The 1800s

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Modern Theatre in Context: A Critical Timeline

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Cover of 'The Glace Bay Miners' Museum'

Wendy' Lill's The Glace Bay Miner's Museum, adapted from the Sheldon Currie novel, is produced at the Great Canadian Theatre Company in Ottawa while its author serves across town as elected Member of Parliament for Dartmouth, N.S. Her first theatrical success had come in 1982 with The Fighting Days, focusing on the elements of racism and xenophobia associated with the early feminist movement, and the experience of women together with the roots of intolerance characterize her later drama: most notably her 1989 Sisters, which dealt with recovered memory syndrome in the case of a nun who burns down a residential school.

Albert Schultz, Diana Leblanc, and Diego Matamoros, joint Artistic Directors, announce the founding of Soulpepper Theatre Company in Toronto, dedicated to mounting productions of classical plays and the training of actors, directors, and designers, in the classical repertoire. Its first season establishes a stellar reputation with two productions of European classics in new translation: Don Carlos and The Misanthrope. Directed by Robin Phillips, this is only the second English-language production of Schiller's play in the twentieth century (the other being Nicholas Hytner's 1987 production at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester with Michael Grandage in the title role) and helped to re-establish the play in the modern theatre. The second season, concentrating on twentieth-century modern classics, with productions of Chekhov, Thorton Wilder, Tennessee Williams, and Beckett, as well as a comedy by Molnar, defines Soulpepper's continuing mandate. In 2005 it will move from its temporary quarters at Harbourfront to a purpose built theatre at the renovated Distillery District in Toronto, and take on a broader educational function in association with George Brown College.