Festival/competition in Newfoundland and Labrador created in 1950 by the province's Drama Society. It is presented in the spring.
Over the Festival's first seventy years, it has kept theatre alive throughout communities across the province and created a network for young people and adults interested in theatre. The Festival and Society offer exposure to theatre and, for the participants, to the world, as well as theatre workshops.
The 2000 edition was held in Stephenville and featured several companies, including: Beothuck Street Players (presenting The Beauty Queen of Leenane); Mokami Players (A Day in the Death of Joe Egg); Bay Theatre (Agnes of God); and The Carol Players (West Moon). The competition was adjudicated by Jeff Pitcher, who was a winner of the best actor under 21 award in the 1970s.
To celebrate the 65th season in 2015 in Gander, the Festival included A Guide to Mourning by Eugene Stickland (Mokami Players) and Vimy by Vern Thiessen (St. John's Players). The 2016 Festival in West Labrador included The Drowning Girls by Beth Graham and Daniela Vlaskalic. An economic downturn in the province resulted in a government funding shortfall.
In 2021, due to performance restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NLDS postponed the Provincial Drama Festival. The 2022 Festival, hosted by the Northcliffe Drama Club in Grand Falls-Windsor, will take place at the Gordon Pinsent Centre for the Arts.
Last updated 2021-07-07