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25th Street Theatre

Theatre in Saskatoon founded in 1972 by students of the University of Saskatchewan drama department. They were led by Andras Tahn who became the first artistic director when the company was incorporated in 1974 under the name Twenty-fifth Street House Theatre.

The company received a federal Local Initiatives Project (LIP) grant in December, 1972 and added to their group dancers, actors and literary talent. They rented an ex-grocery store on Witney Avenue which they dubbed Witney Place. In May, 1973, they staged a production of Covent Garden by Tahn at the largest house in town, the Centennial Auditorium. In the mid-70's a network had been formed with Theatre Network and with Paul Thompson at Theatre Passe Muraille. 25th's first collective creation with Thompson was If You're So Good, Why Are You In Saskatoon? The company subsequently produced collective creations such Prairie Psalms, Dontcha Know the North Wind and You in My Hair, and Generation and 1/2. The archetype of this company's work remains Paper Wheat, a musical piece about the Wheat Board which toured the country.

The mandate focused solely on works by Canadians. In 1999 the company created an annual festival of women's theatre called Her-icane.

The company has also premiered works by notable Canadian playwrights including Brad Fraser, Linda Griffiths, Greg Nelson, Connie Gault, Raymond Storey, Patricia Joudry, Kit Brennan and Ken Mitchell.

Actors who have appeared there include Lubomir Mykytiuk, David Francis and Graham Greene.

Other artistic directors include Glen Cairns, Tom Bentley-Fisher, Gordon McCall, Griffiths and Layne Coleman.

Due to a large accrued debt, the 25th Street Theatre stopped producing a regular theatre season in 2000, but as a Theatre Centre still produces a Fringe Festival in the summer, the Her-icane Festival, and facilitates opportunities for theatre artists.

Website: www.25thstreettheatre.org

Further reading: Dwayne Brenna. Our Kind of Work: The Glory Days and Difficult Times of 25th Street Theatre. Saskatoon, SK: Thistledown Press, 2011.

Last updated 2014-01-16