Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Quarterly 6:4 (Fall 1986). Copyright © 1986 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


E. Ross Stuart's encyclopedic text, The History of Prairie Theatre-the development of theatre in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan- is simply too short. Selectively chronicling theatrical events on the Canadian Prairies, stressing "facts rather than opinions," Stuart firmly refuses to evaluate the matters he records. But the man does set out to cover a vast, unexplored territory, a task he completes with admirable success. Stuart clinically divides his research into four areas: Pioneer Times, Amateur Theatre, Educational Theatre, and New Professional Theatre. Analysis focuses around major prairie centers, Winnipeg, Regina-Saskatoon, Edmonton- Calgary-Banff, and since their theatre histories in some cases are so similar, Stuart explains, "not ever,. prairie theatre, city or province is covered at equal length."