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THEMES OF ISOLATION IN SASKATCHEWAN RADIO DRAMA - page 26 / 185

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Introduction: Isolation, Radio Drama, and Saskatchewan

20

communities within Saskatchewan that helped convince Johnson to create Saskatchewan

as its own CBC region.18

It is from this point, the appointment of Schmalz to CBC Saskatchewan, and

onward that I have drawn the bulk of the plays researched for this thesis. One reason is

practical. The CBC records in the Saskatchewan Archives Board Recorded Sound

Collection are most complete from 1980 to the early 1990s. Another reason is the almost

complete lack of critical attention devoted to the plays of this time in this province.

Given that the CBC is essentially the only outlet for radio drama in Canada,19 the

appointment of a full-time-producer where once there was none in any one region could

be seen as the establishment of a new tradition of radio drama. This reinvigoration of the

local tradition will be explored further in my chapter on History and Isolation. From this

point on, my main focus of study will be on provincial radio drama production as

opposed to the national radio drama production. Most of the plays I encountered in the

Saskatchewan Archives’ CBC Collection were produced after Wayne Schmalz’s

appointment in 1977. With the exception of two plays drawn from the pioneering Kay

Saddlemyer era, the majority of my research into plays, playwrights and themes comes

from the last 25 years. Most of the plays examined within this thesis are from the period

between 1980 and 1988.

18 E. Ross Stuart’s The History of Prairie Theatre; The New Professional Theatre; “Professional Theatre in Saskatchewan” - pp 195-207. At least in English Canada. 19

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