Call Number: Mss 123, Pc 133, Tc 85, El 8 (A.92-30,
Title: Prairie Theatre Exchange fonds.
Dates: [ca. 1896], 1962-2001.
Extent: 11.9 m of textual records and other material.
Administrative history: The Prairie Theatre Exchange
occupies an important place in the cultural and educational life
of Winnipeg. In 1958 two of the city's oldest theatrical organizations,
Theatre 77 and the Winnipeg Little Theatre, merged to form the Manitoba
Theatre Centre (MTC). The MTC set out to provide a better public
service through improved professional productions, more new plays,
and the development of future artists, which John Hirsch and Tom
Hendry were instrumental in developing. In 1960, the MTC formed
the Manitoba Theatre School to emphasize its educational mission,
but after twelve successful years the School was closed due to lack
of funding. In 1973, however, through an effort spearheaded by Colin
Jackson and Charles Huband, the Manitoba Theatre Workshop (MTW)
was opened as a replacement to the Manitoba Theatre School. The
MTW supported creative expression in the community through its school,
its outreach program, and its theatre by encouraging local playwrights
and performers. In 1981 the organization changed its name to the
Prairie Theatre Exchange while reaffirming its original objectives.
In December 1988 the Prairie Theatre Exchange realized a major objective
when it was approved as a Teaching Centre by the University of Manitoba.
In 1989, after realizing long and steady growth, the PTE moved from
its original home on 160 Princess Street (the old Grain Exchange
Building) into its new $3.5 million facility comprising 42,500 square
feet in the Portage Place Mall in downtown Winnipeg.
Custodial history: The fonds was donated to University
of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections by the Prairie Theatre
Exchange in 1992 and 2002.
Scope and content: The Prairie Theatre Exchange
collection consists of the official archives of the organization
since 1973. Included are such administrative papers as minutes,
correspondence, legal and financial records, and personnel files.
The collection also reflects the creative side including plays (accepted
and otherwise), production files, production prompt files and scripts,
reviews, and critiques plus a significant amount of promotional
material such as advertisements, announcements, and play bills.
Also included in the fonds are a photograph collection, a tape collection,
and electronic media.
Restrictions: Some personal files and confidential
production material are
Accruals: Further accruals to this fonds are expected.
Finding aid: A printed finding aid is available
in the Archives reading room and on-line finding aids are available
at the links below:
123, PC 133, TC 85 (A.92-30)
123, PC 133, TC 85, EL 8 (A.02-34).
We greatly acknowledge the financial support of the Manitoba Department
of Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport and the Heritage Grants
Advisory Council in the creation of this finding aid.