Thursday, June 28, 2012

40 Years at Play

Thank you to everyone who came out to PTC’s 40 Years at Play on Tuesday! 

It was very exciting to see so many photographs on display and to take part in the history of PTC. PTC’s photograph archives is a rich resource on Vancouver and Canadian theatre history and it was wonderful to see so many people engaging with these unique records. Theatre history deserves to be remembered and celebrated! On that note, thank you to Lesley Ewen, David King, and Kim Selody for helping to remind us all of how important PTC has been in the development of Canadian playwrights and original artistic expression over the last 40 years.

Thank you to everyone who contributed their knowledge, memories, and anecdotes. Our goal was to connect to PTC contributors and theatre makers and learn from their experience and knowledge, and your engagement and participation allowed us to do just that. It was wonderful speaking with so many playwrights and long-time PTC contributors and I am certain that our archives will be fuller and more intelligible to future generations because of your contributions.

40 Years at Play might have lasted only a few hours but it required a significant amount of preparation, set-up, and oversight, so thank you very much to all of the volunteers who helped us to pull it all together. Your assistance and ideas were very much appreciated!

Also, thank you to our sponsors! Your generous support allowed us to focus on providing access to the photographs, while still being able to treat our guests to excellent refreshments.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

PTC's Board of Directors' Summer Reading List

On Saturday we held our annual Board Retreat with some of the staff and Board of Directors. 

Discussing and sharing ideas at PTC's Board Retreat
At the beginning of the day we were asked to share what was currently on our reading lists.

Here's a list of what PTC is reading these days.

Canada by Richard Ford
‘How to Paint with Oils’ books
One-Act Plays
Star Island by Carl Hiaasen
On the Genealogy of Morals by Friedrich Nietzsche
Active Birth: The New Approach to Giving Birth Naturally by Janet Balaskas
Blue Nights by Joan Didion
Timbuktu: A Novel by Paul Auster
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
The Landmark Thucydides
Anything by Maggie O’Farrell

What's on your reading list?

Friday, June 8, 2012

40 Years at Play : PTC’s Past and Present

Another glimpse at the PTC Archives : As I have been describing and digitizing some of the thousands of items in the PTC archives, I have come across quite few photographs and other objects that are bound to spark interest. Many of these are especially interesting to those who recognize the people and events in the images but there are definitely photos and objects that would appeal to even the newest theatre-goer/lover.

This week I had the pleasure of pulling a real treasure out of the archives – one that I hear was not truly appreciated when it was first introduced to the world! Along with programs for Some Starless Night by David John Smith, I found a couple of copies of an advertisement for the board game BOX OFFICE. It appears that the mid-80’s Vancouver theatre community briefly had the enviable opportunity to purchase “BOX OFFICETM …  an exciting new board game based on producing theatre shows. Challenging and fun for all ages” for the modest price of $19.95! I particularly enjoy the fireplace, tablecloth, and glasses of champagne – who knew playing BOX OFFICE could be so romantic? Also, who could withstand those testimonials!

If you happen to have a copy of this splendid, theatre-filled board game and are willing to dust it off for our 40 Years at Play event at PAL on June 26th, please let us know.

On a slightly different note, I also found this charming young man, ca. 1980’s?

Who is he??

Save the date!
On Tuesday, June 26th 2012, PTC invites you to join us for an evening of celebration and fun as we unveil photos from our archive.

40 Years at Play  
Tuesday, June 26th 2012 7:00 – 10:00pm
PAL Studio Theatre, 581 Cardero Street, Vancouver

Friday, June 1, 2012

40 Years at Play - PTC's Past and Present

An organization can accumulate a lot of stuff over the course of 40 years. If this ‘stuff’ happens to be a pile of old furniture and peeling binders this may not be something to celebrate! On the other hand, if you are lucky enough to have an archive, all of that accumulated ‘stuff’ can remind you of who you are and what you have done to get where you are today. All of those old documents, photographs, videos, and yes, floppy disks, can provide a sense of history and a source of ideas and inspiration that can’t be found anywhere else.

As the PTC’s newest intern, I am thrilled to have the chance to delve into the world of theatre, past and present. In anticipation of the PTC’s 40th anniversary, I am searching through the archives in order to gain a sense of the history and people who have contributed to the PTC over the last 40 years. During the next month I will continue to post updates on some of the more unexpected or interesting things that I find within the archives and on Tuesday June 26th I, along with the wonderful staff and volunteers here at the PTC, will showcase some of the hundreds of photographs from the PTC archives at the PAL Studio Theatre. The 40 Years at Play naming event is a chance for the Vancouver theatre community to come together, reminisce, celebrate Canadian theatre, and help us to identify the people, productions, and events featured in our photographs.

To begin, I thought that I would pay homage to previous retrospectives by showcasing the invitations and pamphlets created to celebrate (and memorialize) The New Play Centre. In 1995 The New Play Centre joined with the Betty Lambert Society to form the Playwrights Theatre Centre and this transformation sparked a rather unique gala event, The New Play Centre (1979 – 1995): A Retrospective, complete with obituary, wake, and eulogies for the then newly departed NPC. As the obituary shows, even then the Playwrights Theatre Centre had a substantial community of playwrights and members; imagine where the PTC is today, 17 years later. 

Save the date!

On Tuesday, June 26th 2012, PTC invites you to join us for an evening of celebration and fun. We will be unveiling photos from our archives and asking you to help us name who’s who. More information will be posted soon on our website!

40 Years at Play 
Tuesday, June 26th 2012 7:00– 10:00pm
PAL Studio Theatre, 581 Cardero Street, Vancouver


Helen Brown 
Archive Project Coordinator at PTC
Helen Brown is currently working on completing her degrees in library and information studies and archival studies at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. In other words,  she is a librarian and archivist in the making, with a passion for literature, the arts, public service, and promoting and providing local events that foster community and creativity. Helen is thrilled to have the chance to explore the history of the PTC and its role in supporting Canadian theatre. She has previously worked as a student archivist at Library and Archives Canada, as a student librarian at UBC’s Woodward Life Sciences Library, and as a library volunteer at UBC’s Rare Books and Special Collections and the Vancouver Aquarium.