Type of entity
Authorized form of name
Black Theater Workshop
Parallel form(s) of name
- Théâtre BTW
Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules
Other form(s) of name
Identifiers for corporate bodies
Dates of existence
The Black Theater Workshop (BTW), also known as the “Theatre B.T.W.," is an English-speaking theatre company located in Montreal, Quebec that “is committed to reflecting Black culture and community by developing and providing visibility for Black Canadian artists.”
Incorporated in 1972 as a non-profit organization, the BTW is the oldest Black theater company in Canada. Beginning in 1965 as the Trinidad & Tobago Association (TTA) Drama group with the goal of becoming a theatre for the whole Montreal community, the TTA drama group became the Black Theatre Workshop in 1971 with the presentation of How Now Black Man, written by Lorris Elliott and directed by Jeff Henry. To respect the rules of French language use in Quebec, the Workshop officially changed its name to “Theatre B.T.W.” in January 1984.
The mission of the BTW “is to encourage and promote the development of a Black and Canadian Theater, rooted in a literature that reflects the creative will of Black Canadian writers and artists, and the creative collaborations between Black and other artists.” The Black Theater Workshop primarily stages the work of Black Canadian playwrights and selects plays that deal with themes relevant to Black communities in Canada. Since the beginning of the 1980s, the Black Theater Workshop annually runs school tours as part of its regular season.
One of the 35 founding members of the BTW is Clarence Bayne, who also served as both president and artistic director during the first years of the theatre. Since 1991, he has been Vice-President of the organization’s Board of Directors. As Artistic Director, Clarence Bayne was followed by Errol Sitahal (1970s), Terry Donald (1970s), Dwight Bacquie (1983-1984), Lorena Gale (1984-1985), Don Jordan (1985-1988), Winston Sutton (1988-1994), Fleurette Fernando (1994-1996), Nancy Delva (1997-1999), Kate Bligh (1999-2001), Rachael Van Fossen (2001-2005), and Tyrone Benskin (2005-2011). Since 2011, Quincy Armorer has been Artistic Director at the BTW. The BTW is governed by a board of Directors, which is presently formed by Jacklin Webb (president), Dr. Clarence Bayne (vice-president), Dr. Horace Goddard (secretary), Phylicia Burke (treasurer), Yvonne Greer (member), and Allison DaCosta.
The BTW is the recipient of numerous awards, including various Montreal English Theatre Awards (META) and several Montreal’s English Critics Circle Awards (MECCA).
From 1976 to 1985, the BTW used Montreal’s Centaur Theatre performing space. In 1984, BTW opened its first administrative office, and started performing in a space rented from L’Atelier Contenu. In the 1990s, offices were located at 1827 Ste Catherine West. Since 2003, the workshop is using the spaces of the Montréal Arts Interculturels (MAI) Centre, located at 3680 rue Jeanne-Mance.
Functions, occupations and activities
Mandates/sources of authority
Access points area
Subject access points
Place access points
Authority record identifier
Rules and/or conventions used
Level of detail
Dates of creation, revision and deletion
Black Theater Workshop. n.d. Who we are. Black Theater Workshop. http://www.blacktheatreworkshop.ca/who-we-are/ (accessed November 27, 2018).
Black Theater Workshop. 2018. 48 Years of the Black Theater Workshop. Black Theater Workshop. http://www.blacktheatreworkshop.ca/btw-archives/ (accessed November 27, 2018).