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Modern Theatre in Context: A Critical Timeline

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Still Stands the House, Gwen Pharis Ringwood's second play (premiered in North Carolina a year earlier), is produced by Medicine Hat Little Theatre and wins the Dominion Drama Festival. A one-Act folk play, which Ringwood consciously modelled on Synge in using "images, similes, metaphors that came up out of the land...and to use those in the way that the Irish writers [ie: Synge] had used them", its subtitle is A drama of the Canadian Frontier: a "frontier" that is interpreted in two ways. Set in Alberta in winter, the play depicts the hardscrabble existence on a marginal farm, which it echoes in a sparse and bare style of dialogue; but the action also cross the border between material and physical planes, with the family haunted by the spirit of the dead patriarch and his daughter's cold rigidity echoing and employing the "moving shroud" of the snow to keep the survivors from moving away. Often anthologised, Still Stands the House becomes one of the most frequently performed plays in Canadian theatre.

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