Setting the stage : Montreal theatre, 1920-1949 /
Herbert Whittaker ; edited by Jonathan Rittenhouse.
imprint
Montreal : McGill-Queen's University Press, c1999.
description
xvii, 298 p. : ill. (some col.)
ISBN
0773520023 :
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Montreal : McGill-Queen's University Press, c1999.
isbn
0773520023 :
restrictions
Online version licensed for access by U. of T. users.
general note
"'The story so far' and chapters 1-9 are a revised, expanded, and corrected version of 'Whittaker's Montreal: a theatrical autobiography, 1910-1949', edited and with an introduction by Rota Herzberg Lister, which appeared in Canadian drama, 12 (Fall 1986)."--T.p. verso.
catalogue key
3171812
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Reviews
Review Quotes
"For all of us young writers and actors, he helped lay the ground rules, he was there when we needed him ... Whittaker had nothing tangible to endorse when he began. He had to get behind a whole country largely Calvinist in its indifference to things artistic and convince it that within its boundaries such a thing as art actually could exist ... I don't think there is anyone who has done more to free our country of its old prejudices toward homegrown talent than Herbert Whittaker." Christopher Plummer, from the Preface. "Herbert Whittaker was Montreal's quintessential man of theatre." William Weintraub in City Unique: Montreal Days and Nights in the 1940s and '50s. "Setting the Stage is a rich and valuable work in which readers will discover forgotten or unknown chapters of Quebec and Canadian theatre. Whittaker introduces us to forgotten theatre companies and organizations and bears witness to the vitality of a particularly fertile period." Jean-Marc Larrue, Theatre Department, College de Valleyfield. "an interesting book on a major figure in Canadian theatre." Anton Wagner, Anton Wagner Productions.
"For all of us young writers and actors, he helped lay the ground rules, he was there when we needed him ... Whittaker had nothing tangible to endorse when he began. He had to get behind a whole country largely Calvinist in its indifference to things artistic and convince it that within its boundaries such a thing as art actually could exist ... I don't think there is anyone who has done more to free our country of its old prejudices toward homegrown talent than Herbert Whittaker." Christopher Plummer, from the Preface. "Herbert Whittaker was Montreal's quintessential man of theatre." William Weintraub in City Unique: Montreal Days and Nights in the 1940s and ‘50s. "Setting the Stage is a rich and valuable work in which readers will discover forgotten or unknown chapters of Quebec and Canadian theatre. Whittaker introduces us to forgotten theatre companies and organizations and bears witness to the vitality of a particularly fertile period." Jean-Marc Larrue, Theatre Department, College de Valleyfield. "an interesting book on a major figure in Canadian theatre." Anton Wagner, Anton Wagner Productions.
This item was reviewed in:
Globe & Mail, December 1999
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
This is the story of Montreal's theatrical cultures and their part in the development of Canadian theatre - a story that only Herbert Whittaker, Canada's first and foremost theatre critic, can tell.
Main Description
In Montreal Whittaker witnessed the early careers of actors such as Christopher Plummer, Gratien Gelinas, John Colicos, Jean Gascon, Denise Pelletier, and Amelia Hall. He worked in close collaboration with many pioneers of the Little Theatre Movement, the Dominion Drama Festival, and Canadian theatre in general, such as Martha Allan, Charles Rittenhouse, and Pierre Dagenais. His involvement with Dagenais' L'Equipe allows him to report on the early days of francophone theatre in Montreal and the cross-fertilization between Martha Allan's Montreal Repertory Theatre and actor-directors such as Dagenais, Gratien Gelinas, and Yvette Brind'Amour. He also gives us glimpses of the early theatrical spaces in the city that no longer exist, as well as some, such as the Salle de Gesu and the Monument-National, that have survived. This engaging memoir of exciting times is prefaced by a personal tribute from Christopher Plummer and set in context through an introduction, chronology, and bibliography by Jonathan Rittenhouse. Illustrated with a selection of Whittaker's stage and costume designs as well as photographs, Setting the Stage provides a captivating visual record of the period and is a must for everyone interested in Canadian theatre, Canadian arts, culture, and Montreal.
Main Description
Setting the Stage is the story of Montreal's theatrical cultures and their part in the development of Canadian theatre a story that only Herbert Whittaker, Canada's first and foremost theatre critic, can tell. Before his long and distinguished career with the Globe and Mail, Whittaker had already had three careers in Montreal as stage designer, theatre director, and critic for the Montreal Gazette. In Setting the Stage Whittaker recreates the vibrancy of the Montreal theatre scene in the 1930s and 40s and gives vivid portraits of important Canadian actors, directors, and producers. He highlights the enriching interaction and tensions between francophone and anglophone artists and companies at a time when both English and French artists were struggling to establish a professional theatre.In Montreal Whittaker witnessed the early careers of actors such as Christopher Plummer, Gratien Gélinas, John Colicos, Jean Gascon, Denise Pelletier, and Amelia Hall. He worked in close collaboration with many pioneers of the Little Theatre Movement, the Dominion Drama Festival, and Canadian theatre in general, such as Martha Allan, Charles Rittenhouse, and Pierre Dagenais. His involvement with Dagenais' L'Equipe allows him to report on the early days of francophone theatre in Montreal and the cross-fertilization between Martha Allan's Montreal Repertory Theatre and actor-directors such as Dagenais, Gratien Gélinas, and Yvette Brind'Amour. He also gives us glimpses of the early theatrical spaces in the city that no longer exist, as well as some, such as the Salle de Gésu and the Monument-National, that have survived.This engaging memoir of exciting times is prefaced by a personal tribute from Christopher Plummer and set in context through an introduction, chronology, and bibliography by Jonathan Rittenhouse. Illustrated with a selection of Whittaker's stage and costume designs as well as photographs, Setting the Stage provides a captivating visual record of the period and is a must for everyone interested in Canadian theatre, Canadian arts, culture, and Montreal.Herbert Whittaker was theatre critic at the Montreal Gazette from 1935 to 1949 and at the Globe and Mail from 1949 to 1975. He now lives in Toronto where he most recently staged the North American premier of Tom Stoppard's The Invention of Love. He is the founding chairman of the Canadian Theatre Critics Asssociation and is the author of five previous books.Jonathan Rittenhouse is professor of theatre at Bishop's University.
Unpaid Annotation
Setting the Stage is the story of Montreal's theatrical cultures and their part in the development of Canadian theatre -- a story that only Herbert Whittaker, Canada's first and foremost theatre critic, can tell. Before his long and distinguished career with the Globe and Mail, Whittaker had already had three careers in Montreal -- as stage designer, theatre director, and critic for the Montreal Gazette. In Setting the Stage Whittaker recreates the vibrancy of the Montreal theatre scene in the 1930s and '40s and gives vivid portraits of important Canadian actors, directors, and producers. He highlights the enriching interaction and tensions between francophone and anglophone artists and companies at a time when both English and French artists were struggling to establish a professional theatre.In Montreal Whittaker witnessed the early careers of actors such as Christopher Plummer, Gratien Gelinas, John Colicos, Jean Gascon, Denise Pelletier, and Amelia Hall. He worked in close collaboration with many pioneers of the Little Theatre Movement, the Dominion Drama Festival, and Canadian theatre in general, such as Martha Allan, Charles Rittenhouse, and Pierre Dagenais. His involvement with Dagenais's L'Equipe allows him to report on the early days of francophone theatre in Montreal and the cross-fertilization between Martha Allan's Montreal Repertory Theatre and actor-directors such as Dagenais, Gratien Gelinas, and Yvette Brind'Amour. He also gives us glimpses of the early theatrical spaces in the city that no longer exist, as well as some, such as the Salle de Gesu and the Monument-National, that have survived.This engaging memoir of exciting times is prefaced by a personal tribute from Christopher Plummer and set in context through an introduction, chronology, and bibliography by Jonathan Rittenhouse. Illustrated with a selection of Whittaker's stage and costume designs as well as photographs, Setting
Table of Contents
Forewordp. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introductionp. xv
Colour
The Story So Farp. 3
Beginnings: Hamlet Launches Three Careersp. 11
The Church and the Stage Meetp. 21
Searching for a Rolep. 42
The Montreal Repertory Theatrep. 57
MRT to Guy Street and Moyse Hallp. 77
Our Fair-Weather Theatrep. 98
Riding Off in All Directionsp. 116
The Critic, Retrospectivep. 125
Le rideau se levep. 147
Afterword: A Contextual Commentary Jonathan Rittenhousep. 169
Chronology of Montreal Theatre, 1920-1949p. 201
Notesp. 243
Selected Bibliography of Articles and Books Pertaining to Theatre in Montreal, 1920-1949p. 259
Indexp. 275
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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