Fonds MS-3-44 - Mulgrave Road Theatre fonds

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Mulgrave Road Theatre fonds

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  • Graphic material
  • Sound recording
  • Sound recording (electronic)
  • Textual record

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  • 1972-2006 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

33.15 m of textual records and other material

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Administrative history

Although formally registered in 1978 as the Mulgrave Road Co-operative Theatre, the origins of Mulgrave stretch back two years before, in 1976, when Robbie O’Neill was awarded a Canada Council grant to write and produce a play about the Nova Scotian town. Located on the eastern shore of Nova Scotia in close proximity to Cape Breton Island, Mulgrave experienced an economic decline after the construction of the Canso Causeway in 1954, which prompted O’Neill to explore “the past and convey something of what it was like being part of a proud community and county in decline.” Joined by Michael Fahey, Gay Hauser, and Wendell Smith, O’Neill and company co-wrote and performed in the play The Mulgrave Road Show, which—unintentionally—paved the way for Mulgrave Road Co-operative Theatre.

The theatre is now known simply as the Mulgrave Road Theatre, with a mandate to identify, develop, produce, and promote a theatrical experience which resonates with Atlantic Canadians. As a professional touring theatre, Mulgrave has performed several acclaimed productions throughout Nova Scotia and in several major Canadian cities, such as Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Edmonton. Mulgrave also extended its audience beyond Canada to Ireland, Australia, Scotland, England, and New Zealand. Local productions take place at the Guysborough Masonic Hall, the Mulgrave Road Theatre Centre, and Chedabucto Place Performance Centre. The administrative office is located in a historic building in downtown Guysborough, which is also used for rehearsal and studio space.

Productions created by Mulgrave are developed in a number of different ways: commissioning, playwrights-in-residence, on-site and distance dramaturgy, work shopping drafts, and premiere productions. In the beginning, productions were mostly collective creations, such as Business of Living which was written by eighteen Atlantic playwrights. Other notable productions include I’m Assuming I’m Right (Frank MacDonald), From Fogarty’s Cove (Ric Knowles), Battle Fatigue (Jenny Munday), Marion Bridge (Daniel MacIvor), and Caribou (Michael Melski). Annual productions per year range from two to three performances. In addition to the touring company, Mulgrave also offers a youth program. ROADies is an annual summer drama lab aimed at youth in the area interested in exploring the world of theatre.

Mulgrave is managed by a board of directors consisting of a chair, vice chair, treasurer, secretary, artistic rep, and technical rep. Staff members include an administrator and artistic director. Mulgrave is a member of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres, the Nova Scotia Theatre Alliance, and Arts Cape Breton. Additionally, Mulgrave is financially supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture, and Heritage, and the Municipality of the District of Guysborough.

Custodial history

Materials were donated to Dalhousie Univeristy Archives on August 8th, 2006. Prior to that, the records were held by Mulgrave Road Theatre.

Scope and content

Fonds primarily consists of documentation related to publicity, personnel, equity, and the Canada Council for the Arts as well as scripts, production-based records, administrative files, correspondence, PACT files, contracts, annual meeting notes, ROADies records, financial statements and information, board meeting notes, brochures, audio tapes, photographs, and production posters.

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  • English

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Restrictions on access

There are no access restrictions on these materials. All materials are open for research.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Materials do not circulate and must be used in the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room. Materials may be under copyright. Contact departmental staff for guidance on reproduction.

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Further accruals are expected.

General note

Preferred citation: [Identification of item], Mulgrave Road Theatre fonds, MS-3-44, Box [box number], Folder [folder number], Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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