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THEMES OF ISOLATION IN SASKATCHEWAN RADIO DRAMA - page 25 / 185

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Introduction: Isolation, Radio Drama, and Saskatchewan

19

Among the ACTRA members dogging the steps of Johnson was Geoffrey Ursell. Ursell

successfully argued that a local radio producer with whom Saskatchewan writers could

work could build on the foundational radio-drama work being done by Kay Saddlemyer

(Ursell interview).

Schmalz also noted the symbiotic relationship between a revitalized radio drama

tradition in Saskatchewan and the appearance of new Saskatchewan theatres. E. Ross

Stuart’s The History of Prairie Theatre provides a substantial overview of what he deems

The New Professional Theatre in Saskatchewan. Stuart tracks establishment and early

lives of such theatres as The Globe Theatre in Regina, which began as a school-touring

enterprise in 1965 and produced its first repertory season in 1970; the shorter-lived Circle

in the Centre in Saskatoon (1966-1968); and Theatre Saskatchewan in Regina (1966-

1970) Twenty-Fifth Street Theatre (1972) and Persephone Theatre in Saskatoon (1974).

Also playing an active role in the literary life of Saskatchewan was the Saskatchewan

Writers’ Guild, formed in 1969, and the later Saskatchewan Playwrights’ Centre, formed

in 1982.

The late 1970s and early 1980s present a very different picture of the strength of

theatre in Saskatchewan when compared to the 1930s. Historically, in the late 1920s and

early 1930s, radio, as one of the cheapest and most accessible of the new electronic

media, was one of the factors that helped bring professional theatre to a halt in

Saskatchewan. Then, most of the professional theatre touring the province was from

outside Saskatchewan. In the 1970s, it was the strength of the theatre and writing

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