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Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia

Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia

Language: English

No. of terms: approximately 1500

Description: The Encyclopedia of Canadian Theatre was a project initiated in 1993 by Gaetan Charlebois, a theatre editor. This project maintains a database of information about Canadian actors, directors, plays, playwrights and theatre practitioners.  Today The Encyclopedia of Canadian Theatre is under the responsibility of the Athabasca University.

Example term Magnetic North Theatre Festival

An annual national theatre festival of contemporary Canadian plays in English, produced by the Canadian Theatre Festival Society and co-presented by the National Arts Centre English Theatre. Founded in 2002, the Festival takes place every other year in Ottawa in early June, and in cities across Canada on alternating years: Vancouver (2008), Ottawa (2007), St. John’s Newfoundland (2006), Ottawa (2005), Edmonton (2004), Ottawa (2003).

The founding Artistic Director was Mary Vingoe ; the current Artistic Director is Ken Cameron .

The mandate of Magnetic North is to present a diversity of Canadian plays from across the country, of high artistic standards; to promote the dissemination of Canadian work that increases the awareness of Canadian theatre amongst artists, audiences, producers and presenters, nationally and internationally (website). Magnetic North productions are often picked up by theatres across the country for future seasons.

Productions have included Burning Vision (Ottawa 2003) and Copper Thunderbird (Ottawa 2007) by Marie Clements ; Ernestine Sushwap Gets Her Trout (Edmonton 2004) by Tomson Highway ; and The Adventures of Ali and Ali and the aXes of Evil (Edmonton 2004) by Guillermo Verdecchia .

The 2008 Vancouver performances included Boxhead, an ontological farce by Darren O’Donnell of Crow’s Theatre; Hive2, a collective of 11 Vancouver indie theatre groups performing in a warehouse; An Evening With Uncle Val, a comic monologue written and performed by Andy Jones ; Loft, a multi-media circus show devised by Les 7 doigts de la main from Montreal; April 14, 1912, a hallucinatory account of the sinking of the Titanic, directed and conceived by Allyson McMackon, and performed by Theatre Rusticle from Toronto; Goodness, an investigation of modern morality by Michael Redhill, performed by Toronto-based Volcano experimental theatre company; So Many Doors by Celia McBride, performed by Sour Brides Theatre of Whitehorse, a play about the effects of the deaths of their infant children on two couples; Where the Blood Mixes by Kevin Loring, performed by Playhouse Theatre Company and The Savage Society of Vancouver, with actors Ben Cardinal, Margo Kane, Billy Merasty, and dramaturgy by Sharon Pollock ; Blood.claat, a one womban story of growing up in Jamaica by d’bi young.anitafrika ; and Townsville, by the Chop/Studio 58 ensemble and Anita Rochon from Langara College.

The Festival also included symposia called “Magnetic Vibrations” which explore such issues as developing a performance tour, funding, modes of creation, and contemporary criticism; “Magnetic Encounters,” including “Celebrity Speakers” such as Gordon Pinsent , Sandra Oh , Mieko Ouchi , Sharon Pollock, Tantoo Cardinal, and Anosh Irani; “Tea with the Artists” — open forums for conversations with the playwrights, directors and actors; and “Lunchtime Encounters,” with debates by theatre artists on hot topics such as “Be it resolved that theatre is better than sex.” The “Industry Series” hosted a series of discussions, workshops, and talks on marketing, planning, environmental responsibility, closing the deal, theatre spaces, multidisciplinary collaboration, and pitching a performance.

Website:,  Last updated 2008-09-17

Keywords: Canada, theatre, theater, actors, playwrights, directors, producers, designers, theatre organizations, theatre institutions, composers,  plays, drama, theater dictionary, theater encyclopedia, encyclopedia, performing arts

Status/Quote as: Encyclopedia of Canadian Theatre. This website and its contents are protected by copyright and are licensed with Creative Commons.

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