.M. Chalmers
1999 Saskatoon Ageless Players - Scrooge (The Female Version) by Caroline Russell-King
1998 Chocolate Moose Theatre, Inc. - Not a Creature was Stirring... Not Even a Moose by Pat Cook
1997 Saskatchewan Community Theatre, Inc. - There Goes the Bride by Ray Cooney and John Chapman
1996 Saskatchewan Community Theatre, Inc. & Regina Summer Stage - Tomb With a View by Norman Robbins
1995 Saskatchewan Community Theatre, Inc. & Regina Summer Stage - Key For Two by J. Chapman and D. Freeman