Black Theater Workshop

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

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

Description area

Dates of existence

1972-

History

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.

Places

Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Access points area

Subject access points

Place access points

Occupations

Control area

Authority record identifier

BTW1

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

Status

Draft

Level of detail

Partial

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created 2019-05-31

Language(s)

Script(s)

Sources

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).

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