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. 

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