Fonds MS-3-34 - Up Start Theatre fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Up Start Theatre fonds

General material designation

  • Graphic material
  • Sound recording
  • Textual record

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1985-1993 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

86 cm of textual records

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Archival description area

Name of creator

Administrative history

Upstart Theatre originated with Tom Regan, who wanted to establish a Halifax theatre dedicated to producing plays previously unseen in the Halifax area. The first step to achieving his goal was the founding of Dark Night, a play-reading group, with Martin Surrette, L.H. Paris, and Sharon Kline. In 1988 Regan, Paris, and Kline were joined by Iris Quinn, Lynn Ostergaard, Pamela Robinson, Moira Dann, David Renton and Deborah Allen as the founding members of Upstart Theatre. Sten Eirik and Jennifer Hogan joined the group shortly thereafter. Upstart Theatre was self-supporting with assistance from provincial government grants and local donations, and was run primarily by volunteers.

In its first season, Upstart offered Lynn Ostergaard’s Moving Day and George Boyd’s Gideon’s Blues. The company was praised for tackling thought-provoking material. Although the company was artistically acclaimed, financial problems plagued it from the start. This, combined with the loss of venue in 1991, caused the theatre to cancel its 1991/1992 season. Although it was able to produce Betty Lambert’s Under the Skin in the fall of 1992, it was officially dissolved in September 1993.

Custodial history

The fonds remained in the custody of the Upstart Theatre Company until it was donated to Dalhousie University Archives in 2004.

Scope and content

This fonds consists of records regarding the administration, membership, and productions of the Upstart Theatre Company. Types of records include press releases, press clippings, and other promotional materials, photographs, financial material, meeting minutes, reports, scripts, among others.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Records are arranged chronologically within each series, unless specified otherwise at the series level.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Availability of other formats

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.

Finding aids

Associated materials

David Renton fonds, MS-3-23

Neptune Theatre fonds, MS-3-1

Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia fonds, MS-2-612

Related materials


Further accruals are not expected.

General note

Preferred citation: [Identification of item], Upstart Theatre fonds, MS-3-34, Box [box number], Folder [folder number], Dalhousie University Archives and Special Collections, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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Rules for Archival Description


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